Baume was an extraordinary 19th century character who came to live on the Isle of Man towards the end of his life. Born in Marseille in 1797, he was the son of a periwig maker. At the age of 13, he travelled to Italy to join his father, who was serving in the French army. Five years later, he was taken to London by an English philanthropist. For a short time, he taught French and Italian to young ladies before moving to Paris as secretary to the Sicilian ambassador at the court of Louis XVIII. After his summary dismissal from the post of private secretary to the Duke of Calabra in Naples, he returned to Paris, where his private and business life descended into chaos. In 1827 he moved to London. He was a radical free thinker who acquired a fortune, became a generous benefactor and published his philosophy. From 1859 until his death in 1875, he continued his 'pursuit of philanthropy under difficulties' in the Isle of Man. His internationally important papers are now being transcribed by Dr Ros Stott at the Centre for Manx Studies, funded by the Manx Heritage Foundation.