HUME, Alexander (c.1693-1765), of Wormleybury, Herts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



30 June 1743 - 1754
1754 - 1761
1761 - 15 Sept. 1765

Family and Education

b. c.1693, 1st s. of Robert Home (later Hume) of Ayton, Berwick, bro. of Abraham Hume. m. 5 Apr. 1733, Mary, da. of Sir Thomas Frederick, gov. of Fort St. David, India, sis. of Thomas Frederick, Sir John Frederick, 4th Bt., and Sir Charles Frederick, 1da. d.v.p. Her sis. Hannah m. Abraham Hume. suc. fa. 1742. Bought Wormleybury 1739.

Offices Held

Director, E.I. Co. 1737-40, 1742-5, 1747-8.


The son of a navy victualler,1 Hume stood for Chippenham with his brother-in-law, John Frederick, but was defeated by a narrow majority. He prepared a petition, writing to Walpole in January 1741:2

enclosed is the state of the case I mentioned to you yesterday as a thing of great consequence to Mr. Frederick’s and my interest at Chippenham. The benefit we expect from it depends entirely on despatch.

He spent £4,057 on the election, including the petition, which was lost in the critical division on which Walpole resigned. Successful at Southwark as a government supporter in 1743, spending £3,500 on his election,3 and again in 1747, he voted for the Administration in all recorded divisions. In a memorandum to Newcastle, he claimed to have steadily supported the Administration except over the proposals for the reduction in the navy from 10,000 to 8,000 men (in January 1751), and in two other minor cases, adding:

Mr. Hume’s general conduct in Parliament ... has always (except for the foregoing instances) been conformable to the wishes of the Government. He has indeed sometimes taken upon him to introduce bills of a public nature and conducted them through the House, particularly in the year 1744 he formed the plan for the prolongation of the East India Company’s charter on their lending a million at 3% whereby the interest paid by the public for that, and for every subsequent year, was kept down to a more moderate price than it would have been if that plan had not taken place. Mr. Hume had so great a share in this, that Mr. Pelham with Mr. Scrope designed to come to Mr. Hume’s house to settle the agreement with him and Mr. Gough. In the year 1746 he brought in a bill to regulate insurances on ships, whereby many ships have been saved and frauds prevented. In 1747 he brought in a bill for the relief and support of seamen maimed and disabled and of the widows of seamen killed or drowned in the merchant service, whereby many who would otherwise have been reduced to beggary find wherewith to subsist. And in 1750 he brought in a bill, laying a duty on Irish sail cloth equal to the bounty given by the Irish which had almost, and would soon have completely ruined that necessary and valuable manufacture in Great Britain.
Out of Parliament he has always used his best endeavours to support the prudent views of the Administration. In the great scheme for reducing the interest on the public funds he was particularly active, as he was in concerting the scheme for the alteration of the duties on tea, which have produced such a great increase to the revenue [see Barnard, Sir John]. And in a more private way, assisted considerably in a loan to the Dutch at Mr. Pelham’s desire, to make good his Grace’s agreement for the retreat of the Russians out of Germany at the latter end of the last war [of the Austrian succession].

He supported the bill for the naturalization of the Jews in April 1753.4 He died 15 Sept. 1765.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. PCC 298 Trenley.
  • 2. Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
  • 3. Add. 32995, f. 172.
  • 4. Add. 33055, ff. 265-7.