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The Scottish Nation

HOPE, a surname of standing in Scotland since at least the 13th century. Among those who swore fealty to Edward I. In 1296, were two barons of the names of Adam le Hoip and John de Hope. Nisbet (System of Heraldry, Appendix, vol. Ii., p. 96) says that those of this name are said to be descended from the families des H’Oublons in Picardy. The French word Oublon means a hop, and when assumed, as a surname it became in Scotland Hope. In the Saxon, the word hope indicated the sheltered part of a hill.

      John de Hope, the immediate ancestor of the Hopetoun family, is said to have come to Scotland from France in the retinue of the princess Magdalene, queen of James V., in 1537. He married in France Elizabeth or Bessie Cumming, a Scotch lady, and had a son, Edward Hope, one of the principal inhabitants of Edinburgh in the reign of Queen Mary. Being a great promoter of the Reformation, Edward Hope was chosen one of the commissioners for that city to the General Assembly of 1560. His son, Henry Hope, merchant in Edinburgh, having frequent occasion, in the course of business, to visit the continent, married a French lady, named Jaqueline de Tott, or Joanna Juvitot, and had two sons, Sir Thomas of Craighall, the celebrated jurisconsult, a memoir of whom is given below; and Henry, ancestor of the great and opulent branch of the Hopes, long settled in Amsterdam, a descendant of which, Mr. Thomas Hope of Deepdene, Surrey, author of Anastasius and other works, died in 1831.

      Sir Thomas Hope, the elder son, acquired the estate of Craighall, in the parish of Ceres, Fifeshire. The ruins of Craighall house, built by him, are situated in the high ground, above a deep and beautifully wooded den, about a mile to the south-east of the village of Ceres. A view of these splendid ruins is subjoined.

[view of estate of Craighall]

In this building, says Mr. Leighton, we have, what was then rare in Scotland, in private mansions, an attempt to combine the graces of Italian architecture with the strength at that time considered necessary in domestic architecture. The elegant mansion had been erected immediately adjoining the old castle of Craighall, which forms a wing on the south side of the building. The arms of the family still remain emblazoned on the front, and the following motto, in allusion to the family name, is still legible, “Spero suspiro donec.

      Sir Thomas was created a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1628. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Binning or Bennet of Wallyford, Haddingtonshire, and had nine sons and five daughters.

      The eldest son, Sir John Hope, second baronet of Craighall, was knighted and admitted one of the ordinary lords of the court of session, 27th July 1632, when he assumed the judicial title of Lord Craighall. In 1638 he refused to take the king’s covenant until it should be explained by the General Assembly. In 1640 he was one of the committee of Estates chosen to oppose the designs of Charles I. In 1644 he succeeded his brother, Sir Thomas Hope, of Kerse, as a commissioner for the plantation of kirks. In the following year he was sworn a privy councillor, and in 1646 he succeeded his father as second baronet. He was a member of the various committees of estates constituted during the subsequent years of Charles I. And the first years of Charles II. In January 1651 his brother, Sir James Hope of Hopetoun, was arrested, by order of Charles II., for advising his majesty to surrender England, Ireland, and part of Scotland to Cromwell, in order to preserve the rest; and on being examined, he declared that it was his brother Lord Craighall’s advice to the king, namely, “to treat with Cromwell for the one halff of his cloacke before he lost the quhole.” Lord Craighall was, in consequence, cited to attend the committee, but nothing seems to have followed this citation. He was appointed one of the commissioners for the administration of justice, and from an entry in Nicol’s Diary, he seems to have acted as president of the court. In August 1653, he was elected one of the Scottish members of the Protector’s parliament. He died at Edinburgh, 28th April 1654. He had, with six daughters, two sons, Sir Thomas, and Sir Archibald of Rankeillour, of whom afterwards.

      The elder son, Sir Thomas Hope, third baronet of Craighall, born 11th February 1633, had a son, sir Thomas Hope, fourth baronet, who married Anne, daughter and sole heiress of Sir William Bruce of Kinross, baronet, and by her had three sons. The eldest son, Sir William Hope, fifth baronet of Craighall, predeceased his mother, and was succeeded by his next brother, Sir Thomas Bruce Hope of Kinross, sixth baronet of Craighall, who sold the latter estate in 1729 to the earl of Hopetoun. He died unmarried, and was succeeded by his youngest brother, Lieutenant-general Sir John Bruce Hope of Kinross, seventh baronet, who married, first, Charlotte, daughter of Sir Charles Halkett, baronet, by whom he had three sons, who all predeceased himself. He married, secondly, Mariamne Denune, of the family of Denune of Cadboll, Ross-shire, by whom he had one daughter. He died in 1766, when the baronetcy devolved upon his cousin, Sir Thomas, eighth baronet.

      Sir Archibald Hope of Rankeillour, the second son of Lord Craighall above mentioned, born 9th September 1639, was admitted advocate 30th June 1664. Having been absent from the king’s host at Bothwell Bridge in 1679, on 6th July 1681 he was cited before the privy council to answer for his absence, when he pleaded his privileges as an advocate, and that he sent a man and a horse in his stead. The privy council repelled this, but they remitted to a committee to consider how far his sending a horseman should alleviate the charge. Fountainhall, in his Decisions, ascribes this proceeding of the privy council to political motives, “because he had voted against the duke (of York, afterwards James VII.) And the court faction in the election of the commissioners of Fife” (vol, i., p. 146). At the Revolution he was appointed a lord of session, and took his seat on the bench, 1st November 1689, as Lord Rankeillour. On 27th January following he was constituted a lord of justiciary, and about the same time was knighted by King William. He died 10th October 1706, aged 67. His eldest son having predeceased him without issue, his second son, Sir Thomas Hope, admitted advocate in 1701, succeeded his cousin, Sir John Bruce Hope, as eighth baronet on his death in 1766; of whom afterwards.

      The second son of Sir Thomas Hope, the eminent lawyer and statesman, was Sir Thomas Hope of Kerse, born 6th August, 1606, who was called to the bar on 17th July 1631, and received the honour of knighthood from Charles I. At Innerwick 16th July 1633. He was commissioner in parliament for the county of Clackmannan in 1639, 1640, and 1641, and was also speaker for the barons or freeholders. In 1640 he was constituted colonel of the troop of horse raised by the college of justice to attend General Leslie as his lifeguard when he marched into England at the head of the Scots army. Appointed on 13th November 1641, a lord of session, he was also constituted lord-justice-general; and was afterwards nominated one of the commissioners to treat with the parliament of England about the most effectual method of suppressing the Irish rebellion. He died at Edinburgh 23d August 1643, in the 37th year of his age. He was the author of two treatises, namely, ‘Law Repertoire;’ and ‘Commentarius in libros digestorum nempe XVIII. Ad XXIV., et in alios nonnullos juris civilia libros;’ the first in one, the latter in two volumes folio, MS. His son, Sir Alexander Hope of Kerse, born 12th December 1637, was created a baronet, 30th May 1672. His son, Sir Alexander Hope of Kerse, second baronet of this branch of the family, born 13th August, 1663, married 14th April 1690, the Hon. Nicholas Hamilton, only daughter of William second Lord Bargeny, and had a son, Sir Alexander Hope of Kerse, born 2d January 1697, and died 24th February 1749. His son, Sir Alexander Hope, fourth baronet of Kerse, sold his paternal inheritance to Sir Lawrence Dundas, thereafter designed of Kerse, baronet, M.P.

      Sir Alexander Hope of Grantoun, Linlithgowshire, the fifth son of the first Sir Thomas Hope, born 12th March 1611, was cupbearer to King Charles I. He married an English lady of fortune, and purchased the estate of Grantoun. He died without issue, 13th February 1680, aged 69.

      The sixth son was Sir James Hope of Hopetoun, born 12th July 1614, an eminent lawyer and mineralogist. He practised as an advocate for several years with great success, and having, in 1638, acquired by marriage with Anne, only daughter and heiress of Robert Foulis of Leadhills, Lanarkshire, that valuable mineral estate, he applied himself to working the lead mines of the district, a subsequent manager of which was Allan Ramsay’s father, and where the poet himself was born. In 1641 Sir James Hope was appointed general of the cunzie-house, or governor of the mint at Edinburgh; to which office was afterwards annexed, by act of the Estates, a civil and criminal jurisdiction within the Mint house. He was admitted a lord of session on 1st June 1649. In the same year and 1650 he was elected a commissioner to parliament for the county of Stirling, and named one of the committee of Estates, a commissioner for public accounts and for revising the laws. He had an active share in the parliamentary transactions of 1650, and was one of the commissioners sent to command the marquis of Montrose to attend before the estates to receive sentence. He was president of a committee named to investigate and report on the case of the prisoners taken in the course of the civil wars, and parliament seems to have rewarded him with six of them to work in his lead mines. Having voted at Perth against levying an army to oppose Cromwell, who was then advancing to invade Scotland, he was accused by the marquis of Argyle on 25th November 1650, as an enemy to the king and country, and as a principal plotter and contriver of all the mischief that had befallen both. Shortly afterwards he applied for a pass to leave the kingdom, which was denied, unless he would give in a petition stating his reasons for desiring it. He endured a short imprisonment in the beginning of 1651 for being implicated in the affair of his brother, Lord Craighall, and on his release was ordered to retire to his country seat. In May 1652 he was appointed one of the commissioners, under Cromwell, for the administration of justice in Scotland, and in 1654 he was constituted a commissioner for the sale of the forfeited estates. In July of the same year he was laid aside from the administration of justice, in consequence of not conducting himself to the satisfaction of the Protector at the dissolution of “the little parliament.” He died at his brother’s house of Granton, 23d November 1661, in the 48th year of his age, two days after he had landed from Holland, wither he had gone regarding his lead business. The disease of which he died was then known as “the Flanders sickness.” He was buried in the churchyard of Cramond, where a well-executed marble bust of him was erected, with a suitable Latin inscription. He married a second time, Lady Mary Keith, eldest daughter of the seventh earl Marischal, and had issue by both wives. He acquired the lands of Hopetoun in Lanarkshire, which name was transferred by his descendants to lands in Linlithgowshire.

      John Hope of Hopetoun, his seventh child and only surviving son, born 16th June 1650, purchased in 1678 the barony of Abercorn, with the office of heritable sheriff of the county of Linlithgow from Sir Walter Seton, and about the same time the barony of Niddry and Winchburgh in Linlithgowshire from the earl of Wintoun. He fixed his residence at the castle of Niddry, and in 1681 was elected M.P. for the county of Linlithgow. Being in London, he embarked on board the Gloucester frigate, with the duke of York (afterwards James VII.,) and several persons of quality in May 1682, and was lost in that ship, when it was wrecked on the 5th of the same month, in the 32d year of his age. By his wife, Lady Margaret Hamilton, eldest daughter of the fourth earl of Haddington, he had, with one daughter, a son, Charles, first earl of Hopetoun; see HOPETOUN, earl of.


      The original designation of the family of Pinkie was Craighall, which was relinquished by Sir Archibald Hope, knight, son of the second baronet, and a lord of session under the title of Lord Rankeillour. His son, Sir Thomas Hope, advocate, eighth baronet, who succeeded his cousin, Sir John Bruce Hope, in 1766, as above mentioned, was a member of the last Scots parliament, in which his father, Lord Rankeillour, also had a seat. Sir Thomas distinguished himself as one of the early promoters of agricultural improvements in Scotland, and having drained and brought into a state of cultivation the marshy piece of ground, on the south side of Edinburgh, anciently the Borough loch, but generally known as the Meadows, it was, in consequence, called from him Hope Park. He died 17th April 1771. He had five sons and three daughters. His eldest son, Archibald, predeceased him, but left a son, also named Archibald, who succeeded his grandfather in the title and estates.

      Sir Archibald Hope, ninth baronet, born in 1735, purchased in 1778, from the marquis of Tweeddale, the estate of Pinkie, near Musselburgh, Mid Lothian, which thenceforth became the family designation. It had formerly belonged to the earls of Dunfermline, a branch of the Setons, and is celebrated for the disastrous battle fought in 1547, during the infancy of Queen Mary, in which the Scots were routed with great slaughter. Sir Archibald was secretary to the board of police in Scotland for life, and on the abolition of that board, he received a compensation for the office which he held under it. He devoted himself to the improvement of his lands, and established extensive and profitable salt and coal works on his estate. He resided chiefly at Pinkie House, and was a member of the Caledonian Hunt, of which honourable club he held the office of president in 1789. In Kay’s ‘Edinburgh Portraits,’ there is a characteristic etching of Sir Archibald Hope, as “Knight of the Turf.” He died 1st June 1794. He had married in 1758, Elizabeth, daughter of William Macdowall, Esq. of Castle Semple, Renfrewshire, by whom, with five daughters, he had two sons; Archibald, born in 1762, died a prisoner at Seringapatam in 1782; and Thomas, tenth baronet. Lady Hope died in 1778, and the following year Sir Archibald took for his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John Patoun, Esq. of Inveresk, and by her had, with one daughter, three sons; John, eleventh baronet; Hugh, of the Bengal civil service; and William, master attendant at Calcutta, who died, unmarried, in 1837.

      The eldest surviving son, Sir Thomas, tenth baronet, born in 1768, died, without issue, 26th June 1801, when the title devolved on his half-brother, John.

      Sir John Hope, of Pinkie, 11th baronet, born April 13, 1781, was long convener and vice-lieutenant of Mid-Lothian, and for 8 years M.P. for Edinburgh county. He married June 17, 1805, Anne, 4th daughter of Sir John Wedderburn of Blackness and Ballindean, baronet, and, with 2 daughters, had 8 sons. He died June 5, 1853.

      His eldest son, Sir Archibald, 12th baronet, born at Pinkie House in 1808; a deputy-lieutenant of the county of Edinburgh and major of its militia; and as descended from the elder branch, undoubted chief of the name of Hope in Scotland.


      The youngest of the five sons of Lord Rankeillour was Robert Hope, a surgeon, who married Marion, eldest daughter of John Glas, Esq. of Saunchie, Stirlingshire, and had two sons, Archibald, and John, an eminent physician in Edinburgh, and professor of botany in the university of that city, a memoir of whom is given below. Dr. John Hope married Juliana, daughter of Dr. Stevenson, physician in Edinburgh, and, with a daughter, had four sons. The youngest of these, Dr. Thomas Charles Hope, born in 1766, after receiving his education at the High School and university of Edinburgh, was, in October 1787, appointed professor of chemistry in the university of Glasgow. In 1789 he became assistant professor of medicine in the same college, and afterwards succeeded to that chair as sole professor. In October 1795, he was elected conjunct professor of chemistry with the celebrated Dr. Black, in the university of Edinburgh, and on his colleague’s death, in 1799, he became sole professor. Previous to removing to Edinburgh, he had distinguished himself by discovering a new kind of earth, to which he gave the name of Strontites, since known by the name of Strontia. In 1820 he was admitted an honorary member of the royal Irish academy. In 1823 he was elected vice-president of the royal society of Edinburgh. He was also a fellow of the royal college of physicians, and of the royal society of London. In 1828 he instituted a chemical prize in the university of Edinburgh, presenting £800 to the senatus academicus for that purpose. On completing the fifty-first year of his academic labours, an entertainment was given him, in the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, on the evening of the 15th May 1838, which was attended by more than 200 gentlemen of rank and learning, Lord Meadowbank, one of the judges of the court of session, in the chair. Dr. Hope died in 1844.


      A younger brother of the first earl of Hopetoun, Sir William Hope of Balcomie, born 15th April 1660, was created a baronet 1st March 1698. He was first designed of Grantoun, afterwards of Kirkliston, and in 1705 he purchased the lands of Balcomie in Fifeshire for £7,500. He had served in the army, and for many years was deputy-governor of the castle of Edinburgh. He was celebrated for his skill in fencing and horsemanship, and his gracefulness and agility in dancing; and published ‘The Complete Fencing Master, in which is fully described the whole guards, parades, and lessons belonging to the small sword, as also the best rules for playing against either artists or others with blunts or sharps; together with directions how to behave in a single combat on horseback,’ Edinburgh, 1686, 12mo; and ‘The Parfait Mareschal, or Complete Farrier, translated from the French of the Sieur de Solleyssell,’ Edinburgh, 1696, folio. He died at Edinburgh, 1st February 1724, in his 64th year, of a fever, caused by having overheated himself dancing at an assembly.

      His son, Sir George Hope, second baronet, of Balcomie, a captain of foot, died in Ireland, 20th November 1729. His only son, Sir William Hope, third baronet, was first a lieutenant in the navy, afterwards a lieutenant in the 31st foot, and was killed in Bengal, a captain in the East India Company’s service, in 1763, without issue, when the title became extinct.

HOPE, SIR THOMAS, a celebrated lawyer and statesman of th4 seventeenth century, was the son of Henry Hope, a merchant of eminence, and at an early age was admitted advocate. He first distinguished himself by his conduct on the following occasion. On January 10, 1606, six ministers of the Church of Scotland were tried at Linlithgow for high treason, for resisting the authority of the king in ecclesiastical matters. The procurator for the church, Sir Thomas Craig, and also Sir William Oliphant, refused to plead for them, in opposition to the influence of the king and court, when Mr. Hope boldly undertook their defence, and managed their case with so much resolution and ability, that, though the majority of the jury, from being unlawfully tampered with, found them guilty, he at once secured the confidence of the presbyterians, and was ever after retained as their standing counsel. His practice, in consequence, increased to such an extent, that he was soon enabled to purchase several large estates in different parts of the kingdom. In 1626 he was appointed king’s advocate by Charles I., by whom he was, two years afterwards, created a baronet of Nova Scotia. These honours, however, failed to detach him from the presbyterians, whose proceedings were chiefly guided by his advice. In 1638 he assisted in framing and carrying into execution the National Covenant. Previous to the meeting at Glasgow of the famous General Assembly of that year, the king, in his perplexity, required the opinions of the law officers of the crown, respecting the legality of the proceedings of the Covenanters, of their holding an assembly without the royal authority, protesting against his proclamations, and entering into a combination or covenant without his knowledge or concurrence. Sir Thomas Hope, the lord advocate, and Sir Lewis Stewart, gave their opinions “that the most part of the Covenanters’ proceedings were warranted by law: and that, though in some things they seem to have exceeded, yet there was no express law against them;” “an opinion,” says Stevenson, (Church and State, p. 213), “that could give no satisfaction to his majesty, and in which it was not doubted the two last had crossed their inclination; but their solid judgment, and deep knowledge of the law, would not allow them to say otherwise; and for the former, it was shrewdly suspected that the Covenanters had hitherto acted by his advice in the most intricate steps of their management.”

[portrait of Sir Thomas Hope]

      At Sir Thomas Hope’s recommendation, a convention of Estates met in 1643 to settle the Solemn League and Covenant with the English parliament. The same year the ill-fated Charles appointed him his commissioner to the General Assembly, a dignity never held by any commoner but himself, and in 1645 he was named one of the commissioners of the Exchequer. Sir Thomas Hope died in 1646. Two of his sons being raised to the bench while he was lord advocate, he was allowed to wear his hat when pleading before them, a privilege which the king’s advocate has ever since enjoyed. He was the founder of the noble family of Hopetoun (see HOPETOUN, earl of).

      Besides his well-known Major and Minor Practicks, he wrote the following works:

      In Carolum I. Britanniarum Monarcham, Carmen Seculare. Edin. 1626, 4to.

      Paratitillo in Universo Juris Corpore.

      Psalmi Davidis et Canticum Solomonis Latino Carmine redditum, which is still in manuscript.

HOPE, JOHN, an eminent botanist, the son of Mr. Robert Hope, surgeon, and grandson of Lord Rankeillour, one of the lords of session, was born May 10, 1725. He was educated for the medical profession at the university of Edinburgh, and studied his favourite science, botany, under Jusieu, at Paris. On returning to his native city, he became a member of the Medical Society of Edinburgh. He obtained the degree of M.D. from the university of Glasgow, on 29th January 1760, and was admitted a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians on November 6th of the same year. In 1761, on the death of Dr. Alston, he was appointed king’s botanist in Scotland, superintendent of the royal gardens, and professor of botany and materia medica. The chair of materia medica he resigned in 1768, and, by a new commission, was nominated regius professor of medicine and botany in the university. He was elected a member of the royal society of London, and of several foreign societies, and was enrolled in the first class of botanists by Linnaeus, who denominated a beautiful shrub by the name of Hopea. He was also president of the royal college of physicians, Edinburgh. He died there November 10, 1786. He was the first in Scotland who introduced the Linnaean system, and he obtained the removal of the Botanic garden from the low ground east of the North Bridge, Edinburgh, to more suitable ground on the north side of Leith Walk; whence it was again removed in 1822 to a preferable situation at Inverleith Row. Besides some useful manuals for facilitating the acquisition of botany by his students, two valuable dissertations by him, the one on the ‘Rheum Palmatum,’ a rare plant found in the Isle of Skye, and the other on the ‘Ferula Assafoetida,’ were published in the Philosophical Transactions, of 1769, and 1785.

HOPE, SIR JOHN, fourth earl of Hopetoun, a distinguished military commander, son of the second earl, was born August 17, 1766. In his fifteenth year he entered the army as a volunteer, and, May 28, 1784, received a cornet’s commission in the 10th light dragoons. He was gradually promoted through the various gradations of military rank till April 26, 1783, when he became lieutenant-colonel in the 25th foot. In 1794 he was appointed adjutant-general to Sir Ralph ‘Abercromby in the Leeward Islands, and during the three subsequent years he served in the West Indies with the rank of brigadier-general. In 1796 he was elected M.P. for Linlithgowshire. As deputy-adjutant-general he accompanied the expedition to Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercromby. He was engaged in the actions of March 8 and 13, 1801, and received a wound at the battle of Alexandria. In June he proceeded with the army to Cairo, where he negotiated the convention for the surrender of that important place. He was made major-general May 11, 1802, and lieutenant-general April 25, 1808. He served with much distinction in the Peninsular war, and conducted a column of the army with success through Spain, in the face of a superior body of the French; and, after a long and harassing march, joined Sir John Moore at Salamanca. In the subsequent memorable retreat, his prudence and intrepidity were, on several occasions, conspicuously shown; and at the battle of Corunna he commanded the left wing of the British army. On the death of Sir John Moore, Sir David Baird being severely wounded, the chief command devolved on General Hope, and under his masterly directions the troops were, after the victory, embarked in good order.

      On the arrival of the despatches in England, the thanks of both houses of parliament were unanimously voted to him, and he received the order of the Bath, while his brother, the earl of Hopetoun, was created a baron of the United Kingdom.

      Sir John Hope was soon after appointed to superintend the military department of the unfortunate expedition to the Scheldt, and at its termination was constituted commander-in-chief of the forces in Ireland. In 1813 he was ordered to the Peninsula, and commanded the left wing at the battle of Nivelle. In the campaign in the Pyrenees he served with great credit; and for his gallant conduct in an engagement with the enemy on the heights opposite Sibour, on the high road from Bayonne, where he was severely wounded in the head, he was mentioned with honour in the despatches of Lord Wellington. In February 1814, he was left with a division of the army to invest Bayonne, and a sortie being made from the garrison, he was wounded and taken prisoner, near the village of St. Etienne, and conveyed into the citadel, but soon after obtained his liberty.

      On May 3, 1814, he was created a British peer, by the title of Baron Niddry, in the county of Linlithgow. He succeeded his half brother as earl of Hopetoun in 1816, and in August 1819 he attained to the rank of general. He died at Paris, August 27, 1823. A bronze equestrian statue of his lordship, by Campbell, stands in the recess in front of the Royal Bank of Scotland, St. Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh. It was erected in 1835.

      A beautiful pillar had been erected on the top of the Mount hill of Sir David Lindsay, in Fife, to his memory, another in Linlithgowshire, and a third in the neighbourhood of Haddington.

      “As the friend and companion of Moore,” says the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1823, “and as acting under Wellington in the Pyrenean campaign, he had rendered himself conspicuous. But it was when by succession to the earldom, he became the head of one of the most ancient houses in Scotland, and the possessor of one of its most extensive properties, that his character shone in its fullest lustre. He exhibited then a model of the manner in which this eminent and useful station ought to be filled. An open and magnificent hospitality, suited to his place and rank, without extravagance, or idle parade, a full and public tribute to the obligations of religion and private morality, without ostentation or austerity; a warm interest in the improvement and welfare of those extensive districts with which his possessions brought him into contact – a kind and generous concern in the welfare of the humblest of his dependents – these qualities made him beloved and respected in an extraordinary degree.”


HOPETOUN, earl of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1703 on Charles Hope of Hopetoun, son of John Hope of Hopetoun, mentioned earlier, and great-grandson of the celebrated lawyer, Sir Thomas Hope, lord advocate in the reign of charles I., three of whose sons were lords of session. Charles Hope was born in 1681, and when his father lost his life by the wreck of the Gloucester frigate, which had nearly proved fatal to the duke of York, he was only a year old. As soon as he became of age he was, in 1702, elected a member of the Scots parliament for the county of Linlithgow, being heritable sheriff of that county. The following year he was sworn a privy councillor and created a peer of Scotland by the titles of ear of Hopetoun, viscount Aithrie, and Lord Hope, by patent dated at St. James’, 5th April 1703, to him and the heirs male of his body, whom failing, to the heirs female. He took the oaths and his seat in parliament July 6, 1704, and gave his zealous support to the treaty of Union. In 1715 he was constituted lord-lieutenant of the county of Linlithgow, and in 1723 lord-high-commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. At the general election of 1722 he was chosen one of the sixteen Scots representative peers, and re-elected to every parliament afterwards as long as he lived. In 1738 he was invested with the order of the Thistle. The noble pile of Hopetoun house, Linlithgowshire, commenced under the direction of the famous architect Sir William Bruce and finished by Mr. Adam, was erected by him, and he died there February 26, 1742, in his 61st year. He married 31st August, 1699, Lady Henrietta Johnstone, only daughter of the first marquis of Annandale, and, with four daughters, had three sons.

      The eldest son, John, second earl of Hopetoun, was born at Hopetoun house, September 7, 1704. In 1744, two years after succeeding to the earldom, he was appointed one of the lords of police in Scotland, and held that office till 1760. The whole of the salary which he received from it he devoted to the support of charitable institutions. In 1754 he was lord-high-commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He had the sole management of the estates of his uncle the third marquis of Annandale, as tutor in law of that nobleman, who was insane. The earl died 12th February, 1781, in his 77th year. He married, first, at Cullen house, 14th September 1733, Lady Anne Ogilvy, second daughter of James fifth earl of Findlater and Seafield, and by her he had three daughters and six sons. He married, secondly, Jean, daughter of Robert Oliphant of Rossie, Perthshire, and by her had two daughters and one son, the celebrated military commander, Sir John Hope of Rankeillour, who succeeded in 1816 as fourth earl of Hopetoun.

      The eldest son, Charles, Lord Hope, born 9th July 1740, died, unmarried, at Portsmouth, 6th June 1766, in his 26th year, on his return from a voyage to the West Indies, whither he had gone on account of his health.

      James, the second son, born in 1741, became third earl of Hopetoun, He entered the army as an ensign in the 3d regiment of foot-guards 9th May 1758, and, when only eighteen years old, was at the memorable battle of Minden in 1759. He continued in the same regiment till 1764, when he retired from the army, in consequence of the declining health of his elder brother, Lord Hope, with whom he travelled for some time on the continent. At the general election of 1784, three years after he had succeeded to the earldom, he was chosen one of the sixteen Scots representative peers, and again, on a vacancy, in 1794, and took an active part in parliamentary business.

      On the death of his grand-uncle of the half-blood, the third marquis of Annandale, on 29th April 1792, he succeeded to the large estates of that nobleman in Scotland, and to the titles of earl of Annandale and earl of Hartfell, but never assumed either of them, only taking the additional surname of Johnstone. On the breaking out of the French war in 1793, when seven regiments of fencibles were directed by the king to be raised in Scotland, the earl embodied a corps called the Southern or Hopetoun Fencibles, of which he was appointed colonel, and soon brought his regiment into a state of efficient discipline. The services of the Hopetoun Fencibles, at first limited to Scotland, were afterwards extended to England, and in 1798 the regiment was disbanded after the regular militia had been organized. His lordship was heritable keeper of the castle of Lochmaben, which had once belonged to Robert the Bruce, and the constabulary of which had been, in 1661, transferred to James Johnstone, earl of Hartfell. He was also lord-lieutenant of the county of Linlithgow, in which capacity he embodied a yeomanry corps and a regiment of volunteer infantry, both of which he commanded as colonel, and they were among the first that tendered their services to government. For his patriotic services, and his brother’s gallant conduct in the Peninsula, he was created a baron of the United Kingdom, 28th January 1809, by the title of Baron Hopetoun of Hopetoun, in the county of Linlithgow, to him and his heirs male, with remainder to the heirs male of his father. He died at Hopetoun house 29th May 1816, at the advanced age of 75. He married 16th August 1766, Lady Elizabeth Carnegie, eldest daughter of the sixth earl of Northesk, and had six daughters, who all predeceased him, except the eldest, Lady Anne Hope. She inherited the Annandale estates, and married Admiral Sir William Johnstone, K.C.B. and K.C.H., who in her right assumed the additional name of Hope. Her ladyship died in 1818, leaving, with other issue, John James Hope Johnstone, Esq. of Annandale.

      Having no male issue, the third earl was succeeded by his half-brother, the celebrated General Sir John Hope of Rankeillour, then lord Niddry, fourth earl of Hopetoun, a memoir of whom is given previously. He was twice married, first, in 1798, to Elizabeth, youngest daughter of the Hon. Charles Hope Vere of Craigiehall, who died without issue in 1801; secondly, in 1803, to Louisa Dorothea, third daughter of Sir John Wedderburn, of Ballindean, baronet, by whom he had ten sons and two daughters. When George IV. Visited Scotland in 1822 he embarked at Port Edgar, on his return to England, having previously partaken of a repast at Hopetoun house with the earl, his family, and a select company assembled on the occasion. The king was accompanied by his lordship from Hopetoun house on his embarkation on the 15th August, and on 1st October 1823 the remains of this gallant and distinguished nobleman were landed at Port Edgar from the sloop of war, Brisk, from France, where he had died on the 27th of the preceding August. His lordship was commander-general of the Royal Archers of Scotland, and acted as such on the day of George the Fourth’s arrival at Holyroodhouse. As a memorial of that event, they requested the earl to sit for his picture in the dress which he wore on that occasion. The painting was executed by Mr. (Afterwards Sir) John Watson Gordon, and is hung up in the Archer’s Hall, Edinburgh.

      The eldest son, John, born 15th November 1803, succeeded his father as fifth earl, and died 8th April 1843. He married 4th June 1826, Louisa Bosville, eldest daughter of Godfrey Lord Macdonald, and had a son, John Alexander, sixth earl, born in Edinburgh in 1831, educated at Harrow school; entered the army as cornet and sub-lieutenant in the 1st life-guards in 1851. In 1852 he retired from the army, and the same year was appointed a deputy-lieutenant of Linlithgowshire.

      Heir-presumptive to earldom (1861), his lordship’s cousin, John George Frederick Hope-Wallace, born at Quebec in 1839, son of Hon. James Hope-Wallace of Featherstone castle, Northumberland, born at Rankeillour, Fifeshire, June 7, 1807. On succeeding to the estates of the last Lord Wallace, the latter assumed, under that nobleman’s will, the additional surname of Wallace. Appointed captain and lieutenant-colonel of Coldstream guards in 1837, but retired in 1843; M.P. for Linlithgowshire from 1835 to May 1838. He married, 4th March 1837, Mary Frances, youngest daughter of 7th earl of Westmeath, issue, 3 sons and 4 daughters. Col. Hope-Wallace died Jan. 7, 1854.


      The second son of the first earl of Hopetoun was the Hon. Charles Hope, who, on the death of his uncle, James, second marquis of Annandale, inherited the estate of Craigiehall, Linlithgowshire, and on his marriage, in 1730, to Catherine, only daughter and heiress of Sir William Vere, baronet, of Blackwood, Lanarkshire, assumed the arms and surname of Vere. The Veres had held that property from the time of David I. By grant from the abbey of Kelso. Mr. Hope Vere was thrice married, and had a large family. His second son, by his first wife, John Hope, a merchant in London, M.P. for Linlithgowshire, and author of a volume of poems in 8vo, entitled ‘Thoughts in Prose and Verse, started in his walks;’ Stockton, 1780, married, in 1762, Mary, only daughter of Eliab Breton, Esq. of Fortyhill, Enfield, Middlesex, and Norton, in the county of Northampton, and had three sons.

      The eldest son, charles Hope, of Granton, long lord-president of the court of session, and lord-justice-general of Scotland, was born on 29th June 1763. He received the rudiments of his education at Enfield school, Middlesex, whence he was transferred to the High school of Edinburgh, where he rose to the distinction of being dux of the highest class. He studied for the bar at the university of Edinburgh, and passed advocate 11th December 1784. He was appointed depute-advocate 25th March 1786, sheriff of Orkney 5th June 1792, and lord-advocate in June 1801. Shortly afterwards he was presented with the freedom of the city of Edinburgh, and a piece of plate of one hundred guineas value, for his services in drawing out and otherwise aiding the magistrates in obtaining a Poor’s Bill for the city At the general election of 1802, he had been chosen M.P. for the Dumfries district of burghs, but in December of the same year, on the elevation of the Right Hon. Henry Dundas to the peerage as Viscount Melville, Lord-Advocate Hope was unanimously elected his successor in the representation of the city of Edinburgh.

      Short as was the period during which he sat in the House of Commons, it was distinguished by his successful introduction of one or two bills of local importance, and at least one measure of national concern – the Act for augmenting the salaries of the parochial schoolmasters of Scotland. One act of his official career – the censure which he expressed on the conduct of a Banffshire farmer who discharged his servant for attending the drills of a volunteer regiment – became in 1804 the subject of a great party debate, brought on by a motion of Mr. Whitbread for the production of papers in the case, in which both Pitt and Fox took part. The motion was rejected in favour of Mr. Hope, by a majority of 159 to 82; and the case was rendered remarkable by the striking description which the lord-advocate gave of the multitudinous duties of his office.

      On the death of Sir Davie Rae, Lord Eskgrove, he was appointed lord-justice-clerk, and took his seat on the bench of the court of session, 28th November 1804. In the justiciary court he presided seven years, and in solemn addresses, whether to prisoners at the bar, or to the court on opening or closing the assize, he especially excelled. His charges to juries are described as having been singularly impressive, and most persuasive – grouping evidence with skill, presenting its results with a brevity equalled by its fairness, and adapting himself to the comprehension of the most ordinary minds, while preserving the characteristics of correct and fluent speaking. One or two of his addresses to prisoners sentenced to death are traditionally spoken of as having produced a thrilling effect on the auditors.

      On the death of Robert Blair of Avonton, lord-president, in 1811, Mr. Hope was promoted to the president’s chair of the court of session, and took his seat as the head of the court on 12th November that year. He held that high office for the long period of thirty years, a tenure to which the legal records of Scotland show but one parallel, in the case of the great Lord Stair, Sir Hew Dalrymple of North Berwick, who presided over the same court from the year 1698 to the year 1737. In Peter’s Letters to his Kinsfolk, Mr. Lockhart has portrayed the eloquence and dignified bearing of this judge in a case which he witnessed himself. In 1820 his lordship presided at the Special Commission for the trial of high treason at Glasgow; and his address to the grand jury was published at their request. In 1836, on the death of the late duke of Montrose, the office of lord-justice-general, by virtue of an act of parliament, devolved upon him, and in that capacity, after an absence of a quarter of a century, he returned to preside in the court of justiciary. In 1841, when seventy-eight, he resigned his seat upon the bench, and retired into private life.

      When sheriff of Orkney, his lordship enrolled himself as one of the first regiment of Royal Edinburgh volunteers, and served in it as a private and captain of the left grenadiers till 1801, when, by the unanimous recommendation of the corps, he was appointed its lieutenant-colonel, and continued to hold that office until disbanded in 1814. He did much for the discipline and efficiency of the regiment, the privates and noncommissioned officers of which acknowledged their sense of his services, in 1807, by the gift of a handsome sword. He resumed his military duties for a short time in the year 1819, when the political disturbances in the west led to the re-embodying of the regiment. He daily inspected them while doing duty in Edinburgh castle for the regular troops, all of whom were sent to the western counties, where the spirit of disaffection chiefly prevailed.

      In 1822, the lord-president was sworn a privy councillor. He was for many years an elder of the Established church of Scotland, a deputy-lieutenant of Linlithgowshire, a commissioner of the Board of trustees for manufactures, &c. His portrait, in the robes of lord-justice-general, – which he wore at the ceremony of proclaiming Queen Victoria in 1837, – painted by Sir John Watson Gordon, at the request of the Society of Writers to the Signet, is placed in the staircase of their library at Edinburgh.

      His lordship died in October 1851. He had married on 8th August 1793, his cousin, Lady Charlotte Hope, eighth daughter of the second earl of Hopetoun, and by her ladyship (who died in 1834) had a numerous family. The eldest son, John Hope, born in 1794, passed advocate in 1816, was appointed solicitor-general in 1825, and in 1830 was elected dean of faculty. In 1841 he was raised to the bench as lord-justice-clerk, on the promotion of David Boyle of Shewalton, who had previously held that appointment, to the office of lord-justice-general. At the same time he was sworn a member of the privy council; an official custodian of the regalia of Scotland; married, with issue. He died June 14th, 1858.

      The lord-president’s next brother, Lieutenant-general Sir John Hope, G.C.H., born in 1765, entered the army in 1778, as a cadet in General Houston’s regiment of the Scots brigade then serving in Holland. In 1787 he was appointed a captain in the 60th foot. The following year he was appointed to a troop in the 13th light dragoons, and in 1792 he was made aide-de-camp to General Sir William Erskine, whom he accompanied to Flanders, and was present at all the actions in which the cavalry were engaged. On his return he was promoted to be major in the 28th light dragoons. Soon after he was made colonel, and embarked with his regiment for the Cape. On his return in 1799, he was appointed to the 37th foot, which regiment he joined at St. Vincent’s, in the West Indies. In 1805 he received the rank of colonel. He was next appointed deputy-adjutant-general to the Baltic expedition, and was present at the siege and capture of Copenhagen. In 1810 he was promoted to be major-general, and placed on the staff of the Severn district, but in 1812 he was removed to that of the army under Lord Wellington in the Peninsula. In 1819 he was appointed lieutenant-general, and died in 1836. He was twice married. By his first wife, Margaret, daughter and heiress of Robert Scott of Logie, he had three daughters. He married, a second time, in 1814, Jane Hester, daughter of John Macdougall, Esq. of Ardintriva, by whom he had three sons and a daughter. The next brother, Vice-admiral Sir William Johnstone Hope, G.C.B., died 2d May 1831, leaving issue.

      The president’s uncle, of the half-blood, Vice-admiral Sir George Hope, K.C.B., eldest son of the third marriage of the Hon. Charles Hope Vere, and fifth child of his father, born 6th July 1767, was a very distinguished naval officer. He entered the navy at the age of fifteen in 1782, and after passing through the usual gradations attained the rank of captain in 1793, and that of rear-admiral in 1811. During the interval he had commanded, successively, the Romulus, Alcmene, and Leda frigates, and the Majestic, Theseus, and Defence, seventy-fours. At the battle of Trafalgar he was present in the latter vessel, He served as captain of the Baltic fleet during 1808, and the three subsequent years. In 1812 he went to the admiralty, and in the following autumn he was sent to bring over the Russian fleet to England, during the French invasion of Russia. In 1813 he held the chief command in the Baltic, and in the end of that year he returned to the admiralty, where he remained as confidential adviser to the first lord till his death, 2d May 1818.

General, The Earl of Hopetoun

George Hope of Fenton Barns
A Sketch of his life by his daughter (1881) (pdf)

THIS volume was originally printed for private circulation, and in its present form has been but slightly altered. It consists principally of extracts from my father's letters to one of his brothers, with whom he kept up a steady correspondence for more than forty years, and whose care in preserving and kindness in sending the letters have made it possible (by letting my father tell his own story) to give a more vivid picture of his life than could have been done by any other means. The volume also contains statements, in his own words, of his opinions on those subjects in which he took the deepest interest. Whether this record of his life, the life of a tenant-farmer, spent almost 'entirely in his native county can be of interest to any beyond those to whom he was personally known is a question of which I have not felt myself qualified to judge, and it is now published in consequence of the opinions of others as to the probability of its being of interest to a wider circle. To his friends I hoped that it might serve to recall him, but to those to whom he was unknown I fear that it can, after all, convey only a comparatively faint impression of his character. That that impression should at least be truthful has been my earnest endeavour.

EDINBURGH, December 1880.

Death of Brigadier Adrian Hope
In the attack on the Fort at Roodamow, April 15th, 1858
This engraving was kindly supplied by Dr Peter Burman MBE FSA Honorary Archivist, Hopetoun Papers Trust

Viceroy at Bay, Lord Linlithgow in India 1936-1943
By John Glendevon (1971)

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