HOME, Patrick (1728-1808), of Billie and Wedderburn, Berwick.
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Family and Education
b. 22 May 1728, 2nd but 1st. surv. s. of Rev. Ninian Home of Billie by 2nd w. Margaret, da. of George Home of Wedderburn. adm. adv. 1755. m. May 1771, at Nice, Jane, da. of John Graham, advocate, of Dougalston, Stirling, s.p. suc. fa. to Billie 1744; uncle Patrick Home to Wedderburn 1766.
Returned for the county at the instigation of Henry Dundas in 1784, Home had such a sound electoral interest that his re-election seemed certain, but by February 1789 his indifference to politics and his reclusive habits were such that his retirement was expected. Finding, however, that he could not substitute his cousin Ninian Home for himself without a doubtful contest, he yielded to the persuasion of his family and friends and retained his seat, on the understanding that an opportunity to resign in Ninian’s favour might occur during the ensuing Parliament.1
Home continued to give a silent support to Pitt’s administration. On 10 May 1791 he was possibly in the majority against or, if absent, reckoned hostile to the exemption of Scotland from the Test Act. In 1792 Dundas gave Ninian Home the government of Grenada and Home had nothing more to seek.2 When he left London it was not for Berwickshire, but for the Netherlands.3 On 27 Nov. 1795 he announced his retirement to Dundas:
Age, a precarious state of health and above all an unfortunate deafness I am afflicted with make it becoming and even necessary for me. I am not to offer my services again to the county. Indeed it was my desire to have withdrawn before this time but I was diverted from it by considerations of some importance to our family.4
He was prepared to resign at once, but retained his seat until the dissolution, voting against the abolition of the slave trade, 15 Mar. 1796. Although he had voted for Pitt’s parliamentary reform proposals in 1785, he subsequently, in private at least, described himself as ‘an enemy to all innovation in the old established forms of any part of the constitution unless upon the clearest grounds of necessity’.5 He died 19 Dec. 1808.