Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/221

This page has been validated.
Hume
Hume
215

which necessitated the amputation of one of his legs. His sympathies being with the presbyterian party, he was at the time of Argyll's expedition in 1685 arrested on suspicion, but soon after the collapse of the enterprise he was set at liberty.

On 3 June 1687 Hume was admitted advocate upon his petition without trial of his qualifications. He represented that he had studied law abroad in company with Lord Reidford, one of the lords of session, Sir Patrick Home, and Sir John Lauder, who were prepared `to give testimony regarding his diligence and proficiency in that study.' He ingenuously admits in his 'Domestic Details' that his reason for petitioning to be admitted in this fashion was that he considered himself `so rusted in the study of law' that he could not venture to undergo the ordinary examination (p. 43). Home was among the first judges nominated by King William after the revolution, and one of the four appointed by the privy council in October 1689 'to give his attendance for passing bills of suspension and all other bills according to the common form.' He took his seat on the bench by the title of Lord Crossrig, on 1 Nov. 1689; on 22 Jan. of the following year was appointed a lord of the justiciary, and was shortly afterwards knighted. On 5 Jan. 1700, when the great fire in the meat market, Edinburgh, broke out in the middle of the night in the lodging immediately below his house, he and his family barely escaped with their lives. Duncan Forbes of Culloden in a letter to his father mentions, `among many rueful sights' that were witnessed that night, `Corserig naked with a child under his oxter happing for his lyffe' (Culloden Papers, p. 27). In November following he presented to parliament a petition in reference to the loss of his papers in the fire. His petition was remitted to a comittee of three, and on their recommendation an act was passed, 31 Jan. 1761, entitled `An act for proving the tenor of some writs in favour of Sir David Home of Crossrig.' The writs had reference chiefly to the inheritance of his lands of Crossrig. Hume died 13 April 1707. In an elegy printed shortly after his death, and republished in Maidment's ‘Scottish Elegiac Verses,’ 1843, he is described a

Most zealous for the church, kind to the poor,
Upright in judgment, in decisions sure.

He was the author of a small posthumous volume entitled 'Advice to a Daughter,' Edinburgh, 1771, originally written by him as a letter to his daughter in April 1701. His 'Diary of the Proceedings in the Parliament and Privy Council of Scotland 21 May 1700–7 March 1707,' printed for the Bannatyne Club in 1828, is of considerable interest and value as a record of the deliberations connected with the passing of the Act of Union. The `Domestic Details of Sir David Hume of Crossrig, one of the Senators of the College of Justice, 20 April 1697–29 Jan. 1707,' published at Edinburgh in 1843, gives an account of the main circumstances of his life, with incidental references to the customs of bygone times. A portrait of Hume by young Medina, son of Sir John Medina, was at one time in the possession of C. Kirkpatrick Sharpe. Hume was twice married, first to Barbara Weir, relict of William Laurie of Reidcastle, and secondly to the widow of James Smith, merchant, and a grand-daughter, not a daughter as sometimes stated, of Sir Alexander Swinton of Swinton. By his first wife he had two daughters, and by his second two sons.

[Domestic Details of Sir David Hume of Crossrig, 1843; Brunton and Haig's Senators of the College of Justice.]

T. F. H.

HUME, DAVID (1711–1776), philosopher and historian, born at Edinburgh 26 April (O.S.) 1711, was the second son of Joseph Hume of Ninewells in the parish of Chirnside, Berwickshire, by Catherine, third daughter of Sir David Falconer [q. v.], president of the court of session. The Humes or Homes, who claimed a doubtful descent from the noble family of Home (see Notes and Queries, 4th ser. iv. 72), had been settled for some generations at Ninewells. The philosopher piqued himself upon adhering to the spelling 'Hume' as older and as corresponding to the pronunciation. The father, who `passed for a man of parts,' died during Hume's infancy. The mother was a `woman of singular merit,' and though `young and handsome, devoted herself entirely to the rearing and education of her three children.' John, David, and Catherine. Hume went through `the ordinary course of education with success.' David is identified with `David Home' whose name appears (27 Feb. 1723) in the matriculation book of the university of Edinburgh as `intrant of the class of William Scott, professor of Greek.' The absence of other records leaves unexplained the passion for literary and philosophical eminence which from this time became Hume's dominant characteristic. A letter to a young friend, Michael Ramsay, dated 4 July 1727, describes his devotion to Virgil and Cicero, and his resolution to become a philosopher in the moral as well as the intellectual sense. The draft of a letter sent, or intended to be sent, in 1734 to a physician—in all probability George