David Hume’s Family (3)

John Home of Ninewells

old image of j hume“John Home was the older and only brother of David Hume the historian. They were the children of Joseph Home and Catherine Falconer who was daughter of Sir David Falconer, Lord President of the College of Justice.

John preferred the life of a country gentleman, and employed himself for many years, judiciously and successfully, in the improvement of Ninewells, and Hornden in Berwickshire, which had been in the possession of the family for several generations. In the latter part of his life he gave up his more extensive farming concerns and went to reside in Edinburgh during half the year, for the education of his family.In 1740 John built a mansion house at Ninewells, in place of the old one which had been partly burned. But this was done on a very limited scale, for he was singularly cautious and moderate in all his notions and wishes. In 1764 he acquired by purchase from Sir James Home, the lands of Fairneycastle.

In 1751 John Home married Agnes Carre, daughter of Robert Carre, esq, of Caverse in Roxburghshire.John Home was highly esteemed by all who knew him, as an honourable, just and most conscientious gentleman. A strict observer of truth and of his word respectful to the ordinance of religion. He was a man of strong sence, and a frank and social humour an easy landlord a reasonable master a skilful farmer and very intelligent in country affairs, he was much liked and respected in his rural circle. Thought not to be termed a scholar (in the English sense of the word), John Home was, however, not without a fair tincture of literature,classic as well as modern,especially history and “belles letters” and ordinarily enjoyed the evening over a book,Latin or French,as often as English.

He was about the middle stature not much under six foot and of a stout and muscular but not fleshy frame. He had an inverted habit of stooping. Joined to the most temperate habits, he maintained uniform good health till toward the close of a life of seventy seven years. He was of equally calm and placid temperament as his brother the philosopher, but the brothers entertained a most cordial affection for each other which continued to the end of their lives. Under the historian’s will the principal part of his effect went to his brother, who survived him.
John Home died at Ninewells, on the 14th of November 1786, after a short illness, and in great composure of mind. He was interred in the family vault, under his parish church at Chirnside.
John Home had eight children to Agnes Carre who survived him of whom three were sons, Joseph, David and John and two daughters, Catherine and Agnes.

Joseph as a young man served as Captain in the Queen’s Bay or 2nd Dragoon Guards. He afterwards resided at Ninewells where he died on the 14th February 1832, unmarried aged eight y one. David was an advocate at the Scottish Bar, was Sheriff-Depute of Berwickshire and West Lothian, Professor of Law of Scotland in the University of Edinburgh, a Principal Clerk of the Court of Session, and Baron of the Court of Exchange for Scotland. In his latter years he took up residence at Ninewells, with his eldest brother the laird. Together they improved the drainage and plantation and amenity of the place. Catherine Home married her near neighbour Robert Johnston of Hilton who was a captain in the 39th Regiment of Infantry. Agnes Home was married to Rev. Alexander Scott a cadet of the distinguished house of Scott of Harden.”

Text and image Kay’s originals volume 9.



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