David Hume of Godscroft
David Hume (1558–1629) was a Scottish
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

 historian and political theorist, poet and controversialist, a major intellectual figure in Jacobean
Jacobean era
The Jacobean era refers to the period in English and Scottish history that coincides with the reign of King James VI of Scotland, who also inherited the crown of England in 1603 as James I...

 Scotland. He also spent a decade as pastor of a Protestant congregation in France.


He was the second son of Sir David Hume or Home, seventh baron of Wedderburn
Wedderburn Castle
Wedderburn Castle, near Duns, Berwickshire, in the Scottish Borders, is an 18th century country house. It is the historic family seat of the Home of Wedderburn family, cadets of the Home family .-History:...

, Berwickshire. Receiving preliminary training at Dunbar
Dunbar is a town in East Lothian on the southeast coast of Scotland, approximately 28 miles east of Edinburgh and 28 miles from the English Border at Berwick-upon-Tweed....

 public school, he entered the University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

 in 1578, and after a course of study there travelled on the continent. From France he proceeded to Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, intending to go to Italy, but he was recalled by the serious illness of his elder brother. He returned about 1581. On the recovery of his brother, Hume for a time continued to manage his affairs, but in 1583 he was residing as private secretary with his relative, Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus and 5th Earl of Morton was the son of David, 7th earl. He succeeded to the title and estates in 1558, being brought up by his uncle, James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, a Presbyterian....

, who was ordered, after James VI withdrew his confidence from the Ruthven lords, to remain in the north of Scotland.

During the exile of the Ruthven party at Newcastle, Hume was in London, ostensibly studying, but actively interesting himself in Angus and his cause. The lords returned to Scotland in 1585, and between that date and 1588, when Angus died, Hume supported his patron's policy in a series of letters (preserved in the History of the Houses of Douglas and Angus) on the doctrine of obedience to princes. A discussion of a sermon on the same theme by the Rev. John Craig is the subject of an elaborate Conference betwixt the Erle of Angus and Mr. David Hume, which is printed in David Calderwood
David Calderwood
David Calderwood was a Scottish divine and historian.-Early life:Calderwood was educated at Edinburgh, where he took the degree of MA in 1593. In about 1604, he became minister of Crailing, near Jedburgh in Roxburghshire, where he became conspicuous for his resolute opposition to the introduction...

's History of the Kirk of Scotland. He was probably in France again in 1593. According to the True Travels of Captain John Smith, Smith about that year grew acquainted at Paris with a Master David Hume, who gave Smith letters to his friends in Scotland to prefer him to King James.

From 1604 he was pastor at Duras
Duras, Lot-et-Garonne
Duras is a commune in the Lot-et-Garonne department in south-western France.The town is traversed by the Dropt river.-Notable people:*David Hume of Godscroft , Scottish historian and philosopher, was the pastor in Duras 1604-1614....

, Guienne, in south-west France. He was replaced by 1614, after an absence, when he returned to Scotland and brought messages from King James to the synod of Tonneins in the same part of France. Hume had been given a delicate and ultimately unsuccessful mission by the king, to bring about reconciliation within the Protestant camp at this national Huguenot council.

In later life Hume devoted himself to literature on his property of Gowkscroft, a farming hamlet 2 miles to the north of Abbey St. Bathans
Abbey St. Bathans
Abbey St Bathans is a community in Berwickshire in the eastern part of the Scottish Borders.Although its name suggests a larger foundation, Abbey St Bathans was originally a priory of Cistercian Nuns...

, in the Lammermuir Hills
Lammermuir Hills
The Lammermuir Hills, usually simply called the Lammermuirs , in southern Scotland, form a natural boundary between Lothian and the Scottish Borders....

, Berwickshire
Berwickshire or the County of Berwick is a registration county, a committee area of the Scottish Borders Council, and a lieutenancy area of Scotland, on the border with England. The town after which it is named—Berwick-upon-Tweed—was lost by Scotland to England in 1482...

, which he renamed Godscroft, and styled himself Theagrius when he figured as a Latin poet. His daughter Anna Hume
Anna Hume
Anna Hume , was the daughter of David Hume of Godscroft.Anna superintended the publication of her father's 'History of the House and Race of Douglas and Angus.' William Douglas, 11th Earl of Angus, and first marquis of Douglas, who was dissatisfied with Hume's work, consulted Drummond of Hawthornden...

 was known as an editor, and his son James Hume (fl. 1639) as a mathematician.

Political and religious writings

In 1605 a work on the union of the kingdoms, by Robert Pont
Robert Pont (Scottish politician)
Robert Pont , Scottish reformer, was educated at St. Andrews. In 1562 he was appointed minister at Dunblane and then at Dunkeld; in 1563, Commissioner for Moray, Inverness and Banff. Then in succession he became minister of Birnie , provost of Trinity College near Edinburgh , a lord of session ,...

, suggested his treatise, De Unione Insulæ Britanniæ, a study in how to effect the closer political union of Scotland and England. Of this he published only the first part, Tractatus I. (London, 1605), but the second part is in the collections of Sibbald and Wodrow. On the relative values of episcopacy and presbytery, and Hume was a persistent polemicist in discussing the theme, first with James Law
James Law
James Law was Archbishop of Glasgow. Entering the church after graduation from university, he rose to the position of Bishop of Orkney, reorganising the diocese, before rising to hold the position of Archbishop of Glasgow....

, bishop of Orkney
Bishop of Orkney
The Bishop of Orkney was the ecclesiastical head of the Diocese of Orkney, one of thirteen medieval bishoprics within the territory of modern Scotland. It included both Orkney and Shetland. It was based for almost all of its history at St...

, from 1608 to 1611, and secondly, in 1613, with William Cowper
William Couper (bishop)
William Couper , bishop of Galloway, son of John Couper, merchant-tailor, of Edinburgh, was born in 1568. After receiving some elementary instruction in his native city, and attending a school at Dunbar for four years, he entered in 1580 the university of St. Andrews, where he graduated M. A. in...

, bishop of Galloway
Bishop of Galloway
The Bishop of Galloway, also called the Bishop of Whithorn, was the eccesiastical head of the Diocese of Galloway, said to have been founded by Saint Ninian in the mid-5th century. The subsequent Anglo-Saxon bishopric was founded in the late 7th century or early 8th century, and the first known...

. He was also responsible about the same time for De Episcopatu, May 1, 1609, Patricio Simsono, to Patrick Simson. Hume's other major Latin prose writings are his unpublished attack on William Camden
William Camden
William Camden was an English antiquarian, historian, topographer, and officer of arms. He wrote the first chorographical survey of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and the first detailed historical account of the reign of Elizabeth I of England.- Early years :Camden was born in London...

 for his depreciatory view of Scotland, written in 1617—Cambdenia; id est, Examen nonnullorum a Gulielmo Cambreno in “Britannia,” —and a work dedicated to Charles I (Paris, 1626), entitled ‘Apologia Basilica; seu Machiavelli Ingenium Examinatum, in libro quem inscripsit Princeps.’

His authorship of French tracts and the publication of his Latin works at Paris imply that he maintained close relations with France. A notice in the Biographie Universelle credits him with an attempt, suggested by James I, to reconcile Pierre Dumoulin and Daniel Tilenus
Daniel Tilenus
Daniel Tilenus was a German-French Protestant theologian. Initially a Calvinist, he became a prominent and influential Arminian teaching at the Academy of Sedan. He was an open critic of the Synod of Dort of 1618-9....

 on the subject of justification by faith, and also with Le contr' Assassin; ou Reponse à l'Apologie des Jesuites (1612), and L'Assassinat du Roi; ou Maximes du Vieil de la Montagne pratiquées en la personne de défunt Henri le Grand (1617).

Neo-Latin poetry

Hume wrote Latin poems when very young, and received the commendation of George Buchanan. His Daphn-Amaryllis was produced at the age of fourteen. His Lusus Poetici (1605) were ultimately incorporated in Arthur Johnston's Deliciæ Poetarum Scotorum. When Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales
Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales was the elder son of King James I & VI and Anne of Denmark. His name derives from his grandfathers: Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley and Frederick II of Denmark. Prince Henry was widely seen as a bright and promising heir to his father's throne...

 died, Hume wrote a memorial tribute entitled Henrici Principis Justa, and in 1617 he welcomed the king back to Scotland in his Regi suo Gratulatio. His Latin poems were twice issued in Paris, in 1632 and 1639, the second time with additions under the care of his son James, and with the title: Davidis Humii Wedderburnensis Poemata Omnia. Accessere ad finem Unio Britannica et Prœlium ad Lipsiam soluta oratione.

Family history

Hume was a partisan
-Political matters:*Partisan In politics, partisan literally means organized into political parties. The expression "partisan politics" usually refers to fervent, sometimes militant, support of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea...

 panegyricist of the Douglas family. He was a grandson of Alison Douglas, herself a granddaughter of Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus , was a late medieval Scottish magnate. He became known as "Bell the Cat"...

. His chief patron was William Douglas, 11th Earl of Angus
William Douglas, 1st Marquess of Douglas
William Douglas, 1st Marquess of Douglas and 11th Earl of Angus was a Scottish nobleman.-Master of Angus:William Douglas, Master of Angus was the eldest son of William Douglas, 10th Earl of Angus and his Countess, Elizabeth Oliphant, eldest daughter of Laurence Oliphant, 4th Lord Oliphant...

, later the 1st Marquess of Douglas.

His sense of the historical importance of his house led to Hume's History of the House of Wedderburn, written by a Son of the Family, in the year 1611, a eulogy
A eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a person or thing, especially one recently deceased or retired. Eulogies may be given as part of funeral services. However, some denominations either discourage or do not permit eulogies at services to maintain respect for traditions...

. Beginning with David, the first laird of Wedderburn, about the end of the fourteenth century, this work closes with an account of Hume's own early career in connection with that of his elder brother, to whom, along with the Earl of Home, it is dedicated. It remained in manuscript till 1839, when it was printed by the Abbotsford Club.

A more imposing family history is Hume's History of the House and Race of Douglas and Angus, printed at Edinburgh in 1644 by Evan Tyler, the king's printer. The title-pages of the earlier copies vary, some having no date, others being dated 1648, while others still have the title, ‘A Generall History of Scotland, together with a particular History of the Houses of Douglas and Angus.’ The confusion is due to the difficulties of Hume's daughter, Anna Hume, in getting the work published, owing to the opposition of Angus, who resented the use which Hume had made of some of the materials supplied him from the family archives. Hume is thought to have finished the history between 1625 and 1630, the year (it is conjectured) of his death. In the preface to the edition of T. W. and T. Ruddimans, 1743, it is pointed out that ‘the first editor’ had been very inefficient, leaving to the new editor the task of recovering the text by scrupulous examination of the author's manuscript. The work begins with Sholto Douglas
Sholto Douglas
Sholto Douglas was the mythical Progenitor of Clan Douglas, a powerful and warlike family in Medieval Scotland.A Mythical battle took place: "in 767, between King Solvathius rightful king of Scotland and a pretender Donald Bane...

, conqueror of Donald Bane, and concludes with Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus
Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus and 5th Earl of Morton was the son of David, 7th earl. He succeeded to the title and estates in 1558, being brought up by his uncle, James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, a Presbyterian....

, who is eulogised in a Latin ode and numerous elegiacs. Another manuscript history of the family brings the record close to the death of William Douglas, 10th Earl of Angus
William Douglas, 10th Earl of Angus
William Douglas, 10th Earl of Angus was the son of William, the 9th Earl . He was a direct descendant of King James I through his paternal grandmother, Lady Agnes Keith, a daughter of William Keith, 3rd Earl Marischal....

, in 1611, and is ascribed to that earl. The tenth earl's son, William Douglas, is said to have threatened its publication in order that Hume's work might be superseded, but owing to the good offices of Drummond of Hawthornden the threat came to nothing.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.