Earldom of Home
Coronet of a British Earl.svg

Arms of Douglas–Home, Earl of Home.svg
Coat of Arms of the Earl of Home.
PeeragePeerage of Scotland
First holderAlexander Home, 1st Earl of Home
Present holderMichael Douglas-Home, 16th Earl of Home
Subsidiary titlesLord Dunglass
Lord Home
Baron Douglas
Seat(s)The Hirsel
Former seat(s)Dunglass Castle, Hume Castle, Fast Castle, Bothwell Castle
The 11th Earl and Countess of Home (seated) at the marriage of their son Lord Dunglass, Douglas Castle 1870
The 11th Earl and 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.[citation needed] 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 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 2022 the titles are held by the 16th Earl, who succeeded in that year.

The family seats are The Hirsel, near Coldstream, Berwickshire and Castlemains, near Douglas, South Lanarkshire. Former seats include Douglas Castle (mostly demolished), Dunglass Castle (demolished), Tantallon Castle (ruined) 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)

Present Earl

Michael David Alexander Douglas-Home, 16th Earl of Home, was born on 30 November 1987, the only son of the 15th Earl and his wife Jane Margaret Williams-Wynne. He has two older sisters, Lady Iona Katherine (born 1980) and Lady Mary Elizabeth (born 1982), and was Page of Honour to Queen Elizabeth II from 1997 to 2000.[4]

Styled as Lord Dunglass between 1995 and 2022, in 2017 he married Sally Antoinette Underhill, a daughter of Group Captain Gregory B. P. Underhill.[5] On 22 August 2022 he succeeded to the peerages and to the estate of The Hirsel.[6]

There is no heir apparent. The heir presumptive is the present earl's second cousin, Alexander Sholto Douglas-Home (born 1962), a great-grandson of the 13th earl. [4]


Coat of arms of Earl of Home
Coat of Arms of Alec Douglas-Home, 14th Earl of Home.svg
Arms of the 12th and later Earls; Order of the Thistle circlet (12th – 15th Earl).
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.
Quarterly: 1st and 4th grand quarters counter quartered, 1st and 4th vert, a lion rampant argent, armed and langued gules, Home; 2nd and 3rd argent, three popinjays vert, beaked and membered gules, Pepdie; over all an escutcheon or, charged with an orle azure, Luudale; 2nd and 3rd grand quarters counter-quartered, 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 ribbon sable, Abernethy ; 3rd argent, three piles gules, Lordship of Brechin; 4th or, a fesse cheeky azure and argent, surmounted of a bend sable, charged with three buckles of the field, Stewart of Bonkill; over all on an escutcheon argent, a man’s heart, ensigned with an imperial crown proper, and a chief azure, charged with three mullets of the field, Douglas.
Two lions argent, armed and langued gules.
True to the end.[7]

See also


This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Earl of Home" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
  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.
  4. ^ a b Burke's Peerage, volume 2 (2003), p. 1948
  5. ^ ”Miss S. A. Underhill and Lord Dunglass” in Engagements, The Daily Telegraph, 27 May 2016
  6. ^ The Earl of Home, obituary, The Times, 5 September 2022, accessed 7 January 2023 (subscription required)
  7. ^ Hesilrige 1921, p. 483.

Works cited