John Hope, 4th Earl of Hopetoun

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The Earl of Hopetoun
John Hope, 4th Earl of Hopetoun.jpg
John Hope, 4th Earl of Hopetoun
Born17 August 1765 (1765-08-17)
Abercorn, West Lothian
Died27 August 1823 (1823-08-28) (aged 58)
Paris, France
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Commands heldIreland
Battles/warsFrench Revolutionary Wars
Napoleonic Wars
AwardsKnight of the Order of the Bath
Captain-General of the Royal Company of Archers

General John Hope, 4th Earl of Hopetoun PC KB FRSE (17 August 1765 – 27 August 1823), known as The Honourable John Hope from 1781 to 1814 and as Lord Niddry from 1814 to 1816, was a Scottish politician and British Army officer.

Military career[edit]

Hopetoun was the only son of John Hope, 2nd Earl of Hopetoun, by his second wife Jane or Jean Oliphant.[1] His mother died when he was only one year old.[1] He was commissioned into the 10th Light Dragoons in 1784.[1] He sat as Member of Parliament for Linlithgowshire from 1790 to 1800.[1]

He took part in the capture of the French West Indies and Spanish West Indies in 1796 and 1797.[1] In 1799 he was sent to Den Helder as Deputy Adjutant-General and was present at the Battle of Bergen and the Battle of Castricum.[1] In 1801 he was sent to Cairo and then to Alexandria to take the surrender of the French garrisons there.[1] He became Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth and General Officer Commanding South-West District in June 1805.[2][3]

He commanded a Division during the advance into Spain and commanded the British left at the Battle of Corunna in 1809, succeeding to overall command when Sir John Moore was killed.[1] Later that year he commanded the reserve army during the Walcheren Campaign.[1] He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Ireland and was admitted to the Irish Privy Council in 1812.[1] He then commanded the First Division under The Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Nivelle and at the Battle of the Nive in 1813.[1] He was captured fighting the French sortie at the Battle of Bayonne in 1814.[4]

He served as Lord-Lieutenant of Linlithgowshire from 1816 to 1823. On 17 May 1814, two years before he succeeded in the earldom, he was raised to the peerage in his own right as Baron Niddry, of Niddry Castle in the County of Linlithgow, with remainder to the male issue of his father. In 1816 he succeeded his elder half-brother as fourth Earl of Hopetoun.

Statue, Dundas House, St Andrew Square in Edinburgh

He died in Paris, France on 27 August 1823.


In 1798 Lord Hopetoun married firstly Elizabeth Hope Vere (or Weir) of Craigiehall, daughter of Charles Hope-Weir. After her death he married secondly Louisa Dorothea Wedderburn, daughter of John Wedderburn of Ballendean, and granddaughter of Sir John Wedderburn, 5th Baronet of Blackness.

On his death he was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son from his second marriage, John. Lady Hopetoun died in 1836.


Following Lord Hopetoun's death, the Hopetoun Monument was erected on Byres Hill, East Lothian, in 1824.[5] This was followed in 1826 by a similar monument on Mount Hill in Fife.[6] In 1824 the city of Edinburgh commissioned a bronze statue of Lord Hopetoun, by Thomas Campbell, and originally designed as a centrepiece for Charlotte Square in 1829, but which was eventually placed in St Andrew Square in 1834, in front of Dundas House where he had acted as vice governor of the bank.[1][7] The text on the latter is by Sir Walter Scott.[8] In June 2020, it was announced that an addition of a plaque had been granted from its owners to reflect and highlight the continuation of slave trade that Hope had been responsible for whilst serving in the British forces in the West Indies.[9]

A boarding house at Wellington College, Berkshire, has been named after him. It has recently[when?] been turned into a girls house.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Earl of Hopetoun at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ "No. 15817". The London Gazette. 18 June 1805. p. 797.
  3. ^ "The Gentleman's Magazine". 1823. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  4. ^ Smith, Digby (1998). The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. Greenhill. p. 524. ISBN 1-85367-276-9.
  5. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "HOPETOUN MONUMENT  (Category B Listed Building) (LB10831)". Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  6. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "MOUNT HILL, HOPETOUN MONUMENT (TO SIR JOHN HOPE OF OVER RANKEILOUR)  (Category B Listed Building) (LB17428)". Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  7. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "ST ANDREW SQUARE, MONUMENT TO JOHN, 4TH EARL OF HOPETOUN  (Category A Listed Building) (LB27862)". Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  8. ^
  9. ^ McCool, Mary (9 June 2020). "How Scotland's city streets tell a story of slavery". BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2020.


External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir William Cunynghame, Bt
Member of Parliament for Linlithgowshire
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Hope
Military offices
Preceded by
Hildebrand Oakes
GOC South-West District
June 1805 – December 1805
Succeeded by
Sir George Prévost
Preceded by
Sir Robert Brownrigg
Colonel of the 6th Battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Napier Christie Burton
Preceded by
Marquess of Huntly
Colonel of the 92nd (Highland) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
John Hope
Preceded by
The Earl of Harrington
Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir George Hewett, Bt
Preceded by
Marquess of Huntly
Colonel of the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Sir George Murray
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The 3rd Earl of Hopetoun
Lord-Lieutenant of Linlithgowshire
Title next held by
The 5th Earl of Hopetoun
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
James Hope-Johnstone
Earl of Hopetoun
Succeeded by
John Hope
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Niddry
Succeeded by
John Hope