Born in Croydon, Scott-Hopkins was educated at Eton College and Oxford University. He joined the British Army in 1939. He was commissioned in the 3rd QAO Gurkha Rifles in 1942 and served on the North-West Frontier, commanding C Company of the 4th Battalion, and in Burma until 1946, having taken a regular commission in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1944. He retired from the Army in 1950 and became a farmer. He married Geraldine Hargreaves in Eton in 1946 (three sons, one daughter).
Scott-Hopkins contested Bedwellty in 1955. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for North Cornwall from 1959 until he lost the seat to the Liberal John Pardoe in 1966. He had served as joint Parliamentary Secretary at MAFF 1962-64. He was re-elected as MP for West Derbyshire at a 1967 by-election, and served until 1979. His successor was Matthew Parris. He had served, concurrently (to 1979), as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1973, when he was elected for the Hereford and Worcester European constituency, serving until 1994. He was knighted in 1981. He died in Westminster aged 73.
- Times Guide to the House of Commons October 1974
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by James Scott-Hopkins
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Sir Harold Roper
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