Hope, Henry (DNB00)
HOPE, Sir HENRY (1787–1863), admiral, eldest son of Captain Charles Hope of the navy, who died commissioner at Chatham in 1808, cousin of Sir William Johnstone Hope [q. v.], and great grandson of Charles, first earl of Hopetoun [q. v.], was born in 1787, and entered the navy in 1800, on board the Kent, commanded by his cousin, W. J. Hope. After serving in her on the coast of Egypt, he was moved into the Swiftsure with Captain Hallowell [see Carew, Sir Benjamin Hallowell], and was made prisoner when she was captured on 24 June 1801. He afterwards served in the Leda on the Mediterranean and home stations, and in 1804 in the Atlas again with his cousin, W. J. Hope. On 3 May 1804 he was promoted to be lieutenant of the Adamant; in 1805, in the Narcissus, was present at the reduction of the Cape of Good Hope; and on 22 Jan. 1806 was made commander and appointed to the Espoir sloop in the Mediterranean. On 24 May 1808 he was posted to the Glatton, and afterwards commanded the Leonidas, Topaze, and Salsette frigates, all in the Mediterranean, cruising successfully against the French privateers. During the latter half of 1811, in the Salsette, he was senior officer in the Archipelago, and at the request of Stratford Canning, the ambassador at Constantinople, drove on shore at Nauplia a French privateer which had taken refuge under the guns of the Turkish batteries, 29 Nov. 1811 (Lane-Poole, Life of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, i. 100; Log of the Salsette).
In May 1813 Hope was appointed to the Endymion, one of the few English frigates carrying 24-pounders, and which it was thought might contend on somewhat equal terms with the large 44-gun frigates of the United States. After eighteen months on the North American station, on the morning of 15 Jan. 1815 she was, in company with a small squadron under Captain John Hayes [q. v.], off Sandy Hook, when they sighted the American frigate President. The accident of position and her superior sailing enabled the Endymion to bring her to action, while the other English ships were some distance astern. It was already dusk, and it seemed possible enough that the President might escape in the dark. The Endymion, however, stuck closely to the flying enemy, and though her own rigging was so cut that about nine o'clock she was obliged to drop astern to repair damages, the President had also received such damage that, on the Pomone and Tenedos coming up an hour later, she at once struck her colours. To say, as is often said, that the Endymion took the President single-handed is an absurd exaggeration, for though her consorts had a very small share in the action, their close proximity, especially that of the Majestic, a cut-down 74-gun ship, terribly hampered the President's manœuvres, and by compelling her to defend herself in a running fight, enabled the Endymion to take up a deadly position on her quarter. Otherwise the result might have been different; for the Endymion was the smaller ship, less heavily armed, with a weaker crew; and, gallant officer and fine seaman as Hope was, Commodore Decatur, who commanded the President, had also a high reputation in the United States navy. In popular opinion the whole credit of the engagement was given to Hope. The admiralty gave him the gold medal, and the war medal to the Endymion alone. The merchants of Bermuda presented Hope with a complimentary letter and a silver cup, and the officers with a second cup, ‘to be considered as attached to that or any future ship which might bear the gallant name of Endymion.’ The cup ultimately lapsed to Greenwich Hospital, and now belongs to the officers' mess of the Royal Naval College. In June 1815 Hope was nominated a C.B., but he had no further service. In 1831 he was appointed naval aide-de-camp to the king, became rear-admiral in 1846, vice-admiral 2 April 1853, K.C.B. 5 July 1855, and admiral 20 Jan. 1858. He died on 23 Sept. 1863.
Hope married, in 1828, his first cousin, Jane Sophia, daughter of his mother's brother, Admiral Sir Herbert Sawyer, K.C.B. She died without issue in August 1829. Hope left a large part of his property—30,000l. was named—to religious or charitable societies.
[Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biog. v. (suppl. pt. i.) 314; O'Byrne's Dict. Nav. Biog.; Gent. Mag. 1863, pt. ii. p. 777; official documents in the Public Record Office, especially the logs of the Endymion, Pomone, and Tenedos (15 Jan. 1815). The account of the capture of the President in James's Naval History (edit. 1860), vi. 238, is grotesquely one-sided; that given in Roosevelt's Naval War of 1812, p. 401, is more satisfactory, though many of the disputed points may be thought overstated in the opposite direction; see also Foster's Peerage, s.n. ‘Hopetoun.’]