Lord Hume of Berwick

Baron Hume of Berwick was a title which has been created twice in the Peerages of England and Great Britain.

First creation

The title was first created as Baron Hume of Berwick in the Peerage of England on 7 July 1604, for George Home, Lord Treasurer of Scotland, member of the English Privy Council, and Keeper of the Great Wardrobe.[1][2][3][4][5] (In 1605 he was further created Earl of Dunbar).[2]

Most sources cite the title as being extinct.[6][7][8][9] However, the 2003 edition of Debretts gives an opposing view when it states: "The Lordship of Home (or Hume) of Berwick, cr by patent 1604 upon George Home... with remainder to his heirs for ever, is held to have descended to the Earls of Home through lady Anna Home".[10]

The question of the continued existence of the title came to the fore again in 1963 when the Prime Minister, Alec Douglas-Home, 14th Earl of Home, was required to renounce all of his peerages under the new Peerage Act 1963, in order to sit in the House of Commons. Douglas-Home signed the historic 'Instrument of Disclaimer' on 23 October 1963,[11] in which this peerage was inserted, along with all of his other peerages.[12][13] Upon his death in 1995, his son, David Douglas-Home, 15th Earl of Home, resumed his father's disclaimed titles. It is said that he maintains a claim to the title of Lord Hume of Berwick, but no such claim has as yet been placed before the Crown.

Debretts, out of step with all other authorities, also state this peerage is more likely to belong to the Peerage of Scotland given its suggested unusual remainder.[10] To circumvent this uncertainty with relation to Douglas-Home's disclaimer, the Lord Chancellor's office listed both "The Lordship of Hume of Berwick in the peerage of Scotland" and "The Barony of Hume in the Peerage of England" in the instrument of disclaimer,[11][14] an obvious anomaly.

Second creation

On 14 May 1776, Alexander Hume-Campbell, Lord Polwarth, son and heir of Hugh Hume-Campbell, 3rd Earl of Marchmont, was created Baron Hume of Berwick, in the Peerage of Great Britain,[15] but the title became extinct when he died without issue.[6]

See also


  1. Dugdale, William, Rouge Croix Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary, The Baronage of England, London, 1676
  2. 1 2 Lee, Maurice (junior) (2004). "'Home, George, earl of Dunbar (d. 1611)'". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/13642. Retrieved 19 December 2007. (subscription required (help)).
  3. Playfair, William, British Family Antiquity & Nobility of the United Kingdom, London, 1811, vol.VIII: cccx - cccxii
  4. Anderson, William, The Scottish Nation, Edinburgh, 1867, vol.IV
  5. Kirk, J., George Home, Earl of Dunbar, R & R Clark Ltd., Edinburgh, 1918: 7 - 8
  6. 1 2 Nicolas, Sir Harris, revised by William Courthope, Somerset Herald, The Historic Peerage of England, London, 1857
  7. Burke's Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire, London, 1883, 289
  8. Kirk, Rev J., George Home, Earl of Dunbar, Edinburgh, 1918
  9. Leeson, Francis L, A Directory of British Peerages, revised edition, London, 2002: 85, ISBN 1-903462-65-7
  10. 1 2 Kidd, Charles, & Williamson, David, editors, Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage, Macmillan, London, 2003: 808, who fail to state their authority for this or by whom it "is held".
  11. 1 2 The London Gazette: no. 43143. p. 8770. 25 October 1963. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
  12. Young, K. (1971). Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Fairleigh Dickinson, p.174
  13. Thorpe, D.R. (1996). Alec Douglas-Home, Sinclair-Stevenson
  14. The Uncommon Commoner: A Study of Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Pall Mall, pp.194-6
  15. The London Gazette: no. 11665. p. 2. 11 May 1776. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
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