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ARTHUR WILLIAM MONTAGU HUME (1853-1917)
BARKING’S FORGOTTEN COMPOSER

John Blake

In the spring of this year, 2015, I received an email from Australia requesting information on Arthur Montagu Hume, one-time organist at St.Margaret’s Church; I must confess  that I had never heard of the gentleman, but went on to discover a fascinating character from Barking’s past.

Michael Douglas HumeTurner, Arthur’s great grandson, living in Adelaide since leaving England for Australia in 1967 had been researching his family tree and requested help from the society in discovering more. Arthur’s common prayer book,  now in Michael’s possession, has the following recorded on page 1: "First Sunday as organist (January 17th 1875) at St. Margaret’s, Barking."

Arthur was born in Boulogne, France in 1853, the son of the solicitor to the Consulate there. When his father died, the family returned to England.

He became a pupil of Arthur H. Brown, of Brentwood and was appointed organist at Shenfield Church when he was only ten years old! The Chelmsford Chronicle of 15th January 1864 gave  this report of a concert at St. Helen’s Hall in Brentwood: "Mr. Arthur H. Brown, organist, of Brentwood, presided at the pianoforte, and played Mozart’s duet ‘Coalition’ with Master Arthur Hume, one of his pupils only ten years  of age. The performance of this young musician quite astonished the audience, who applauded him very heartily. This youth has for more than a month played the harmonium in Shenfield Church, conducting the whole musical portion of divine service to the  entire satisfaction of all the congregation, so much so that the new rector has appointed him to stay in that office".

He later became organist at St.Margaret’s, a position he held for an astonishing 43 years. He was also a music teacher at Palmer’s Endowed School in Grays (now Palmer’s College) until ill health forced him to resign. Arthur was certainly a very busy man; the Chelmsford Chronicle of 12th October 1883 reported that he had been appointed conductor of the Aveley Choral Society.






Arthur William Montagu Hume 1853-1917
Organist St. Margaret's Church Barking
1874-1917










St. Margaret's Church Barking
Organ 2015

The Hume family lived at Church Road and consisted of Arthur and his wife Emily, their three children and Michael’s grandmother Rose. They later  moved to 7, Cambridge Road (1911 census).Arthur died of cancer, aged 64, on 12th September 1917 and his funeral took place on 15th September at Rippleside. Emily died in 1933 aged 80 years.

Colin Green, one of our members and on the staff at Valence House located the family grave in Rippleside Cemetery – it contained Arthur’s mother, Arthur and Emily  and their son Arthur junior (grave ref. R/S/D/46).

The original St. Margaret’s organ that Arthur played, which was in the west gallery in front of tower arch, was re-built and moved to the south aisle 1913-1914 and included some pipes and casing from the previous one; two accessories were added   as a memorial to Arthur and dedicated on Sunday 20th October 1918.

Fred Brand in his book Barking in 1866 and all that records that he and Arthur were at the organ of the church one dark night when "came a faint rustling sound, which  approached by coming slowly up the nave, increasing in intensity  as it did so, until the choir step was reached, when all sound faded away." When they heard the sounds again, they both went to investigate and there was nothing to see.  Neither doubted  the cause of the noise – it was the church’s legendary  ghost of The Lady in the silk dress.

During my research I was amazed to discover that Arthur’s son also called Arthur, an apprentice at Hewett’s yard, died in the 1899 Barking Boiler Explosion aged 16 years. The New Zealand Herald (25th  February 1899) stated: "Arthur  Hume was found in a serious condition on the floor of the fitters’ shop, and near the same spot a body perfectly nude, with both legs amputated below the knees was lying in a pool of blood".The Nottingham Evening Post of January 12th 1899  reported that: "the funeral was private, but the road was lined with large crowds".

The above images show a surviving boiler plate from the Barking boiler explosion of 1899. It was later stamped with the names of those sadly killed, including Arthur Hume junior. This aretfact is held by the Valence House Museum collection at Valence House, Dagenham. The image on the left is reproduced from Sue Curtis's Barking: A History  (2006) page 82.

I received the following email from Michael Wand, son of Harold Wand, 5th  President of the Society:
"It is possible that Harold’s nephew/my cousin Jack Berry was one of Arthur’s pupils when he was very young. Both he and his father George Berry played the organ at St. Margaret’s from time to time, Hume was a composer as well as  organist ………When Hume died, George gathered up all the handwritten stuff from the St. Margaret’s organ shelves and took it home. Harold said George occasionally played some of it at St. Margaret’s. Alas when George died   his widow, my aunt Cys, threw all Hume’s stuff away. When Harold found out he was mortified. He realised the loss".

Arthur is remembered by a simple plaque in St. Margaret’s – it reads:


To the Glory of God
And in memory of
Arthur William Montagu Hume
Who served God and This Church
As
Organist and Choirmaster for 43 years (1874-1917).
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.


John Blake
July 2015


Many thanks to Teresa Trowers (Barking and Dagenham Local Studies Centre) for her help in locating some of the information and to Colin Green for supplying the photographs.

Examples of Arthur William Montagu Hume's Handwriting
 


TO THE

GLORY OF GOD

----- AND ----

IN MEMORY OF

ARTHUR WILLIAM MONTAGU HUME

Who served God and This Church

--- as---

ORGANIST AND CHOIRMASTER

--- for ---

43 YEARS (1874-1917)

---------------------

"Blessed are the pure in heart
For they shall see God"
The photograph above, kindly suppiled by Michael Turner, shows Emily Hume (1853-1933)  who was married to Arthur William Montagu Hume. The lady on the right is their daughter Beatrice on her left is Beatrices's daughter and Emily is nursing her grandaughter.


In Loving Memory
OF
ARTHUR LESLIE
BELOVED SON OF
ARTHUR WILLIAM AND EMILY HUME
WHO DIED JANUARY 6TH 1899
IN HIS 17TH YEAR

ALSO MARTHER CHANDLER HUME
WHO DIED APRIL  18TH 1898
AGED 80 YEARS

ALSO OF MY BELOVED HUSBAND THE ABOVE
ARTHUR WILLIAM HUME
WHO DIED   SEPTEMBER 12TH  1917 AGED 64 YEARS
ALSO OF EMILY HUME
BELOVED WIFE OF THE ABOVE
WHO FELL ASLEEP FEBRUARY 7TH 1933
AGED 80 YEARS
"REUNITED"
Chronology of Arthur William Montagu Hume (1853-1917)
DateEvent
1793Birth of A.W.M. Hume’s father Robert Montagu Hume
1817Marriage of A.W.M. Hume’s parents Robert Montagu Hume and Martha Chandler in Islington, Middlesex
1853 9th MarchBirth of Arthur William Montagu Hume at Pretish, France
1853 11th June
Burial of A.W.M. Hume’s father Robert Montagu Hume in Boulogne aged 59, solicitor
1853 30th October
Baptism of A.W.M. Hume at Boulogne, France
1853Smith, carpenter, and Charlotte. Moved to West Ham by 1858. Emily married A.W.M. Hume in 1875
1861A.W.M. Hume living in Crown House, Shenfield with his mother, a Professor of Music. He is an 8 year old scholar.
1863Pupil of Arthur H. Brown, of Brentwood and appointed organist at Shenfield Church
1871A.W.M. Hume living in Litchfield Villa, Church Ward, Plaistow, with his mother Martha. Occupation given as Professor of Music
1871Arthur William Hume living at 7 Selwyn Road, Plaistow according to Directory
1875 January 17thA.W.M. Hume’s first Sunday as organist at St. Margaret’s, Barking
1875A.W.M. Hume married  Emily Smith, West Ham
1876Birth of  son William Hume (1st child)  in Plaistow
1878 JanuaryBirth of  A.W.M. Hume’s daughter Beatrice  Hume (2nd) in Barking
1878A.W. Hume listed at Wakering Road as organ and pianoforte teacher
1880 JanuaryBirth of  A.W.M. Hume’s daughter Rose Margaret Hume (3rd) in Barking
1881A.W.M. Hume living in Church Road, Barking, profession of Professor of Music with family and one domestic servant
1882A.W. Hume listed at Church Road, Barking as teacher of music
1883 12th October   
A.W.M. Hume  appointed conductor of the Aveley Choral Society
1884 October
Birth of  A.W.M. Hume’s son Cecil Montagu  Hume (4th)  in Barking who died 1954
1886A.W. Hume listed at 23 Church Street, Barking as teacher of music
1888Birth of  A.W.M. Hume’s son Arthur Leslie  Hume (5th ) who died 1899
1888 AprilBirth of A.W.M. Hume’s daughter Laura Emily Hume (6th ) who died 1939
1890Arthur Hume listed as private resident at 7 Cambridge Road, Barking
1891A.W.M. Hume living in 7 Cambridge Road, Barking, profession of Professor of Music  with family and 1 servant
1895A.W. Hume listed as organist of St. Margaret's church, Barking
1898 18th Apri1Martha Chandler Hume, Arthur’s mother, died aged 80. Buried Rippleside  cemetery
1899Arthur Hume listed at 7 Cambridge Road as teacher of music
1901A.W.M. Hume living in 7 Cambridge Road, Barking, profession Professor of Music with family
1902Arthur Hume listed at 7 Cambridge Road as teacher of music
1906-1917Arthur W. Hume listed at 7 Cambridge Road as organist of St. Margaret's Church
1911A.W.M. Hume living in Barking, profession Organist and Professor of Music with family and 1 servant with family and 1 visitor
1917 12th SeptemberA.W.M. Hume of 7 Cambridge Road, Barking died
1917 15th September
A.W.M. Hume buried in Barking at Rippleside Cemetery
1917 10th November
Probate of A.W.M. Hume’s granted to widow Emily Hume, effects valued at £264.23p
1933 7th September
Emily Hume, A.W.M. Hume’s died. Address 17, Courtfield Gardens, West Ealing. Effects valued at £135.77p. Administration to Cecil Montagu Hume, accountant
1933 11th February
Emily Hume buried Rippleside Cemetery R/S/D46
Printed Music by Arthur W. Hume in British Library Collection
DateTitleNotes
1880Gardenia waltz for the Pianoforte
Published Barking. Folio
1896La Golondrina. Morceau espagnol pour Piano.
[The Swallow. Spanish piano piece]

Published London : Beal & Co. Folio
1900Marguerite. Valsette for the Pianoforte
Published London, etc : A. Brooks. Folio
1903Marguerite. Valsette for the Pianoforte
Published London : Leonard & Co. Folio
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