Sir Thomas Hope, 1st Baronet

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Sir Thomas Hope, 1st Baronet
The grave of Sir Thomas Hope, Greyfriars Kirkyard

Sir Thomas Hope, 1st Baronet of Craighall (1573–1646) was a Scottish lawyer.


He was the son of an eminent merchant.

Admitted as an advocate in 1605, he made his reputation by defence of Rev John Forbes (1568?-1634), and five other ministers at Linlithgow in 1606, charged with high treason.[1] He prepared the deed revoking James VI's grants of church property in 1625. He was appointed Lord Advocate under Charles I in 1626, and held the office until 1641. He was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1628.

Hope conducted the case against John Elphinstone, 2nd Lord Balmerino in 1634. As Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1643, he maintained the king's temporizing policy.

In 1645 Hope was appointed one of the Commissioners for managing the Exchequer, but died the next year.

He is buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh.[2] The grave lies in the north-west section of the original graveyard, against the west wall.


His "Practical Observations Upon divers titles of the Law of Scotland", commonly called the "Minor Practicks", were published in 1726, by Alexander Bayne.[3]


Hope married Elizabeth, daughter of John Binning or Bennet of Wallyford, Haddingtonshire, by whom he had four sons who survived infancy; of these three reached the bench:[3] Two sons became judges in the Supreme Court.

Two of the sons were appointed to the bench while Hope was Lord Advocate; and it being judged by the Court of Session unbecoming that a father should plead uncovered before his children, the privilege of wearing his hat, while pleading, was granted to him. This privilege his successors in the office of Lord Advocate have in theory ever since enjoyed.

Alexander was cupbearer to Charles I. Of his two daughters who survived infancy, Mary was wife of Sir Charles Erskine of Alva, and Anne married David Erskine, 2nd Lord Cardross.[3]

Historical fiction[edit]

  • Sir Thomas Hope is the subject of Nigel Tranter's last novel, Hope Endures (2005).


  1. ^ Monuments and monumental inscriptions in Scotland: The Grampian Society, 1871
  2. ^ Monuments and monumental inscriptions in Scotland: The Caledonian Society of Scotland
  3. ^ a b c  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Bayne, Alexander". Dictionary of National Biography. 3. London: Smith, Elder & Co.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DNB" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).

External links[edit]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLee, Sidney, ed. (1891). "Hope, John (1605?-1654)". Dictionary of National Biography. 27. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir William Oliphant
Lord Advocate
Succeeded by
Sir Archibald Johnston
Baronetage of Nova Scotia
New creation Baronet
(of Craighall)
Succeeded by
John Hope