The Earl of Selkirk
10thEarl of Selkirk.jpg
First Lord of the Admiralty
In office
14 January 1957 – 14 October 1959
Preceded byThe Viscount Hailsham
Succeeded byThe Lord Carrington
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
20 December 1955 – 13 January 1957
Prime MinisterAnthony Eden
Harold Macmillan
Preceded byThe Earl of Woolton
Succeeded byCharles Hill
Personal details
Born(1906-01-04)4 January 1906
Died24 November 1994(1994-11-24) (aged 88)
Spouse(s)Audrey Sale-Barker
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Air Force
RankGroup Captain
CommandsNo. 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron (1934–38)
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsOfficer of the Order of the British Empire
Air Force Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (2)

Group Captain George Nigel "Geordie" Douglas-Hamilton, 10th Earl of Selkirk, KT, GCMG, GBE, AFC, AE, PC, QC (4 January 1906 – 24 November 1994) was a British nobleman and Conservative politician.

Early life

Born at Merly, Wimborne, Dorset, he was the second son of Nina Mary Benita, youngest daughter of Major R. Poore, Salisbury, and the 13th Duke of Hamilton and Brandon. He was educated at Eton College, Balliol College, Oxford, the University of Edinburgh (LLB) and at the University of Bonn, Vienna University and the Sorbonne. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1935, taking silk in 1959.[1][2]

He played cricket for Wiltshire in the 1927 Minor Counties Championship.[3]

He was a member of Edinburgh Town Council from 1935 to 1940 and served as a Commissioner of General Board of Control (Scotland) from 1936 to 1939 and as a Commissioner for Special Areas in Scotland 1937–39. He commanded No. 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force 1934–38.

Second World War

With the outbreak of the Second World War Douglas-Hamilton joined the Royal Air Force. He served as Fighter Command's chief intelligence officer and the personal assistant to Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding. Douglas-Hamilton was also involved in countering the German task force operating near Ceylon.[2]

Douglas-Hamilton was twice Mentioned in Despatches, awarded the Air Force Cross in 1938, and appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1941.

He succeeded as the 12th Earl of Selkirk on the death of his father in 1940, under the terms of a special remainder, his elder brother becoming the 14th Duke of Hamilton.

Post-war activity

From 1946 to 1950 Douglas-Hamilton served as the president of the influential conservationist and civic amenity body the Cockburn Association.[4]

On 6 August 1947, he married Audrey Sale-Barker, an alpine skiing champion and prominent aviator.[2]

He was elected as a Scottish representative peer 1945–63, during which time he served as a Lord in Waiting to King George VI (1951–52) and to Queen Elizabeth II (1952–53). He held Ministerial office as Paymaster-General from November 1953 to December 1955, as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from December 1955 to January 1957 and as First Lord of the Admiralty from January 1957 to October 1959.

He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1955, and appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1959 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1963. He was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Thistle in 1976. He held the office of Deputy Keeper of Holyroodhouse from 1937 until his death, the Duke of Hamilton being hereditary Keeper. He was made a Freeman of Hamilton, Scotland in 1938. He was also an Honorary Chief of the Saulteaux Indians, 1967, and an Honorary Citizen of the City of Winnipeg and of the town of Selkirk, Manitoba.


He was UK Commissioner for Singapore and Commissioner General for South-East Asia from 1959 to 1963, and UK Council Representative to Southeast Asia Treaty Organization 1960–63. While in Singapore, Douglas-Hamilton was the British representative and Chairman of the Internal Security Council, a tripartite committee responsible for Singapore's internal security from 1959 to 1963.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "Selkirk, 10th Earl of, (George Nigel Douglas-Hamilton) (4 Jan. 1906–24 Nov. 1994)", Who Was Who, Oxford University Press, 1 December 2007, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u175365, ISBN 978-0-19-954089-1
  2. ^ a b c d Douglas, Selkirk of (23 September 2004). "Hamilton, George Nigel Douglas-, tenth earl of Selkirk (1906–1994), politician and diplomatist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 1 (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/55705. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ "Player profile: Lord George Douglas-Hamilton". CricketArchive. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Historic Cockburn Association Office-Bearers".
Political offices Preceded byNew government Lord-in-waiting 1951–1953 Succeeded byThe Lord Hawke Preceded byThe Lord Cherwell Paymaster-General 1953–1955 VacantTitle next held byWalter Monckton Preceded byThe Viscount Woolton Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1955–1957 Succeeded byCharles Hill Preceded byQuintin Hogg First Lord of the Admiralty 1957–1959 Succeeded byThe Lord Carrington Peerage of Scotland Preceded byAlfred Douglas-Hamilton Earl of Selkirk 1940–1994 Succeeded byJames Douglas-Hamilton