HUME, Sir Abraham, 2nd Bt. (1749-1838), of Wormleybury, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. 20 Feb. 1749, 1st s. of Sir Abraham Hume†, 1st Bt., of Wormleybury by Hannah, da. of Sir Thomas Frederick, gov. Fort St. David. educ. Eton 1758-65; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1766. m. 25 Apr. 1771, Amelia, da. of Rt. Rev. John Egerton, bp. of Durham, 2da. suc. fa. as 2nd Bt. 10 Oct. 1772; to family estate of Fernyside in Coldingham, Berwick on d. of cos. Elizabeth Robertson in 1785.
Sheriff, Herts. 1774-5.
Lt. Herts. yeoman cav. 1794, capt.-lt. 1797, capt. (S. Herts.) 1801, maj. commdt. 1803.
Hume, who had come into the House in 1774 as a supporter of North’s administration, went over to opposition after Saratoga, but failed to find a seat in 1780, despite enjoying the Duke of Portland’s backing in his search. He is not known to have contested any seat in 1784, but he joined the Whig Club four years later and was probably the Hume who appeared in William Adam’s list of ‘candidates unfixed’ before the general election of 1790. He was elected to Brooks’s, sponsored by Lord Upper Ossory, on 17 Mar. 1792, but the progress of the French revolution destroyed whatever Whig sentiments he may have held, and on 3 Dec. 1792 he wrote to Lord Verulam to recommend the formation of a Hertfordshire association ‘in principles similar to those of a meeting lately established in London for the preservation of our constitution and for maintaining the laws of the land’. He seceded from the Whig Club with Windham and other alarmists, 28 Feb. 1793. In 1804 he was in command of three bodies of volunteers in Hertfordshire: the horse artillery, the southern troop and the infantry.
Hume’s return for the Treasury borough of Hastings in 1807 may well have been aided by his son-in-law Charles Long*, a former secretary to the Treasury and a member of the Portland ministry. In April 1812 he briefly vacated Hastings to contest a vacancy at Boston on the interest of his younger daughter’s husband, Lord Brownlow. Another attempt on Boston at the general election also ended in defeat, but he came in again for Hastings. In the House, he was an apparently silent but regular supporter of government, classed by the Whigs in March 1810 as ‘against the Opposition’. His name appears in most of the extant lists of ministerial voters, its only notable absences being from those for the divisions on the call for a stronger administration, 21 May 1812, and the employment of domestic spies, 11 Feb. and 5 Mar. 1818. He voted against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810, and against Catholic relief, 11 and 24 May 1813, and 9 May 1817. He retired from the House at the dissolution of 1818.
Hume, who is remembered as a collector of paintings and precious stones, was a founder of the Geological Society and a director of the British Institution. He died 24 Mar. 1838.
Ginter, Whig Organization, 256; HMC Verulam, 147; J. Wilson, Biog. Index (1808), 267.