Hope, John Adrian Louis (DNB12)
HOPE, JOHN ADRIAN LOUIS, seventh Earl of Hopetoun and first Marquis of Linlithgow (1860–1908), first governor-general of the commonwealth of Australia, born at Hopetoun on 25 Sept. 1860, was eldest son of John Alexander Hope, sixth earl of Hopetoun, by his wife Ethelred Ann, daughter of Charles Thomas Samuel Birch-Reynardson of Holywell-hall, Lincolnshire. He succeeded to the earldom in 1873 and was educated at Eton. After leaving school he travelled in the East and in America Hopetoun, who identified himself with the conservative party, was a lord-in-waiting to Queen Victoria in Lord Salisbury's first and second administrations (1885-6 and 1886-9). At the same time he took a strong interest in Scottish affairs. He became deputy-lieutenant of the counties of Linlithgow, Lanark, Haddington and Dumfries. From 1887 to 1889 he acted as high commissioner to the general assembly of the Church of Scotland, and discharged his duties with ease and hospitality. In spite of physical weakness and strong attachment to domestic life and sport, Hopetoun's public career was mainly spent in appointments overseas. In September 1889 he became governor of Victoria, Australia, receiving at the same time the honour of G.C.M.G. He was in office during the financial crisis, due to excessive speculation in lands, which began in 1891, attained formidable proportions in 1892, when the government sanctioned a moratorium of five days to enable the banks to collect their resources, and reached its height in the following year. Hopetoun handled with discretion the ministerial reconstructions which were necessitated by popular discontent. He also generously acquiesced in the reduction of his salary from 10,000l. to 7000l. A further proposal for its reduction to 5000l. was rescinded by the government after it had been carried in the assembly. Hopetoun's accessibility and keen interest in horse-racing and other forms of sport admirably fitted him for his post. In March 1895 his term of office came to an end.
On his return home he was paymaster-general in Lord Salisbury's third administration from 1895 to 1898, when he succeeded the earl of Lathom as lord chamberlain. In 1895, too, he stood as unionist candidate for the lord rectorship of Glasgow University, but was defeated by Mr, Asquith. In the same year Hopetoun, who had always shown a keen interest in all that concerned ships and sailors, was elected president of the Institution of Naval Architects in succession to Lord Brassey, who had taken his place in Victoria, and in 1896 he accompanied the members on a visit to Germany. He discharged his arduous duties with tact and success for five years, presiding over the International Congress of Naval Architects, opened in London by King Edward VII (when Prince of Wales) in 1897.
On the creation of the commonwealth of Australia Hopetoun seemed indicated by colonial opinion as the first governor-general, and the office was conferred on him in August 1900. He was made Knight of the Thistle and G.C.V.O. On his way out he visited India, where he had a severe attack of typhoid fever. Landing at Sydney, where he was received with great enthusiasm, on 16 Dec. 1900, he invited Sir William Lyne, the premier of New South Wales, to form the first federal ministry, and on his failure he had recourse to (Sir) Edmund Barton, also of New South Wales. On 1 Jan, 1901 he represented the queen-empress at the inauguration of the Australian commonwealth, and at the opening of the federal parliament by King George V (when Duke of Cornwall and York) on 7 May, he delivered an address, declaring that a common tariff, which 'must operate protectively as well as for the production of revenue,' would be the first work of the new parliament. His hospitality and felicity of speech largely contributed to the success of the royal tour (Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, The Web of Empire, 1902). The governor-general travelled freely from state to state, placing himself in touch with the various interests. His relations with his ministers were harmonious, though he hesitated long over the alien immigration restriction bill, passed to carry into effect the 'white Australia' feeling, and did not give it his consent until December 1901.
Hopetoun had pointed out from the first that his salary of 10,000l. was insufficient for his position. But an attempt to supplement it by contributions from the states failed and a bill for its increase was rejected on 1 May 1902. Consequently Hopetoun asked for his recall by the imperial government, and his resignation was announced in the senate on 14 May 1902 to the general surprise and regret. On 17 July he left Australia amid demonstrations of popular sympathy. On his return home Hopetoun was created marquis of Linlithgow on 27 Oct. 1902.
For some time after his recall Linlithgow took little part in public life, but on 3 Feb. 1905 he became secretary of state for Scotland in Mr. Balfour's administration, and held office until the resignation of the government in the following December. Two years before, the price (122,500l.) at which he had sold Rosyth to the government, for the purpose of constructing a naval base, received unfavourable criticism ; but the ministerial defence was that the amount was little above the valuation, and that the difference would have gone in costs if recourse had been had to compulsory purchase after arbitration (Hansard, 4th series, vol. cxxiv. cols. 1266-1282, and vol. cxxv. col. 695).
Linlithgow died at Pau, after a year's illness, on 29 Feb. 1908. As became an ardent Scotsman, Linlithgow was brigadier-general of the Royal Company of Archers and served in the Lanarkshire yeomanry. He rode vigorously but unluckily to hounds, and kept both harriers and beagles.
He married in 1886 Hersey Alice, third daughter of Dayrolles Blakeney Eveleigh-de-Molejns, fourth Lord Ventry, by whom he had issue two sons and one daughter. He was succeeded by his elder son, Victor Alexander John, eighth earl of Hopetoun, born in 1887.
His portrait, by Robert Brough, was presented to him in 1904, after his return from Australia, by Linlithgowshire and the adjoining counties, Lord Rosebery, always a close friend, making the presentation; it is now at Hopetoun House. Lord Rosebery also, on 6 Oct. 1911, unveiled at Linlithgow a statue of the marquis by Sir George Frarapton, R.A. Lord Linlithgow, said Lord Rosebery on that occasion, regarded himself as unequal to high office, but proved himself 'more than adequate' (The Times, 6 Oct. 1911). A second statue, by Bernie Rhind, R.S.A., erected in Melbourne, was unveiled by Sir John Fuller, governor of Victoria, on 15 June 1911. A cartoon by 'Spy' appeared in 'Vanity Fair' in 1900.
[The Times, and the Scotsman, 2 March 1908; Transactions of Institution of Naval Architects, 1908.]