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Pride of Prydes uncovered at the Prestonpans Tapestry Exhibition ...

Eve Pryde has been researching as her family's genealogist since 1994, and now has nearly 18,000 names on the family tree ...

... and the most exciting aspect for those of us who aren't of that proud Ilk is that the Prydes are a family of very great distinction for Prestoungrange. It was one Robert Pryde who led the Petition to William Grant, Lord Prestoungrange, then Lord Advocate of Scotland, for a fair deal for himself and fellow coal miners in 1746. [Text of Robert's Petition is reprinted below. Click to enlarge] His tale, and some factitious interpretation of what happened next, are a major theme of today's Baron of Prestoungrange's memoir, A Baron's Tale, published last year.

Indeed, it was A Baron's Tale that brought Eve and a host of family members into contact with The Arts Festival in town as some of the Clan happened to visit The Prestonpans Tapestry in the Community Centre last month and browse amongst all the Arts Festival's titles.

The extraordinary photograph below sees a Pride of Pryde's at Newtongrange in June 2010 when their biggest Pryde Family Gathering ever was convened.

click to enlarge

Here's the letter Eve wrote:

"You have recently been in contact with a Pryde cousin of mine, Joan Poole. As you know, Joan was delighted to find A Baron's Tale at The Tapestry Exhibition and very kindly bought me a copy, together with more copies for other cousins too. I shall introduce myself at this point because, as you will see, I have a vested interest. I am Eve Roberts, nee Pryde, sometimes known in the genealogy field as Eve Pryde-Roberts. I have been investigating my maiden name of Pryde, from scratch, since 1994 and to date have just short of 18,000 entries in my tree.

"I, together with cousins Bill Scott and Linda Wilson, arranged a Pryde Reunion in Scotland in 2005 and again in June this year, the latter being held at the Scottish Mining Museum in Newtongrange where over 130 persons attended from all over the UK, America, Canada and New Zealand.

"During my visit in 2005 a small group of us, including Joan, visited the Prestongrange Heritage Museum and afterwards wandered to Morrison's Haven, so your book is full of happy memories and references that make it even more special for me.

"I wish to say that I enjoyed the book very much indeed. It is inventive and innovative in the way that the past and present are brought together and presented as faction. My sincere congratulations. I wish to read the book again and then, with your permission, discuss one or two points about the petition and the Pryde family.

"In the meantime, Joan has told me about the kind offer that Prides/Prydes may purchase a copy of the [RRP £9.99] book at Sterling 5 pounds plus 3 pounds extra P + P for UK .... I am in touch with many relations and those connected to the family, and I could e-mail them with details of your book and this kind offer and also as it is getting near Christmas I could include details in Christmas cards to be posted to those persons not on e-mail - they do still exist! It's good to hear that outside the UK P + P for air mail to USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be Sterling 10 pounds. To facilitate payment a Sterling banker's draft for Sterling 15 pounds in total will be best I'm sure or a UK cheque payable simply to 'Barons Courts'. All to be sent I understand to Baron Sergeand Sylvia Burgess, Barons Courts, Marriotts, 13 Castle Street, BUCKINGHAM MK18 1BP, United Kingdom.

"Sincere good wishes, Eve ... residing in North Wales."


[Ed.] As you look at the photo, Eve is standing to the right of the man in the kilt [cousin Bill Scott], and the person to his left is Linda Wilson - all early recipients of your book. Joan is standing in the back row, in line with the left hand brick pillar of the entrance, with the bearded relative to her right.

Sandra Pryde of Edinburgh, who helped with the factitious dimension of A Baron's Tale and herself an amateur genealogist, is not to be seen here, but rest assured she has now been brought into the genealogical network!

The Patriarch of the Pryde's is octogenarian Harold living in Cleethorpes.

... but remember please, all Pryde family descendants, A Baron's Tale is factitious giving only some imagined possibilities as to what happened next. Eve Pryde Roberts contributed the following postscript in November 2010:

"Readers of 'A Baron's Tale', especially those with a particular interest in the Pryde family history represented therein, may like to know that James Pride and Helen Selkirk had 8 known children born between 1704 and 1721, the youngest boy being James Pride born 1719. The Petition is held within a Journal of the Management of the Coall and Salt Works at Prestongrange and from entries made within this it is most likely and generally accepted that the Petition was signed by Robert Pride, his brother James and their father James Pride, Elder. The other two signatories, Robert Thomson and William Ingles or Ines were also related to the Pride family by marriage.

"To date (end 2010) there is no known cousin Walter in 1748, but a cousin Walter born 1765 gives evidence to R H Franks as part of the 'Children’s Employment Commission of 1842' in which the Petition is entered as evidence of the nature of employment of colliers.

"Everyone who becomes aware of the story of the Petition wants to know what happened next – there is no known record of any response. However, Robert has a child born April 1749 in Inveresk, and James the Younger has children also born in Inveresk from 1743 to 1755. Other members of the family are working in Liberton, Midlothian at that time and children of Robert and James also move to Midlothian, so it is highly unlikely that the threatened move to Borrowstounness (present day Bo’ness) ever took place.

"Some members of the Pryde family later dispersed worldwide as is evidenced from those who attended the 2010 reunion, however many descendants stayed with their roots in Scotland and a great many of these were employed within the coal mining industry until its demise in the 1980s."

Published Date: October 16th 2010

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