Muirhouse, Cardrope and Pirn

Pringle of Muirhouse, Cardrope and Pirn

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.” From ‘Records of the Pringles of the Scottish Border’ by Alex Pringle. Published in 1933. Page 74.

  • William Hoppringill of Muirhouse – is granted a lease of the lands of Muirhouse by the Archbishop of St Andrews in 1489.
  • John Hoppringill of Muirhouse, Cardrope and Pirn – is granted a tack of Muirhouse, Cardrope and Pirn for 5 years by the Archbishop in 1540.
  • John Hoppringill of Muirhouse – died in 1599, as did his son George Hoppringill, fear of Muirhouse.
  • John Pringill of Muirhouse – in 1605 he is retoured heir of John Pringill, his uncle, in the lands of Muirhouse, Caldrope (or Corscruik) and Pirn. He is survived by his widow.
  • James Pringill, younger of Buckholm – gets a charter of the above lands, now belonging to the King by annexation. In 1625 he grants a sasine of the lands to James Pringill of Mitchelston.
  • George Pringill, fear of Muirhouse, Cardrope and Pirn – eldest son of James Pringill of Mitchelston, married Eupham, daughter of John Hoppringill of that Ilk in 1633, and is infefted in the lands and half of Mitchelston.
  • John Pringle of Pirn – eldest son of George, the only son of James of Muirhouse, is granted sasine of Muirhouse by his grandfather in 1653. But only succeeded his father to Pirn and died there in 1720.
  • James Pringle of Halltree – granted sasine of Muirhouse and Cardrope in 1654 after lending James and George 1600 merks.
  • George Pringle of Pirn – born in 1667. In 1722 is retoured heir of George Pringle of Muirhouse, his grandfather, in the lands of Pirn. George was a tenant in Burnhouse and his brother James was a tenant in Cortleferry. Had sons, John, James, Samuel, James and Thomas.

Note by James Bruce Pringle (September 2013)

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 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, but 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.

NOTE by James M. Pringle:

The Rev. Archibald Allan in his book History of Channelkirk, published in 1900, states that in his section on ‘Kirktonhill’, on pages 535-549, that he believes that there were actually two Muirhouses. One in the parish of Stow of Wedale and the other which was contiguous with Kirktonhill in Lauderdale. Kirktonhill was always associated with Muirhouse in old legal documents, so there must have been a Muirhouse in Lauderdale as well as in Wedale.

Muirhouse Tower

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‘. [James Pringill of Mitchelston and is wife Margaret Pringill, who was granted sasine of Muirhouse, Caldrope and Pirn in 1625.]