Earldom Cairns
Arms of the Earl Cairns
Arms: Gules, three Martlets Argent, within a Bordure of the second charged with three Trefoils slipped Vert; Crest: A Martlet Argent, charged on the breast with a Trefoil slipped Vert; Supporters: On either side a Hawk wings expanded proper, collared, belled and chained Or, holding in the beak a Trefoil slipped Vert.
Creation date27 September 1878
Created byQueen Victoria
PeeragePeerage of the United Kingdom
First holderHugh Cairns, 1st Earl Cairns
Present holderSimon Cairns, 6th Earl Cairns
Heir apparentHugh Cairns, Viscount Garmoyle
Remainder tothe 1st Earl's heirs male of the body
Subsidiary titlesViscount Garmoyle
Baron Cairns
(I Flourish)
Hugh McCalmont Cairns, 1st Earl Cairns

Earl Cairns is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1878 for the prominent lawyer and Conservative politician Hugh Cairns, 1st Baron Cairns. He was Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880. Cairns had already been created Baron Cairns, of Garmoyle in the County of Antrim, in 1867,[1] and was made Viscount Garmoyle, in the County of Antrim, at the same time he was given the earldom.[2] These titles are also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

He was succeeded by his second but eldest surviving son, the second Earl. He died young without male issue and was succeeded by his younger brother, the third Earl. He never married and was succeeded by his younger brother, the fourth Earl. On his death the titles passed to his second but only surviving son, the fifth Earl. He was a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. As of 2018, the titles are held by his son, the sixth Earl, who succeeded in 1989.

Sir William Cairns, half-brother of the first Earl, served as Governor of Queensland from 1875 to 1877.

The family seat is Bolehyde Manor, near Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Baron Cairns (1867)

Earl Cairns (1878)

The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son, Hugh Sebastian Frederick Cairns, Viscount Garmoyle (born 1965), whose heir is his son, Hon. Oliver David Andrew Cairns (born 1993).[3]

Male-line family tree

Male-line family tree, Earls Cairns
Hugh Cairns
1st Earl Cairns

Hugh Cairns
Arthur Cairns
2nd Earl Cairns

Herbert Cairns
3rd Earl Cairns

Wilfred Cairns
4th Earl Cairns

Hugh Cairns
Viscount Garmoyle
David Cairns
5th Earl Cairns

Simon Cairns
6th Earl Cairns

born 1939
Hugh Cairns
Viscount Garmoyle
born 1965
Oliver Cairns
born 1993


  1. ^ "No. 23222". The London Gazette. 22 February 1867. p. 951.
  2. ^ "No. 24627". The London Gazette. 24 September 1878. p. 5263.
  3. ^ Morris, Susan; Bosberry-Scott, Wendy; Belfield, Gervase, eds. (2019). "Cairns, Earl". Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage. Vol. 1 (150th ed.). London: Debrett's Ltd. pp. 750–752. ISBN 978-1-999767-0-5-1.