Home, Earls Of
HOME, EARLS OF. Alexander Home or Hume, 1st earl of Home (c. 1566-1619), was the son of Alexander, 5th Lord Hcme (d. 1575), who fought against Mary, queen of Scots, at Carberry Hill and at Langside, but was afterwards one of her most stalwart supporters, being taken prisoner when defending Edinburgh castle in her interests in 1573 and probably dying in captivity. He belonged to an old and famous border family, an early member of which, Sir Alexander Home, was killed at the battle of Verneuil in 1424. This Sir Alexander was the father of Sir Alexander Home (d. 1456), warden of the marches and the founder of the family fortunes, whose son, another Sir Alexander (d. 1491), was created a lord of parliament as Lord Home in 1473, being one of the band of nobles who defeated the forces of King James III. at the battle of Sauchieburn in 1488. Other distinguished members of the family were: the first lord's grandson and successor, Alexander, 2nd Lord Home (d. 1506), chamberlain of Scotland; and the latter's son, Alexander, 3rd Lord Home (d. 1516), a person of great importance during the reign of James IV., whom he served as chamberlain. He fought at Flodden, but before the death of the king he had led his men away to plunder. During the minority of the new king, James V., he was engaged in quarrelling with the regent, John Stewart, duke of Albany, and in intriguing with England. In September 1516 he was seized, was charged with treachery and beheaded, his title and estates being restored to his brother George in 1522. George, who was killed in September 1547 during a skirmish just before the battle of Pinkie, was the father of Alexander, the sth lord.
Alexander Home became 6th Lord Home on his father's death in August 1575, and took part in many of the turbulent incidents which marked the reign of James VI. He was warden of the east marches, and was often at variance with the Hepburns, a rival border family whose head was the earl of Bothwell; the feud between the Homes and the Hepburns was an old one, and it was probably the main reason why Home's father, the 5th lord, sided with the enemies of Mary during the period of her intimacy with Bothwell. Home accompanied James to England in 1603 and was created earl of Home in 1605; he died in April 1619.
His son James, the 2nd earl, died childless in 1633 when his titles passed to a distant kinsman, Sir James Home of Coldingknows (d. 1666), a descendant of the 1st Lord Home. This earl was in the Scottish ranks at the battle of Preston and lost his estates under the Commonwealth, but these were restored to him in 1661. His descendant, William, the Sth earl (d. 1761) fought on the English side at Prestonpans, and from his brother Alexander, the gth earl (d. 1786), the present earl of Home is descended. In 1875 Cospatrick Alexander, the nth earl (1799-1881), was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Douglas, and his son Charles Alexander, the izth earl (b. 1834), took the additional name of Douglas. The principal strongholds of the Homes were Douglas castle in Haddington and Home castle in Berwickshire.
See H. Drummond, Histories of Noble British Families (1846).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)