Hope, George (DNB00)
HOPE, GEORGE (1811–1876), agriculturist, second son of Robert Hope, tenant farmer, East Lothian, was born at Fenton in that county, 2 Jan. 1811. He was educated at Dirleton parish school, spent four years in a ‘writer's’ office at Haddington, and then began to assist his father in farming. He spent all but the last three years of his life as a farmer in his native county, and did much by his skill as a practical agriculturist to improve the agricultural position of East Lothian. Hope's holding, Fenton Barns, was known in agricultural circles in America and on the continent as a model of what a farm should be. In 1875 Hope's landlord refused to renew his lease, and he left Fenton Barns, which had been occupied by his family for three generations, for Broadlands, a small estate which he had purchased in Berwickshire.
Hope was an ardent unitarian and a great supporter of that body in Scotland. He was much opposed to the corn laws, gaining a prize of 30l. offered by the Anti-Cornlaw League for an essay on the subject (published with two others in 1842), was a personal friend of Cobden and Bright, and did much to help the abolition movement in Scotland. He was also opposed to the law of hypothec and the game laws. He stood twice for parliament, in 1865 for Haddingtonshire, and in 1875 for East Aberdeenshire. In both cases he was defeated by decided majorities, a fact partly attributed to the strong local influence of his opponent in the first case, and to his heterodox religious opinions (which he did not attempt to hide) in the second. He died at Broadlands, 1 Dec. 1876, and was buried at Dirleton, near Fenton Barns. Hope was married and had a family. Besides the essay mentioned he contributed ‘Hindrances to Agriculture from a Tenant Farmer's point of view’ to ‘Recess Studies,’ edited by Sir A. Grant (Edinburgh, 1870).
[Memoir by Hope's daughter, Edinburgh, 1881; personal knowledge.]