The Earls of Home

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12th Earl's armsEarl of Home is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1605 for Alexander Home of that Ilk, 6th Lord Home. The Earl of Home holds the subsidiary titles of Lord Home (created 1473), and Lord Dunglass (1605), in the Peerage of Scotland; and Baron Douglas, of Douglas in the County of Lanark (1875) in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Various Earls of Home have also claimed the title of Lord Hume of Berwick.

The Earl is also Chief of the Name and Arms of Home and heir general to the House of Douglas.[See The Chieftainship of the House of Douglas ] The title Lord Dunglass is the courtesy title of the eldest son of the Earl.

The most famous recent holder of the title was the 14th Earl, Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, better known as Sir Alec Douglas-Home. After the unexpected resignation of Harold Macmillan, the 14th Earl was named Prime Minister by the monarch. For the first time in over sixty years, a sitting Prime Minister was a member of the House of Lords rather than of the House of Commons. Because he believed that it was impractical and unconventional to remain a member of the Lords, the Earl disclaimed his peerages on 23 October 1963 under the Peerage Act passed in the same year. He then contested the House of Commons seat of Kinross and Western Perthshire by standing in the Kinross and West Perthshire by-election, 1963. The seat had been vacated by the death of the previous Member of Parliament, Gilmour Leburn.

As of 2015 the titles are held by David Douglas-Home, the 15th Earl, who succeeded in 1995.

The family seats are The Hirsel, near Coldstream, Berwickshire and Castlemains, near Douglas, South Lanarkshire.

The Lords Home date from 1473.

Earls of Home (1605)
'Goss' powder pot

Alexander Home, 1st Earl of Home (c. 1566–1619)(1)
James Home, 2nd Earl of Home (d. 1633)
James Home, 3rd Earl of Home (c. 1615–1666)
Alexander Home, 4th Earl of Home (d. 1674)
James Home, 5th Earl of Home (d. 1687)
Charles Home, 6th Earl of Home (d. 1706)
Alexander Home, 7th Earl of Home (d. 1720)
William Home, 8th Earl of Home (d. 1761)
Alexander Home, 9th Earl of Home (d. 1786)
Alexander Home, 10th Earl of Home (1769–1841)
Cospatrick Alexander Home, 11th Earl of Home (1799–1881) (created Baron Douglas in 1875)
Charles Alexander Douglas-Home, 12th Earl of Home (1834–1918)
Charles Cospatrick Archibald Douglas-Home, 13th Earl of Home (1873–1951) 
Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, 14th Earl of Home (1903–1995) (disclaimed 1963)
David Alexander Cospatrick Douglas-Home, 15th Earl of Home (b. 1943)

The heir apparent is the present holder's son Michael David Alexander Douglas-Home, Lord Dunglass (b. 1987).

See also: People with the surname Douglas-Home

1.  In March 1586, Home married Christian, daughter of William Douglas, 6th Earl of Morton, and widow of Laurence, master of Oliphant.  She died without surviving issue by Home. Some records of her household survive including a bill from an Edinburgh merchant for textiles for her gowns in 1589 and 1590, made by an Edinburgh tailor, Peter Sanderson.


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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024