James Douglas-Hamilton, Baron Selkirk of Douglas

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Selkirk of Douglas
PC QC
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Lothians
In office
6 May 1999 – 3 May 2007
Member of the UK Parliament
for Edinburgh West
In office
10 October 1974 – 1 May 1997
Preceded by James Anthony Stodart
Succeeded by Donald Gorrie
Personal details
Born (1942-07-31) 31 July 1942 (age 72)
Political party Scottish Conservative Party
Spouse(s) Priscilla Susan Buchan
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford, University of Edinburgh

James Alexander Douglas-Hamilton, Baron Selkirk of Douglas, PC, QC (born 31 July 1942), briefly The Earl of Selkirk and styled Lord James Douglas-Hamilton (as a younger son of the 14th Duke of Hamilton and Brandon) until 1997, is a Scottish Conservative politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Edinburgh West then Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Lothians.

Education[edit]

Chapel of Eton College

He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford where he was president of the Oxford Union, and thereafter at the University of Edinburgh.

Political career[edit]

He served as an advocate and an interim Procurator Fiscal Depute from 1968 to 1972. From 1972 to 1974, he was a councillor on Edinburgh District Council, and from 1974 to 1997 was Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West. During this time he served in the Scottish Office. In the years between 1987 and 1995 he served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, and thereafter as Minister of State between 1995 and 1997. He had previously been a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury between 1979 and 1981. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor and Queen's Counsel in 1996.

It was announced on 12 December 2011[1] that he would serve as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, who is the Sovereign’s personal representative to the Annual General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, in 2012.

Peerage[edit]

In 1994 on the death of 10th Earl of Selkirk, there was a disputed succession to the title. Due to the terms of the Peerage Act 1963, Selkirk could not vote in the House of Commons until he disclaimed his potential title. As the Conservative Government had a wafer thin majority he felt obliged to disclaim immediately. In 1997, he was elevated to the House of Lords as a life peer, being created Baron Selkirk of Douglas, of Cramond in the City of Edinburgh.

Scottish Parliament[edit]

From 1999 to 2007 he was a member of the Scottish Parliament and was deputy Convener of its Education Committee. In November 2005, Lord Selkirk of Douglas announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2003-2007 session of the Scottish Parliament. He continues to sit in the House of Lords, taking a particular interest in UK legislation as it affects Scotland.[2]

Books[edit]

Lord Selkirk of Douglas has written a number of books, including Motive For a Mission: The Story Behind Hess's Flight to Britain about his father's meeting with Rudolf Hess when he landed in Scotland during World War II.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • Lord James Douglas-Hamilton (1942–1974)
  • Lord James Douglas-Hamilton MP (1974–1996) (The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Selkirk briefly in 1994)
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton QC MP (1996–1997)
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton QC (1997)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Selkirk of Douglas PC QC (1997–1999)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Selkirk of Douglas PC QC MSP (1999–2007)
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Selkirk of Douglas PC QC (2007–)

Family[edit]

In 1974 he married the Hon. (Priscilla) Susan Buchan, a granddaughter of the politician and novelist John Buchan, and daughter of Johnnie Buchan, the 2nd Baron Tweedsmuir, and his wife, a life peeress in her own right, Lady Tweedsmuir. They have four sons of whom the eldest, John Andrew Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Daer and Master of Selkirk (b 1978) is heir apparent to the disclaimed Earldom of Selkirk. Lord Selkirk of Douglas is also third in line to the Dukedom of Hamilton, after the son and the brother of the present duke.

Ancestry[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Anthony Stodart
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West
Oct. 19741997
Succeeded by
Donald Gorrie
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
George Douglas-Hamilton
Earl of Selkirk
1994
Vacant
Disclaimed