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HOPE, JOHN, fourth Earl of Hopetoun (1765–1823), general, son of John Hope, second earl, by his second wife, Jane, daughter of Robert Oliphant of Rossie, Perthshire, and elder half-brother of Generals Sir Alexander Hope [q. v.] and Charles Hope (d. 1825), was born at Hopetoun House, Abercorn parish, Linlithgowshire, 17 Aug. 1765. He was educated at home, and travelled on the continent with his brother Alexander in charge of their tutor, Dr. John Gillies (1747–1836) [q. v.], afterwards historiographer royal for Scotland. He is stated to have served for a short time as a volunteer. He was appointed cornet 10th light dragoons (now hussars) 28 May 1784, became lieutenant 100th foot, and afterwards in 27th Inniskillings, captain 17th light dragoons (now lancers) in 1789, major 1st royals foot 1792, and lieutenant-colonel 25th foot 26 April 1793. He was returned to parliament for Linlithgowshire in 1790, and again in 1796 (Foster, Members of Parl. for Scotland, p. 186). When the Mediterranean and Channel fleets under Lords Hood and Howe put to sea in April-July 1793, the 25th foot was one of the regiments sent on board by detachments to supply the want of marines. Hope remained on shore with the headquarters at Plymouth until December 1794, by which time the regiment had been augmented to two battalions by the drafting of independent companies into it. On 9 Feb. 1795 he sailed in command of ten companies of the regiment for the West Indies, and on reaching Grenada on 30 March was invalided home (Higgins, Hist. 25th K. O. Borderers). He returned to the West Indies in 1796 as adjutant-general to the troops under Sir Ralph Abercromby. He was present at the reduction of the French and Spanish West Indian Islands in 1796–7, and was repeatedly commended by Abercromby and other general officers. He returned home in 1797. In August 1799 he was deputy adjutant-general of the advanced force sent to North Holland under Sir Ralph Abercromby [q. v.], but received a severe wound in the ankle on landing, and was sent home. On 27 Aug. 1799 he was promoted from the 25th foot to colonel of the North Lowland Fencible Infantry (raised in 1794 and disbanded in 1802). At the end of September he returned to Holland as adjutant-general of the main body of the expeditionary force under the Duke of York; was present in the actions of 2 and 8 Oct. 1799, and was one of the officers deputed to arrange the convention of Alkmaar. He was adjutant-general to Sir Ralph Abercromby in the Mediterranean in 1800, and in the expedition to Egypt, where at the great battle of 21 March 1801, before Alexandria, when Abercromby fell, he received a severe wound. On his recovery he asked for a brigade, and was appointed to one composed of two of the most distinguished regiments with the army, the 28th foot and 42nd highlanders, at the head of which he joined the army before Cairo, and was deputed by General Hutchinson to arrange the terms of surrender of the French army there. He was afterwards sent into Alexandria for the like purpose. He became a major-general in 1803, commanded a brigade in the eastern district of England under Sir J. H. Craig during the invasion alarms of 1803–5, and in 1805 was appointed lieutenant-governor of Portsmouth, a post he resigned the same year to join the expedition to Hanover under Lord Cathcart. He became a lieutenant-general in 1808, was second in command of the troops sent to Sweden under Sir John Moore, and in August the same year landed in Portugal. He was in command at Lisbon at the time of the French evacuation of the city, and had the difficult task of restraining the Portuguese populace from acts of violence against the invaders. When Moore advanced into Spain, Hope commanded one of the two divisions of the army. Moving in the direction of the Tagus, after some very critical operations, he joined Moore at Salamanca, and took part in the retreat to Corunna. He commanded the British left at the battle of Corunna, and succeeded to the chief command when Moore fell and Baird was wounded. His energy and skill were conspicuous in embarking the army for England. He is said to have personally visited every street in the port, to make sure that not a man was left behind. He received the thanks of parliament, and was made a K.B. He commanded a division in the Walcheren expedition, which proceeded in advance, and landing at Ter Goes took up a position to command the navigation of the Western Scheldt, which was maintained during the operations. In 1812 he was commander of the forces in Ireland. In 1813 he was appointed to succeed Sir Thomas Graham (afterwards Lord Lynedoch) [q. v.] in the Peninsular army, the instructions from home being that he was to have command of a division, or more troops if necessary, and be next in seniority to Wellington, but not to be second in command (Well. Suppl. Desp. viii. 263). He was appointed to the first division, which he commanded at the battle of Nivelle, 10 Nov., and at the battles of the Nive, 10–13 Dec. 1813, where he was wounded. Wellington wrote of him: ‘I have long entertained the highest opinion of Sir John Hope, like everybody else, I suppose, but every day more convinces me of his worth. We shall lose him if he continues to expose himself as he did during the last three days. Indeed, his escape was wonderful. His coat and hat were shot through in many places, besides the wound in his leg. He places himself among the sharpshooters, without sheltering himself as they do’ (Gurwood, Well. Desp. vii. 203). In February 1814 Hope, with the left wing of the army, crossed the Adour, and blockaded Bayonne, the investment of which important fortress he conducted with great skill and perseverance up to the end of the war. In the final sortie of the French garrison on 14 April 1814, which caused so much needless bloodshed, Hope had his horse shot under him, and was wounded and made prisoner, but speedily released. His wounds prevented his accepting command of the forces sent to America (Well. Suppl. Desp. ix. 42). At the peace Hope was raised to the peerage as Baron Niddry of Niddry Castle, Linlithgowshire. In 1816 he succeeded his elder half-brother James, third earl of Hopetoun [q. v.], in the family title. He became a full general in 1819. He had been appointed colonel-commandant of a battalion of 60th royal Americans in 1806, whence he was transferred to the colonelcy of the 92nd Gordon highlanders. From the latter he was appointed in 1820 colonel of the 42nd highlanders. He held with other offices those of lord-lieutenant of Linlithgowshire, governor of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and captain of the royal archers. A tory in politics, Lord Hopetoun in 1822 was offered by the Duke of Wellington, then master-general, the post of lieutenant-general of the ordnance, which he appears to have declined (Well. Desp. Corresp. &c., i. 281). His last public duty was to attend George IV, during the king's visit to Scotland in 1822, as captain of the royal archers and gold-stick for Scotland. He received the king in princely style at Hopetoun House before his departure. Hopetoun died in Paris 27 Aug. 1823, at the age of fifty-eight.

Hopetoun married, first, 17 Aug. 1798, Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon. Charles Hope-Vere of Craigie Hall, and sister of John Hope (1739–1785) [q. v.]; she died in 1801 without issue. Secondly, 9 Feb. 1803, Louisa Dorothea, daughter of Sir John Wedderburn, bart., by whom he had eleven children; she died at Leamington 16 July 1836 (Gent. Mag. 1836, pt. ii. p. 222). Of Hopetoun's nine sons the eldest succeeded his father as fifth Earl of Hopetoun. Others were in the naval and military service. The youngest, Brigadier-general the Hon. Adrian Hope (1821–1858), of the 60th rifles and 93rd highlanders, was much distinguished in the Crimea, and in command of a brigade at the siege of Lucknow, where he fell 14 April 1858 (see Gent. Mag. 1858, pt. ii. p. 85).

The pupil and friend of Abercromby, the friend of Moore, and, in Wellington's words, ‘the ablest man in the Peninsular army’ (Gurwood, Well. Desp. vii. 22), Hopetoun was no less esteemed in civil life, in which his soldierly mien, polished bearing, his high ideal of duty and strong common sense, rendered him generally popular. Four public monuments have been erected to his memory, one on Sir David Lindsay's Mount, another near Hopetoun House, a third in the neighbourhood of Haddington, and a fourth, a bronze equestrian statue, in St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, which bears an inscription by Sir Walter Scott.

[Foster's Peerage under ‘Hopetoun,’ in which there is an error in the date of death; Army Lists and London Gazettes; Edinburgh Ann. Reg. 1823; Capt. R. T. Higgins's Hist. Rec. 25th King's Own Borderers; Sir H. Bunbury's Narrative of Passages in the late War with France; Napier's Hist. Peninsular War, periods 1808–1809 and 1813–14; Parl. Papers, Accounts and Papers, 1810; Scheldt Papers; Gurwood's Selections Wellington Desp. vol. vii.; Wellington Suppl. Desp. vols. vi. viii. ix. xiv., and Index in vol. xv. (an error in the indexing is noted in xv. 353); Wellington Desp. Corresp. &c., i. ut supra. Among special biographical notices of Hopetoun may be mentioned those in Ann. Biog. 1823; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen, vol. ii.; Gent. Mag. 1823, pt. ii. p. 369–71.]

H. M. C.