Marchmont, Hugh Hume, Campbell, Third Earl Of

, a nobleman of great learning and accomplishments, was born in 1708. He was the third in succession to, and the last inheritor of, that title; there being no male descendants of his grandfather, sir Patrick Hume, the first earl, and his lordship having survived his only son, Alexander lord Polwarth, who had been created an English peer, but died without issue of his marriage with the lady Isabella Grey, daughter of the earl of Hardwicke, and heiress of the last duke of Kent; a peeress in her own right, under a limitation by Charles II. of the barony of Lucas of Cruduell.

Sir Patrick Hume, the first earl, was raised to the peerage by king William III, for having taken a very leading and active part to counteract the arbitrary proceedings of Charles II.; and afterwards the more dangerous measures of James II. which threatened the annihilation of the liberties of the country, as well as the complete subversion of its religion; for which attempts he was long imprisoned in the former reign; and persecuted with a most unrelenting spirit in the latter, for having joined in the unsuccessful attempt of the^earl of Argyle in 1685. King William’s private regard for sir Patrick was marked by his majesty’s granting an addition to his arms of an orange, ensigned with an imperial crown; and by giving him an original portrait of himself.

Concerning the danger to which sir Patrick was exposed in the last of the two reigns above-mentioned, we have the following very interesting narrative in a work recently published ,*

*

Mr. Rose’s Observations on Mr. Fox’s Historical Work, Appendix No. I. p. 4*

for extracting which it is needless to make any apology.

When a near relation, very dear to sir Patrick, was again imprisoned, he thought it adviseable to keep himself | concealed. The following account of his concealment is taken, from the ms. preserved in the family by his grand-daughter. “After persecution began afresh, and my grandfather Baillie again in prison, sir Patrick thought it necessary to keep concealed; and soon found he had too good reason for so doing, parties being continually sent out in search of him, and often to his own house, to the terror of all in it, though not from any fear for his safety, whom they imagined at a great distance from home, for no soul knew where he was but my grandmother, and my mother, except one man, a carpenter, called Jamie Winter, who used to work in the house, and lived a mile off, on whose fidelity they thought they could depend; and were not deceived. The frequent examinations and oaths put to servants in order to make discoveries were so strict, they durst not run the risk of trusting any of them. By the assistance of this man they got a bed and bed-clothes carried in the night to the burying-place, a vault under ground at Polwarth church, a mile from the house, where he was concealed a month; and had only for light an open slit at the one end, through which nobody could see what was below; she (his daughter) went every night by herself at midnight, to carry him victuals and drink, and staid with him as long as she could to get home before day. In all this time my grandfather shewed the same constant composure and cheerfulness of mind that he continued to possess to his death, which was at the age of eighty -four; all which good qualities she inherited from, him in a high degree; often did they laugh heartily in that doleful habitation, at different accidents that happened. She at that time had a terror for a church-yard, especially in the dark, as it is not uncommon at her age, by idle nursery stories; but when engaged by concern for her father, she stumbled over the graves every night alone, without fear of any kind entering her thoughts, but for soldiers and parties in search of him, which the least noise or motion of a leaf put her in terror for. The minister’s house was near the church; the first night she went, his dogs kept such a barking as put her in the utmost fear of a discovery; my grandmother sent for the minister next day, and upon pretence of a mad dog, got him to hang all his dogs. There was also difficulty of getting victuals to carry him without the servants suspecting; the only way it was done, was by stealing it off her plate at dinner into her lap many a diverting story she has told about | and other things of a like nature. Her father liked sheep’s head, and while the children were eating their broth, she had conveyed most of one into her lap; when her brother Sandy (the second lord Marchmont) had done, he looked up with astonishment, and said,” Mother, will ye look at Grizzel; while we have been eating our broth, she has eat up the whole sheep’s head.“This occasioned so much mirth among them, that her father at night was greatly entertained by it; and desired Sandy might have a share in the next. I need not multiply stories of this kind, of which I know many. His great comfort and constant entertainment (for he had no light to read by) was repeating Buchanan’s Psalms, which he had by heart from beginning to end; and retained them to his dying-day two years before he died, which was in 1724, I was witness to his desiring my mother to take up that work, which, amongst others, always lay upon his table, and bid her try if he had forgot his psalms, by naming any one she would have him repeat; and by casting her eye over it she would know if he was right, though she did not understand it; and he missed not a word in any place she named to him, and said they had been the great comfort of his life, by night and day, on all occasions. As the gloomy habitation my father was in, was not to be long endured but from necessity, they were contriving other places of safety for him; amongst others, particularly one under a bed which drew out, on a ground Moor, in a room of which my mother kept the key; she and the same man worked in the night, making a hole in the earth after lifting the boards, which they did by scratching it up with their hands not to make any noise, till she left not a nail upon her fingers, she helping the man to carry the earth as they dug it, in a sheet, on his back, out at the window into the garden; he then made a box at his own house, large enough for her father to lie in, with bed and bed-clothes, and bored holes in the boards for air; when all this was finished, for it was long about, she thought herself the most secure happy creature alive. When it had stood the trial for a month of no water coming into it, which was feared from being so low, and every day examined by my mother, and the holes for air made clear, and kept clean-picked, her father ventured home, having that to trust to. After being at home a week or two, the bed daily examined as usual, one day in lifting the boards, the bed bounced to the top, the box being | full of water: in her life she was never so struck, and had near dropped down, it being at that time their only refuge; her father, with great composure, said to his wife and her, he saw they must tempt Providence no longer, and that it was now fit and necessary for him to go off, and leave them; in which he was confirmed hy the carrier telling for news he had brought from Edinburgh, that the day before, Mr. Baillie of Jerviswoode had his life taken from him at the Cross, and that every body was sorry, though they durst not shew it; as all intercourse by letters was dangerous, it was the first notice they bad of it; and the more shocking, that it was not expected. They immediately set about preparing for my grandfather’s going away. My mother worked night and day in making some alterations in his clothes for disguise; they were then obliged to trust John Allen, their grieve, who fainted away when he was told his master was in the house, and that he was to set out with him on horseback before day, and pretend to the rest of the servants that he had orders to sell some horses at Morpeth fair. Accordingly, my grandfather getting out at a window in the stables, they set out in the dark; though with good reason it was a sorrowful parting, yet after he was fairly gone they rejoiced, and thought themselves happy that he was in a way of being safe, though they were deprived of him, and little knew what was to be either his fate or their own.

Sir Patrick having by such means eluded all the exertions of government to have him seized, after the failure of the duke of Argyle’s attempt, escaped to France, and travelled through that country, as a physician, to Bourcleaux, from whence he embarked for Holland, where he attached himself to the prince of Orange, looking up to him, as many others both at home and in Holland did, as the best resource against the threatened destruction of every thing most dear to British subjects.

When his serene highness came over, and happily effected the bloodless revolution, sir Patrick Hume was one of those who accompanied him, and was by him created lord Polwarth of Polwarth, and afterwards earl of Marchmont. He was also made lord high chancellor of Scotland by king William; an office in that country, before the Union, of the highest rank, as it is here,

Alexander, the second earl, second son of the preceding, was ambassador to Denmark and Prussia in 1715; | in 1716 was appointed lord register of Scotland; and in 1721 was named first ambassador in the congress at Cambray .*

*

In the —Gent. Mag. for 1741 are some lines addressed by lord Chesterfield to the late earl of Marchmont on the death of his father the preceding year.

Hugh, of whom we now speak, the third earl, was the third son of the above-mentioned Alexander, and twin-­brother

The resemblance between these brothers was so strong that they were frequently mistaken for each other by intimate friends a remarkable instance of this occurred when the chevalier Ramsay was soliciting subscriptions for his Travels of Cyrus he had sent a certain number of proposals to both brothers to get off for him. Lord Marchmont disposed of all his very soon, Mr. Hume Campbell, in the midst of business, forgot those sent to him; and walking one day in the court of requests with a gentleman who was talking with him on a cause in which Mr. Hume Campbell was employed, the chevalier came to him with expressions of warm gratitude for his attention, in so immediately getting off his subscriptions on which the gentleman who had been talking with him made apologies to him for having troubled him about his cause, assuring him that he took him for his brother, Mr. Hume Campbell.

of Mr. Hume Campbell, who was in the first practice at the English bar, but retired from it on being appointed lord register of Scotland. The subject of our present article having finished his studies in the learned languages, in which at an early period of his life he was a most distinguished scholar, he was sent to Utrecht to complete his education. Here, under the instruction of one of the most eminent civilians of modern times, he succeeded in the attainment of a knowledge of the civil law to an extent seldom acquired, even by those who were to follow it as a profession; and at the same time became master of several modern languages, which he read and wrote with great facility.

These qualifications, with an unwearied industry to reach the bottom of every subject of discussion, and a habit of speaking, attracted great attention to him, very soon after his coming into parliament for the town of Berwick, in 1734. He was one of the most active members of the opposition of that period; and on the secession of Mr. Pulteney, afterwards earl of Bath, in 1739, he took the decided lead in it; but his career in the House of Commons was stopped by his succession to the peerage, on the death of his father, in 1740. On which occasion sir Robert Walpole said to an intimate and confidential friend, that an event had occurred which had rid him of the opponent by far the most troublesome to him in the House.

When the circumstances here alluded to are considered, | it will not be thought surprising that the society of his lordship, anil his correspondence, should have been sought by some of the most distinguished characters of the time: he lived in close intimacy with lord Cobham, who placed his bust among the worthies at Stowe lord Cornbury, sir William Wyndham, lord Chesterfield, and Mr. Pope *

*

The earl was one of the executors of Pope, who left his Mss. to lord Bolingbrok, and lord Marchmont, and the survivor of them. The opinion Pope entertained of his lordship’s merits may be judged of by the following lines in the inscription on his grotto at Twickenham:

"Approach But awful ‘ Lo the Ægerian grot,

Where, nobly-pensive, St. John sate and thought

Where British sighs from dying Wyndham stole,

And the bright flame was shot through Marchmant’s soul.

Let such, such only, tread this sacred floor,

Who dare to love their country and be poor."

To lord Marchmont also he bequeathed the picture of lord Bolingbroke by Richardson, and his large paper edition of Tliuanus. Among his lordship’s papers found at his death, are a great number of Mr. Pope’s letters, in many of which he expresses the highest esteem and regard for him. These are now in the possession of his lordship’s sole executor, the right hon. George Rose.

and notwithstanding an essential difference of opinion from lord Bolingbroke on some very important points, he was so attracted by his most extraordinary talents, as to form an intimate friendship with him, which continued to the death of the viscount, although with a short temporary interruption to it, owing to the part which lord Marchmont took in vindicating, rather or extenuating, the conduct of Pope, respecting the printing of lord Bolingbroke’s “Patriot King.” Of this affair we have taken some notice in our account of Mallet; and shall be able to throw additional light on it when we come to the article of Pope, from lord Marchmont’s account, with which we have been favoured.

The points on which lord Marchmont and lord Bolingbroke differed, were occasionally the subject of conversation between them; respecting which there was certainly some change in the mind of lord Bolingbroke, towards the close of his life. This is proved beyond the possibility of contradiction by the author of a recent publication, of which we have already availed ourselves .

Having” (says Mr. Rose, Introduction, p. xxxi, note C.) " been led by Mr. Fox’s observation to mention this nobleman, I cannot resist ex­ pressing my deep regret, that some essays written by him in the latter end of his life are not to be found among his works: because they would have illustrated many interesting occurrences in his own time, and would have shown his mind in a different state from that to which it has been sometimes supposed to be subject. How it happened that they were not published by Mr. Mallet, it is not necessary to state here; they were certainly written for in a letter to lord Marchmont from Argeville, August 8, 1740, (in my possession) on the occasion of the death

The evidence | is clear as to the “Essays” having been written and addressed to lord Marchmont; and it is equally certain, they are not among the works of his lordship, as edited by Mr. Mallet, to whose care the whole was intrusted, in consequence of a decided influence he acquired over his lordship, not long previous to his death. How little either of fame or fortune accrued to Mallet from this advantage, we have already noticed in our account of him.

Lord Marchinont was also distinguished by Sarah duchess of Marlborough, in a very remarkable manner*, with whom he lived in the most friendly habits, and was appointed by her grace one of her executors, with a large legacy, and named in the succession to a part of her great estate, on failure of certain heirs of her body (excluding the duke of Marlborough) on whom she entailed the whole; the discharge of which trust fell principally on the earl.

After his lordship’s accession to the peerage in 1740, he did not mix in public business till 1747, when he was appointed first lord commissioner of police in Scotland; and had no opportunity of rendering himself conspicuous in polir tical life until 1750, when he was elected one of the sixteen peers, in the room of the earl of Crawford. From this time he took a very active share in most of the important debates that occurred, which led to his being appointed keeper of the great seal of Scotland in 1764 (on the death of the of sir William Wyndljam, lord Boling- ship, and to put together many memobroke says, after mentioning some es- rials, anecdotes, and other miscellane^ Bays he was writing, ‘ This puts me in ous pieces which 1 have in my power, mind of some miscellaneous writings or the materials of which are so; they that 1 shall leave behind me, if I live shall be addressed to your lordship a little longer and enjoy a little health most certainly the subject of a great the principal parts of them will be his- part will probably carry the whole torical; and these I intended to addi ess down to posterity; and there is nothing to Wyndham; permit me to address can flatter me more agreeably than to the whole to you. I shall finish them have future generations know, that I up with more spirit, and with greater lived and died your lordship’s friend.’ pleasure, when I think that if they In which letter, lord B. says he has carry to posterity any memorial of my sent one of these productions to Pope, weakness, as an actor or a writer, they ‘ that may not only stay, but stop will carry thither a character of me, his longing for the rest’." that 1 prefer to both, the character of * The duchess in her life-time gave Wyndham’s and Marchmont‘ s friend.’ the earl a remarkably fine portrait of His lordsb. p certainly fulfilled his in- herself, when in the prime of her tentions, which is proved not only by beauty, by sir Godfrey Kneller, inwhat he said to lord Marchmont, but tended by her grace for the duke, her in a subsequent letter of October 1742 grandson, till she quarrelled with him (also in my possession), he alludes to decidedly, for his political conduct, closer retirement in France, and says Pope also gave lord Marchmont the to the earl, ’ it is there 1 propose to original portrait of f himself by Richdischarge my promise to your lord- ardson. | duke of Athol), the office substituted for that of lord chancellor. The last political act of his life, was the vote he gave on Mr. Fox’s India bill; on which occasion he was the first peer who went below the bar as a non-content.

In the new parliament which met in the spring of 1784, after the dissolution subsequent to the rejection of that famous measure, he was not included in the list of the sixteen representative peers of Scotland. He then sold his house in London, and retired to a small place in Hertfordshire, that had belonged to the father of the countess, where he continued to reside during the remainder of his life, never having quitted it for a single day. He read incessantly in the library which he built for the reception of his books from London, and for the most valuable of those from Marchmont house in Berwickshire, except during a few hours that he allotted for his daily exercise on horseback, and for making improvements that were constantly going on in his small domain near Hemel Hempstead. The visits he made were almost exclusively in a morning, and to his nearest neighbours only.

It may be truly said, that there have been few men in any age, who read more deeply than this distinguished nobleman. The notes he left behind him on almost every eminent author of antiquity, and on the most useful publications in modern times, afford an unequivocal proof of this. He was never himself an author; but it is to him the public are indebted for the publication of the records of parliament, from very nearly the earliest period of that assembly meeting, which have thrown most useful light on our constitutional history. The famous survey of all the counties in England made under the authority of William the Conqueror, called Domesday Book ,*

*

This book, which is perhaps the oldest authentic record in Europe, is as perfectly legible now as it was in 1086, when it was written: it was in the custody of the chamberlains of the exchequer, till early in the last century, when, with a great variety of other records, it was (on the report of a Committee of the House of Lords) transferred to a separate custody. The publishing these valuable muniments has been followed by a very extensive publication of the records of our courts of law, some as early as the reigns of king John and Henry the 3d, under the authority and direction of commissioners appointed by his Majesty for that purpose; for the execution of which trust, in a manner deserving the highest commendation, The Present Speaker of the House of Cornmons (the right honourable Charles Abbot) has a very large share of the merit in truth, it has been executed, in a great degree, under his immediate inspection.

was printed at the same time. The earl died at his house in Hertfordshire, January 10, 1794. 1
1

From private communication, the source of which is perfectly authentic.

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