Patrick Hume 1641-1724

From Book Owners Online

Patrick HUME, 1st Earl of Marchmont, 1641-1724

Hume's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection *560)

Biographical Note

The eldest son of Sir Patrick Hume of Polwarth, 1st baronet (d. 1648). He studied law in Paris and in 1663 was appointed a justice of the peace in Berwickshire. He served as a member of the Scottish Parliament and was commissioned as captain of the horse in the Berwickshire militia in 1668. In 1675 he was involved in opposition to some of the policies of Charles II and was imprisoned for several years in Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and elsewhere.

In 1683 he went into hiding having been accused of involvement in the Rye House Plot. He went into exile in Utrecht. Following the death of Charles II, he was involved in the unsuccessful rebellion of 1685. He escaped back to the continent and his estates were forfeited. In 1688 he accompanied William of Orange to London and was closely involved in the negotiations for offering the Scottish crown to William. In 1690 his forfeiture was reversed and he was made Lord Polwarth, becoming chancellor of Scotland in 1696 and created earl of Marchmont in 1697.

Under Queen Anne he supported the Union of England and Scotland but was not elected one of the representative Scottish peers in the new Parliament.

One of his younger sons was Sir Andrew Hume (1676–1730), a lawyer and judge.


Patrick’s library is potentially one of most underrated libraries of early eighteenth-century Scotland, though further archival research is required to establish this and understand its full size and scope. Subjects represented by surviving volumes include Dutch and Scottish civil law; works by Catholic and Calvinist authors; 16th century editions of the Church Fathers; as well as books on Horticulture. There are books written in French, Dutch, Latin, English and Scots. Titles include:

The confirming worke of religion (RB.s.2319) by the exiled Presbyterian minister Robert Fleming (1630-1694). The books is inscribed by Patrick, stating that it was a gift from the author, his “worthy friend,” which Patrick may have received while they were both in exile in the Netherlands

Pierre Le Lorrain de Vallemont’s (1649-1721) Curiosities of nature and art in husbandry and gardening (London, 1707) (E.F. Smith Collection SB119 .V18 1707)

A book on hunting and falconry, possibly purchased when he was in exile. Le Parfait chasseur, pour l’instruction des personnes de qualité qui aiment la Chasse… (Paris, 1683)

A gaelic bible An Biobla Naomhtha (London, 1690) (Lambeth Palace Library E250 1690)

Hector Boece’s Scotorum Historiae… (Paris, 1527) (Glasgow Mu7-y.3)

A three volume work by the Protestant legal scholar Guillaume Fournier (d.1584) (Sp Coll Bf73-h.9)

and Gregorii Nazanzeni theologi Orationes duae (Paris, 1586) (Ham House NT 3126690).

Patrick’s books were inherited by his heir Alexander Hume Campbell, and afterwards his grandson Hugh Hume Campbell, both of whom were notable book collectors. Part of the library, allegedly only containing Alexander’s books, but clearly containing books belonging to other family members, was sold in 1761 at auction in London. In 1784, Hugh had the remaining family library moved from Scotland to his residence at Hemel Hempstead. Hugh left no surviving male heir, and bequeathed the entire library to George Rose (1744–1818), the executor of his estate. It was catalogued for sale (1373 lots) and due to be sold at auction by R.H. Evans in London on 12 May 1830. However, the sale did not take place. In 1851, the surviving family papers and books were sold to Hugh Scott, of Harden and Lord Polwarth, and moved to Mertoun House, Berwickshire. The rarest volumes were sold by his successor Walter Scott, (Sotheby’s 15 February 1909), with some volumes possibly dispersed at the sale of all the family effects at in 1912 (Dowell’s Rooms in Edinburgh, 25th-27th March 1912).


Patrick inscribed many of his books and MS with “Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci. – H.D.A.” an abridgement of HoraceDe Arte Poetica. He used an engraved bookplate:

Franks 15696/*560 Hume, The Right Honble. Patrick, Earl of Marchmont, Viscount of Blasonberry, Lord Polwarth of Polwarth, &c., Lord High Chancellor of Scotland. 1702.

Patrick’s bookplate has on some occasions been used on books purchased after his death, such as a copy of Institutions of the criminal law of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1730) (Cambridge UL 7250.e.1), and on books which belonged to others in the family, such as his daughter in law Margaret Campbell. There are even instances of his bookplate used on volumes printed after the death of his son, Alexander (Eaton 5).

Harvard Law school library holds Patrick's copy of The lawes and acts of Parliament, made by the Most Excellent and Mighty King and Monarch… (Edinburgh, 1647) (Wing S1264A K SCOT 131 647), with "SPH" gold tooled on its binding, with the same inscribed inside. There is also an early 18th=century shelfmark "C.13.16" pasted in, which is consistent with other books owned by Patrick.


  • With thanks to Harvard Law School Library for providing information on Wing S1264A K SCOT 131 647
  • A catalogue of the entire and valuable library of the Hon. Alexander Hume Campbell, ... to be sold by auction, by Samuel Baker... on Monday the 13th of April, [London, 1761] [Note: this catalogue was not consulted during the research of this entry]
  • Catalogue of the valuable and extensive library of the late Earl of Marchmont...which will be sold by auction by Mr. Evans at his house, no. 93, Pall-Mall, on Wednesday May 12, and five following days, (Sunday excepted),[London] : Printed by W. Nicol, [1830] [Note: this catalogue was not consulted during the research of this entry]
  • Catalogue of an interesting collection of valuable and rare books & pamphlets selected from the library of the right hon. Lord Polwarth [sic] (of Mertoun House, Berwick), including an extensive series of civil war tracts and newspapers, rare americana ...; rare Old English black letter books ... engraved English and French portraits, etc. which will be sold by auction, by Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge ... on Monday, the 15th of February, 1909, and following day, [London] : Dryden Press: J. Davy & Sons, 8-9, Frith-street, Soho-square, W. 1909
  • Catalogue of choice antique furniture ... and other valuables of the Rt. Hon. Lord Polwarth, removed from Mertoun House, to be sold by auction (by instructions of J. Hamilton Buchanan, Esq., C.A., trustee) by Mr. Dowell within his rooms, No. 18 George Street, Edinburgh on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 28th, 29th and 30th March 1912... [Edinburgh : A. Dowell, 1912] [Note: this catalogue was not consulted during the research of this entry]
  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • Young, John R. "Hume, Patrick, first earl of Marchmont (1641–1724), politician." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.