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Buckinghamshire accountant wins battle of the baronet

DNA

AN ACCOUNTANT from the Home Counties is to become a baronet after using DNA evidence to prove that he is the rightful heir to a 300 year-old Scottish baronetcy, rather than his own cousin.

Murray Pringle, a retired accountant from High Wycombe, proved that he is the rightful heir to the Baronetcy of Stichill in the Scottish borders, after DNA samples proved that the bloodline that has carried that baronetcy, is ‘illegitimate’, reports The Guardian.

Sir Stuart Pringle, who died in 2013, was the 10th Baronet of Stichill but DNA samples proved that his father, 9th baronet Sir Norman Hamilton Pringle was the secret love child of an affair between his mother an unknown man, just weeks before her marriage to Norman’s father in 1902.

This means that the baronetcy does not pass down to Sir Stuart’s son, Simon Pringle, who like his cousin Murray, registered a claim to the Baronetcy of Stichill.

The case was presided over by the judicial committee of the Privy Council by the Queen, as they needed to decide who would be noted as the baronet in historical records.

In a statement through his solicitor, Simon Pringle, commenting on Murray’s victory said: “‘I want to congratulate Murray for winning the verdict and express the hope that he and his successors will wear the title as honourably as my father.”

The DNA evidence was first used as part of a family genealogy project, but indicated the illegitimacy in the bloodline. The case is a pioneering one, as DNA evidence has never been used before to resolve disagreements over a hereditary title.

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