Hume Papers

Personal papers of the Hume family of New South Wales, Australia, Liverpool and Castlerock, Co. Antrim. Comprising correspondence, accounts, notebooks and other papers, the collection documents the activities, interests and history of successive generations of the family from the late 17th century onwards.

The best known member of the family was Hamilton Hume (1797-1873) who was born in Toongabbie, New South Wales, son of Andrew Hamilton Hume of Hillsborough, Co. Down (b. 1762) who emigrated to the Antipodes in 1788. Hamilton Hume was the first native-born Australian explorer. His most notable expedition was with William Hilton Hovell in 1824 from Lake George, New South Wales to Geelong, a distance of 400 miles, during which they became the first white men to see the Australian Alps. Because of his expeditionary exploits, the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne is named after him. There is much correspondence in the archive dating from 1824-72 pertaining to Hume's pioneering explorations in southern Australia and the potential he saw for that part of the country.

Other notable items include c.50 letters written to the Rev. Abraham Hume, dating from 1843-84 and relating to his genealogical work and activities as vicar of the parish of Vauxhall in Liverpool, together with some private papers and his etymological and genealogical working papers, c.1850-c.1870. The son of Thomas F. Hume of Hillsborough, he was educated in Belfast, Dublin and Glasgow, and was vicar of Vauxhall from 1847 until his death in 1884. He took an active part in the public, educational and ecclesiastical movements in Liverpool and fought for the establishment of an episcopate for Liverpool. Before his death, he had set in motion the plans for the erection of a new cathedral in the town, as the later correspondence reveals. A member of several historical and antiquarian societies, he was also author of over a hundred books and pamphlets, and contributed articles to the 'Ulster Journal of Archaelogy', of which his best known work is 'Origin and Characteristics of the population in the Counties of Down and Antrim'.

The collection also contains: personal correspondence and accounts, etc., of Mrs. Emily Hume, Castlerock, Co. Londonderry, 1918-c.1930; committee minute books of the Coleraine Division of North Derry Women's Unionist Association, 1911-29; in-letter files, 1947-54, and out-letter files, 1907-59, of North Derry Unionist Association, together with membership cards etc., 1946, and a notebook containing a list of members of the Coleraine Division of the Association in 1912.


An important collection in relation to exploration in Australia.

Physical characteristics

c. 1,000 items, 1615-1959, comprising a range of documents, volumes, maps, newspaper cuttings, sketches and illustrations occupying c.10 PRONI boxes.

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI reference D/2765 for a catalogue of the papers. The catalogue is available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.


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Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 25 August 2018