PRINGLE, William Henry (?1771-1840), of 17 Stratford Place, Marylebone, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1812 - 1818
1818 - 1832

Family and Education

b. ?1771, 1st s. of Maj.-Gen. Henry Pringle by Mary, da. of Rev. William Godley, DD, of Dublin.1 educ. by Rev. Richard Norris, Drogheda; Trinity, Dublin 16 May 1789, aged 17. m. 20 May 1806, Hester Harriet Pitt, da. and h. of Hon. Edward James Eliot*, 1s. 4da. suc. fa. 1800; KCB 2 Jan. 1815; GCB 19 Dec. 1834.

Offices Held

Cornet, 16 Drag. 1792, lt. 1793, capt. 1794; maj. III Ft. 1794, lt.-col. 1799; capt. and lt.-col. 2 Ft. Gds. 1802, col. 1809; maj-gen. 1812; on staff of Peninsular army 1812; col. R. Newfoundland fencibles 1814; col. 64 Ft. 1816; lt.-gen. 1825; col. 45 Ft. 1838-d.


Pringle, who was brought up in Ireland, followed in his father’s footsteps and had a distinguished career in the army. In 1812, when he also joined the staff in the Peninsula, he was returned for St. Germans on the interest of his wife’s uncle John Eliot*, Lord Eliot. He was listed ‘Government’ by the Treasury. He cannot have been often present in the first two years of the Parliament, though he voted for Catholic relief on 2 Mar. 1813; (on 24 May he was absent). On 3 Dec. 1812 and 10 Feb. 1813 the House thanked him for his services as commander of a brigade at the battle of Salamanca and on 24 June 1814 for his services at the battles of the Pyrenees, Orthes and the Nivelle. These he formally acknowledged on the latter occasion. He was severely wounded in France in February 1814, but able to resume his military career not long afterwards. On 8 Apr. 1814, Lord Eliot wrote to Lord Liverpool on his behalf, repeating an application of the year before for Pringle to have a regiment: ‘few of his rank have been more in service, or have suffered more from it’. This led to a promise being made and by May Pringle had obtained a command.2

In 1815 Pringle resumed attendance. He again voted for Catholic relief, 1815-17. Otherwise he supported ministers on most critical divisions: the civil list question, 8 May 1815; the Regent’s expenditure, 31 May; the Duke of Cumberland’s grant, 29 June; the army estimates, 6, 8 Mar. 1816; the property tax, 18 Mar.; the civil list, 24 May; the public revenue bill, by pair, 17 June; the finance committee, 7 Feb. 1817; the lordships of the Admiralty, 25 Feb.; the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June, and the Duke of Clarence’s grant, 15 Apr. 1818. He was in the majority against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May, and for the seditious libel bill, 23 Dec. 1819.

In 1818 he had come in for Liskeard, the other borough in his wife’s family’s patronage. He died 23 Dec. 1840.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. For Pringle senior, see his memorial to Pitt, 27 Nov. 1794, PRO 30/8/169, f. 108; he married 10 May 1767 in Ireland (Gent. Mag. 279). In his will (PCC 1841, f. 49), Pringle referred to an estate he had inherited at Cornanow, co. Armagh.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. (1841), i. 317; Add. 38253, f. 312; 38257, ff. 79, 104, 300.