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Pringle of Muirhouse

“Muirhouse tower, just east of Stow. Muirhouse Tower stood on high ground about a mile and a half from Stow on the right of the road between that place and Lauder. The site, in the corner of a field, is marked by a few trees. In 1489 a lease of the lands of Muirhouse is granted by the Archbishop of St Andrews to William Hoppringill.” From ‘Records of the Pringles of the Scottish Border’ by Alex Pringle. Published in 1933. Page 74.

Note by James Bruce Pringle (September 2013) jbp email

The lease to Muirhouse past to Mariote, heiress of William Hoppringill of that Ilk, in 1459. Muirhouse was later in the hands of William, constable of Cessford Castle. As on 1st Mar 1482-83, David Turnbull, William [?], Thomas [?] and Thomas Craick were in an action against William for occupying the lands of Muirhouse [GD246/27/8/3].

As you Alex Pringle notes on page 74 (see above), William’s lease to Muirhouse was renewed in 1489.  The circumstances that gave rise to his lease or when he gave it up are not known, bit it is known that William and his grandson Robert resigned a number of tenements in Lauder in 1501.

Archibald, father of Adam of that Ilk, married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert 1st of Smailholm [confirmed by a marriage between Thomas of that Ilk and a daughter of Torwoodlee within the fourth and fifth degrees of consanguinity [Torwoodlee writs]. Adam of that Ilk was therefore the nephew of David, 2nd of Smailholm. Why it took the Lords 22 years [1480] to confirm him as of that Ilk is still a mystery to me.

William [in Cessford] was, I believe, the grandson and son of one of the following pairs: Adam [1] and Archibald [in which case he would have been a younger brother to Adam [2] of that Ilk, or George, Douglas squire and master ranger [until 1460] and Thomas [who resigned his lands in Philiphaugh in 1461] or Alexander, Douglas squire [last mentioned in 1456] and Robert who obtained sasine to Wrangholm in 1459. William was most definitely not a son of David of Smailholm – although he might have been a nephew. Alexander Pringle, in his book, did not pick-up on the marriage between Archibald and Elizabeth. Probably because he did not have access to the Torwoodlee writs.


Archaeology Notes
(NT 4730 4516) Muirhouse Castle (NR) (site of), OS 6" map (1971)

The remains of Muirhouse Castle, a square tower, were removed by Mr Blackie, of Muirhouse, who ploughed up the land about 1832. No traces of the tower remain, but a red freestone, apparently from its entrance, is built into the garden of the present farmhouse. It is inscribed 'I P M P In Te Domine Speravi 1626'.


Stow Muirhouse from air


Muirhouse Castle


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