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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/397

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Pringle
Pringle
391

religious influences to which he had been subjected at Stirling; and, according to his own account, there supervened ‘several years of darkness, deadness, and sinfulness,’ one of which ‘was spent, or rather lost, in Leith, two at Edinburgh College, five at home and in the wars (being a volunteer), and two in France’ (Memoirs in Select Biographies, published by the Wodrow Society, i. 424). He returned home from France in June 1648, and on the death of his father, in May 1649, succeeded to the estate of Greenknowe, Berwickshire, where the ruined tower of his residence still stands. In November following he was married at Stow by James Guthrie [q. v.] to Janet, second daughter of James Pringle of Torwoodlee, Selkirkshire, and sister of George Pringle [q. v.] of Torwoodlee. Both families held strong covenanting opinions. On the invasion of Scotland by Cromwell in 1652, Pringle of Greenknowe, with his brother-in-law of Torwoodlee, joined the covenanting army which opposed Cromwell at Dunbar. After the defeat of the covenanters there he took refuge with his brother-in-law at Torwoodlee; and, when returning one night from visiting his wife, who was at Stitchel, encountered an English trooper on horseback, whom he killed. Thereupon he for a time took refuge in Northumberland. Shortly after returning to Scotland he was apprehended and brought to Selkirk; but, on pleading that he had killed the soldier in self-defence, he was allowed his liberty on a bond for 2,000l. sterling. After the Restoration he was, on 20 Sept. 1660, sent a prisoner to the castle of Edinburgh, but does not appear to have been long detained in confinement. On 19 July 1664 he was, however, brought before the court of high commission for nonconformity. Being required, as a test, to take the oath of allegiance, he affirmed that his one difficulty was as to the clause relating to supremacy, and offered to take the oath according to Bishop Ussher's explication, approved by James VI. A heavy fine was therefore imposed on him (Select Biographies, i. 453–4; Wodrow, Sufferings of the Church of Scotland, i. 394). For non-payment of the fine he was, on 24 Nov., seized and brought to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh; but shortly afterwards received his liberty, on finding bond to enter the burgh of Elgin on or before 1 Jan. following, and abide within its bounds during the king's pleasure, and, on the non-payment of the fine by Candlemas, to enter within the Tolbooth of the said burgh. On 3 May 1665 he petitioned the council that since March last he had been imprisoned within the Tolbooth; and that, as his health had seriously suffered, he might be allowed the limits of the burgh of Elgin and one mile round, which was granted on his finding caution in 1,000l. Scots to remain within its bounds. On 6 Feb. 1666 his friends, without his knowledge, procured from the court of high commission a change of his confinement from Elgin to his own home at Greenknowe and three miles round, on payment of 200l. sterling, and on giving a bond for his ‘peaceable and inoffensive behaviour.’ Although rather ‘stumbled’ by the word ‘inoffensive,’ he accepted the terms. He died on 12 Dec. 1667. He had six sons and three daughters. The ‘Memoirs of Walter Pringle of Greenknowe,’ written for the edification of his family, was published in 1723, and republished in 1751 and 1847. It is also included in vol. i. of ‘Select Biographies,’ published by the Wodrow Society.

[Memoirs ut supra; Wodrow's Sufferings of the Church of Scotland.]

T. F. H.

PRINGLE, Sir WALTER, Lord Newhall (1664?–1736), Scottish judge, was second son of Sir Robert Pringle, first baronet of Stitchel, and Margaret, daughter of Sir John Hope, lord Craighall. Walter Pringle [q. v.] of Greenknowe was his granduncle. He was one of a family of nineteen children, thirteen of whom survived infancy, and two, besides himself, Thomas and Robert (d. 1736) [q. v.], were distinguished in law and politics. Walter, born about 1664, succeeded to the estate of Lochton. He was admitted advocate on 10 Dec. 1687, and became one of the leaders of the Scottish bar. His promotion to the bench was long delayed, and he was passed over in the interest of several advocates who were inferior to him in attainments [see Elliott, Sir Gilbert, Lord Minto]. It was not until Sir Gilbert Elliot's death in 1718 that Pringle was made a judge. On 6 June in that year he took his seat, with the title of Lord Newhall, and was knighted at the same time, and made a lord of justiciary. According to Tytler, his high personal qualities gave him a ‘permanent name in the annals of Scottish jurisprudence.’ Upon his death, on 14 Dec. 1736, a unique tribute was paid to his remains, his funeral being attended by his judicial colleagues in their robes of office. The faculty of advocates engrossed in their minutes a special eulogy on Pringle, written by Sir Robert Dundas of Arniston, then dean of faculty. Pringle married a daughter of Johnston of Hilton, and had issue. His direct line failed in the third generation, and his estate of Lochton fell to Sir John Pringle of Stitchel. His niece Katherine was married to William Hamilton (1704–1754) [q. v.] of Bangour, the poet, who wrote a poetical epitaph on Pringle. Pringle's