Home, Alexander (d.1575) (DNB00)
HOME, ALEXANDER, fifth Lord Home (d. 1575), was the eldest son of George, fourth baron [q. v.] He was taken prisoner at the battle of Pinkie 9 Sept. 1547, and in order to save his life his mother on the 22nd delivered up his castle to the English, who, besides placing in it a powerful garrison, strengthened it by fortalices. While still a prisoner he succeeded to the estates and title by the death of his father from wounds received in a skirmish on the day preceding the battle of Pinkie. In the following year he recaptured his castle by a clever stratagem. He took part in the campaigns against the English, and assisted the French at the siege of Haddington (Leslie, Hist. Scotl. p. 200). On 2 April 1550 it was decreed by the council that Home, on account of the nearness of Home Castle to the borders, should keep it as a place of war, ‘the king to support him as he plesis’ (Reg. P. C. Scotl. i. 90). On the 19th of the same month he was appointed warden of the east marches (ib. p. 94). He had a charter of the office of balliary of Coldstream, 31 Dec. 1551.
Home was always a strong upholder of his own rights against any attempted encroachment by the English. His claim to the fisheries of the Tweed was the occasion in 1553 of some delicate diplomatic negotiations (Cal. State Papers, For. 1553–8, pp. 17–18). Along with James Douglas, earl of Morton, he was a commissioner for the treaty of Upsettlington in 1559. Home, if not a very strict catholic, never definitely became a protestant. To a great extent his political conduct was influenced by jealousy of England. He did not join the lords of the congregation, and in reply to the insinuating overtures made by the English government to induce him to do so he in January 1559–60 expressed to Sir James Croft a desire to remain neutral (ib. Scott. Ser. i. 130). About the end of April he came to the camp of the lords before Leith (ib. For. Ser. 1559–60, entry 1092; Scott. Ser. p. 146), but shortly afterwards he returned home (Scott. Ser. p. 148), probably owing to the efforts made by the French to win him to their side. After the return of Queen Mary to Scotland in 1561 he was made a privy councillor. During the earlier years of her reign he was a warm supporter of Mary, but refused to attend the celebration of private mass in her chapel (Randolph to Throckmorton, 26 Aug. 1561, in Knox, Works, vi. 128). He supported the queen's marriage with Darnley. Notwithstanding the threat of Bedford in September 1565 that if he levied any power against the lords he would enter his country with force (Cal. State Papers, Scott. Ser. ii. 827), Home joined the army of the queen in the ‘roundabout raid,’ accompanying the king, who led the battle (Reg. P. C. Scotl. i. 379). In the following year the queen visited his castles of Home, Wedderburn, and Langton, with a splendid retinue. Home withdrew from the queen's party as soon as marriage with Bothwell was proposed. He was naturally jealous of the advancement to such supreme influence of his principal rival in authority in the south of Scotland. Bedford, writing to Cecil, 3 Aug. 1566, states that Home and other gentlemen of the bor- ders were prepared to resist any ulterior designs of Bothwell in connection with the visit of the queen to Jedburgh (Illustrations of the Reign of Mary, p. 164). Sir James Melville mentions that a plot projected by Bothwell and Huntly for the murder there of the Earl of Murray was frustrated by the arrival of Home with an armed force (Memoirs, p. 173). Home's name was absent from the bond signed in Ainslie's Tavern, Edinburgh, in favour of the marriage of Mary to Bothwell.
After the marriage Home joined the confederate nobles. When Mary and Bothwell reached Borthwick Castle, they made a fruitless endeavour to come to an agreement with him (Herries, Memoirs, p. 92). On the night of 10 June 1567 he, in company with the Earl of Morton, surrounded Borthwick Castle in the darkness with eight hundred men to effect Bothwell's capture; but Bothwell escaped through a postern gate, and Home and Morton, without venturing to take the queen prisoner, returned to the main body of the confederates at Edinburgh. Along with Morton he commanded the van of the confederates at Carberry Hill, and he and Morton received the queen when she surrendered herself to the lords. On the day following her entry into Edinburgh an attempt was made to raise a tumult to aid her escape; but this Home prevented by keeping the streets clear for three hours (Calderwood, Hist. Church of Scotl. ii. 364). Home signed the order for the committal of the queen to Lochleven. According to Morton he was present at the opening on 21 June of the silver casket containing the letters from Mary to Bothwell (Declaration of Morton in Henderson's Casket Letters and Mary Queen of Scots, p. 115). On 12 July Maitland conducted Throckmorton, the English ambassador, to Home's fortress of Fast Castle, Berwickshire. There Throckmorton, Home, and Maitland conferred together (Cal. State Papers, Scott. Ser. i. 251), and Home afterwards escorted Throckmorton back to Edinburgh with four hundred men. He was one of those who received the queen's demission of her crown, and whom she constituted a council of regency. At the coronation of the young prince James at Stirling on 26 July, Home, with Morton, took on his behalf the oath to maintain the protestant religion. On the escape of Queen Mary from Lochleven, Home foiled an attempt of the Hepburns to hold Dunbar Castle in her behalf, and at the head of six hundred spearmen fought in the van against her at the battle of Langside, 13 May 1568. According to Sir James Melville, who styles him the ‘worthy Lord Hume,’ he fought on foot with pike in hand very manfully, and was when struck down helped up ‘by the laird of Sesford, his gud brother.’
At the beginning of January 1569 Home informed the governor of Berwick that certain Liddesdale men lay in wait on the borders for the regent Moray, who was returning from the Westminster conference. Home thus saved the regent from almost certain capture (Calderwood, ii. 476). According to Lord Herries, Maitland of Lethington, when accused of the murder of Darnley, was brought to Edinburgh and committed to the charge of Home, who, on the presentation of a counterfeit order signed by the regent, delivered him to Kirkcaldy of Grange, captain of the castle of Edinburgh (Memoirs, p. 118). Calderwood affirms, on the other hand, that Maitland was committed to the care of Alexander Hume of North Berwick (Hist. ii. 505).
Before long Home rejoined the party of Mary. The causes and circumstances of his defection from the party of James VI and the regent are somewhat obscure; but after Bothwell's flight the chief reason for his hostility to Mary was removed. According to his own deposition (printed in Henderson, Casket Letters, pp. 117–19), which seems substantially true, he offended the regent Moray after Maitland's apprehension by expressing disapproval of the regent's treatment of Maitland, but was afterwards on friendly terms with the regent, and did not leave the party of the king till Moray's death (January 1569–70). The occasion of his defection was, he stated, ‘the skaith he sustenit of england.’ Home signed the letter to the queen of England praying her to enter ‘in such conditions with the queen's Majestie as may be honourable for all parties’ (Calderwood, ii. 547–50), and he also attended a conference of the queen's friends held at Linlithgow on 10 April (ib. p. 553). Sir James Melville states, however, that Home did not openly dissever himself from the party of the king till ‘the Erle of Sussex entred in the Merse with his forces, and tok [20 April 1570] the castell of Hom and Fals castell, full of richese and precious movables’ (Memoirs, p. 228). Calderwood mentions that the capture of Home's castle by the English was quite contrary to Home's expectation; for he ‘looked for greater favour at their hands, knowing them [Sussex and Drury] to have secretly espoused the cause of Mary's friends in England’ (Hist. ii. 562). Buchanan, who gives an identical version of the matter, affirms that Home, forsaken by all his friends and relations, ‘came with one or two in his company to Edinburgh, and shut up himself as a recluse in the castle there’ (Hist. of Scotland, bk. xx.) After the capture of his castle he had scarcely any choice but to take refuge in the castle of Edinburgh.
Thenceforth he was one of the most resolute supporters of the queen, acting virtually as Kirkcaldy's lieutenant during the siege of Edinburgh Castle. Along with Huntly, Home commanded a detachment sent by Kirkcaldy from the castle, who were defeated by the besiegers at the Borough Muir (Herries, Memoirs, p. 135). To revenge the defeat Home and Lord Claud Hamilton, with two hundred musketeers and one hundred horse, set out for Dalkeith against Morton, but were defeated and chased as far as Craigmillar, where, receiving reinforcements, they in turn routed the enemy (ib. p. 136). Not long afterwards Home was hurt in a skirmish and taken prisoner (ib. p. 137), but at the end of July 1571 he was exchanged for the laird of Drumlanrig. On 6 March 1572 he complained to Queen Elizabeth that Home Castle was kept from him, and begged that it might be restored to his wife (Cal. State Papers, Scott. Ser. i. 340). He continued resolute in his support of Kirkcaldy of Grange to the last, and on the capture of Edinburgh Castle was taken prisoner. Though convicted of treason he was not executed, but was confined in the castle. Sir James Melville states that he died shortly after being warded in the castle of Edinburgh (Memoirs, p. 256). According to the ‘History of James the Sext’ he was sent, owing to illness, to his own lodgings, and died in them on 3 Sept. 1573 (p. 145). But this is untrue. Home was a prisoner in Edinburgh Castle on 24 July 1574, when Lord Lindsay and Lord Hay of Yester obliged themselves, under a penalty of 20,000l., that he should remain there until relieved, and while there should not attempt anything against the king, &c. (Reg. P. C. Scotl. ii. 409). From the retour of his son it appears that he died 11 Aug. 1575 (Douglas, Peerage, ed. Wood, i. 736). He married, first, Margaret, daughter of Sir Walter Ker of Cessford, Roxburghshire, by whom he had a daughter, Margaret, married to the fifth earl marischal; secondly, Agnes, daughter of Patrick, lord Gray, and widow of Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig, by whom he had a son, Alexander, sixth baron and first earl Home [q. v.], and a daughter, Isabel, married to Sir James Home of Eccles. Agnes, lady Home, subsequently remarried Thomas Lyon [q. v.] of Auldbar, the master of Glammis.
[Histories of Knox, Leslie, Calderwood, and Keith; Lord Herries's Memoirs of Queen Mary (Abbotsford Club); Hist. James the Sext (Bannatyne Club); Sir James Melville's Memoirs (Bannatyne Club); Illustrations of the Reign of Mary (Bannatyne Club); Cal. State Papers, Scott. Ser.; Cal. State Papers, For. Ser., Reign of Elizabeth; Reg. P. C. Scotl. vols. i–ii.; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), i. 735–6.]