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Orme
Orme
257

leson (History of the French in India, pp. vii, viii) pronounces the history to be ‘generally a faithful record,’ though one which unfortunately treats the French ‘rather as accessories than as principals in the story.’ Thackeray, in ‘The Newcomes,’ makes it the favourite work of Colonel Newcome. Orme told Dr. Parr that in preparing the third volume he completely formed every sentence in his mind before writing it down. A third edition of the work appeared in 1780, fourth 1790, fifth 1799. There were other editions in 1803; 1861 London, and Madras. In 1782 Orme published ‘Historical Fragments of the Mogul Empire, of the Morattoes, and of the English Concerns in Indostan from the year 1659.’ This was reprinted in 1805 (London, 4to), with a memoir of the author, giving some extracts from his correspondence with Robertson the historian, and others (cf. Edin. Rev. January 1807, p. 391 seq.). Orme's essays ‘On the Origin of the English Establishment … at Broach and Surat’ and ‘A General Idea of the Government and People of Indostan’ were included in this volume. Though extremely laborious and accurate, he is said (Memoir, p. xxiv) to have had ‘little or no acquaintance with the learned languages of Asia.’ It appears from his memoranda that his favourite reading was in the Greek and Roman classics. He records the perusal in 1743 of Rapin's ‘History of England,’ ‘of which I do not remember a word.’

In 1792 he retired to Great Ealing, Middlesex, where he died on 13 Jan. 1801, in his 73rd year. He was buried on 21 Jan. in the churchyard of St. Mary's, Ealing (Lysons, Environs of London, Supplement, p. 130), where there is a memorial tablet describing him as ‘endeared to his friends by the gentleness of his manners’ (see engraving of tablet in Memoir, p. lxvii). He was an admirer of Dr. Johnson, and delighted in his conversation, saying that on whatever subject Johnson talked, he either ‘gives you new thoughts or a new colouring’ (Boswell, Life of Johnson, anno 1778, iii. 284, ed. Hill; cf. ib. ii. 300).

A bust of Orme at the age of forty-six, made in 1774 by J. Nollekens, R.A. (Smith, Nollekens, ii. 74), was bequeathed to the East India Company; an engraving of it forms the frontispiece to Orme's ‘Historical Fragments,’ ed. 1805. His face is described as expressing shrewdness and intelligence. Orme had a taste for painting and sculpture, and was a lover of Handel.

The circumstance that Orme was married is stated (Gent. Mag.) to have been unknown even to his intimate friends till after his death, when the court of directors of the E. I. C. settled a small annuity on his widow (the Memoir makes no mention of the marriage). He bequeathed to his friend and executor, John Roberts, chairman of the court of directors, all his books, manuscripts, &c., with a request—duly carried out—that he would present them to the East India Company. This collection, now in the library of the India Office, consists of fifty-one volumes of printed tracts on India and the East India Company; 231 manuscript volumes, compiled by Orme, containing a vast body of information on Indian affairs; letters relating to the company's affairs; maps, charts, plans, &c. (Gent. Mag. 1803, pt. i. p. 518). In the maps accompanying his published works Orme had marked many hundreds of places for the first time. A considerable part of Orme's library had been sold by him at Sotheby's about April 1796, when he gave up his house in Harley Street.

[Memoir of Orme prefixed to the Historical Fragments, ed. 1805 (cited above as Memoir); Aiken's General Biography, 1808, art. ‘Orme;’ Gent. Mag. 1803 pt. i. pp. 517, 518 (Memoir reprinted from the Asiatic Annual Register), pt. ii. p. 799; Chalmers's Biogr. Dict.; Allibone's Dict. Engl. Lit.; Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, iii. 499; Encyclop. Brit. 9th ed. ‘Orme;’ Cat. of E. I. C. Library; Brit. Mus. Cat.; authorities cited above.]

W. W.

ORME, WILLIAM (1787–1830), congregational minister, was born at Falkirk, Stirlingshire, on 3 Feb. 1787. His parents removed to Edinburgh, where in 1792 he began his education under a schoolmaster named Waugh. On 1 July 1800 he was apprenticed for five years to a wheelwright and turner. His father died in October 1803. About this time he came under the influence of James Alexander Haldane [q. v.], whose preaching at the Tabernacle in Leith Walk, Edinburgh, had attracted him. In October 1805 he was admitted by Robert Haldane (1764–1842) [q. v.] as a student for the ministry at a seminary under George Cowie. The usual term of study was two years. Orme's periods of study, interrupted by a preaching mission in Fife (1806), amounted to little more than a year in all. On 11 March 1807 he became pastor of the congregational church at Perth, where he was ordained. About 1809 he broke with Robert Haldane, in consequence of Haldane's adoption of baptist views, and took part in the controversy hence arising. He declined a call to the congregational church at Dundee. In the development of Scottish congregationalism he took an active part, especially aiding in the formation (1813) of the ‘Congregational Union of Scotland,’ and in the establishment (1814) of a divinity hall at Glasgow. His