Earl of Home

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.

Earldom of Home

Quarterly: 1st & 4th grandquarters, quarterly: I & IV: vert a lion rampant argent armed and langued gules (Home); II & III: Argent three popinjays vert beaked and membered gules (Pepdie of Dunglas); overall an escutcheon or charged with an orle azure (Landale); 2nd & 3rd grandquarters, quarterly: I: Azure a lion rampant argent armed and langued gules crowned with an imperial crown or (Lordship of Galloway); II: Or a lion rampant gules armed and langued azure debruised of a ribbon sable (Abernethy); III: Argent three piles gules (Lordship of Brechin); IV: or a fess checky azure and argent surmounted of a bend sable charged with three buckles of the field (Stewart of Bonkill); over all on an inescutcheon argent a man's heart gules ensigned with an imperial crown proper and a chief azure charged with three mullets of the field (Douglas)
PeeragePeerage of Scotland
First holderAlexander Home, 1st Earl of Home
Present holderDavid Douglas-Home, 15th Earl of Home
Subsidiary titlesLord Dunglass
Lord Home
Baron Douglas
Seat(s)The Hirsel
Former seat(s)Douglas Castle, Hume Castle, Fast Castle, Bothwell Castle

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 1963 Kinross and Western Perthshire by-election. The seat had been vacated by the death of the previous Member of Parliament, Gilmour Leburn. As of 2017 the titles are held by the 15th Earl, who succeeded in 1995.

The family seats are The Hirsel, near Coldstream, Berwickshire and Castlemains, near Douglas, South Lanarkshire. Former seats include Douglas Castle (demolished) and Bothwell Castle in the care of the state.


The Earls of Home descend in the male-line from Cospatric I (died after 1073), the Anglo-Danish Earl of Northumbria. His descendant William de Home (son of Sir Patrick de Greenlaw, the second son of Cospatric III, Earl of Lothian), adopted the surname following his acquisition of the lands of Home in Berwickshire in the early 13th century, through his marriage to his second cousin Ada (the daughter of Patrick I, Earl of Dunbar).[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 (born 1987).


Coat of arms of Earl of Home
Arms of the 12th and later Earls
An Earls Coronet
1st: On a Cap of Maintenance proper, a Lion’s Head erased Argent (Home).

2nd: On a Cap of Maintenance proper, a Salamander Vert, encircled with flames of Fire proper (Douglas).

Quarterly: 1st and 4th grand-quarters quarterly: 1st & 4th, Vert, a Lion rampant Argent, armed and langued Gules (Home); 2nd & 3rd, Argent, three Popinjays Vert, beaked and membered Gules (Pepdie of Dunglass); over all an Escutcheon Or, charged with an Orle Azure (Landale); 2nd and 3rd grand-quarters, quarterly: 1st, Azure, a Lion rampant Argent, armed and langued Gules, crowned with an Imperial Crown Or (Lordship of Galloway); 2nd, Or, a Lion rampant Gules, armed and langued Azure, debruised of a Riband Sable (Abernethy); 3rd, Argent, three Piles Gules (Lordship of Brechin); 4th, Or, a Fess chequy Azure and Argent, surmounted of a Bend Sable, charged with three Buckles Or (Stewart of Bonkill); over all an Escutcheon Argent, a Man’s Heart Gules, ensigned with an Imperial Crown proper, and a Chief Azure, charged with three Mullets Argent (Douglas).
On either side a Lion Argent armed and langued Azure.
Over the 1st Crest: A HOME, A HOME, A HOME; Over the 2nd Crest: JAMAIS ARRIÉRE (Never behindhand); Under the Arms: TRUE TO THE END

Order of the Thistle circlet (12th  15th Earl)

See also


  1. "No. 43143". The London Gazette. 25 October 1963. p. 8770.
  2. Nisbet, Alexander (1816). A System of Heraldry. William Blackwood. p. 270.
  3. Nisbet, Alexander (1816). A System of Heraldry. William Blackwood. p. 270.


  • Mosley, Charles (editor). (1999). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 106th edition
  • Charles Kidd & David Williamson, editors. (2003). Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage. Macmillan, London , , ,
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