Hope, James (1614-1661) (DNB00)
HOPE, Sir JAMES (1614–1661), of Hopetoun, lawyer and lead-worker, sixth son of Sir Thomas Hope [q. v.] of Craighall, Fifeshire, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Binning or Bennet of Wallyford, Haddingtonshire, was born on 12 July 1614. From February 1636 to October 1637 he studied law in France (Diary of Sir Thomas Hope, pp. 38, 68). After his first marriage in 1638 he devoted himself to the working of the lead mines of the estate. In 1642 he was appointed general of the cunzie-house, an office to which there then attached both a civil and a criminal jurisdiction. On the death of his brother, Sir Thomas Hope of Kerse [q. v.], a lord of session, on 23 Aug. 1643, his friends made a fruitless endeavour to get him named his successor. After, however, the enactment of the Act of Classes, disqualifying for office all persons directly or indirectly accessory to the ‘Engagement’ with England, he was, on 1 June 1649, chosen an ordinary lord of session. In this year and also in 1650 he sat in parliament as commissioner for the county of Stirling. He was also one of the committee of estates, and a commissioner both of public accounts and for the revision of the laws. He was one of those sent to receive any statement Montrose might be disposed to make on his arrival as a prisoner in Edinburgh (Balfour, Annals, iv. 14). On 20 May 1650 he was appointed president of the committee for the examining of prisoners taken during the civil war (ib. p. 22). When the Scottish people, after the execution of Charles I, were bent on restoring the monarchy, Hope suggested a compromise. He voted at Perth on 20 June 1650 against levying an army to resist the advance of Cromwell, and was in consequence denounced by the Marquis of Argyll as ‘not only a main enemy to king and kingdom, but a main plotter and contriver, assister and abetter of all the mischief that has befallen the kingdom ever since’ (ib. p. 173). On 7 Jan. of the following year he was refused a passport to go out of the country (ib. p. 235). For inciting his brother, Sir Alexander Hope, to suggest to Charles II the advisability of surrendering England, Ireland, and even a part of Scotland to Cromwell to save the rest, he was shortly afterwards sent to prison, but on 20 Jan. was ordered to confine himself within his country estate. The triumph of Cromwell delivered him, however, from his disabilities, and in 1652 he was appointed one of the commissioners for the administration of justice in Scotland. On 14 June 1653 he joined the council of state of England, and he frequently served on important committees. He represented Scotland in the parliament of 1653. In 1654 he was made a commissioner for the sale of forfeited estates, but in July of the same year he was omitted in the new commission of justice, on the ground that his conduct at the dissolution of the Little parliament had been unsatisfactory to Cromwell. His exclusion from the commission was, according to Robert Nicoll, unpopular, for ‘he was a good and upright judge’ (Nicoll, Diary, p. 132). He was, however, reappointed in March 1660 (ib. p. 278). On a visit to Holland in the following year, in connection with his lead business, he caught a disease known as Flanders fever, of which he died, two days after landing in Scotland, at his brother's house of Granton, Linlithgowshire, on 23 Nov. 1661. He is described by Nicoll as ‘a man full of virtue, who kept many poor and indigent people at labour in the lead mines and Leith, and virtuous exercises, and by his means had a liveliehood’ (ib. p. 352). He was buried in the church of Cramond, Linlithgowshire, where a monument was erected to his memory with the following inscription: ‘Sperando superavi. Vera effigies Dni. Jac. Hoppæi Hoptoniæ militis celeberrimi ætat. suæ 47, A.D. 1661.’ By his first wife (Anna, daughter and heiress of Robert Foulis of Leadhills, Lanarkshire) he had seven sons and four daughters. His second wife was Lady Mary, eldest daughter and one of the coheiresses of William Keith, seventh earl Marischal, by whom he had two sons and a daughter. His widow afterwards married Sir Archibald Murray of Blackbarony, bart. Hope was succeeded by his seventh child and only surviving son, John, who lost his life by the wreck of the Gloucester frigate in 1682.
[Diary of Sir Thomas Hope (Bannatyne Club); Nicoll's Diary (Bannatyne Club); Balfour's Annals of Scotland; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser., during the Protectorate; Douglas's Scottish Peerage, ed. Wood, i. 743; Brunton and Haig's Senators of the College of Justice, pp. 337–338.]