Hume, Patrick

Biography: 2nd earl of Marchmont, Lord Polwarth and Lord High Chancellor of Scotland 1695-1702. Politician. Succeeded as second baronet aged 7, in 1648. Studied law in Paris. Married Grizel, daughter of Sir Thomas Ker of Cavers, 1660. Appointed justice of the peace for Berwickshire, 1663. MP for Berwickshire, 1665, 1667 and 1669-74. Commissioner of supply for the county 1667. Employed by the privy council in action against the Pentland Rising, 1666. Captain of the Horse in the Berwickshire militia,1668, 1672-5. Excise commissioner for Berwickshire 1668, highway commissioner 1671, 1673. Objected to the privy council garrisoning the houses of gentlemen in 1675, subsequently imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, then Dumbarton and Stirling. Released briefly in Februrary 1676 but re-incarcerated. Moved from Edinburgh Tolbooth to Dumbarton Castle, 1678, and was at Stirling Castle by the time of his release in July 1679. Upon his release he became involved in the Carolina project, a scheme for a group of presbyterian Scots to purchase land in Carolina with a view to establishing a settlement there. The scheme was brought to a swift end after several of its leading promoters, including Hume, were implicated in the Rye House plot to assassinate King Charles II. Hume escaped capture by hiding in the vault of Polwarth church, and then underneath his own house, before travelling to London disguised as a surgeon. He escaped to France and then Brussels, Rotterdam and Utrecht, where he settled with his wife and children under the protection of the prince of Orange. Hume was involved in the rebellion of 1685, and escaped back to the Netherlands in 1686. In 1685, his lands were annexed to the Crown, and given to the earl of Seaforth in 1686. He was among the forces of William of Orange which invaded in 1688, and in the following two years played an important role in Scotland. He argued strongly for enhancement of Scottish parliamentary powers, the securing of a Presbyterian church and parliamentary control over the appointment of judges. By 1689, he was MP and commissioner of supply for Berwickshire, captain of the Berwickshire militia and sat on important committees, such as the committee which offered William the Scottish crown and the committee which drew up the Claim of Right. In 1690, the forfeiture of his lands was rescinded and they were restored to him. He was included on several commissions in 1690, and was a member of the Scottish privy council, where he took an active role in military affairs. He was made sheriff of Berwick, 1690. Promoted into the peerage as Lord Polwarth, Dec 1690. Extraordinary lord of session, 1693. Chancellor of Scotland, 1696. Created earl of Marchmont, Viscount Blasonberrie, and Lord Polwarth of Polwarth, Redbraes, and Greenlaw, 1697. Commissioner of the Treasury and Admiralty, 1697. High commissioner in the 1698 parliamentary session. Appointed lord high commissioner to the general assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1702, but this was interrupted by William's death. Chancellor for the first parliamentary session under Queen Anne and caused controversy by presenting an act which imposed an oath abjuring the prince of Wales (the Old Pretender, James Stuart). This led to him being replaced as chancellor by the earl of Seafield. In the parliamentary sessions 1704-7, he strongly supported the Treaty of Union with England. In 1710 he was replaced as Sheriff of Berwick, but reinstated 1714 and made a lord of the court of police. He took no further prominent role in politics. He died of a fever at Marchmont House, Berwick, August 1724.

Biography Date: 1641-1724

Biography References: LOC; CERL; DNB;


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