Earl of Home

This article is about the title in the Peerage of Scotland. For the British prime minister who disclaimed this title, see Alec Douglas-Home.
Earl of Home

Quarterly: 1st and 4th Vert a lion rampant Argent armed and langued Gules 2nd and 3rd Argent three popinjays Vert armed and legged Gules on an inescutcheon Or a tressure Azure.
Peerage Peerage of Scotland
First holder Alexander Home, 1st Earl of Home
Present holder David Douglas-Home, 15th Earl of Home
Subsidiary titles Lord Dunglass
Lord Home
Baron Douglas
Seat(s) The Hirsel
Former seat(s) Douglas Castle, Hume Castle, Fast Castle, Bothwell Castle
11th Earl & Countess of Home (seated) at the marriage of their son Lord Dunglass, Douglas Castle 1870

Earl of Home (/ˈhjuːm/ HEWM) 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, among others, 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. 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.[1] 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 Earls of Home descend in the male-line from Cospatrick I (died after 1074) the Anglo-Danish Earl of Northumbria. His descendant William de Home, a younger son of Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, adopted the surname following his acquisition of the lands of Home and Greenlaw in Berwickshire in the early 13th century.[2] William's arms featured the silver lion of Dunbar but with a green field instead of a red field, in reference to his lands of Greenlaw.[3]

Lords Home (1473)

Earls of Home (1605)

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

See also


  1. The London Gazette: no. 43143. p. 8770. 25 October 1963. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  2. Nisbet, Alexander (1816). A System of Heraldry. William Blackwood. p. 270.
  3. Nisbet, Alexander (1816). A System of Heraldry. William Blackwood. p. 270.


External links

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