Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hume, James (fl.1639)

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HUME, JAMES (fl. 1639), mathematician, son of David Hume of Godscroft (1560?–1630?) [q. v.], and therefore sometimes described as 'Scotus Theagrius,' lived in France, and on the title-page of his earliest book, 'Pantaleonis Vaticinia Satyra,' dated Rouen, 1633, he is called 'Med. Doctor.' The 'Satyra' is a Latin romance, imitating Barclay's 'Argenis,' but is very crude in form. It is dedicated to Sir Robert Ker, first earl of Ancrum [q. v.], and has an historical appendix on contemporary affairs, mostly German. In 1634 Hume printed in Latin 'Prœlium ad Lipsiam,' 'Gustavus Magnus,' 'De Reditu Ducis Aureliensis ex Flandria,' as an appendix to his father's 'De Unione Insulæ Britanniæ' (Paris). Some Latin verses in the same book accuse one `Morinus' of plagiary for having used some proofs of theorems given by Hume to Napier, baron Merchiston.

In 1636 Hume published at Paris 'Algèbre de Viète d'une Méthode nouuelle, claire et facile,' and 'Traité de la Trigonométric pour resoudre tous Triangles rectilignes et sphériques,' &c At the end of the latter volume appears a list of nine mathematical works which Hume had written in Latin: 'Algebra Vietæ,' 'Algebra secundum Euclidem,' 'Arithmetica,' 'De Arte muniendi more Gallico,' idem 'more Hollandico,' 'Trigonometria,' 'Theoria Planetarum,' 'Sphæra Copernici,' and 'Ptolemaica Geometriæ Practica.' There are besides 'De Horologiis' and 'Grammatica Hebræa,' proving that Hume's attainments were not purely mathematical. A translation of one of his works into French, apparently his 'De Arte muniendi more Gallico,' appeared under the title 'Fortifications Françaises d'une Méthode facile.'

[De Morgan's Arith. Works, p. 10; Michel's Écossais en France, p. 292 n.]

R. E. A.