Thursday, 28 January 2016

1st Earl of Home

THE EARLS OF HOME WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN LANARKSHIRE, WITH 61,943 ACRES

This noble family yields to few of its native country in antiquity of descent, being a branch of the great house of Dunbar and March, springing from

THE HON PATRICK DUNBAR, second son of Cospatric III, Earl of Lothian; whose son,

WILLIAM DUNBAR, married, for his second wife, Ada, daughter of Patrick I, Earl of Dunbar, and widow of William de Courtenay, who had obtained from her father the lands of Home in free marriage.

De Courtenay died childless and the lady brought those lands to her second husband, whence his posterity assumed the name of "HOME".

This Ada made a grant to the monastery of Kelso, for the salvation of her soul and the souls of her father and mother, prior to 1240.

The son of her marriage with William Dunbar,

WILLIAM DE HOME, confirmed, under that designation, the grant of his mother to the Abbot of Kelso, in 1268.

From this William lineally descended

SIR ALEXANDER HOME, of Home, who founded the collegiate church of Dunglass, for a provost and several prebendaries.

He wedded Mariotta, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Lauder, of The Bass, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ALEXANDER HOME, of Home, who was ambassador-extraordinary to England in 1459, and was created a Lord of Parliament, as Lord Home, in 1473.

He married firstly, Mariotta, daughter and co-heiress of John Lauder, in Berwickshire, by whom he had, with other issue,

ALEXANDER, MASTER OF HOME, who married Elizabeth Hepburn; and dying before his father, left issue,

ALEXANDER, 2nd Lord, who wedded twice. His 2nd wife, Nichola, daughter of George Ker of Samuelston; and dying in 1506, was succeeded by his eldest son,

ALEXANDER, 3rd Lord.
This nobleman commanded the vanguard, with the Earl of Huntly, at the battle of Flodden Field, dispersed the English opposed to him, and was one of the few who escaped the carnage of that disastrous day.

His lordship joined the Queen Dowager and her husband, Angus, in 1515, and embraced the English interest in opposition to the Regent, John Stewart, Duke of Albany, who took Home Castle and Fast Castle, the fortlets of Lord Home, and ravaged his lands.

Albany having caused the French Ambassador to offer an amnesty, and to send a pardon to Lord Home, with a request of a conference, he agreed to meet the Regent at Dunglass, where he was instantly arrested, and committed to Edinburgh Castle, then under the governorship of the Earl of Arran; but Lord Home prevailed on Arran to permit him to escape, and to accompant him to the Borders.

Lord Home made his peace with the Regent in 1516, and was restored to his honours and estates; but visiting the Court in September of that year, with his brother William, they were arrested, tried for treason, and convicted.

Lord Home was executed in 1516, his head placed on Edinburgh Tolbooth, and his honours and estates forfeited to the Crown. His brother suffered the next day.
His lordship left by his wife, Agnes Stewart, two daughters,
JANET, married to Sir John Hamilton, natural brother of James, Duke of Châtellerault;
ALISON.
His honours and estates were restored, in 1522, to his brother,

GEORGE, 4th Lord, who wedded Mariotta, daughter and co-heir of Patrick, 6th Lord Haliburton, of Dirleton; and was succeeded, in 1549, by his only surviving son,

ALEXANDER, 5th Lord; to whom succeeded his only son,

ALEXANDER, 6th Lord, who was created, in 1605, Lord Dunglass and EARL OF HOME, with remainder to his heirs male whatsoever.
His lordship married firstly, Christian, daughter of William, 6th Earl of Morton, and widow of Laurence, master of Oliphant; and secondly, the Hon Mary Sutton, eldest daughter of Edward, 5th Baron Dudley, the son of the English keeper of Home Castle in 1547 during the Rough Wooing.
His only son,

JAMES, 2nd Earl; upon whose demise, without issue, in 1633, the honours reverted to his kinsman,

SIR JAMES HOME, knight, of Cowdenknowes, 3rd Earl.
This nobleman wedded Lady Jane, daughter of William, 2nd Earl of Morton, by whom he left three sons; all of whom succeeded, in turn to the family honours.
The youngest son,

CHARLES, 6th Earl, married Anne, daughter of Sir William Purves Bt, of Purves Hall, Berwickshire. The eldest son,

ALEXANDER, 7th Earl, suffered imprisonment in Edinburgh Castle, from the breaking out of the rebellion in 1715, until the revival of the Habeas Corpus Act, in 1716.

His lordship wedded Lady Anne, 2nd daughter of William, 2nd Marquess of Lothian, by whom he had eight children, the eldest and youngest surviving of whom inherited successively the family honours. The former,

WILLIAM, as 8th Earl, upon the demise of his father, in 1720; and the latter,

THE REV ALEXANDER, as 9th Earl, upon the decease of his brother, childless, in 1761.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, Michael David Alexander Douglas-Home, styled Lord Dunglass (b 1987).


HIRSEL HOUSE, near Coldstream, Berwickshire, forms  an integral part of Douglas and Angus estates, comprising the Douglas estate in Lanarkshire (33,000 acres) and the Hirsel estate (3,000 acres).

In 1611, the 1st Earl of Home contracted to buy the Hirsel estate from Sir John Kerr, although it was not until 1621 that JAMES VI of Scotland finally granted the lands of Hirsel to James, 2nd Earl.

Much of the early tree planting and the existence of the earliest part of Hirsel House appear to have been built by about 1620.

The Hirsel was also justifiably famous for its sport, particularly it’s salmon fishing on the river Tweed, where in 1743 the 8th Earl caught a 69lb salmon on a 22’ rod and a horse hair line.

By the mid-1700s, the house and gardens had been significantly developed and the 9th Earl embarked on a major programme of forestry and agricultural improvement.

Further improvements were made to the property between 1895-1900, including the erection of a new wing to Hirsel House, a chapel, and the building of the stables. 

First published in December, 2013.   Home arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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