Earls of Selkirk
William Douglas (1634-1694), younger son of the 1st Marquess of Douglas was created Earl of Selkirk and Lord Daer and Shortcleuch in the peerage of Scotland on 4 August 1646. He married Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton 29 April 1656. In 1660 he legally changed his name surname to Douglas-Hamilton and received his wife's titles becoming the 3rd Duke of Hamilton.
The Earl of Selkirk is a title in the Peerage of Scotland, created on the 4th
August 1646 and awarded to a William Douglas the younger son of William Douglas,
1st Marquess of Douglas. Since the younger William Douglas was only twelve at
the time this award of the earldom (together with the subsidiary title of Lord
Daer and Shortcleuch) had little to do with his specific accomplishments and a
great deal to do with generally encouraging the loyalty of the Douglases to the
He abdicated as Earl of Selkirk and Lord Daer and Shortcleuch on 6 October 1688 leaving the titles to his younger son Charles Douglas (1663-1739) (Charles had been christened as Charles Hamilton, but changed his name to Charles Douglas upon receiving his titles.
Charles Douglas died childless and the title of 3rd Earl of Selkirk passed to his younger brother John Hamilton (c.1664-1744) who on 14 April 1697 had been created Earl of Ruglen, Viscount of Riccartoun and Lord Hillhouse. He outlived his son and heir and the titles created with the Earl of Ruglen was passed onto his daughter Anne Hamilton, 2nd Countess of Ruglen and through her marriage to the families of the Earl of March and the Duke of Queensberry.
The Earldom of Selkirk passed back to Charles' and John's great nephew Dunbar Hamilton (1722-1799). He was the great grandson of the 1st Earl of Selkirk through Basil Hamilton (1671-1701) youngest brother of the 2nd and 3rd earls) and his son Basil Hamilton (1696-1742) (Dunbar Hamilton's father).
Upon acceeding to the title, Dunbar changed surname to Douglas and became Dunbar Douglas, 4th Earl of Selkirk. His son Thomas Douglas (1771-1820) and grandson Dunbar James Douglas (1809-1885) succeeded him but upon the 6th Earl's death the title Earl of Selkirk devolved upon the 12th Duke of Hamilton, given special remainder this meant that the title was inherited by the 12th Duke's younger brother, Charles George Douglas-Hamilton (1847-1886).
The 7th earl died childless and the title passed back to the 12th Duke. When he died without a male issue his distant cousin Alfred Douglas Douglas-Hamilton (1862-1940) inherited the earldom of Selkrik along with the dukedom. Upon his death the dukedom went to his eldest son whilst the earldom of Selkirk (as per the remainder) went to his younger son George Nigel Douglas-Hamilton (1906-1994).
Upon the death of the 10th duke the younger brother of the 15th Duke of Hamilton, James Alexander Douglas-Hamilton became the 13th Earl. He renounced the title Earl of Selkirk in order to remain in the House of Commons, he was later elevated to the House of Lords with a life peerage as Baron Selkirk of Douglas.
His heir is John Andrew Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Daer.