HUME, Hon. Sir Andrew (1676-1730), of Kimmerghame, Berwick.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1707 - 1708

Family and Education

b. 19 July 1676, 4th s. of Sir Patrick Hume, 1st Earl of Marchmont [S] by Grisell, da. of Sir Thomas Ker of Cavers, Roxburgh.  educ. Utrecht 1695; adv. 1696.  m. Apr. 1700, Elizabeth, da. of John Douglas of Newcastle, Northumb., wid. of Sir William Douglas of Cavers, sis. of Oley Douglas*, 2s. 2da.  Kntd. 1698; suc. cos. Robert Hume to Kimmerghame 1710; styled Ld. Kimmerghame, 1714–d.1

Offices Held

Collector of tunnage [S] 1695; commr. Equivalent [S] 1707–19; ld. of session, 1714–d.2

Burgess, Edinburgh 1698, Glasgow 1714; sheriff depute, Berwickshire 1690–1710; commissary, Edinburgh by 1701; commr. visitation, St. Andrews Univ. 1718; member, ct. of delegates 1728.3

MP [S], Kirkcudbright 1700–7.


Sir Patrick Hume was forced to flee from Scotland in 1684, having been implicated in the Rye House Plot, and eventually settled in Holland. His estates were forfeit and the family survived on his wife’s meagre jointure; but exile and poverty did not shake a firm conviction that divine justice would eventually manifest itself in favour of the Presbyterian cause, nor did participation in the ill-fated Argyll invasion of 1685, from which he once more narrowly escaped with his life. At the Revolution he accompanied the Prince of Orange to England and was favoured with an offer to his daughter Grisell to become a maid of honour to Princess Mary, which she, however, declined in view of her plans to marry George Baillie*. Grisell proved a powerful influence over her brother Andrew, later persuading him to abandon a passionate love affair with one unsuitable widow and to transfer his affections to another, Lady Cavers, whose status and wealth were deemed more appropriate. William III granted Sir Patrick a peerage as Lord Polwarth in 1690, together with the restoration of his estates and the hereditary sheriffdom of Berwickshire. Thereafter Polwarth’s political conduct became intertwined with that incessant wrangling between incompatible interests which dogged the Revolution settlement in Scotland. He generally supported the Court, albeit covertly on occasion. In parallel with the resurgence of the Argyll and Queensberry interests, he was appointed lord chancellor in 1696, elevated to the earldom of Marchmont the following year and acted as lord high commissioner to parliament in 1698, securing the additional favour of a knighthood for his younger son Andrew.4

Sir Andrew’s political behaviour was largely determined by his father’s attitudes, with the important additional motive of advancing his own legal career. A seat in the Scottish parliament would therefore serve the dual purpose of enhancing his father’s status and his own prospects. To this end Marchmont wrote to the Marquess of Annandale in May 1698: ‘I spoke to your lordship some time ago for a commission for my son Andrew to represent in parliament one of the burghs in Annandale. If your lordship procure it I will reckon it a kindness and favour, and be accountable for it.’ Annandale duly secured Kirkcudbright for Hume in 1700 and he continued to represent this burgh until the Union. Like his father, he supported the Court and remained with the ‘rump’ after the secession of 1702. But Marchmont’s dismissal at the end of that year, following an abortive attempt to discredit Queensberry’s reliance on the cavaliers by raising the abjuration issue, drove both into opposition. Hume voted with the Squadrone managers over the succession in 1704, but his motives were probably a mixture of the traditional family line on this issue with an incipient attachment to the Squadrone. In the Union debates he followed the strict Squadrone line and was rewarded with both inclusion in that group’s contingent of representatives to the first Parliament of Great Britain and nomination to the Equivalent commission. These favours now clearly reflected Marchmont’s status as a leading Squadrone peer.5

At Westminster Hume was accorded the compliment of inclusion on the committee for the Address on 10 Nov. 1707 and was nominated to assist in the drafting of the repeal of the Scottish act of security on 4 Dec. His further parliamentary activity was negligible. Two speeches are known, both of which indicate his Squadrone affiliation: on 11 Dec. in favour of the abolition of the Scottish privy council, endorsing the argument that ‘all marks of distinction and separation’ should be removed in order to ‘invest the Union on a solid foundation’; and on 25 Feb. 1708 in favour of a motion to ‘invert the classes of those to be paid out of the Equivalent’. At the 1708 election Hume was unable to secure a seat: the family interest in Berwickshire inevitably went to his brother-in-law, Baillie, and there was no longer any prospect of securing a burgh seat from Annandale. Sir Andrew’s ambitions were, in any case, turning away from Parliament. In 1708 he was an unsuccessful candidate, despite intensive lobbying by his father, for a place as a baron of the Scottish exchequer. Marchmont’s efforts were likewise vain in pursuit of a vacant session gown for his son. The Earl of Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*) privately expressed the view that it would be improper for him to succeed, since his brother, Lord Polwarth, already possessed a seat in that court. Sunderland, however, was determined to disguise this reasoning from Marchmont for fear of upsetting him unnecessarily. In 1709 a new opportunity arose for advancement to the exchequer and Marchmont revived his campaign, writing to the Duke of Devonshire (William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington*) and Lord Somers (Sir John*) in full expectation of their ‘favours and assistance’. Hume, meanwhile, attempted to secure the support of the Duke of Argyll via one of his clients, Sir Alexander Cumming, 1st Bt.*, who owed him a favour from a legal battle to regain his salary as conservator of the staple at Campvere. He felt he could not approach the Duke directly, having ‘not the least title’ to his friendship, but promised to become ‘a very faithful servant’ who would be ‘extremely proud of such a patron’.6

Disappointment followed once more, tempered only by an apparent promise from the Queen that Hume would succeed to the next vacancy in the Scottish judiciary. This was not forthcoming at the first opportunity in 1710, nor at the second in 1711. The political fortunes of the family were adversely affected by the advent of the ministry of Robert Harley*. Prior to the 1710 election Marchmont had been removed from the sheriffdom of Berwickshire, with the inevitable concomitant that Sir Andrew ceased to act as sheriff-depute. Both father and son nevertheless attempted to regain royal and ministerial favour. Hume travelled to London in November 1711 in connexion with his duties as a commissioner of the Equivalent and presented various letters of recommendation to Harley (now Lord Oxford). Polwarth, for example, stated that his brother had been ‘in the commission since the beginning and has served in it with great integrity’, promising also that he would ‘carry himself in that affair as you shall direct’. His fellow commissioner John Pringle* also vouched for him: ‘I have had the honour to be often in business with Sir Andrew’, he informed the lord treasurer, ‘and know him to be both modest and diligent in his actings and know he is resolved to make no step in that affair but by your advice and approbation’. Nothing came of these efforts and the family had to await redress until after the Hanoverian succession, when Marchmont was restored to his sheriffdom and appointed a lord of police. Hume became a session judge with the title Lord Kimmerghame in November 1714, Polwarth having resigned in his favour. The accompanying honour of a justiciary gown was not forthcoming, however, despite his brother’s recommendation upon a vacancy in 1718. On this occasion Polwarth, now an eminent diplomat, emphasized to Sunderland that Hume was ‘not short of the rest of the family in his entire devotion to the King’s service’. Hume died on 16 Mar. 1730.7

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: David Wilkinson


  • 1. Scots Peerage ed. Paul, vi. 14–16; Hist. Scot. Parl. 351; M. Warrender, Marchmont and the Humes of Polwarth, 179–80; Album Studiosorum Academiae Rheno-Tractiniae, 95; Scot. Rec. Soc. lxxvi. 106; New Hist. Northumb. x. 406.
  • 2. Add. 70051, list of grants; info. from Dr P. W. J. Riley on members of Scot. parl.; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxi. 300–1, 331; xxiii. 234; xxviii. 43; Brunton and Haig, Senators Coll. Justice, 495.
  • 3. Scot. Rec. Soc. lix. 257; lvi. 302; Scots Peerage, 16; Add. 70166, list of Scot. offices; 61631, f. 64.
  • 4. Warrender, 27–42; Lady Murray, Mems. George Baillie (1824), 52; P. W. J. Riley, King Wm. and Scot. Politicians, 29–38, 55–61, 90–122, 141–59.
  • 5. Info. from Dr Riley; APS, x. 207, 247; xi. 72; Murray, 63–64; HMC Stuart, vii. 525; W. Fraser, Annandale Fam. Bk. ii. 171; Crossrigg Diary, 4; Riley, King Wm. 176; Boyer, Anne Annals, iii. app. 43; P. W. J. Riley, Union, 334.
  • 6. Roxburghe mss at Floors Castle, bdle. 739, William Bennet* to Countess of Roxburghe, 16 Dec. 1707; bdle. 770, [?William Jameson] to same, 20 Apr. 1708; HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 428–9; SRO, Clerk of Penicuik mss GD18/3140/14, John Clerk* to fa. 13 Apr. 1708; SRO, Hume of Marchmont mss GD158/1174/50, 77–78, Marchmont to Hamilton, 27 Nov. 1708, same to Somers, 19 Jan. 1709, same to Devonshire, 19 Jan. 1709, same to John Douglas, 19 Jan. 1709; Add. 61631, f. 64; SRO, Montrose mss GD220/5/172/7, Sunderland to Montrose, 24 July 1708; Aberdeen Univ. Lib. Duff House (Montcoffer) mss 3175/2377, Hume to [Cumming], 31 Mar. 1709.
  • 7. Hume of Marchmont mss GD158/967/35–37, 59–61, Marchmont to Queen Anne, 14 Aug. 1710, 25 Jan. 1711, same to Devonshire, 14 Aug. 1710, same to Roxburghe, 14 Aug. 1710, same to Baillie, 23, 25 Jan. 1711; GD158/1143/43, same to Oxford, 26 Nov. 1711; Scots Peerage, 14–16; HMC Portland, x. 192, 227, 405; HMC Polwarth, i. pp. vi, 437, 453; Brunton and Haig, 495.