Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pringle, Walter (1664?-1736)

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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 portrait was painted by Allan and engraved by R. Cooper.

[Tyler's Life of Lord Kames. i. 31; Brunton and Haig's Senators of the College of Justice, p. 493; Grant's Old and New Edinburgh, i. 161.]

A. H. M.