Judges asked for decision in Scots baronetcy dispute

Murray Pringle, 74, outside court in London. Picture: PA
Murray Pringle, 74, outside court in London. Picture: PA
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A businessman caught up in a legal fight over the right to a Scottish baronetcy says he is glad that judges have “finally” been asked to make a decision.

Accountant Murray Pringle, 74, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and Simon Pringle, 56, who lives near Hastings, East Sussex, both lay claim to the baronetcy of Pringle of Stichill.

The Queen has asked senior judges to make decisions on the dispute under a piece of legislation dating back more than 150 years. Seven judges have analysed evidence at a two-day hearing of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London – in one of the most unusual disputes seen in a British court.

The judges, who are all Supreme Court justices, are due to return to court in January.

They are not expected to publish a ruling for some months.

Judges have been told that Charles II granted the baronetcy of Stichill, a village near Kelso, Roxburghshire, to Robert Pringle of Stichill – and the “male heirs from his body” – in 1683.

The tenth Baronet, Sir Steuart Pringle – a retired Royal Marine commander who survived an IRA bomb attack – died in 2013 aged 84. Now his son Simon, and Murray – Simon’s second cousin – disagree over who should claim the title.

Lawyers for Murray Pringle say Simon should not become the 11th Baronet because there has been a ‘’break in the line of ­paternity’’.