Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hume, Tobias

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HUME, TOBIAS (d. 1645), soldier and musician, was a soldier of fortune, and spent much of his life in the service of Sweden. In 1605 he published ‘The First Part of Ayres, French, Pollish, and others,’ with a dedication to William Herbert, third earl of Pembroke, in which he says, ‘My life hath been a soldier and my idleness addicted to music.’ His favourite instrument seems to have been the viol-da-gamba. In 1607 he published ‘Captain Hume's Musicall Humors,’ dedicated to Anne of Denmark, which contains curious attempts at programme-music. The British Museum possesses a copy of this work, with an autograph inscription praying the queen ‘to heare this musick by mee; hauinge excellent instruments to performe itt,’ and both this and the former work are described by Dr. Rimbault (Bibliotheca Madrigaliana, London, 1847, pp. 21, 25. In the Record Office (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Chas. I. vol. clxxix. No. 7) is an undated petition from Hume, asking leave for himself and 120 men to proceed to Mickle Bury (? Mecklenburg) land, whither he had been sent by the king of Sweden. He states that he had served in many foreign countries. At Christmas 1629 he entered Charterhouse as a poor brother. His mind seems to have given way, for in July 1642 he published a rambling ‘True Petition of Colonel Hume’ to parliament offering either to defeat the rebels in Ireland with a hundred ‘instruments of war,’ or, if furnished with a complete navy, to bring the king within three months twenty millions of money. He styles himself ‘colonel,’ but the rank was probably of his own invention, for in the entry of his death, which took place at Charterhouse on Wednesday, 16 April 1645, he is still called Captain Hume.

[Hume's works; State Papers quoted above; Register of Charterhouse, communicated by the Rev. the Master; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. vii. 369; Brit. Mus. Addit.MS. 24489 (Hunter's Chorus Vatum).]

W. B. S.