National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Joseph Hume (1777-1855)

Joseph Hume (1777-1855)

Radical and politician

After medical training at the University of Edinburgh Joseph Hume became an assistant surgeon in the East India Company in 1797. His proficiency for language enabled him to become very wealthy during his service in India. After the end of the Mahratta War he removed to England and was influenced by the political philosophy of James Mill and Jeremy Bentham. He served as a Member of Parliament for the Weymouth constituency in 1812 and then for a variety of constituencies in Scotland, England and Ireland from 1818-55. At the start of his political career he held Tory principles but became more and more liberal and radical. He was a proponent of Catholic Emancipation, the extension of voting rights, the promotion of savings banks and free trade. He also actively campaigned for the abolition of corporal punishment in the armed forces, press-ganging in the Navy and custodial sentences for those in debt. He died on 20 February 1855 at Burnley Hall in Norfolk.

Birth in 1777

Joseph Hume was born on 22 January 1777, the son of James Hume, shipmaster, and Mary Allan. His entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Montrose gives the date of baptism as 26 January.

Baptism entry for Joseph Hume

Baptism entry for Joseph Hume in the OPR for Montrose (15 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 312/4, page 207

Testament of Joseph Hume

National Records of Scotland, SC70/4/46 pp 350-355

View transcript (69 KB PDF)

The images of the original document are in jpeg format (approximately 160 KB):

View page 1 of the actual document
View page 2 of the actual document
View page 3 of the actual document