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The Scottish Nation

SPREWEL, or SPREULL, a surname of old standing in the west of Scotland. Those of this surname, says Nisbet (vol. i. p. 437,) carry purses or palmer scrips in their arms. The name is now spelled Spreull or Sproul. In the reign of Alexander III. Walter Sprewel of Cowden or Colden, Renfrewshire, seneschal to Malcolm earl of Lennox, had a grant from that nobleman of the lands of Dalquhairn, Dumbartonshire. In 1294 he was threatened with excommunication upon the earl’s account. In the reign of Robert the Bruce, another Walter Sprewel, seneschallus de Dumbarton, obtained a charter of the same lands. The Sprewels are several times thereafter mentioned in the chartulary of Paisley. The family continued in a lineal succession till 1622, when the lands of Cowden were sold by John Sprewel, the then proprietor, to William Lord Cochrane, father of the first earl of Dundonald.

The first of the Sprewels of Ladymuir and Blackairne was John Sprewel, a younger son of the family of Cowden, who, in 1507, was made vicar of Dundonald. He was also one of the professor of philosophy in the university of Glasgow, and rector of the said university. Subsequently he was one of the prebends of the metropolitan church, to which the rectory of Ancrum was attached. He purchased the lands of Ladymuir, Castlehill, and Kingsmeadows, from Gabriel Semple, who had married his sister, Janet, and was brother of the first Lord Semple; also the lands of Blackairne, within the lordship of Provan, and a dwelling-house or lodging in the city of Glasgow. At his death in 1555 he was succeeded by his nephew, John Sprewel, the son of his brother, Robert Sprewel, burgess of Glasgow. The grandson of this John Sprewel, also named John, was provost of Renfrew about the beginning of the reign of Charles I. He was father of John Sprewel, town-clerk of Glasgow, and afterwards one of the principal clerks of session. The son of the latter, John Sprewel of Blackairne, married Agnes, daughter of Andrew Sprewel of Milton. Their son, Andrew Sprewel of Blackairne, was a writer in Edinburgh.

As Electric Scotland is an important resource for overseas Scots to explore their family and clan history, and as the Spreulls (Sprouls, Sproules, Sprowls etc) are small, but ancient Scots family. I wanted to bring to your attention - and hopefully see reflected on the Electric Scotland website - the information that Spreull descendants (all spellings) have been officially recognized as a Sept of Clan Lennox by the Chief and Council of Lennox. This came about because our progenitor, Walter Spreull was the high steward of the Lennox earls in the late 13th and early 14th century. The original Spreull lands in Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire were feudal grants from Lennox. The association with the Earls of Lennox continued for hundreds of years and expanded into Ireland when Lennox acquired land there in the 17th century.

I attach the Petition to the Chief and Council of Clan Lennox by Spreull descendants around the world and the official Clan Lennox Proclamation recognizing us a Sept. .

We would love to see our name (the old form - Spreull - would be fine) included and our affiliation with Clan Lennox included in your lists.

I thank you in advance for your consideration,

Glen Sproul dit MacDonald FRSC
Sproul Project Co-Administrator

Proclamation Recognising Spreull Family 2020 Connection (pdf)
Spreull Lennox Petition (pdf)

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