Earl of Dunbar

Earl of Dunbar

The title Earl of Dunbar, also called Earl of Lothian or Earl of March, was a the head of a comital lordship in south-eastern Scotland between the early 12th century and the early 15th century. The first man to use the title of Earl in this earldom was Gospatric II, Earl of Lothian, son of Gospatric, Earl of Northumbria. It descended to George de Dunbar, 11th Earl of March, who was forfeited by parliament of his titles & estates in 1435, and retired into obscurity in England. His son Patrick retained a barony at Kilconquhar in Fife. [ Miller, James, "The History of Dunbar", Dunbar, 1830: 89]

The title of Earl of Dunbar was resurrected in 1605 was for George Home, 1st Lord Hume of Berwick, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and "his heirs male". [ Playfair, William, "British Family Antiquity", London, 1811, vol.viii: cccxi] [ Cockayne, G.E; Gibbs, The Hon. Vicary; Doubleday, H.Arthur, editors, "The Complete Peerage", London, 1916, 'Dunbar', p.510] This title became dormant [ The Complete Peerage, 1912, Cockayne, V Gibbs eds., Vol IV, p511] only six years after its creation, upon Home's death in 1611. Some of his kinsmen were said to be acknowledged as "je jure" holders of the title, but none of them ever appears to have assumed the title. [The Scots Peerage, 1904, Sir James Balfour Paul ed., Vol. III, p280-9]

There have been no subsequent creations, however, two other peerages with similar names are Lord of Dunbar and Viscount of Dunbar.

Using title "Earl of Lothian"

*Gospatric II, Earl of Lothian (died 1138)
*Gospatric III, Earl of Lothian (died 1166)

Using title "Earl of Dunbar"

*Waltheof, Earl of Dunbar (died 1182)
*Patrick I, Earl of Dunbar (died 1232)
*Patrick II, Earl of Dunbar (died 1248}
*Patrick III, Earl of Dunbar (1213–1289)

Using mainly the title "Earl of March"

*Patrick IV, Earl of March (1242–1308)
*Patrick V, Earl of March (1284–1368)
*George I, Earl of March (1340–1420)
*George II, Earl of March (c. 1370–1457)

Earls of Dunbar, Second Creation (1605)

*George Home, 1st Earl of Dunbar (c.1556–1611), who died without male issue.

Subsequent claimants to the title [ Balfour Paul, Sir James, editor, "The Scots Peerage", Edinburgh, 1904, vol.iii:280-9] [ Cockayne, G.E; Gibbs, The Hon. Vicary; Doubleday, H. Arthur, editors, "The Complete Peerage", London, 1916, vol.iv:511]

*John Home, "de jure" 2nd Earl of Dunbar (a 1628), brother of 1st Earl, according to the Lord Advocate [ who has no authority in such a matter.] in 1634, he “conceiving his fortune too mean, forebore to assume the dignity”. He died without male issue.
*George Home, "de jure" 3rd Earl of Dunbar (a 1637), son of Alexander Home of Manderston and nephew of 1st Earl, certified in in his claim in 1634 by the same Lord Advocate.
*Alexander Home, "de jure" 4th Earl of Dunbar (d1675), son of 3rd Earl, said to have been confirmed in title by Charles II in 1651 but which does not appear in "The Great Seal of Scotland" [ Thomson, John Maitland; Stevenson, John Horne; Dickson, William Kirk, Advocates and associated editors, "The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland" vol.ix, 1634 - 1651, and vol.x, 1652 - 1659, Scottish Record Society, Edinburgh, 1984, where there is no record of this confirmation] . Died without male issue.
*Alexander Home, "de jure" 5th Earl of Dunbar, nephew of 4th Earl. Said to have been confirmed by William III by royal warrant 14 October 1689, exemplifying the previous confirmation thereof by Charles II but again no mention under "The Great Seal".

Note: No claimant has progressed his claim before the House of Lords Committee for Privileges to a satisfactory conclusion, the only body which is authorised to decide whether or not a claimant may be confirmed in the title. The Lord Advocate of Scotland, for instance, has no authority in these matters, especially in the 17th century, given the corruption and nepotism rampant at that time.

In 1721 James Murray (c.1690–1770), second son of David Murray, 5th Viscount of Stormont, was created Earl of Dunbar by James Francis Edward Stuart, the "Old Pretender".

In 1776, John Home, descended from David, second son of Sir David Home of Wedderburn, appears to have had himself Retoured heir male of the Earl of Dunbar, but the service was reduced by the Court of Session, at the instance of Sir George Home of Blackadder, Bt., another descendant of Sir David and descended from an immediate younger brother of Alexander Home, the first of Manderston (grandfather of George, 1st Earl). [ Anderson, William, "The Scottish Nation", Edinburgh, 1867, vol.iv: 77]

In 1810 Sir John Home of Renton, Bt., served notice that he was preparing a case to lay before The House "to the title, honour, and dignity of Earl of Dunbar, as heir male to the first patentee". [ Playfair, William, "British Family Antiquity" &c., London, 1811, vol.viii: cccx] But it appears he did not pursue the case to a conclusion.

During the 19th century Mr Home Drummond of Blair Drummond, Perthshire, as descended from, and heir male of, Patrick Home of Renton, uncle of George, 1st Earl of Dunbar, also had a claim to that peerage. [ Anderson, William, "The Scottish Nation", Edinburgh, 1867, vol.iv: 76]


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