|Creation date||27 September 1878|
|Created by||Queen Victoria|
|Peerage||Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|First holder||Hugh Cairns, 1st Earl Cairns|
|Present holder||Simon Cairns, 6th Earl Cairns|
|Heir apparent||Hugh Cairns, Viscount Garmoyle|
|Remainder to||the 1st Earl's heirs male of the body|
|Subsidiary titles||Viscount Garmoyle|
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, and was made Viscount Garmoyle, in the County of Antrim, at the same time he was given the earldom. 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[update], 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.
The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son, Hugh Sebastian Frederick Cairns, Viscount Garmoyle (born 1965).
The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son, Hon. Oliver David Andrew Cairns (born 1993).
|Male-line family tree, Earls Cairns|