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Marchmont, Earls Of

MARCHMONT, EARLS OF. The 1st earl of Marchmont was Sir Patrick Hume or Home (1641-1724), son of Sir Patrick Hume, bart. (d. 1648), of Polwarth, Berwickshire, and a descendant of another Sir Patrick Hume, a supporter of the Reformation in Scotland. A member of the same family was Alexander Hume (c. 1560-1609), the Scottish poet, whose Hymns and Sacred Songs were published in 1599 (new ed. 1832). Polwarth, as Patrick Hume was usually called, became a member of the Scottish parliament in 1665. Here he was active in opposing the harsh policy of the earl of Lauderdale towards the Covenanters, and for his contumacy he was imprisoned. After his release he went to London, where he associated himself with the duke of Monmouth. Suspected of complicity in the Rye House plot, he remained for a time in hiding and then crossed over to the Netherlands, where he took part in the deliberations of Monmouth, the earl of Argyll and other exiles about the projected invasion of Great Britain. Although he appeared to distrust Argyll, Polwarth sailed to Scotland with him in 1685, and after the failure of the rising he escaped to Utrecht, where he lived in great poverty until 1688. He accompanied William of Orange to England, and in 1689 he was again a member of the Scottish parliament. In 1690 he was made a peer as Lord Polwarth; in 1696 he became lord high chancellor of Scotland, and in 1697 was created earl of Marchmont. When Anne became queen in 1702 he was deprived of the chancellorship. He died on the 2nd of August 1724. His son Alexander, the 2nd earl (1676-1740), took the name of Campbell instead of Hume after his marriage in 1697 with Margaret, daughter and heiress of Sir George Campbell of Cessnock, Ayrshire. He was a lord of session from 1704 to 1714; ambassador to Denmark from 1715 to 1721, and lord clerk register from 1716 to 1733. His son Hugh Hume, 3rd earl (1708-1794), who entered parliament in 1734 at the same time as his twin brother Alexander (d. 1756), afterwards lord clerk register of Scotland, was keeper of the great seal of Scotland, one of Bolingbroke's most intimate friends and one of Pope's executors. His two sons having predeceased their father, the earldom became dormant, Marchmont House, Berwickshire, and the estates passing to Sir Hugh Purves, bart., a descendant of the 2nd earl, who took the name of Hume-Campbell. The 3rd earl had, however, three daughters, one -of whom, Diana (d. 1827), married Walter Scott of Harden, Berwickshire; and in 1833 her son Hugh Hepburne-Scott (1758-1841) successfully claimed the Scottish barony of Polwarth. In 1867 his grandson, Walter Hugh (b. 1838), became 6th Lord Polwarth.

See The Marchmont Papers, ed. Sir G. H. Rose (1831).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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