Cracroft's Peerage
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Selkirk, Earl of (S, 1646)


Creation: let. pat. 4 Aug 1646


Disclaimed: 28 Nov 1994


Family name: Douglas later Douglas-Hamilton




Quarterly, 1st and 4th grand quarters, Argent a Heart Gules Imperially crowned proper on a Chief Azure three Mullets Argent (Douglas); 2nd grand quarter, counter quartered, 1st, Azure a Lion rampant Argent crowned Or (Galloway); 2nd, Or a Lion rampant Gules surmounted of a Riband Sable (Abernethy); 3rd, Argent three Piles Gules (Jedburgh); 4th, Or a Fess chequy Azure and Argent surmounted of a Bend Gules charged with three Buckles Or (Stewart); 3rd grand quarter, counter quartered, 1st and 4th, Gules three Cinquefoils Ermine (Hamilton); 2nd and 3rd, Argent a Lymphad Sails furled Sable flagged Gules (Arran); over the grand quarters at the fess point a Crescent Sable


On a chapeau Gules doubled Ermine a Salamander in flames proper


Dexter: a Savage wreathed about the head and loins with Laurel holding in his exterior hand a Club resting in a brandished posture on his shoulder all proper; Sinister: an Antelope Argent armed and unguled Or gorged with an Earl's Coronet proper and having a Chain reflexed over the back also Or


Above the Crest: Jamais Arriere (Never behind); Below the Shield: Firmior Quo Paratior (Steadier because readier)



William [Douglas later Douglas-Hamilton], 1st Earl of Selkirk later Duke of Hamilton, KG PC

1st son of William [Douglas], 1st Marquess of Douglas, by his second wife Lady Mary Gordon, 3rd dau. of George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly



29 Apr 1656 Lady Anne Hamilton, suo jure Duchess of Hamilton (d. 17 Oct 1716), 1st dau. of James [Hamilton], 1st Duke of Hamilton, by his wife Lady Mary Feilding, 1st dau. of William [Feilding], 1st Earl of Denbigh


1. Lord James Hamilton, later 4th Duke of Hamilton

2. Lord William Hamilton (dsp. bef. 1688)

3. Lord Charles Hamilton, later 2nd Earl of Selkirk

4. Lord John Hamilton, later 1st Earl of Ruglen later 3rd Earl of Selkirk

5. Field Marshal Lord George Hamilton, later 1st Earl of Orkney

6. Lord Basil Hamilton (bapt. 16 Dec 1671;  d. 27 Aug 1701), mar. 1691 Mary Dunbar (d. 15 May 1760), dau. of David Dunbar (by his wife Lady Eleanor Montgomerie, 4th dau. by his second wife of Hugh [Montgomerie], 7th Earl of Eglinton), 1st son of Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon, 1st Bt., and had issue:

1a. William Hamilton of Baldoon (d. bef. Nov 1703)

2a. Basil Hamilton of Baldoon, a Jacobite, taken prisoner at the Battle of Preston 1715 and sentenced to be executed but eventually reprieved and pardoned, Provost of Kirkcudbright and Member of Parliament for the Stewartry 1741-42 (b. 9 Sep 1696; d. 14 Nov 1742), mar. Isabella Mackenzie (d. Apr 1725), dau. of Col Hon Alexander Mackenzie (by his wife Elizabeth Patterson, dau. of Rt Rev John Patterson DD, Bishop of Ross), 2nd son of Kenneth [Mackenzie], 4th Earl of Seaforth, and had issue:

1b. Dunbar Hamilton later Douglas, later 4th Earl of Selkirk

2b. Basil Hamilton (d. young)

1b. Mary Hamilton (b. 8 May 1720; d. 11 May 1750), mar. Ranald Macdonald of Clanranald

2b. Elizabeth Hamilton (b. 10 Apr 1721; d. young)

1a. Eleanor Hamilton (b. c. 1694; d. 27 Dec 1783), mar. 31 Dec 1711 John Murray of Philiphaugh, and had issue

2a. Catherine Hamilton (d. 13 Apr 1779), mar. Oct 1727 Thomas [Cochrane], 6th Earl of Dundonald, and had issue

7. Capt Lord Archibald Hamilton of Riccartoun and Pardovan MP RN, of Confey Castle, co. Kildare, Governor of Greenwich Hospital and Governor of Jamaica (bapt. 17 Feb 1673;  d. 5 Apr 1754), mar. (1) Hon Anne Cary (widow of Edward Cary, of Caldecot;  d. 1709), 1st dau. and cohrss. of Charles [Lucas], 2nd Baron Lucas, (2) 17 Dec 1718 Anne Hamilton (widow of Sir Francis Hamilton, 3rd Bt., of Killaugh, co. Down;  dsp. 29 Mar 1719), dau. and hrss. of Claud Hamilton, and (3) 29 Sep 1719 Lady Jane Hamilton (d. 6 Dec 1753), 5th dau. of James [Hamilton], 6th Earl of Abercorn, and had issue by his third wife

1. Lady Mary Hamilton (b. 30 Apr 1657;  d. bef. 1683)

2. Lady Catherine Hamilton (d. 11 Jan 1707), mar. 24 Apr 1683 as his first wife John [Murray], 1st Duke of Atholl, and had issue

3. Lady Susannah Hamilton (bapt. 24 Oct 1662; d. 7 Feb 1736/7), mar. (1) 17 Nov 1684 John [Cochrane], 2nd Earl of Dundonald, and (2) c. 1694 Charles [Hay], 3rd Marquess of Tweeddale, and had issue by both husbands

4.Lady Margaret Hamilton (dsp. 6 Dec 1731), mar. 5 Feb 1687 James [Maule], 4th Earl of Panmure


18 Apr 1694


4 Aug 1646 Lord Daer and Shortcleuch and Earl of Selkirk, with remainder to his heirs male whatsoever bearing the name of Douglas, but subsequently resigned these honours into the King's hands, who conferred them by novodamus 6 Oct 1688 with the precedency of 1646 upon his younger son, Charles Hamilton

20 Sep 1660 Lord Aven, Machanshire, Polmont and Daer, Earl of Arran, Lanark and Selkirk, Marquess of Clydesdale and Duke of Hamilton for life

suc. by

3rd son


Charles [Hamilton later Douglas], 2nd Earl of Selkirk, PC


3 Feb 1662/3


13 Mar 1738/9

suc. by



the novodamus dated 6 Oct 1688 was in favour of Charles Hamilton and his four younger brothers (John, George, Basil and Archibald), respectively in tail male, whom failing "in alios haeredes masculos dicti Ducis de Hamilton et in literis suis patentibus suprasciptis.....content."  There was a proviso that if the said Charles, or any of his brothers, or the heirs male of their bodies should succeed to the Dukedom of Hamilton that, in such case this Earldom "semper descendet ad fratrem immediate juniorem illi quid ad titulum Ducis de Hamilton succedere contingerit et haeredibus masculis de ejus corpore;  quibus deficientibus ut supra dictum est pertinebit."  This proviso never came into effect as far as these younger brothers were concerned, the Dukedom having ever since remained in the line of the eldest brother and his issue, while the issue male of all the younger ones became extinct in 1885 with the death of the 6th Earl of Selkirk. He was a supporter of the Revolution of 1688, attending William III at the Battle of the Boyne 1690 and on several of the Continental campaigns; a Lord of the Bedchamber 1689-1702 and 1714-38/9; Burgess of Edinburgh 1692/3; Lord Clerk Register 1696-1702 and 1733-39; a Lord of the Scottish Treasury 1704-05; Sheriff-Principal of Lanarkshire; he strongly opposed the Union between Scotland and England but was a Representative Peer for Scotland 1713-15 and 1722-39; Privy Councillor 1733; Governor of Edinburgh Castle 1737-38


John [Hamilton], 1st Earl of Ruglen later 3rd Earl of Selkirk


26 Jan 1665

mar. (1)

21 Jun 1694 his cousin Lady Anne Kennedy, 1st dau. of John [Kennedy], 7th Earl of Cassillis, by his first wife Lady Susanna Hamilton, 2nd dau. of James [Hamilton], 1st Duke of Hamilton

children by first wife

1. Capt Hon William Hamilton, styled Viscount of Riccartoun and later Lord Daer (b. 1696; dvp. 20 Feb 1742)

1. Lady Anne Hamilton, later suo jure Countess of Ruglen

2. Lady Susan Hamilton (b. 1 Nov 1699; dsp. 8 Feb 1763), mar. after 6 Oct 1738 her cousin John [Kennedy], 8th Earl of Cassillis

mar. (2)

22 Mar 1701 Elizabeth Kennedy (widow of Hon John Kennedy, styled Lord Kennedy, 1st son and heir ap. by his first wife of John [Kennedy], 7th Earl of Cassillis ; d. 10 Mar 1734), dau. of Charles Hutchinson MP, of Owthorpe, co. Nottingham, by his wife Isabella Boteler, dau. and cohrss. of Sir Francis Boteler, of Hatfield Woodhall, co. Hertford


s.p.m.s. 3 Dec 1744


14 Apr 1697 Lord Hillhouse, Viscount of Riccartoun and Earl of Ruglen, with remainder to the heirs male, which failing to the heirs general of his body

suc. by

great nephew in the Earldom of Selkirk and his daughter by his first wife in the Earldom of Ruglen


Dunbar [Hamilton later Douglas], 4th Earl of Selkirk


1 Dec 1722


3 Dec 1758 Helen Hamilton (b. c. 1738; d. 28 Nov 1802), 5th dau. of Hon John Hamilton (by his wife Margaret Home, dau. of Sir John Home, Bt., of Blackadder), 2nd son of Thomas [Hamilton], 6th Earl of Haddington


1. Hon Sholto Basil Douglas, styled Lord Daer (b. 3 Sep 1759; dvp. 4 Jul 1760)

2. Hon Basil William Douglas, styled Lord Daer (b. 16 Mar 1763; dvp. 9 Nov 1794)

3. Hon John Douglas, styled Lord Daer, an advocate (b. 24 May 1765; dvp. 9 Jul 1797)

4. Cmdr Hon Dunbar Douglas RN (b. 9 Jul 1766; dvp. 29 Oct 1796)

5. Hon Alexander Douglas (b. 12 Dec 1767; dvp. Jun 1794)

6. Hon David Douglas (b. 5 Sep 1769; dvp. 7 May 1770)

7. Hon Thomas Douglas, later 5th Earl of Selkirk

1. Lady Isabella Margaret Douglas (b. 6 Sep 1760; d. 6 Sep 1830)

2. Lady Helen Douglas (b. 25 Jan 1762; d. 12 Jul 1837), mar. 9 Nov 1786 Sir James Hall of Dunglass, 4th Bt., and had issue

3. Lady Mary Douglas (b. 8 Jun 1773; dvp. 20 Aug 1798)

4. Lady Elizabeth Douglas (b. 9 Nov 1775; d. 28 Oct 1814), mar. 1 Aug 1804 Sir James Montgomery of Stanhope, 2nd Bt. MP, and had issue

5. Lady Catherine Douglas (b. 20 Sep 1778; d. 31 Mar 1848), mar. 6 Jul 1815 John Halkett, Governor of the Bahamas (b. 1768; d. 1852), and had issue

6. Lady Anne Douglas (b. 1 and dvp 11 Jan 1782)


26 May 1799

suc. by



a supporter of the Government during the Jacobite Rising in 1745; Rector of Glasgow University 1766-68; a Representative Peer for Scotland 1787-99; Lord Lieutenant of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright


Thomas [Douglas], 5th Earl of Selkirk


20 Jun 1771


24 Nov 1807 Jean Wedderburn-Colville (b. c. 1786; d. 10 Jun 1871), only dau. of James Wedderburn-Colville, of Inveresk, by his wife Isabella Blackburn, dau. of Andrew Blackburn


1. Hon Dunbar James Douglas, later 6th Earl of Selkirk

1. Lady Isabella Helen Douglas (b. 8 Jan 1811; d. 4 Jul 1893), mar. 26 Oct 1841 Hon Charles Hope, Member of Parliament for Linlithgow 1838-45, Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Man 1845-60 (b. 11 Sep 1808; d. 31 Oct 1893), 3rd son of John [Hope], 4th Earl of Hopetoun, by his second wife Louisa Dorothea Wedderburn, 3rd dau. by his second wife of Sir John Wedderburn, Bt., and had issue

2. Lady Katherine Jean Douglas (b. 4 Jan 1817; dsp. 30 Sep 1863), mar. 23 Jan 1849 Loftus Wigram QC MP


8 Apr 1820

suc. by



he founded a settlement on Prince Edward Island in the Gulf of St Lawrence 1803 and another, called Baldoon, in Upper Canada 1804; a Representative Peer for Scotland 1806-18; Lord Lieutenant of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright 1807-20; he received a large grant of land from the Hudson Bay Company 1811 and founded a settlement on the Red River where the City of Winnipeg now stands; travelled extensively throughout North America 1815-19


Dunbar James [Douglas], 6th Earl of Selkirk


22 Apr 1809


29 Jun 1878 Cicely Louisa Grey-Egerton (d. 10 Jan 1920), 2nd dau. of Sir Philip de Malpas Grey-Egerton, 10th Bt., of Oulton Park, co. Chester, by his wife Anna Elizabeth Legh, 2nd surv. dau. of George John Legh, of High Legh, co. Chester


s.p. 11 Apr 1885

suc. by



In the grant of the earldom in 1688 in favour of Charles [Hamilton], 2nd Earl of Selkirk, the final clause of the remainder referred to "any of his brothers", which phrase included not only his younger brothers but also his elder brother, James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton.  If the clause has referred to "any of his said brothers", then the provisional clause would have failed on the death of the 6th Earl in 1885 and the title would have passed to the 12th Duke of Hamilton.  Because of this wording the provisional clause preventing the title passing to a Duke of Hamilton was still in force, and the title could therefore only pass to the 12th Duke's younger brother. He was a Representative Peer (Conservative) for Scotland 1861-85; Lord Lieutenant of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright 1844-85; Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland 1852 and 1858-59


Charles George Archibald [Douglas-Hamilton], 7th Earl of Selkirk

2nd son of William Alexander Anthony Archibald [Douglas-Hamilton], 11th Duke of Hamilton, by his wife HRH Princess Marie Amelie Elizabeth Caroline of Baden, yst. dau. of HRH Grand Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Baden, by his wife Stephanie Louise Adrienne (adopted dau. of Emperor Napoleon I), dau. of Claude, Count de Beauharnais


18 May 1847


2 May 1886


Following his death in 1886 the Earldom of Selkirk was deemed in lieu of any other heirs to be held in fiduciary fee by his brother, William Alexander Louis Stephen [Douglas-Hamilton], 12th Duke of Hamilton, and then by his kinsman and successor, Alfred Douglas [Douglas-Hamilton], 13th Duke of Hamilton, neither of whom had a younger brother to succeed to the title.  On the death of the 13th Duke on 16 Mar 1940 the Earldom passed to his second son,


George Nigel [Douglas-Hamilton], 10th Earl of Selkirk, KT GCMG GBE AFC PC

2nd son of Alfred Douglas [Douglas-Hamilton], 13th Duke of Hamilton, by his wife Nina Mary Benita Poore, 3rd dau. of Maj Robert Poore, of Old Lodge, Salisbury, Wiltshire


4 Jan 1906


6 Aug 1949 Audrey Durrell Drummond-Sale-Barker (d. 21 Dec 1994), only dau. of Maurice Drummond-Sale-Barker


s.p. 24 Nov 1994

suc. by



advocate 1935; Grp Capt, commanded No 603 (City of Edinburgh) Bomber Squadron 1934-38 and fought in World War II; Deputy Keeper, Palace of Holyrood House 1937-94; Commissioner, Special Areas Scotland 1937-39; AFC 1938; OBE 1941; a Representative Peer for Scotland 1945-63; a Lord in Waiting (Government Whip in House of Lords) 1951-53; Paymaster-General 1953-55; Privy Councillor 1955; Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1955-57; First Lord of the Admiralty 1957-59; GCMG 1959; High Commissioner to Singapore and Commissioner-General South East Asia 1959-63; UK Representative, SEATO 1960-63; GBE 1963; Knight of the Thistle 1976


James Alexander [Douglas-Hamilton], 11th Earl of Selkirk later Baron Selkirk of Douglas, PC

2nd son of Douglas [Douglas-Hamilton], 14th Duke of Hamilton, by his wife Lady Elizabeth Ivy Percy OBE, 1st dau. of Alan Ian [Percy], 8th Duke of Northumberland


31 Jul 1942


24 Aug 1974 Hon (Priscilla) Susan Buchan, 1st dau. of John Norman Stuart [Buchan], 2nd Baron Tweedsmuir, by his first wife Rt Hon Priscilla Jean Fortescue Grant, suo jure Baroness Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie (Life Peeress), 2nd dau. of Brig Alan Fortescue Thomson DSO, of Craighall, Kennethmont, co. Aberdeen


1. Hon (John) Andrew Douglas-Hamilton, Master of Selkirk, styled Lord Daer and Shortcleuch (b. 8 Feb 1978)

2. Hon Charles Douglas Douglas-Hamilton (b. 20 Jun 1979)

3. Hon James Robert Douglas-Hamilton (b. 1981)

4. Hon Harry Alexander Douglas-Hamilton (b. 1981)


28 Nov 1994


29 Sep 1997 Baron Selkirk of Douglas, of Cramond in the City of Edinburgh (Life Peerage)


Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Edinburgh West 1974-97; Assistant Government Whip 1977; a Lord of the Treasury 1979-81; Parliamentary Private Secretary to Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister 1983-86 and to Secretary of State for Scotland 1986-87; Parliamentary Under-Secretary Home Affairs and Environment 1987-92 and Scottish Office (Education and Housing) 1992-95; Minister of State, Home Office and Scottish Office (Health) 1995-97; Privy Councillor 1996; as he was a sitting Member of Parliament when his uncle died, he disclaimed the Earldom of Selkirk on 28 Nov 1994 so as to continue to serve his constituents.  However, his first cousin, Alasdair Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton, 1st son of the late W/Cdr Lord Malcolm Avendale Douglas-Hamilton OBE DFC MP, next younger brother of the 10th Earl of Selkirk, also claimed the Earldom, and it was not until 14 Mar 1996 that the Lyon Court, following the precedent set in the case of the 7th Earl of Selkirk, decided that Lord James Alexander Douglas-Hamilton was entitled to the dignity of Earl of Selkirk


 Last updated 27 Feb 2005




11th Earl of Selkirk

(Scotland, let. pat. 4 Aug 1646 - disclaimed 28 Nov 1994)

11th Lord Daer and Shortcleuch

(Scotland, let. pat. 4 Aug 1646 - disclaimed 28 Nov 1994)

 Baron Selkirk of Douglas, of Cramond in the City of Edinburgh

(United Kingdom Life Peerage, let. pat. 29 Sep 1997)



c/o House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW



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