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Tobias Hume (1569 - 1645)

Relatively little is known of Tobias Hume. His date of birth has been inferred from his admission, in 1629, as a pensioner, to the Charterhouse, where regulations stipulated that those admitted should have reached the age of sixty, but the inference seems open to question. He published two collections of pieces for viols and songs, The First Part of Ayres in 1605 and Captain Humes Poeticall Musicke in 1607. His dedication of the first of these, to “Lord William, Earle of Pembrooke, L. Herbert of Cardyf, L. Par and Rosse of Kendall, Lord Marmion, and S. Quintin, Lord Warden of the Stannaries, and Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter”, tells us something of him: “My Life hath beene a Souldier, and my idleness addicted to Musicke, of both which I here doe offer the service to your best worthy selfe”. His second collection is dedicated to Queen Anne, in an apparently desperate attempt to secure royal favour. The third Earl of Pembroke, identified by some as the Mr. W.H. to whom Shakespeare’s sonnets are dedicated, was an important patron, but seems to have failed to oblige Captain Hume. In 1607 he offers “this last hope of my labours, to your most princely acceptance, humbly imploring that, it would please your thrice-royall spirit, not to esteeme my Songs unmusicall, because my Fortune is out of tune”. This dedication again seems to have had no positive result. From other sources, notably his application in 1611 to King Charles I for permission to engage in a military expedition under the King of Sweden, a


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