Hume, Abraham (1749-1838) (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HUME, Sir ABRAHAM (1749–1838), virtuoso, was son of Sir Abraham Hume, who died on 10 Oct. 1772, having married on 9 Oct. 1746 Hannah, sixth and youngest daughter of Sir Thomas Frederick. Their only daughter, Hannah, married James Hare [q. v.] Their son was born at Hill Street, Berkeley Square, London, on 20 Feb. 1748-9. During one parliament (1774-80) he represented Petersfield, but then abandoned politics. His estates at Wormley in Hertfordshire and Fernyside in Berwickshire enabled him to be a patron of the arts all his life. He amassed a famous collection of minerals and of precious stones, and was a large purchaser of pictures by the old masters. For distinction in natural history and mineralogy he was elected F.R.S. on 14 Dec. 1775, and at his death was its senior fellow. He was one of the founders of the Geological Society, and served as vice-president from 1809 to 1813. Through his patronage of painting he became a director of the British Institution. Hume died at Wormley Bury on 24 March 1838, and was buried in Wormley Church, where is a monument to his memory. He married in London, on 25 April 1771, Amelia, daughter of John Egerton, bishop of Durham. She was born on 25 Nov. 1751, died at Hill Street, London, on 8 Aug. 1809, and was buried at Wormley. There is a monument to her memory in the churchyard. Their eldest daughter married Charles Long [q. v.], baron Farnborough; and the second daughter was the wife of John Cust, first earl Brownlow.

There appeared in 1815 in French and English a 'Catalogue Raisonné' by the Comte de Bournon of the diamonds of Sir Abraham Hume, who himself edited the volume and prefixed to it a short introduction. A 'Descriptive Catalogue' of his pictures was printed in 1824, when the collection was for sale. Most of them had been acquired at Venice and Bologna between 1786 and 1800. The works of Titian were numerous, and the collection contained a few examples of English and Flemish art. Among the English specimens were the portraits of Sir Abraham Hume and Lady Hume by Reynolds, and that of Lady Hume by Cosway. The latter was engraved by Valentine Green in 1783, and in 1783 John Jones and in 1791 C. H. Hodges issued engravings of the portraits of Hume. Sir Abraham sat on three separate occasions (1783, 1786, and 1789) to Reynolds, and Sir Joshua left him the choice of his Claude Lorraines. The earliest of Hume's portraits by Reynolds is now in the National Gallery.

An anonymous volume of 'Notices of the Life and Works of Titian,' 1829, was the composition of Hume. It contained in an appendix of ninety-four pages a catalogue of the engravings after the works of Titian in the Bibliothèque du Roi at Paris. Crowe and Cavalcaselle acknowledge that the 'lists of pictures and engravings are still useful.'

[Betham's Baronetage, iii. 359-60; Gent. Mag. 1838, pt. i. p. 657; Cussans's Hertfordshire, vol.ii. pt. ii. pp. 250-7; J. C. Smith's Brit. Mezzotinto Portraits, ii. 564, 633, 756; Taylor's Reynolds, ii. 427, 499, 551, 636; Cook's National Gallery, p. 411.]

W. P. C.