Part 3 out of 5
scratch out the evidences and papers as he requires them. Now he will drink
from the water-glass, now take a pinch of snuff, then look at his notes, or
make an observation to some one; but still the smooth thread of his speech
goes on to the committee: but it is smooth, and says as plainly as
possible, 'My dear friend, I am not to be hurried, understand that if you
please.' When, however, Mr. Scott has a joke against his learned friend he
looks round, and his dark eyes twinkle out the joke most expressively....
There was a slight twinkle as he said to the committee, 'Now I come to the
question of gradients.' It was amusing to see the five M.P.s twist in their
chairs, and how readily the chairman told Mr. Scott the committee required
to hear nothing further about gradients. Had the question of gradients been
entered upon, one might have travelled to Brighton and back ere it was
concluded. Mr. Hope-Scott had the advantage of a good case, and he
'improved the occasion.' He further had the advantage of the three shrewd
gentlemen at his elbow, Messrs. Faithfull, Slight, and Hawkins, who allowed
no point to slumber. The great features in favour of the Brighton Company
were--first, that their line was acknowledged by all to be well connected;
secondly, that Parliament had never granted a competing line of as palpable
a character as the Beckenham; thirdly, that it had been shown by a
committee of inquiry that competing lines invariably combine to the
detriment of the public; and lastly, that the opposition line was not a
_bona fide_ scheme, and not required for the traffic of the district.
Mr. Denison replied at a disadvantage. [The chairman announced:] 'The
committee are unanimous in their decision that the preamble of the bill has
_not_ been proved.' The B. and S. C. has won the race. Another victory
for _Scott's lot!_ [Footnote: _Scott's lot_. There was a
celebrated trainer of the day, named Scott; and this expression was very
familiar in the records of the turf.] The Beckenham project thrown out.
[Footnote: _West Sussex Gazette_, June 18, 1863.]
The same writer (I have been told) also remarked that Mr. Hope-Scott
succeeded with the committee by making an exceedingly clear
_statement_ of the case, thereby making them think that they knew
something about it--and that was half the battle. When it was over, Mr.
Hope-Scott observed to a friend, 'It is very likely I shall hear of that
again; and very probably I shall be on the other side.' In fact, the affair
got mixed up with the South-Eastern, from which company Mr. Hope-Scott
received a prior retainer, and carried the Beckenham line against the L.
and B. On that occasion he met the probable production by the opposing
counsel of the statement from his previous speech by showing that
circumstances alter cases, and that two or three years make a great
difference. These latter particulars, however, I only give as
conversational. To prevent any adverse impressions which might be given by
such random talk, I would remark in passing, that a case like the foregoing
is not a question of right or wrong, truth or falsehood, but of a balance
of _expediency_, which it is a counsel's business in each instance to
state, though certainly not to _overstate_. Further on (p.124) the
reader will find evidence of Mr. Hope-Scott's resolute conscientiousness in
the matter of fees.
5. _Scottish Railways: an Amalgamation Case_.--A bill for the
amalgamation of certain Scottish railways was one of the great cases in
which Mr. Hope-Scott was concerned in the Parliamentary Session of 1866. A
correspondent of the 'Dundee Advertiser' takes occasion from it to
contribute to that journal a sketch of Mr. Hope-Scott's personal history
and professional career, with sundry comments on his style as an advocate.
From this article I shall quote so much as refers in general to the
Scottish part of his practice, and particularly to the case above
mentioned. It will be perceived that the writer takes a comparatively
disparaging view of Mr. Hope-Scott's manner of pleading; but this only
shows the coarse drawing which those who write for the people often fall
into, like artists whose pictures are to be seen from a great distance. For
convenience of arrangement I make a transposition in the passage which I
now place before the reader.
Mr. Hope-Scott in pleading his cases has a peculiarly easy style of speech,
which can hardly be called oratory, because it would be ridiculous to waste
high oratory on a Railway or a Waterworks Bill. But he has an apparently
inexhaustible flow of language in every case he takes up, and every point
of every case. He has little gesture, but is graceful in all his movements.
He fastens on every point, however small--not a single feature escapes him;
and he covers it up so completely with a cloud of specious but clever
words, that a Parliamentary committee, composed as it is of private
gentlemen, are almost necessarily led captive, and compelled to view the
point as represented by him. It was eminently so in the Amalgamation case.
The specious excuses for unmitigated selfishness there put forth were
poured into the ears of the committee with such an air of innocent candour,
and with such a clever copiousness, that the committee was, as it were,
flooded and overwhelmed by his quiet eloquence; and though Mr. Denison with
the keen two-edged sword of his logic cut through and through the watery
flood in every case, it was just like cutting water, which immediately
closed the moment the instrument was withdrawn. I am not doing Mr. Scott
injustice when I say that in the Amalgamation case his tact was at least in
as much demand as his ability, and that for downright argument his speeches
could not for one moment be compared to those of Mr. Denison. But having a
bad case to begin with, and having to make a selfish arrangement between
two railway companies appear a great public advantage, he certainly, by his
quiet skilful touches, turned black into white before the committee with
remarkable neatness. His reply on the whole case was another flood of
rosewater eloquence, which rose gently over all the points in Mr. Denison's
speech, and concealed if it did not remove them. It was like the tide
rising and covering a rock which could only be removed by blasting. Mr.
Denison has the keen logical faculty which enables him to bore his way
through the hardest argument, and blast it remorselessly and effectually as
the gunpowder the rock. Mr. Scott, again, prefers to chip the face of the
rock, to trim it into shape, to cover it over with soil, and to conceal its
hard and rocky appearance under the guise of a flower-garden, through which
any one may walk. And with ordinary men this style of thing is very
popular. I do not mean that Mr. Scott is incapable of higher things. Far
from it. I believe that had he to plead before a judge few could be more
logical and powerful than he; but it is a remarkable evidence of the
'Scottishness' of his character, if I may coin a phrase, that when he has
to plead before a committee of private gentlemen who have to be 'managed,'
he should deliberately select a lower style of treatment for his subjects.
* * * * *
From his birth and social position, his mixing with the noblest and best
society in the land, and his versatility and quick perceptive powers, Mr.
Hope-Scott is so thoroughly master of the art of pleasing that a committee
cannot fail to be ingratiated by him; and is certainly never offended, as
he is gentlemanly and amiable to a fault. His temper is unruffled, and his
speeches brimful of quick wit and humour; and when a strong-minded
committee has to decide against him, so much has he succeeded in
ingratiating himself with them that it is almost with a feeling of personal
pain the decision is given. I remember seeing the chairman of one of the
committees look distinctly sheepish as he gave his decision against Mr.
Scott, and could not help thinking how much humbug there was in this system
of Parliamentary committees altogether.
* * * * *
Mr. Hope-Scott has had a great deal to do in regard to Dundee and district
business in Parliament. He represented the Harbour Trustees when they
obtained their original Act, and he has had a hand in forwarding or
opposing most of the railways in the district. He was employed by Mr. Kerr
at the formation of the Scottish Midland; and I may mention that he was
also employed in regard to the original Forfar and Laurencekirk line. In
his conduct of the latter case a characteristic incident occurred which
shows the highly honourable nature of the man. It was at the time of the
railway mania, when fancy fees were being given to counsel, and when some
counsel were altogether exorbitant in their demands. Mr. Hope-Scott was to
have replied on behalf of the Forfar and Laurencekirk line, but intimated
that he would not have time to do so, he being engaged on some other case.
It was supposed, as fancy fees were being freely offered to secure
attendance, that Mr. Scott was dissatisfied with his, and accordingly an
extra fee of 150 guineas was sent to him along with a brief and a request
that he would appear and make the reply. Mr. Scott sent back the brief and
the cheque to the agents, with a note stating his regret that they should
have supposed him capable of such a thing, also stating that he feared he
would not have time to make the reply; but requesting that W. Kerr, of
Dundee, should be asked to visit him and prepare him for the case, that he
might be able to plead it if he did find time. This was done; he did find
the time, he pleaded the case, but would not finger the extra fee! How
different this conduct from that of some of the notorious counsel of those
days, who, after being engaged in a case, sometimes stood out for their
1,000-guinea fees being doubled before they would go on with it!'
[Footnote: I have heard of even a stronger case at that period than those
alluded to by this writer--of a brief of 300_l_. being returned by the
counsel and agents backwards and forwards till it reached 3,000_l_.]
('Dundee Advertiser,' July 2, 1866.)
6. _Dublin Trunk Connecting Railway_.--This was a case of some
interest in 1868 or 1869, when schemes were in agitation for the connection
of lines and the construction of one great central station for Dublin.
Seven bills had been proposed, two of which their supporters had great
hopes of carrying: the Dublin Trunk Connecting line few had thought would
pass, when Mr. Hope-Scott went into the committee-room one afternoon,
examined some witnesses, and made a speech which carried all before it;
and, to the astonishment of all, the bill passed. The project, indeed, was
never realised, but all agreed that Mr. Hope-Scott's single speech before
the committee had snatched the affair from the hands of all the other
7. His professional services to his old College of Eton in one important
case (the Public Schools Bill of 1865) have already been more than once
referred to. [Footnote: See vol. i. p. 17, and the present vol. ii. p.
But he similarly assisted Eton on other occasions also. One of these was a
contest it had with the _Great Western Railway Company_ in 1848, and
which did not terminate in complete success; but his exertions (which were
gratuitous) called forth a most emphatic expression of thanks in an address
to him from the head-master (Dr. Hawtrey) and from the whole body of the
masters. They say:--
It would indeed have been impossible by any such payment to have diminished
our debt. For we feel that you spoke as if you had a common interest in our
cause, and the advocate was lost in the friend. Nothing was wanting in our
defence which the most judicious eloquence, combined with the sincerest
regard for Eton, could supply:--
Si Pergama dextra Defendi possent, etiam hac defensa fuissent.
But if the great object of our wishes could not be obtained against an
opposition so powerful, restrictions have been imposed on the direction of
the Great Western line, which would not have been granted but for the
earnestness of your address to the committee; and whatever alleviations
there may be to the evils which we expected, we shall owe them entirely to
I have little to add to what has now been brought together, yet a few
scraps may still interest the reader.
Mr. Hope's first general retainers (as already stated) date in 1844; but by
the time he retired he was standing counsel to nearly every system of
railways in the United Kingdom (not, however, to the Great Western, though
he pleaded for them whenever he could--that is, when not opposed by other
railways for which he was retained). With the London and North-Western he
was an especial favourite. It is believed that on his retirement his
general retainers amounted to nearly one hundred--an extraordinary number;
among which are included those given by the Corporations of London,
Edinburgh, Dublin, Liverpool, and others. There was, in fact, during his
last years, constant wrangling among clients to secure his services. The
cry always was 'Get Hope-Scott.' That there may have been jealousy on the
part of some as to the distribution of time so precious, may easily be
supposed. I find a hint of this in a book of much local interest, but which
probably few of my readers have met with, 'The Larchfield Diary: Extracts
from the Diary of the late Mr. Mewburn, First Railway Solicitor. London:
Simpkin and Marshall .' Under the year 1861 Mr. Mewburn says (adding
a tart comment):--
The London and North-Western Railway Company had, in the session of 1860,
twenty-five bills in Parliament, all which they gave to Mr. Hope-Scott as
their leader, and he was paid fees amounting to 20,000_l_., although
he was rarely in the committee-room during the progress of the bills.--
'Larchfield Diary,' p. 170.
As to this, it must be observed that the companies engaged Mr. Hope-Scott's
services with the perfect knowledge beforehand that the demands on his time
were such as to render it extremely doubtful whether he could afford more
than a very small share of it to the given case. They wished for his name
if nothing else could be had; and, above all, to hinder its appearing on
the opposite side. It was also felt that his powers were such, that a very
little interference or suggestion on his part was very likely to effect all
they wished. People said, 'If he can only give us ten minutes, it will
_direct_ us. We don't want the chief to draw his sword--he will win
the battle with the glance of his eye.' In reference to one case I have
described (No. 6) a client exclaimed, 'Even in ten minutes he put all to
rights. We should have gone to pieces but for those ten minutes.' One is
reminded of the exclamation of the old Highlander who had survived
Killiecrankie: 'O for one hour of Dundee!' With these facts before us, and
the astonishing unanimity of the best informed witnesses, as to Mr. Hope-
Scott's straightforwardness and high sense of honour, I think Mr. Mewburn's
objection is sufficiently answered. A remark, however, may be added, which
I find in an able article in the 'Scotsman' (May 1, 1873): 'Often unable to
attend his examination of minor witnesses, Mr. Hope-Scott nevertheless took
care to possess himself of everything material in their evidence by careful
reading of the short-hand writers' notes, and he always contrived to be at
hand when the examination of an important witness might be expected to
prove the turning-point in his case.'
The same writer goes on to say:--
Mr. Hope-Scott was not classed as a legal scholar, nor did his branch of
the profession, which was the making, not the interpreting of laws, demand
that accomplishment. His power lay, first, in a strong common sense and in
a practical mind; next, in a degree of tact amounting to instinct, by which
he seemed to read the minds of those before whom he was pleading, and
steered his course and pitched his tone accordingly; and lastly, in being
in all respects a thorough gentleman, knowing how to deal with
gentlemen.... Though sincere and zealous in [religious] matters, Mr. Hope-
Scott never, in his intercourse with the world and with men of hostile
beliefs, showed the least drop of bitterness, or fell away in the smallest
degree from that geniality of spirit which marked his whole character, and
that courtesy of manner which made all intercourse with him, even in hard
and anxious matters of business, a pleasure, not only for the moment, but
The following anecdote will serve to show that Mr. Hope-Scott was not the
man to abuse the power which of course he well knew that he possessed, of
'making the worse seem the better cause.' Once when engaged in consultation
with a certain great advocate, they both agreed that they had not a leg to
stand upon. ---- said that he would speak, and did deliver a speech which
was anything but law. Mr. Hope-Scott being then called, bowed, and said
that he had nothing to add to the speech of his learned friend. 'How could
you leave me like that?' asked the other. 'You had already said,' replied
Mr. Hope-Scott, 'that you had no case.'
In his latter years Mr. Hope-Scott was thought to have become rather
imperious in his style of pleading before the Parliamentary committees: I
mention this, not to pass over an impression which probably was but
incidental. Of an opposite and very beautiful trait see an example in Mr.
Gladstone's 'Letter' (Appendix III.).
It is obvious that Mr. Hope-Scott's professional emoluments must have been,
as I have already said in general, very great. Notwithstanding his
generosity and forbearance, it was no more possible for him, with his
talents and surroundings, to avoid earning a splendid income than (as
Clarendon says of the Duke of Buckingham) for a healthy man to sit in the
sun and not grow warm. Into the details of his professional success in this
point of view I must refrain from entering. Although, considering the great
historical interest of the era of 'the railway mania,' the question of the
fees earned by a great advocate of that period can hardly be considered one
of merely trivial curiosity, still, the etiquette and let me add the just
etiquette, of the profession would forbid the use of information, without
which no really satisfactory outline of this branch of my subject could be
placed before the reader, least of all by a writer not himself a member of
the profession. The popular notion of it must, I suppose, have appeared not
infrequently in the newspapers of the day--an example may be found at p.
204 of this volume--and but very recently a similar guess appeared in a
literary organ of more permanent character. But to correct or to criticise
such vague statements on more certain knowledge, even if I possessed it, is
what can hardly be here expected. Indeed, I ought rather to ask pardon for
mistakes almost certainly incident to what I have already attempted.
In concluding the present subject I may remark that Mr. Hope-Scott's
professional labours by no means represent the whole work of his life.
Nominally, he was supposed to be free for about half the year, but in
reality this vacant time was almost filled up by other work of a business
nature undertaken out of kindness to friends or relations--precisely what
the old Romans called _officia_. Such was the charge of the great
Norfolk estates, and of the long-contested Shrewsbury property; [Footnote:
Bertram Talbot, last Earl of Shrewsbury of the Catholic branch, had
bequeathed considerable property to Lord Edmund Howard (brother-in-law to
Mr. Hope-Scott), on condition of his assuming the name of Talbot. His right
to make this bequest was disputed by his successor, and a protracted
litigation ensued in 1864 and the next few years, throughout which Mr.
Hope-Scott acted as friend and adviser of the Howards, to whom he was
guardian. The importance of this _cause celebre_ here consists chiefly
in the self-sacrificing labours by which Mr. Hope-Scott succeeded in saving
something for his relative out of the wreck, when to rescue the whole
proved to be hopeless. I am not aware that it need be concealed that he had
a very strong opinion against the justice of the decision.] such was
another trust, on a considerable scale, for connections of his family in
Yorkshire, involving, like the former, a great deal of travelling, for he
was not satisfied with merely looking at things through other people's
eyes. Such, too, his guardianship of his elder brother's eight children
[Footnote: Mr. George W. Hope died on October 18, 1863--a great sorrow to
Mr. Hope-Scott, to whom for years, in the earlier part of his career, his
house had been a home, and who regarded him throughout with deep
affection.] for about ten years before his death. A fourth may be added,
that of the family of Mr. Laing, solicitor at Jedburgh, a convert who died
young, requesting Mr. Hope to protect the interest of his seven children. A
fifth, too--the guardianship of the children of his old legal tutor, Mr.
Plunkett. The four first-mentioned guardianships occupied Mr. Hope till
nearly the end of his life. And, on the top of all this, add a most
voluminous correspondence, in which his advice was required on important
subjects by important persons--and often on subjects which were to them of
importance, by very much humbler persons too.
Of the spirit in which he laboured, the following passage of a letter of
his to Father (now Cardinal) Newman gives an idea. Like some other letters
I have quoted, it almost supplies the absence of a religious diary of the
period. It is an answer to a letter of Dr. Newman's, presently to be given
_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C. to the Very Rev. Dr. Newman._
Abbotsford: Dec. 30, 1857.
Dear Father Newman,--... And now a word about yourself. I do not like your
croaking. You have done more in your time than most men, and have never
been idle. As to the way in which you have done it I shall say nothing. You
may think you might have done it better. I remember that you once told me
that 'there was nothing we might not have done better'--and this was to
comfort me; and it did, for it brought each particular failure under a
general law of infirmity, and so quieted while it humbled me. And then as
to the future: what is appointed for you to do you will have time for--what
is not, you need have no concern about. There! I have written a sermon.
Very impudent I know it is; but when the mind gets out of joint a child may
sometimes restore it by telling us some simple thing which we perhaps have
taught it. Pat your child then on the head, and bid him go to play, while
you brace yourself up and work on, not as if you must do some particular
work _before_ you die, but as if you must do your best _till_ you
die. 'Alas! alas! how much could I say of my past, were I to compare it
with yours! And my future--how shall I secure it better than you can yours?
But I must not abuse the opportunity you have given me.... With all good
wishes of this and every season,
Yours very affectionately,
JAMES R. HOPE-SCOTT.
The Very Rev. Dr. Newman, Birmingham.
Mr. Hope's Engagement to Charlotte Lockhart--Memorial of Charlotte
Lockhart--Their Marriage--Mr. Lockhart's Letter to Mr. J. R. Hope on his
Conversion--Filial Piety of Mr. Hope--Conversion of Lord and Lady Henry
Kerr--Domestic Life at Abbotsford--Visit of Dr. Newman to Abbotsford in
1852--Birth of Mary Monica Hope-Scott--Bishop Grant on Early Education--Mr.
Lockhart's Home Correspondence--Death of Walter Lockhart Scott--Mr. Hope
takes the Name of Hope-Scott--Last Illness and Death of Mr. Lockhart--Death
of Lady Hope--Letter of Lord Dalhousie--Mr. Hope-Scott purchases a Highland
Estate--Death of Mrs. Hope-Scott and her Two Infants--Letters of Mr. Hope-
Scott, in his Affliction, to Dr. Newman and Mr. Gladstone--Verses in 1858--
Letter of Dr. Newman on receiving them.
This biography here reaches the point where the history of Mr. Hope's
marriage may fitly be placed before the reader. It was an event which, as I
have already hinted, may very probably have been connected, like his eager
pursuit of the Bar, with the break-down of his early ideas as to the Church
of England. Yet, viewed merely in its worldly aspects, the step was one
which could have caused no surprise, the time for it having fully arrived,
as he was now thirty-five, in a conspicuous position in society, and making
a splendid income. The lady of his choice was Charlotte Harriet Jane
Lockhart, daughter of John Gibson Lockhart, and granddaughter of Sir Walter
Scott. It was through Lady Davy that Mr. Hope had made Mr. Lockhart's
acquaintance; and thus what appeared a very meaningless episode in his
juvenile years materially affected his destiny in life. In a letter of July
23, 1847, to his sister, Lady Henry Kerr, he speaks as follows of the
important step in life he had decided upon, and of the character of his
I have for a long time contemplated the possibility of marriage, and had
resolved that, all things considered, it might, under God's blessing, be
the best course which I could pursue. It was not, however, till I had made
acquaintance with Charlotte Lockhart that I was satisfied I should find a
person who in all respects would suit me. This a general knowledge of her
character (which is easily known) convinced me of, and I then proceeded
rapidly, and, as far as I can judge, am not mistaken in my choice.
She is not yet twenty, but has lived much alone; much also with people
older than herself, and people of high mental cultivation. She has also had
the discipline of depending on those habits of her father which are
inseparable from a literary and, in some degree, secluded life. In short,
she has had much to form her, and with great simplicity of character, and
unbounded cheerfulness, she combines far more thought than is usual at her
age. Having no mother and few connections, she is the more likely to become
entirely one of us; which I value, not only on my own account, but for the
sake of my mother, to whom I am sure she will be a very daughter.
I have said more to you about her than I have written to any one else, for
I distrust marriage puffs, and desire that people may judge for
themselves.... You may be assured that I look upon marriage in a very
serious light; and I pray God heartily that it may be to us, whether in joy
or sorrow, the means of mutual improvement, so that, when the account is
rendered, each may show some good work done for the other.
JAMES R. HOPE.
A little expedition which ensued on the engagement was long remembered as
affording a very bright passage in their lives. With Lady Davy as kind
chaperon, Mr. Hope and his betrothed visited his brother-in-law and sister,
Lord and Lady Henry Kerr, at the Rectory of Dittisham, near Dartmouth, that
the future sisters might become acquainted. The exquisite beauty of the
scenery about the Dart, the splendour of the weather, and the charm of the
moment, altogether made this a time of happiness not to be forgotten by any
of those who shared in it. To the outline conveyed in Mr. Hope's letter I
shall add a few traits obtained from other sources, and thus complete, as
far as possible, the image they present. Charlotte Lockhart is described as
a very attractive person, with a graceful figure, a sweet and expressive
face, brown eyes of great brilliance, and a beautifully shaped head: the
chin indeed was heavy, but even this added to the interest of the face by
its striking resemblance to the same feature in her great ancestor, Sir
Walter Scott. A dearly cherished portrait of her at Abbotsford shows all
that sweetness we should expect, yet it is at the same time full of
character and decision. Her style of dress was marked by singular
simplicity; and, unless to please her husband, or when society required it,
she rarely wore ornaments. She was of a bright and cheerful nature, at
first sight extremely open, but with that reserve which so often shows
itself, on further acquaintance, in minds of unusual thoughtfulness and
depth. There was something especially interesting in her manner--a mixture
of shyness and diffidence with self-reliance and decisiveness, quite
peculiar to herself. Her look, 'brimful of everything,' seemed to win
sympathy and to command respect. Without marked accomplishments, unless
that of singing most sweetly, with a good taste and natural power that were
always evident, she had a passion for books, about which, however, she was
particularly silent, as she dreaded anything like pretensions to
literature. Her talent and quickness made everything easy to her, and she
seemed to get through all she had to do with great facility. But this was
much assisted by an extraordinary gift of order and method, which enabled
her, without consulting her watch, to fix the instant when the time had
arrived, for example, for prayers, so that her friends would say they felt
sure she carried a clock in her head. Punctual to a minute, she seemed
never to lose a moment. She governed herself by a rule of life, drawn up
for her by Bishop Grant (and afterwards by Cardinal Manning), memoranda of
which were found in her Prayer-book. Notwithstanding ill-health, she almost
always commenced her devotions, even if unable to rise early, at six in the
morning, and observed a perfect system in the round of her daily duties.
She was never idle, and nothing that might be called her recreations was
allowed to be decided by the wish of the moment, but was all settled
beforehand--the time to be allotted, for instance, to a carriage drive, or
to visiting. Mr. Hope-Scott himself said of her, that if she lay down on
the sofa in the afternoon to enjoy a few hours of Dante or Tasso, you might
be sure that every note had been answered, every account set down and
carefully backed up, every domestic matter thoroughly arranged. As Lady
Davy expressed it, 'she was a very busy little housewife, putting order
into every department.'
Of the usual lady's industry of needlework, plain or fancy, she got through
an amazing quantity; but she was also, in her early years, of great use to
her father, whose companion she had been in a literary life of great
loneliness, by relieving him of much of his correspondence. The same
diligent and endearing aid she afterwards rendered to her husband in all
his harassing overwork. Her great love and admiration for him, combined
with her own natural reserve, made her somewhat disinclined to go into
society; and in his compulsory absences, at which she was never heard to
murmur, she could be happy for weeks together, with her child, in a
comparatively solitary life at Abbotsford. Yet she was also quite able to
appreciate society, and is described by her friends as a delightful
companion, hardly ever talking of herself, and always charitable in talking
of others. Though placed in the state of riches, and having unlimited
permission from her husband to spend as much as she pleased, she was
notwithstanding never wasteful, but governed her household expenditure with
the prudence of an upright and well-regulated mind, taking the greatest
pains that all around her should have strict justice. She spent nothing
needlessly upon herself, but gave largely, and in the most self-denying
manner, for charitable purposes, especially the Orphanage under the sisters
at Norwood, which she appears to have constantly endeavoured to follow in
spirit, making her inner life, as far as possible, that of a religious. She
is remembered to have disposed of, for the sake of the Norwood Orphanage, a
precious ornament, given her by her husband, which had belonged to the
Empress Josephine; but a portion was reserved for a Lady altar in the
Church of St. Mary and St. Andrew, Galashiels. When in London, it was her
delight to visit St. George's Hospital, where her attendance was efficient
and regular, so long as she was able to render it.
Mr. Hope and Charlotte Lockhart were married at the parish church of
Marylebone on August 19, 1847, his brother-in-law, Lord Henry Kerr,
officiating; and after the wedding he took his bride to the Duke of
Buccleuch's house at Richmond, which had been lent to them for the
honeymoon. The autumn was spent at Rankeillour, and the winter at Lady
Hope's in Charles Street. In 1848 Mr. Hope rented Abbotsford from his
brother-in-law, Walter Lockhart Scott, and removed thither in August of
that year. On the death of the latter, in 1853, he became its possessor in
right of his wife, and for the remainder of his days made it his principal
Mr. Hope's conversion, as we have seen, took place before Easter in 1851.
To his wife, the surrender of united prayer (of all trials the severest on
both sides) was a sore distress: but the perception of truth is always
aided by consistency, at whatever sacrifice; she had read and thought much
on the controversy, and by Whitsuntide had followed her husband into the
True Fold. Mr. Lockhart regarded his son-in-law's conversion as a grief and
a humiliation; but, nevertheless, the nobleness of his nature, and the deep
regard he always felt for his virtues, prevailed without an effort. His
letter on that occasion does himself as much honour as it does to Mr. Hope.
_J. G. Lockhart, Esq. to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C._
S[ussex] P[lace]: April 8, 1851.
My dear Hope,--I thank you sincerely for your kind letter. I had clung to
the hope that you would not finally leave the Church of England; but am not
so presumptuous as to say a word more on that step as respects yourself,
who have not certainly assumed so heavy a responsibility without much study
and reflection. As concerns others, I am thoroughly aware that they may
count upon any mitigation which the purest intentions and the most generous
and tender feelings on your part can bring. And I trust that this, the only
part of your conduct that has given me pain, need not, now or ever, disturb
the confidence in which it has of late been a principal consolation to me
to live with my son-in-law.
Ever affectionately yours,
J. G. LOCKHART.
That incipient leaning to Catholicity which is so observable among the
literary men of the later Georgian era, especially of the school of Sir
Walter Scott, was probably not wanting in Mr. Lockhart. At Rome he seems to
have chiefly lived among Catholics; and quite in keeping with this view is
an anecdote I have heard, of his observing to Mr. Hope, when once at
Mayence they were watching the crowd streaming out of the cathedral, 'I
must say this looks very like reality.' This was in the course of a visit
they made to Germany in 1850, when Mrs. Hope was staying at Kreuznach for
her health. As for Lady Hope, her decidedly Protestant principles caused
her to feel profound distress when her son became a Catholic. She anxiously
sought to know what Roman Catholics really believed, and whether they
worshipped the Blessed Virgin or not.
Her son wrote her the following beautiful letter the Christmas Eve after
_J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C. to his Mother, the Hon. Lady Hope._
Abbotsford: Dec. 24, '51.
Dearest Mamma,--... Writing on Christmas Eve, I cannot forbear, dearest
mamma, from wishing you the blessings of this season, although I feel that
in doing so I must necessarily cause painful thoughts; but amongst these, I
trust, you will never admit any which imply that my love for you has
diminished, or that I profess a religion which does not enforce and cherish
the feelings of duty and affection which I owe to you. That I have often
been wanting in my conduct towards you I well know and sincerely regret;
but I can safely say that you have been throughout my life, to me, as you
are still, an object of love, respect, and gratitude such as I scarcely
have elsewhere in the world. Take then, dearest mamma, your son's Christmas
prayers. They are addressed to the God who gave you to me, and whom I thank
heartily for the gift; and if I believe that His will has been manifested
otherwise than you see it in some things, remember that this does not
extend to the precepts of love and charity, or alter one tittle of my
obligation and desire to be and to show myself to be
Your most affectionate Son,
JAMES R. HOPE.
In the course of 1853 Mr. Hope's brother-in-law and sister, Lord and Lady
Henry Kerr, were received into the Catholic Church. They ultimately settled
near Abbotsford, at Huntley-Burn, a name familiar to all who have read
Lockhart's 'Life of Scott,' which afforded more frequent opportunities for
the intimate and affectionate intercourse which existed between the
families. Mr. Hope's other immediate relatives, however unable they might
be to sympathise with his change, retained their love and admiration for
him undiminished. Writing from Luffness to Mr. Badeley (Jan. 21, 1852), he
says: 'Here there has been no controversy, it being agreed that we shall
not _talk_.... We meet everywhere so much kindness now, that we can
make no pretence to confessorship.' His life as a Catholic, now that he had
once found anchorage in the faith, passed in unbroken peace of mind, in
wonderful contrast to the storms of which we have been so long telling,
that swept over him before he reached this haven.
The years immediately succeeding Mr. Hope's marriage with Charlotte
Lockhart were probably the happiest of his life. He was then most buoyant,
most in health, most himself, and at the height of his intellectual powers.
His improving and practical hand was soon felt wherever he resided. He did
much for Rankeillour, but for Abbotsford wonders. The place had been
greatly neglected, the trees unthinned, and everything needing a
restoration. He added a new wing to the house, formed a terrace, and
constructed an ingenious arrangement of access by which the tourists might
be admitted to satisfy their curiosity, while some sort of protection was
afforded to the domestic privacy of the inmates. [Footnote: Particulars of
some of the improvements will be given later on. The new house at
Abbotsford was begun about 1855, and completed and furnished in 1857.] What
he did for the Church I shall tell by-and-by. [Footnote: See chapter xxvi.]
At both Rankeillour and Abbotsford Mr. Hope maintained a graceful
hospitality, in every way befitting his position. A letter which has been
communicated to me from a lady (now a nun) who was on a visit at Abbotsford
during the autumn and winter of 1854, gives a very pleasing and distinct
idea of the domestic life there during that brief period of happiness,
which, however (as we shall see presently), was already chequered by sorrow
destined in the Divine providence to become yet deeper and sadder. To this
letter I am indebted for the following particulars, which I have ventured
slightly to rearrange, yet keeping as closely as possible to the words of
The impression left by that most interesting and charming family could
never be effaced from my mind. It always seemed to me the most perfect type
of a really Christian household, such as I never saw in the world before or
since. A religious atmosphere pervaded the whole house, and not only the
guests, but the servants must, it seems to me, have felt its influence.
But, apart from that, there was so much genial hospitality, and every one
was made to feel so completely at his ease. Mr. Hope-Scott was the _beau
ideal_ of an English gentleman, and a model Catholic devoted to the
service of the Church, doing all the good that lay in his power, far and
near. There was a quiet dignity about him, and at the same time he was full
of gentle mirth, full of kindness and consideration for others; and for
every one with whom he came in contact, high and low, rich and poor, there
was a kind word or a generous act.
Among all the guests of this happy interval, [Footnote: Lord and Lady
Arundel and their family, Count Thun, Lady Davy, Lady Lothian, Lord
Traquair, Bishop Carruthers, Mr. Badeley, &c.] none were more joyfully
welcomed than Dr. Newman, who spent above five weeks at Abbotsford during
the winter of 1852-3, though a much longer visit had earnestly been wished
for by his kind host. It was a visit memorable in many ways, and at a
memorable time of the Cardinal's life, the year of the first Achilli trial
(this took place June 21-24), in which Mr. Hope, though not one of his
advocates, had rendered the most efficient help to the illustrious
defendant by his counsel and support. The Catholic university of Ireland,
as will be seen from the following letter, was also then preparing, for
which its first legislator had turned to Mr. Hope as among the most trusted
of his advisers.
_J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C. to the Very Rev. Dr. Newman._
5 Calverly Terrace, Tunbridge Wells: October 23, '52.
Dear Newman,--I am much grieved by the account of your health which you
send. Do, I entreat you, take _rest_ at once--and by rest I
understand, and I suspect from Dr. Murray (?), total removal from work and
change of scene. We hope to go to Abbotsford early next month. We have a
chapel in the house, but no chaplain. You would confer on us the GREATEST
pleasure, and would at the same time secure your doctor's object, if you
would come down there and spend with us the three or four months which will
elapse before our return to town. You can say mass at your own hour,
observe your own ways in everything, and feel all the time, I hope,
perfectly at home. Do, pray, seriously think of this.
As to the University question which you put to me, I can give no reference
here; and I suspect my view is rather historical than in the way of strict
definition. In England public teaching in the schools preceded all the
colleges, and the latter provided the training which the university did not
undertake. In Scotland and in most places abroad there are no colleges in
our English sense, and public teaching is the essence of their systems.
Perhaps by looking into Athy Wood you may find passages to refer to, but I
would rather rest upon the general statement of their origin. There are
some derivations ascribed to the word _universitas_ as relating to
universal knowledge, but I doubt them. Wife and child well.
JAMES R. HOPE.
I subjoin a few lines from Dr. Newman's answer to this invitation (which at
first he was unable to accept):--
It would be a great pleasure to spend some time with you, and then I have
ever had the extremest sympathy for Walter Scott, that it would delight me
to see his place. When he was dying I was saying prayers (whatever they
were worth) for him continually, thinking of Keble's words, 'Think on the
minstrel as ye kneel.' (Dr. Newman to J. R. H. from Edgbaston, Birmingham,
Oct. 29, '52.)
Not less interesting is a letter in which he recalls this visit, years
after. Writing to Mr. Hope-Scott on Christmas Eve, 1857 [compare p. 131],
Dr. Newman says:--
I am glad to call to mind and commemorate by a letter the pleasant days I
passed in the North this time five years. Five years has a melancholy sound
to me now, for it is like a passing-bell, knolling away time. I hope it is
not wrong to say that the passage of time is now sad to me as well as
awful, because it brings before me how much I ought to have done, how much
I have to do, and how little time I have to do it in.... I wonder whether
Badeley is with you? What a strange thing life is! We see each other as
through the peep-holes of a show. When had I last a peep at him or you?
At Abbotsford one blessing was still wanting to the completion of domestic
happiness. It may be assumed that, after successes so brilliant, Mr. Hope
could not but desire to found a family which should continue, in his own
line, names so famous as those which he inherited and represented; but this
was long withheld. His first child, a boy, was still-born (1848); the next,
after an interval of four years (October 2, 1852, Feast of the Guardian
Angels), was a daughter, Mary Monica (now the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell-Scott),
named after a favourite saint of his; and several years more elapsed before
the birth of another son. A passage from one of Bishop Grant's letters to
Mr. Hope will be read with interest at this point, both for the
characteristic piety and for the intimacy of their friendship to which it
_The Right Rev. Dr. Grant, Bishop of Southwark, to J. R. Hope, Esq.,
Dec. 10, 1852.
My dear Mr. Hope,--... As you will have more opportunities at Abbotsford
than you will perhaps find in London, it may be well to tell you that the
Italian nurses begin almost before children know how to use their eyes, to
make them notice prints or statues of our dear Mother and of the saints.
This helps their imagination, such as it is; and, after all, when we know
how some babes notice their parents and nurses, there is every reason why
we should accustom them to notice holy things. And, as they begin to talk,
it is right to follow the rule which St. Augustine says his mother had, of
constantly letting the sacred names drop, so that the great doctor says she
completely destroyed his relish for all oratory from which those sweet
names were absent.
May the blessings of Christmas fall abundantly on all at Abbotsford!
Yours very affectionately,
Mr. Hope's domestic circle at this time included Mr. Lockhart, who, though
not yet a very old man, was verging towards the close of a literary life of
great toil. He was much with his son-in-law and daughter in Scotland and in
London, and they sometimes stayed with him in Sussex Place. At length he
had his books taken down to Abbotsford, where they still are, in a room
called the Lockhart Library. When absent, he wrote almost daily either to
his daughter or to Mr. Hope; and the collection of his letters, still
preserved, affords a most amusing record, sparkling with genial sarcasm, of
whatever was going on around him in London society. There is endless talk
and incident, floating in that society, which never finds its way into
print, or not till after the lapse of many years; and such is precisely the
material of this home correspondence of Mr. Lockhart's. It would be perhaps
difficult to name letters with which they can be accurately classed. I do
not forget Horace Walpole, and Swift's 'Journal to Stella.' But Lockhart's
wit was more playful and more natural. The great charm of his letters is,
that he thought, so far, of nothing but simply to relate what was likely to
amuse his daughter, whether the matter in itself was of the least
consequence or not. Such, however, were not the only topics of which he had
to tell. Mr. Lockhart, who, with his somewhat haughty self-possession,
might have been described, as the late Lord Aberdeen was, by one who knew
him well, as 'possessing a heart of fire in a form of ice,' had yet a
deeply felt but secret sorrow, with which even his resolution could hardly
cope. If I do not disguise that for years he had much to vex him in the
wild ways of a son whom he yet never ceased to love, it is only because
otherwise I could convey little idea of the unreserved manner in which that
lofty spirit could turn for consolation, in letter after letter, to Mr.
Hope, or to his daughter, never failing to find all the comfort with which
a wise head and a kind heart can reward a confidence so pathetic.
Mr. Hope's conduct, all through these trials, was indeed forbearing and
generous to such a degree as would make it a great example to all who have
to sustain crosses of that kind. But enough, perhaps, has been said on the
subject. In 1848 a severe illness of his brother-in-law at Norwich afforded
another of those occasions in which he displayed that zeal and helpfulness
in ministering to the sick, of which there are so many instances in his
life. Walter Lockhart Scott died at Versailles on January 10, 1853.
[Footnote: Walter Lockhart Scott and Charlotte (wife of Mr. Hope-Scott)
were the last survivors of the children of Mr. Lockhart and Sophia,
daughter of Sir Walter Scott. The eldest son, though very short-lived, is
well remembered as 'Hugh Littlejohn,' to whom the _Tales of my
Grandfather_ were dedicated.] Mr. Hope then assumed the name of Hope-
Scott, by which I shall henceforth speak of him. It was on the occasion of
her brother's death that Bishop Grant addressed the following beautiful
letter to Mrs. Hope-Scott:--
_The Right Rev. Dr. Grant, Bishop of Southwark, to Mrs. Hope-Scott_.
January 20 .
My dear Mrs. Hope,--Although there is no artistic merit in the enclosed, I
hope you will allow me to send it on account of the meditation which it
suggests, how our dear Lord had the thought of His sufferings present to
His mind in early childhood--indeed, from the first moment of His earthly
existence. This thought may help to strengthen us when we reflect that He
has not given us the foretaste of our sorrow, but has allowed us to grow up
without any anticipation of distinct sorrow and suffering; and, for the
first years, without any thought of their coming at all. When affliction
comes at last in all its real bitterness, we can lighten it by uniting it
to His sorrow, and by asking Him to remember His promise of making it easy
I should not have troubled you so soon if it had not occurred to me that
the days which follow the announcement of a cause of grief are often more
trying than the commencement of them, and that during them the need of
consolation may be more felt.
I do not know why I should intrude my poor sympathy upon you, but when we
have shared in joy it seems ungrateful not to be willing to have a part in
sadness, and therefore I hope you will excuse me....
Yours very respectfully,
Mr. Lockhart never got over the death of his last-remaining son. His health
began to fail; he went to Rome for change of climate; came back worse, and
soon after went down to his half-brother's at Milton-Lockhart. Thither Mr.
and Mrs. Hope-Scott went to see him, and entreated him to come to
Abbotsford. He at first decidedly refused, and his will was a strong one;
but some time after, when the house was full of Catholic guests, he
suddenly announced that he wished to go immediately to Abbotsford. He
arrived there, hardly able to get out of his carriage, and it was at once
perceived that he was a dying man. He desired to drive about and take leave
of various places, displaying, however, a sort of stoical fortitude, and
never making a direct allusion to what was impending. To save him fatigue,
it was important he should have his room near the library, but he shrank
from accepting the dining-room (where Sir Walter Scott had died), and it
required all Mr. Hope-Scott's peculiar tact and kindness to induce him to
establish himself in the breakfast-room close by. There he remained until
the end. Yet he would not suffer any one to nurse him, till, one night, he
fell down on the floor, and, after that, offered no further opposition.
Father Lockhart, a distant cousin, was now telegraphed for, from whom,
during Mr. Lockharts's stay in Rome, he had received much kind attention,
for which he was always grateful. He did not object to his kinsman's
presence, though a priest; and yielded also when asked to allow his
daughter to say a few prayers by his bedside. Mr. Hope-Scott, in the
meantime, was absent on business, but returned home one or two days before
the end, which came suddenly. He and Mrs. Hope-Scott were quickly called
in, and found Miss Lockhart (affectionately called in the family 'Cousin
Kate') reading the prayers for the dying. Mr. Lockhart died on November 25,
1854, and was buried at Dryburgh Abbey, beside his father-in-law Sir Walter
Scott. The insertion of these particulars, which are of personal interest
to many of my readers, will perhaps be justified by their close association
with the subject of this memoir.
After little more than a twelvemonth Mr. Hope-Scott had the sorrow to lose
his mother. Lady Hope died rather suddenly on December 1, 1855, in
consequence, it was thought, of injuries she had sustained from an
accidental fall in the Crystal Palace a few days before. In writing to
acquaint Mr. Gladstone with this sad event (December 4) [Footnote: Lady
Frances Hope also died within a week after, on December 6, 1855.] Mr. Hope-
To you and Mrs. Gladstone, who knew her, I may confidently say that I
believe a kinder, more generous and self-denying nature has seldom existed.
To us, her children, her life has been one of overflowing affection and
care; but many, many besides her immediate relations have known her almost
as a mother, and will feel the closing of her house as if they had lost a
The following letter, written from India on the same occasion, is in every
way deeply interesting:--
_The Marquis of Dalhousie to G. W. Hope, Esq._
Gov't House: Feb. 6, 1856.
It was very kind of you, my dear George, to think of me, far away, when
your heart must have been so sore. But, indeed, your kindness was not
thrown away, or your considerate thoughtfulness misplaced.
Even Jim and yourself have not grieved with more heartfelt sorrow for that
dear life that has been lost than I have in my banishment.
Thirty years have gone since your mother began to show to me the tenderness
of an _own_ mother. I loved her dearly--she loved me, and loved what I
loved. In the prospect of a return which has few charms for me the thought
of finding Lady Hope good, kind, gracious, motherly, as she always was for
me, was one of the few thoughts on which I dwelt, and to which I returned
with real pleasure, and now it is all gone; and you would think it
exaggerated if I said how deeply it depresses me to feel that it is so.
Give my love to Jim, and to your sister too. I see her boy goes to Madras.
I had hoped to see him here, if only for a week.
In three weeks I am deposed. I have no wish to see England; but
nevertheless I am, dear George,
Yours most sincerely,
The winter which followed Mr. Lockhart's death at Abbotsford was a mournful
one. Mrs. Hope-Scott had been deeply attached to her father. She had shared
his griefs, as we have seen. Her earlier years had been somewhat lonely;
her disposition, with all its reserve, was excessively sensitive and
excitable, and a change of scene had doubtless begun to be felt necessary,
when Mr. Hope-Scott bought a Highland estate, situated at Lochshiel, on the
west coast of Inverness-shire, north of Loch Sunart, and nearly opposite
Skye. The history of the purchase of this property, and of all that Mr.
Hope-Scott did for it as a Catholic proprietor, is very interesting and
curious, but involves so much detail, that I reserve most of it for a
future chapter. He built a residence there, Dorlin House, a massive,
comfortable mansion, practically of his own designing, abounding in long
corridors, to enable the ladies and children to have exercise under shelter
in the rainy Highland climate, and various little contrivances showing that
few things were too minute for his attention. Here, as everywhere, he used
a kindly and noble hospitality. Much of the charm of the place consisted in
its remoteness and solitude, which caused just sufficient difficulty in
obtaining supplies to afford matter of amusement. The post also came in and
out only three times a week, and the nearest doctor was twelve miles off.
All this, however, is now considerably changed by the greater vicinity of
railways. A few lines from a letter of Mr. Hope-Scott's to Dr. Newman,
dated 'Lochshiel, Strontian, N.B., September 25, 1856,' will give a better
notion of its surroundings than I can offer:--
We are here on the sea-shore, with wild rocks, lakes, and rivers near us,
an aboriginal Catholic population, a priest in the house, and a chapel
within 100 yards. We hope Badeley may turn up to-day, but are in doubt
whether he will be as happy here as in Paper Buildings. The first
necessaries of life sometimes threaten to fail us, and we have to lay in
stores as if we were going on a sea voyage. At this moment we are in doubt
about a cargo of flour from Glasgow, and our coal-ship has been long due.
What Badeley will say to oat-cakes and turf fires remains to be seen.
On Christmas Eve of the following year (1857) Dr. Newman writes to Mr.
Hope-Scott, in a letter I have already quoted from (p. 143):--
I was rejoiced to hear so good an account of your health, and of all your
party. I suppose you are full of plans about your new property and your
old. Your sister tells me you have got into your new wing at Abbotsford. As
for the faraway region of which I have not yet learned the name, I suppose
you are building there either a fortress against evil times, or a new town
and port for happy times. Have you yet found gold on your estate? for that
seems the fashion.
Mr. Hope-Scott did not indeed find gold at Dorlin, but he spent a great
deal over it, which he was sometimes tempted to regret; but, on the whole,
thought that the outlay had been devoted to legitimate objects, and that,
as an experiment, it had succeeded. He built two chapels on this property,
at Mingarry (Our Lady of the Angels) and at Glenuig (St. Agnes); and his
letters are full of unconscious proof how the interests of Catholicity were
always in his mind. A long wished-for event had lately thrown a bright
gleam of sunshine over the house. On June 2, 1857, Mrs. Hope-Scott gave
birth to a son and heir, Walter Michael, which was cause of rejoicing, not
only to the whole Scottish nation, but wherever the English language is
spoken, as promise of the continuance of the name and the line of
Scotland's greatest literary glory. And, to complete the circle of
happiness, on September 17 of the following year, 1858, was born also a
daughter, Margaret Anne. Three months after this had scarcely passed, when
the mother and both her infants were no more.
Mrs. Hope-Scott had never really recovered from her first confinement. In
the spring of 1858 she had had a severe attack of influenza, and
consumptive symptoms, though not called by that name, came on. Towards the
end of October arrangements had been made to take her to the Isle of Wight
for the winter, but she never got further on her journey than Edinburgh.
When she called, a day or two after her arrival there, on the Bishop, Dr.
Gillis, he said to himself, 'Ah! _you_ have been travelling by express
train!' Very soon after this, bronchitis set in, and rapidly became acute,
and the case was pronounced hopeless. To herself, indeed, it was perhaps
more or less sudden, though she had virtually made a retreat of preparation
during the preceding six months, and left everything in the most perfect
order at Abbotsford. She had said to 'Cousin Kate' (Miss Lockhart) that God
had been very merciful to her in sending her a lingering illness; yet, on
the last night, was heard to say,' Hard to part--Jim--Mamo [Footnote: Mamo:
an affectionate abbreviation for Mary Monica.]--God's will be done.' She
accepted her death as God's will. On being told of its approach, and after
receiving the last sacraments, she said, 'I have no fear now.' Bishop
Gillis gave her the last absolution, Fr. Noble, one of the Oblate Fathers
from Galashiels, assisting. Her husband's disposition never allowed him to
believe in misfortune till it had really come, and, almost up to the last
hour, he had failed to see what was plain to all other eyes; the parting,
therefore, with him and with her little daughter Mamo (who could scarcely
be torn from her) was sad beyond expression. The end came rapidly. She died
on Tuesday, October 26, and on December 3 her baby daughter, Margaret Anne;
and on December 11 the little boy, whose birth had caused such gladness.
All three were buried in the vault of St. Margaret's Convent, Edinburgh;
the mother on November 2 (All Souls' Day), her two children on December 10
and 17, 1858. Bishop Gillis spoke on November 2 and December 10, but his
addresses were unwritten; Dr. Grant, Bishop of Southwark, on December 17.
His address, and a beautiful one indeed it is, has fortunately been
Of three short letters, in which Mr. Hope-Scott had told Dr. Newman of each
sorrow as it came, I transcribe the last:--
_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.G. to the Very Rev. Dr. Newman._
14 Curzon St, London, W.:
Dec. 11, 1858.
Dear Father Newman,--My intention, for which you so kindly said mass, has
been fulfilled, for it was, as well as I could form it, that God should
deal with my child as would be most for His honour and its happiness, and
this afternoon He has answered my prayer by calling little Walter to
I rely upon you to pray much for me. It may yet be that other sacrifices
will be required, and I may need more strength; but what I chiefly fear is
that I may not profit as I ought by that wonderful union of trial and
consolation which God has of late vouchsafed me.
Yours very affectionately,
JAMES R. HOPE-SCOTT.
The Very Rev. Dr. Newman.
On his wife's death Mr. Hope-Scott had written the following letter to Mr.
_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.G. to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P._
Abbotsford: Nov. 3, 1858.
My dear Gladstone,--I was uneasy at not having written to you, and hoped
you would write--which you have done, and I thank you much for it. An
occasion like this passed by is a loss to friendship, but it was not, nor
is, easy for me to write to you. You will remember that the root of our
friendship, which I trust [was] the deepest, was fed by a common interest
in religion, and I cannot write to you of her whom it has pleased God to
take from me without reference to that Church whose doctrines and promises
she had embraced with a faith which made them the objects of sense to her;
whose teaching now moulded her mind and heart; whose spiritual blessings
surrounded and still surround her, and which has shed upon her death a
sweetness which makes me linger upon it more dearly than upon any part of
our united and happy life.
These things I could not pass over without ignoring the foundation of our
friendship; but still I feel that to mention them has something intrusive,
something which it may be painful for you to read, as though it required an
answer which you had rather not give. So I will say only one thing more,
and it is this: If ever, in the strife of politics and religious
controversy, you are tempted to think or speak hardly of that Church--if
she should appear to you arrogant, or exclusive, or formal, for my dear
Charlotte's sake and mine check that thought, if only for an instant, and
remember with what exceeding care and love she tends her children....
And now good-bye, my dear Gladstone. Forgive me every word which you had
rather I had not said. May God long preserve to you and your wife that
happiness which you now have in each other! and when it pleases Him that
either of you should have to mourn the other, may He be as merciful to you
as He has been to me!
JAMES E. HOPE-SCOTT.
And now Mr. Hope-Scott was left alone in Abbotsford, with his only
surviving child, a very fragile and delicate flower too, such as to make a
father tremble while he kissed it. We have already seen [Footnote: See pp.
44-46, and 55, 56, ch. ii, in vol. i.] that he could resort sometimes to
poetry as that comfort for the over-burdened mind, in which Keble's theory
would place even the principal source of the poetical spirit. [Footnote:
Keble, _Praelectiones Academicae_, Oxon. 1844. Prael. i. t. i. p. 10.
] As every reader will sympathise with such expressions of feeling, I do
not hesitate to transcribe some touching verses which he wrote at this
season of sorrow, and which, with a few others, he had privately printed,
and given in his lifetime to two or three of his very closest friends.
These others will be found in the appendix. [Footnote: Appendix IV.]
_Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas,
Cordi meo valide._
My babes, why were you born,
Since in life's early morn
Death overtook you, and, before
I could half love you, you were mine no more?
Walter, my own bright boy,
Hailed as the hope and joy
Of those who told thy grandsire's fame,
And looking, loved thee, even for thy name;
And thou, my Margaret dear,
Come as if sent to cheer
A widowed heart, ye both have fled,
And, life scarce tasted, lie among the dead!
Then, oh! why were you born?
Was it to make forlorn
A father who had happier been
If your sweet infant smiles he ne'er had seen?
Was it for this you came?
Dare I for you to blame
The God who gave and took again,
As though my joy was sent but to increase my pain?
Oh no! of Christmas bells
The cheerful music tells
Why you were born, and why you died,
And for my doubting doth me gently chide.
The infant Christ, who lay
On Mary's breast to-day,
Was He not born for you to die,
And you to bear your Saviour company?
Then stay not by the grave,
My heart, but up, and crave
Leave to rejoice, and hear the song
Of infant Jesus and His happy throng.
That wondrous throng, on earth
So feeble from its birth,
Which little thought, and little knew,
Now hath both God and man within its view!
Yes, you were born to die;
Then shall I grudging sigh
Because to you are sooner given
The crown, the palm, the angel joy of heaven?
Rather, O Lord, bestow
On me the grace to bow,
Childlike, to Thee, and since above
Thou keep'st my treasures, there to keep my love.
It is scarcely necessary to say that one of the friends to whom Mr. Hope-
Scott sent these verses on his family losses of 1858 was Dr. Newman. The
note in which his friend acknowledged the precious gift witnesses to the
intimacy of their friendship in as striking a manner as any I have been
enabled to make use of:--
_The Very Rev. Dr. Newman to J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.G._
The Oratory, Birmingham: October 1, 1860.
My dear Hope-Scott,--I value extremely the present you have made me; first
of all for its own sake, as deepening, by the view which it gives me of
yourself, the affection and the reverence which I feel towards you.
And next I feel your kindness in thus letting me see your intimate
thoughts; and I rejoice to know that, in spite of our being so divided one
from another, as I certainly do not forget you, so you are not unmindful of
The march of time is very solemn now--the year seems strewn with losses;
and to hear from you is like hearing the voice of a friend on a field of
I am surprised to find you in London now. For myself, I have not quitted
this place, or seen London, since last May year, when I was there for a few
hours, and called on Badeley.
If he is in town, say to him everything kind from me when you see him.
Ever yours affectionately,
JOHN H. NEWMAN,
Of the Oratory.
James B. Hope-Scott, Esq.
Mr. Hope-Scott's Return to his Profession--Second Marriage--Lady Victoria
Howard--Mr. Hope-Scott at Hyeres--Portraits of Mr. Hope-Scott--
Miscellaneous Recollections--Mr. Hope-Scott in the Highlands--Ways of
Building--Story of Second-sight at Lochshiel.
The last of the poems in the little collection which is elsewhere given,
evidently belongs to a time when Mr. Hope-Scott had regained his
tranquillity, and was about to resume, like a wise and brave man, the
ordinary duties of his profession. After his great affliction he had
interrupted them for a whole year, first staying for some time at Arundel
Castle, and then residing at Tours with his brother-in-law and sister, Lord
and Lady Henry Kerr. To those readers who expect that every life which
approaches in any way an exalted and ideal type must necessarily conform to
the rules of romance, it may appear strange that Mr. Hope-Scott did not
remain a widower for any great length of time. But in truth the same
motives which led him to return to the Bar, notwithstanding the
overwhelming calamity he had sustained, might also have led him again to
enter the married state; or rather, if under other circumstances he would
have thought it right to do so, would not have interposed any insuperable
obstacle against it now.
Mr. Hope-Scott, soon after his conversion, had become acquainted with Henry
Granville, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, afterwards Duke of Norfolk. They had
first met, I believe, at Tunbridge Wells, where, on October 2, 1852, was
born Mr. Hope-Scott's daughter Mary Monica (now the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell-
Scott), at whose baptism Lady Arundel and Surrey acted as proxy for the
Dowager Lady Lothian. The acquaintance had very soon developed into an
intimate and confidential friendship, which by this time had become still
closer, from the fear which was beginning to be felt that the Duke's life,
so precious to his family and to the Catholic world in general, was fast
drawing to its early termination. To the Duke, therefore, and to his
family, it was but natural for Mr. Hope-Scott to turn for comfort in his
extreme need. In such times sympathy soon deepens into affection, and thus
it was that an attachment sprang up between Mr. Hope-Scott and the Duke's
eldest daughter, Lady Victoria Fitzalan Howard. This was towards the end of
1860. The Duke was then in his last illness, and on November 12 in that
year the betrothed pair knelt at his bedside to receive his blessing. He
died on November 25.
Although a notice of great interest might be drawn up from materials before
me of Lady Victoria herself, and of the sweetness of character and holiness
of life which so much endeared her to all with whom she was connected; yet
the time of her departure is still so recent, that I shall better consult
the feelings and the wishes of surviving friends by merely placing before
my readers one passage from a letter relating to her. The writer was a nun
intimately acquainted with her, and describes with great truth and
simplicity the graces which especially adorned her: 'She was a person to be
observed and studied; and I do not think... I ever saw her without studying
her, and consequently without my admiration for her increasing. She was so
unworldly, so forgetful of self, and, what always struck me most, so
humble, and striving to screen herself from praise; and humility and self-
forgetfulness like what she practised, these are the virtues of saints, and
not of ordinary people.'
The marriage of Mr. Hope-Scott and Lady Victoria Howard was solemnised at
Arundel on January 7, 1861, and this too, it is needless to add, proved a
very happy union, though on the side of affliction, in the loss of two
infants, and in Lady Victoria's early death, it strangely resembled the
first marriage. Of twin daughters born June 6, 1862, Catherine and Minna-
Margaret, the first lived for but a few hours. [Footnote: Two more
daughters, Josephine Mary (born May 1864) and Theresa Anne (born September
14, 1865), were born before (again, as it were, but for an instant) a son
was granted; this was Philip James (born April 8, 1868), but who lived only
till the next day. He was placed beside his sister Catherine in the castle
vault at Arundel. Mr. Hope-Scott's last and only surviving son is James
Fitzalan Hope, born December 18, 1870.] There are, however, many days of
sunshine still to record. Abbotsford and Dorlin, as before, were the chief
retreats in which Mr. Hope-Scott found repose from the toil and harass of
his professional life. At Arundel Castle and Norfolk House he and his
family were, of course, frequent guests. From 1859 it was thought necessary
that the surviving child of his first marriage should spend every winter in
a warm climate. Hyeres, in the south of France, was selected for this
purpose, which led to Mr. Hope-Scott's purchasing a property there, the
Villa Madona, on a beautiful spot near the Boulevard d'Orient. Here he
spent several winters with his family, in the years 1863-70. He added to
the property very gradually, bit by bit; first a vineyard, and then an
oliveyard, as opportunities offered, and indulged over it the same passion
for improvement which he had displayed at Abbotsford and Dorlin. He took
the most practical interest in all the culture that makes up a Provencal
farm, the wine, the oil, the almonds, the figs, not forgetting the fowls
and the rabbits. He laid out the ground and made a road, set a plantation
of pines, and adorned the bank of his boulevard with aloes and yuccas and
eucalyptus--in short, astonished his French neighbours by his perfection of
taste and regardlessness of expense. He did not, however, build more than a
bailiff's cottage in the first instance, but rented the Villa Favart in the
neighbourhood, and amused himself with his estate, intending it for his
daughter's residence in future years. At his death, however, the French law
requiring the estate to be shared, it was found necessary to sell it. He
greatly enjoyed the repose of Hyeres, the strolls on the boulevard, and the
occasional excursions that charming watering-place affords--Pierrefeu, for
example, and all the beautiful belt of coast region extending between
Hyeres and the Presqu'ile. He was also able to enter more into society at
Hyeres than latterly his health and business had permitted in London. One
of his oldest and most valued friends, the late Serjeant Bellasis, had
taken the Villa Sainte Cecile in his neighbourhood, and there was a circle
of the best French families in and around Hyeres, whose names must not be
omitted when we speak of Mr. Hope-Scott's and Lady Victoria's annual
sojourn in the little capital of the Hesperides. Among these was the late
Due de Luynes, so well known for his researches into the hydrography of the
Dead Sea, Count Poniatowski, Madame Duquesne, M. de Butiny, Maire of
Hyeres, M. and Madame de Walmer, and others. Cardinal Newman has noticed,
what appears also in the correspondence, to how surprising a degree Mr.
Hope-Scott was consulted by his French neighbours, even in affairs
belonging to their own law. Whenever there was a difficulty, a sort of
instinct led people to turn to him for counsel.
As it was at Hyeres that I first became acquainted with Mr. Hope-Scott, I
may introduce into this chapter, perhaps as conveniently as anywhere, such
personal recollections of him as I can call to mind. They are much more
scanty than I could wish; still, where the memorials to be collected from
any sources are but few, and rapidly passing away, surviving friends may be
glad of the preservation of even these slight notices.
In 1864-5 I had the honour of being entrusted with the tuition of Henry,
Duke of Norfolk, and, as the Duke spent that winter with his relatives at
Hyeres, I had several opportunities of conversing with Mr. Hope-Scott in
his domestic circle, as on other occasions afterwards.
Mr. Hope-Scott was then in his fifty-third year. He was tall, largely
built, with massive head, dark hair beginning to turn grey, sanguine,
embrowned complexion, very dark eyes, fine, soft, yet penetrating. '_Quel
bel homme! quel homme magnifique_!' the French would exclaim in talking
of him. In his features might be remarked that indefinable expression which
belongs to the practised advocate. He had an exceedingly winning smile, an
harmonious voice, and deliberate utterance. His manners, I need hardly say,
showed all that simplicity and perfection of good breeding which art may
simulate, but can never completely attain to.
I am not aware that there is any likeness of Mr. Hope-Scott in his later
years. There is an excellent one of him about the age of thirty-two,
painted by Richmond for Lady Davy, and now at Abbotsford, of which an
engraving was published by Colnaghi. Mr. Lockhart, writing to Mrs. Hope-
Scott on August 29, 1850, says: 'I called, yesterday at Mr. Richmond's to
inspect his picture of J. R. H., and was extremely pleased--a capital
likeness, and a most graceful one.... I am at a loss to say whether I think
Grant or he has been most lucky--and they are very different too.' I have
heard that the portrait by Richmond is supposed to represent his expression
when pleading. Mr. Richmond also drew (in crayon, previously to 1847) two
others, one for Lady Frances Hope, subsequently given to the Hon. Mrs. G.
W. Hope, and another for Mr. Badeley, after whose decease it was given by
Mr. Hope to the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. There was also a small life-
portrait, done after his marriage by Mr. Frank Grant, but not thought so
pleasing a likeness as Richmond's. There is a good bust by Noble at
Abbotsford, but this was made after his death, by study of casts, &c. It
might express the age of about thirty-five or forty.
In his hospitality Mr. Hope-Scott showed great kindness and thoughtfulness.
One day, for example, he would invite to dinner the cure of Hyeres and his
clergy; on another occasion, a young lady having become engaged, a party
must be given in her honour; or an English prelate passes Hyeres on his way
home, and must be entertained. He was very attentive to guests, took pains
to make people feel at their ease, and dispensed with unnecessary
formality, but not with such usages as have their motive in a courteous
consideration for others. Thus, when there were French guests, he was
particular in exacting the observance of the rule that the English present
should talk to each other, as well as to the strangers, in French. He had a
thorough colloquial knowledge of the French language, marked not so much by
any French mannerism, of which there was little, as by a ready command of
the vocabulary of special subjects--for instance, agriculture.
In society Mr. Hope-Scott's table-talk was highly agreeable. There was,
however, a certain air of languor about him, caused partly by failing
health, but far more, no doubt, by that 'softened remembrance of sorrow and
pain' which my readers can by this time understand better than any of those
who then surrounded him. His conversation, therefore, when the duty of
entertaining his guests did not require him to exert himself, was liable to
lapse into silence. Some people seem to think it a duty to break a dead
silence at any price; but this, in Mr. Hope-Scott's opinion, was not always
to be followed as a rule of etiquette; so, at least, I have heard.
I cannot remember that he showed any great interest in politics. He told me
that he seldom read the leading articles of the 'Times,' which he thought
had little influence on public events. I can, however, recall an
interesting conversation on the social state of France, of which he took a
very melancholy view; and again, in 1870, when he pronounced decisively
against the chances of the permanent establishment of the Commune, on the
ground of the total change in the condition of Europe since the Middle
Ages--the old Italian republics having been alleged in favour of the
His conversation seldom turned upon general literature, and at the time I
knew him he had given up the 'bibliomania.' His favourite line of reading,
for his own amusement, seemed to be glossaries, such as those of the
Provencal dialect, and the archaeology of Hyeres, on which a friend of his,
the late M. Denis, had written an interesting volume. Le Play's elaborate
treatise, 'La Reforme Sociale,' strongly attracted his attention. He was
fond of statistical works, such as the 'Annuaire du Bureau des Longitudes,'
a little compilation bristling with facts. He greatly cherished, as might
be expected, the memory of Sir Walter Scott; and, had his life been
prolonged, would probably have done more for it than the republication of
the abridgment of Lockhart's Life. I recollect his mentioning that there
were in his hands unpublished MSS. of Sir Walter's which would furnish
materials for a volume. [Footnote: In a letter to Lord Henry Kerr, dated
'Norfolk House, London, S.W., July 6, 1867,' Mr. Hope-Scott says:--
'I have, because everybody seemed to think I must, become a purchaser to-
day of some of Sir Walter's MSS., viz. _Rokeby, Lord of the Isles_,
_Anne of Geierstein_, and a volume of fragments of _Waverley,
Ivanhoe, &c._ I am ashamed to say what they cost, but the _Lady of the
Lake_ alone cost _another_ purchaser more than half what I paid for
the four, and I can hardly say that it was to please myself that I bought
at all.'] 'What he chiefly valued in the character of Sir Walter Scott
(remarks a correspondent) was his _manliness_. I noticed that when Sir
Walter was praised, Mr. Hope-Scott always spoke of his manliness.' These
observations may somewhat qualify the impression of an intimate friend of
his later years, by whom I have been told that Mr. Hope-Scott 'hardly
opened a book, read scarcely at all, though he seemed to know about books.'
He certainly could not, in the ordinary sense of the word, be called a
literary man; but the active part of his life was far too busy for study,
unless study had been a passion with him; and towards its close the state
of his health made reading impossible.
Mr. Hope-Scott very rarely made mention of himself, and his conversation
accordingly supplied little or no biographical incident. Yet I have heard
him allude, more than once, to his intimacy with Mr. Gladstone. 'They had
been,' he said, 'like brothers;' and he spoke also with pleasure of visits
to the house of Sir John Gladstone, from whom he thought the Premier had
derived much of his _back_.
Everything that I saw or heard of Mr. Hope-Scott conveyed the impression
that he always acted on a plan and an idea; but this is so evident from
what I have already related of him, that I am unwilling to add trivial
anecdotes in its illustration. That tenderness of heart of which such ample
proof has also been given, I recollect once coming curiously out in a
chance expression. 'If a man wants to cry,' said Mr. Hope-Scott, '_let
him read the Police Reports_, or (checking himself with that humour by
which deep feeling is often veiled) take a cup of coffee!'
He was a thoroughly kind friend in this way, that, unasked, he thought of
openings which might be available, and, without offering direct advice,
threw out, as if incidentally, useful hints. In giving advice, he applied
his mind to the subject; and a small matter, such as the interpretation of
a route in _Bradshaw_, received as complete consideration, as far as
was needed, as he could have given to the most difficult case submitted by
As to his religious habits, I only had the opportunity of remarking his
regularity in attending mass. I recollect, too, that he was anxious that
one in whom he took an interest should not leave Hyeres without visiting a
favourite place of pilgrimage in the vicinity called L'Ermitage, and heard
with pleasure that St. Paul's, in the upper town, had not been forgotten--a
church where St. Louis heard mass before setting out on his crusade, and
which rivals the Hermitage as a resort of popular devotion.
I now throw together a few scattered recollections communicated to me by
friends, for which I have not been able to find a place elsewhere.
Mr. Hope-Scott often talked of Merton College; he used to compare his
affection for it to that felt for a wife.
In his professional habits of mind he was a contrast in one respect to his
friend Mr. John Talbot. The latter (as he himself once remarked) was always
anxious about a case, and a failure was a great blow to him; but Mr. Hope-
Scott, on the other hand, did the best he could, and if he failed, he
failed; but he did not allow _that_ to wear him out. He always met the
thing in the face, never _mourned_ over it.
He never gave way to small troubles; yet he was not a calm person by
nature, but by self-command.
The only occasion on which I ever knew Mr. Hope put out (said a friend who
knew him well) was when one of his fellow-counsel, whom he had endeavoured
to supply with a complete answer to the whole difficulty in an important
case, made a mess of it. 'How hard it is,' said Mr. Hope, 'to sit by and
listen to a man speaking on one's side, and _always_ missing the
Mr. Hope-Scott was a man _run away with by good sense_. He had great
playfulness of character (by no means inconsistent with the last trait),
and was especially addicted to punning. A constant fire of puns was kept up
when he, Bishop Grant, and Mr. Badeley were together, though the Bishop
always sought a moral purpose in his jesting.
After having heard Mr. Hope-Scott's and Mr. Serjeant Wrangham's arguments
on the Thames Watermen and Lightermen's Bill (1859), the chairman of the
committee said: 'Mr. Hope-Scott, the committee have three courses--either
to throw the bill out, to pass it in its entirety, or to pass it with
alterations. Therefore we shall be glad if counsel will retire.' After
waiting for half an hour, the door opened. Mr. Hope-Scott said to Serjeant
Wrangham: 'Come along, Serjeant; now that they have disposed of their three
courses, we shall have our _dessert_.'
A speech of his at the Galashiels Mechanics' Institute gave great amusement
at the time: 'I am a worker like you,' he said; 'my head is the
_mill_, my tongue is the _clapper_, and I _spin long yarns_.'
Once, after signing a good many cheques in charity matters, he said, 'They
talk of hewers of wood and drawers of water; but I think I must be called
_a drawer of cheques_.'
He was highly genial with everybody, and even in reproving his servants
would mingle it with humour.
The last of Sir Walter Scott's old servants, John Swanston the forester
(often mentioned in _Lockhart_), seemed rather shocked when Mr. Hope-
Scott's son and heir was named Michael; upon which Mr. Hope-Scott said to
him playfully: 'Ye mauna forget, John, that there was an Archangel before
there was a Wizard; and besides, the Michael called the Wizard was, in
truth, a very good and holy Divine.'
With servants Mr. Hope-Scott was very popular. He took great interest in
people, taking them up, forwarding their views, advising, protecting, even
He was very fond of children, and they of him. The presence of 'Uncle Jim'
was the signal for fun with his little nephews and nieces: but the case was
different with young people; they rather stood in awe of him (but another
informant thinks these were the exceptions).
He abhorred gossip and spreading of tittle-tattle; avoided speaking before
servants, or any one who would retail what was said. When there was any
danger of this, he relapsed into total silence; and was, indeed, on some
occasions over-cautious. He especially avoided talking of his good deeds,
or of himself generally. He was singularly reserved; not by nature, but
from his long habituation to be the depositary of important secrets. Sir
Thomas Acland worked a good deal with him in Puseyite days. 'Tell me what
my brother is about,' asked Lady H. K. 'I cannot tell,' was the reply; 'he
is a well too deep to get at.'
He had a determined will, though affectionate and kind-hearted. When
entertaining guests, he made all the plans day by day; used to lay out the
day for them, seeing what could be done, though he might not himself be
well enough to join the party.
He was extremely systematic in his habits, paid for everything by cheques;
and used to preserve even notes of invitation, cards of visitors, and the
envelopes of letters. [Footnote: I recollect the great importance he
attached to them as dates, and his regret at the change from the old method
of folded sheets.--W. E. G.]
Yet he had not punctuality naturally; he _drilled_ himself to it. Nor
was he naturally particular, but, when married, became over-particular.
He had great kindness and tact, and was always kind in the right way. He
was once seen, as a lad, flying to open a gate for perhaps the most
disgusting person in the parish.
It was a feature in his life's history to keep up intimacies for a certain
number of years; the intercourse ceased, but not friendliness.
'In giving me an explanation of the mass before I was received into the
Church, I remember' (said a near relative of his) 'his saying that he
delighted especially in the _Domine, non sum dignus_. "It is to me [he
remarked] the most beautiful adaptation of Scripture."'
In discussing religion with Presbyterians, he was fond of asserting the
truth, 'I, too, am a _Bible Christian_.'
In conversation once chancing to turn on the subject of one's being able to
judge of character and conduct by looking at people in the street, Mr.
Hope-Scott remarked: 'Yes, if you saw a novice of the Jesuits taking a
walk, you would see what that means.'
The following more detailed recollections appear to deserve a place by
When residing on his Highland property at Lochshiel, Mr. Hope-Scott
personally acquainted himself with his smaller tenantry, and entered into
all their history, going about with a keeper known by the name of 'Black
John,' who acted as his Gaelic interpreter. His frank and kindly manners
quite won their hearts. Sometimes he would ask his guests to accompany him
on such visits, and make them observe the peculiarities of the Celtic
character. On one of these occasions he and the late Duke of Norfolk went
to visit an old peasant who was blind and bedridden. After the usual
greetings, they were both considerably astonished to hear the old man
exclaim, in great excitement: 'But tell me, how is Schamyl getting on?' It
was long after the Circassian chief had been captured; but his exploits
were still clinging to the old Highlander's imagination, full of sympathy
for warfare and politics. The natural ease and politeness of the Highland
manners in this class, as contrasted with the rougher type of the Lowlands,
used always to delight Mr. Hope-Scott. Over and over again, after the
ladies had withdrawn from the dinner-table, he would send for a keeper, or
a gillie, or a boatman, and ply them with plausible questions, that his
guests might have the opportunity of witnessing the good breeding of the
Highlands. John, or Ronald, or Duncan, or whoever it might be, would stand
a few yards away from the table, and, bonnet in hand, reply with perfect
deference and self-possession, his whole behaviour free, on the one hand,
from servility, and on the other, from the slightest forwardness. As will
readily be supposed, the interview commonly ended with a dram from the
laird's own hand.
In one respect he was very strict with his people. He never would tolerate
the slightest interference on their part with the rights of property. Some
of them were in the habit of presuming on the laird's permission, and
helping themselves--no leave asked--to an oar, or a rope, or any implement
which they chanced to stand in need of, belonging to the home farm. They
indeed brought back these articles when done with; but Mr. Hope-Scott ever
insisted they should be _asked for_, and would not accept the excuse
that the things were taken without leave in order to save him the trouble
of being asked. He was very severe in repressing drunkenness and
dissipation, though no one was readier to make allowance for a little extra
merriment on market days and festive gatherings.
Mr. Hope-Scott's chief source of relaxation and pleasure, when he could
escape from his professional duties, was building. In this amusement he
followed his own ideas, sifting the plans of architects with the most rigid
scrutiny, and never hesitating to alter, and sometimes to pull to pieces,
what it had cost hours of hard brain-work to devise. No amount of entreaty
could extort his consent to what did not commend itself as clear and
faultless to his understanding. It might not be a very agreeable process to
some of those concerned, but the result was generally satisfactory to the
one who had a right to be the most interested. As for contractors, he
latterly abjured them altogether; and Dorlin House was commenced and
brought to completion under the management of a clerk of the works in whom
he had great confidence. In the kindred pursuit of planting (as has already
been noticed) Mr. Hope-Scott also took great interest, and the young
plantations which now adorn the neighbourhood of Dorlin are the result of
Strong-minded lawyer as he was, he had a firm belief in second-sight. One
case in particular, which occurred in his immediate vicinity, is remembered
to have made a deep impression on his mind. The facts were these: One
Sunday, shortly before Mr. Hope-Scott came to Lochshiel, it happened,
during service in a small country chapel close to the present site of
Dorlin House, that one of the congregation fainted, and had to be carried
out. After the service was over, the late Mr. Stewart, proprietor of
Glenuig, asked this man what was the cause of his illness. For a long time
he refused to tell, but at length, being pressed more urgently, declared
that, of the four men who were sitting on the bench before him, three
suddenly appeared to alter in every feature, and to be transported to other
places. One seemed to float, face upwards, on the surface of the sea;
another lay entangled among the long loose seaweed of the shore; and the
third lay stretched on the beach, completely covered with a white sheet.
This sight brought on the fainting fit. Somehow the story got abroad, and
the consequence was, that the fourth individual, who did not enter into the
vision at all, passed, in the course of the next four months, into a state
verging on helpless idiocy, from the fear that he was among the doomed.
But, strange to tell, the three men who were the subjects of the warning
were drowned together, a few months later on, when crossing an arm of the
sea not far from the hamlet in which they dwelt. One of the bodies was
found floating, as described above. Another was washed ashore on a sandy
part of the coast, and, on being found, was covered with a sheet supplied
by a farmer's family living close to the spot. The third was discovered at
low water, half buried under a mass of seaweed and shingle. The fourth, who
had survived to lose his senses, as we have said, died only two years ago.
Visit of Queen Victoria to Abbotsford in 1867--Mr. Hope-Scott's
Improvements at Abbotsford--Mr. Hope-Scott's Politics--Toryism in Early
Life--Constitutional Conservatism--Mr. Hope-Scott as an Irish and a
Highland Proprietor--Correspondence on Politics with Mr. Gladstone, and
with Lord Henry Kerr in 1868--Speech at Arundel in 1869.
Towards the end of August 1867, her Majesty Queen Victoria, visiting the
Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, at Floors Castle, was received with great
rejoicings at the various Scottish border towns on the Waverley route from
Carlisle to Kelso. On this occasion her Majesty honoured Mr. and Lady
Victoria Hope-Scott by calling at Abbotsford. The newspapers of the day
contain copious narratives of the tour, otherwise unimportant for our
present purpose. The following account is taken from the 'Daily Telegraph'
of August 24, with a few additional particulars introduced from the 'Border
Advertiser' of August 23, 1867, the former journal supplying details of
much interest relating to Mr. Hope-Scott's improvements at Abbotsford. I
have shortened the original, and made some slight alterations in it:--
Her Majesty visited Melrose and Abbotsford on Thursday, August 22, with
Princess Louise, Prince and Princess Christian, the Duke and Duchess of
Roxburghe, and the Duke of Buccleuch. The Queen having viewed Melrose
Abbey, Mr. Hope-Scott and his family were honoured, later in the day, by
her Majesty's presence at Abbotsford, which was reached shortly after six
o'clock. In the fields in front of the lodge, and for a great distance
along the road, was a great concourse of people, many of whom had waited
for hours, and vehement cheering rang through the Abbotsford woods.
Many alterations and additions had been made to the Abbotsford of Sir
Walter during Mr. Hope-Scott's nineteen years' possession of the place. In
the lifetime of the Great Magician, the ground on which he fixed his abode
was nearly on a level with the highway running along the south front; and
wayfarers could survey the whole domain by looking over the hedge. Mr.
Hope-Scott, twelve years ago or more (1855), threw up a high embankment on
the road front of Abbotsford, and it is from this steep grassy mound that
one of the best views may be had. The long, regular slope, steep near the
level top where laurels are planted, is a beautiful bank from end to end,
being well timbered with a rich variety of trees, among others the silver
birch, the oak, the elm, the beech, the plane, and the good old Scotch fir;
and being, moreover, naturally favourable to the wild flora of the
district, especially to the bluebell and forget-me-not. The wild strawberry
also is in great abundance, with its sweet, round little beads of fruit
dotting the green. The square courtyard of the house is planned as a
garden, with clipped yews at the corners of the ornamental plots of grass,
and with beds all ablaze with summer flowers, a brilliant pink annual
making a peculiarly fine appearance by well-arranged contrast with the
sober greys of an edging of foliage plants. On one side of the courtyard is
a postern, which was thrown open when the royal cavalcade had entered the
grounds by the lodge gate. The opposite flank of the quadrangle is a kind
of ornamental palisade, or open screen of Gothic stonework, the spaces of
which are filled up by iron railings. This palisade divides the courtyard
from the pleasure-gardens, which are well laid out, and bordered with
greenhouses. The porch was beautifully decorated with rows of ferns along
the margin of the passage, and behind the ferns were magnificent fuchsias
rising to the roof, and mingled with other choice and rare flowers. The
floors of the porch and other rooms were covered with crimson cloth, but
beyond that, and the addition of vases of flowers, 'Sir Walter's Rooms'
were in the same condition in which they have been witnessed by the many
thousands drawn thither from every civilised country in the world.
Her Majesty was received by Mr. Hope-Scott, Lady Victoria Hope-Scott, and
Miss Hope-Scott, Lord and Lady Henry Kerr, Miss Kerr, and Miss Mackenzie.
Mr. Hope-Scott bowed to the Queen, and led the way to the drawing-room,
where a few minutes were passed. Her Majesty then in succession passed
through Sir Walter's library, study, hall, and armoury, and viewed with
great interest all these memorials. The royal party then proceeded to the
dining-room, where fruits, ices, and other refreshments had been prepared,
but her Majesty partook only of a cup of tea and 'Selkirk bannock.' When
the Queen was passing through 'Sir Walter's library,' some photographic
views of Abbotsford, which had been taken recently by Mr. Horsburgh of
Edinburgh, attracted her attention, and she graciously acceded to the
request of Mr. Hope-Scott that her Majesty might be pleased to accept of a
set of the photographs. Her Majesty expressed to Mr. Hope-Scott the great
pleasure she had experienced in visiting what had been the residence of Sir
Walter Scott. The Queen and suite then entered their carriages, and left
Abbotsford about seven o'clock. The day was not so bright as the preceding
one; but the little rain which fell, just as her Majesty had got under the
shelter of the historical roof, did not spoil the holiday which some
thousands of people from Galashiels, Hawick, Kelso, Berwick, and Edinburgh
had been bent on making.
Mr. Hope-Scott, in a letter to Mr. Badeley of August 23, 1867, gives a
brief description of the Queen's visit, concluding as follows:--
'Throughout her visit, her Majesty was most gracious and kind, and her
conduct to Mamo was quite touching.
She showed a great deal of interest in the place and the principal
curiosities, looked remarkably well and active, and, I am told, is much
pleased with the reception she has met with on the Border.'
The political aspects of Mr. Hope-Scott's character, on which it is now
time that we should enter, do not require any very extended discussion. His
opinions and feelings were Conservative in the constitutional sense, and in
his early years seem to have gone a good deal further. It is perhaps
scarcely fair to bring evidence from the correspondence of youths of
nineteen, but Mr. Leader tells him (November 3, 1831): 'The latter part of
your letter is an admirable specimen of Tory liberality and Tory
argument.... What! are all Radicals fools or knaves, and all Conservatives
honest or intelligent?... _Absint hae ineptiae paene aniles_.' A few
years later the Thun correspondence, though only affording incidental
references to Mr. Hope's own letters, shows clearly that, like 'young
Oxford' of that date and long afterwards, he adopted Tory views as
deductions from Scripture, and as the political side of religion. Thus
Count Leo Thun writing to Mr. Hope on December 14, 1834, says: 'We both
agree in the first principles; I copy your own words: "Everything we do is
to be done in the name of the Lord: admitting this, it is evident that the
_principle_ on which we are to act with regard to politics is to be
derived from the Scriptures."' The future Austrian statesman, however,
declares that he cannot find in the Scriptures 'that blind and passive
obedience' which his friend requires, and enters at considerable length
into the question, controverting the application which the latter had made
of certain passages. Again pass on a few years, and we find Mr. Hope
writing to Mr. Badeley (it is the first letter in that collection), January
12, 1838: 'I have managed to read Pusey's sermon, in which there is nothing
that I am disposed to quarrel with. The origin of civil government used
long ago to be a favourite subject of inquiry with me; and I had long been
convinced of the absurdity of any but the patriarchal scheme. Aristotle,
the most sensible man, perhaps, who ever lived, came to the same conclusion
without the aid of revelation.'
These views sustained practically some modification as time went on.
Toryism, in its _historical_ sense, could never be the political creed
of a mind on which the Church of England had lost its hold. This begins to
appear in a speech made by him at an early date, without preparation
indeed, but not carelessly spoken. On the occasion of the ceremony for
turning the first sod for the Sheffield and Huddersfield Railway (August
29, 1845), Mr. Hope said:--
If you lived under a despotic government, you would have lines made without
reference to your local wants, and perhaps from visionary views of public
advantage, but without reference to your private interests. It would be the
same if a democratic body were to govern. In the one case you would be
subject to the dictates of the imperial office; in the other, to the votes
of a turbulent assemblage; but in neither case would there be that mixed
regard to public justice and private interests which are combined in an
efficient system. I dare say we [railway lawyers] are troublesome, but we
belong to a system which has in it great elements of constitutional
principle, which combines a regard for the public interest, and for private
rights, with that free spirit which enterprises of this nature require in a
great commercial country. [Footnote: _Sheffield and Rotherham
Independent_, August 30, 1845.]
In the letter to Mr. Gladstone, of December 9, 1847 (quoted p. 78), we
perceive an uncertain, sea-sick tone, the sadness natural to a mind not yet
sure of its course. Very different is the buoyancy that breathes in Mr.
Hope-Scott's remarks, ten years later, on the rivalry between Manchester
and Liverpool, in his speech on the Mersey Conservancy and Docks Bill
(quoted p. 115), though that, perhaps, is too rhetorical for us to found an
argument upon. It will be more to the purpose here if I give an extract
from a letter which he had written that same year, as an Irish proprietor,
on the eve of a contested election, to the agent for his estates in co.
Mayo, Joseph J. Blake, Esq., at Castlebar. It will show the wise and kindly
spirit in which he dealt with his people, as well as the reference to the
interests of Catholicity which now governed his politics:--
As to the election for the county of Mayo, I am in considerable ignorance
about the state of parties in that particular part of Ireland. I may state,
however, that I should myself prefer the candidate who is the most sincere
friend of the Catholic Church, and most disposed to take a calm and careful
view of the questions which most affect the interests of the Irish people--
say Tenant Right, for instance, in which I think something should be done,
but perhaps not so much as the more noisy promoters of it insist on. I do
not, however, wish to influence my tenants more decidedly than by letting
them know my general feelings on these subjects. (March 25, 1857.)
The question here involved, which has very recently ripened into
difficulties so formidable as far as regards Ireland, also affected at the
time, as it still affects, the state of property in the Western Highlands,
where it seems to have interfered a good deal with Mr. Hope-Scott's efforts
to raise the condition of his tenantry. He urged on them the necessity of
cultivating more of the waste land which stretched for miles before their
doors, but they never took kindly to this task. No rent was to be demanded
for the reclaimed lands, and they were promised compensation if called upon
to give them up at any future year. They were perfectly convinced of Mr.
Hope-Scott's sincerity, but were unwilling to enter into these schemes of
amelioration without the security of possession guaranteed by leases.
[Footnote: Further details of Mr. Hope-Scott's relations with his Highland
tenants will he found in chap. xxvi. See also chap. xxiv. pp. 171, 172 in
this vol. as affording some indirect illustration.] My office not being
that of the political economist, it is unnecessary to enlarge on the
subject, especially as the following important letter of Mr. Hope-Scott
himself will enable the reader to judge of the reasons upon which he
_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C. to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P._
(_Private_.) Abbotsford: Oct. 28, 1868.
Dear Gladstone,--As you are kind enough to care for my political ideas, I
will try to describe them.
Born and bred a Tory and a Protestant, I have discarded both the creeds of
my youth. But with this difference in the result: in religion I have found
sure anchorage; in politics I am still adrift.
Had the followers of Sir Robert Peel been able to found a permanent party,
my case would probably have been different. But death took many of them,
and the rest are scattered.
Of the two great parties now forming on the ruins of the old ones, that
which you lead has a claim upon me for the work of justice
[disestablishment of the Irish Church] which it has undertaken, and which
the other seeks to frustrate. But, nevertheless, this work is to me no test
of the abiding principles of the party. In you I acknowledge the promotion
of it to be a sign of honesty and courage which few can better appreciate
than myself; and I know that you mean it as a pledge of steady advancement
in the same path. But amongst those who act with you there are many minds
of a very different stamp.
A few words will bring out my views.
Speaking logically, justice to the Catholic people of Ireland means, if it
means anything, the undoing of the Reformation, the replacing of the Church
of the great majority in the position from which it has been unjustly
But had you proposed this, or anything savouring of this, you know that
your followers would have been few indeed; and that you have been able
wholly to avoid such a danger for yourself, and even to turn it against
your political opponents, has arisen chiefly from the moderation and wisdom
of the Catholic clergy.
By their acquiescence in a mere disestablishment you got so far rid of the
fear of Popery as to give scope to the voluntary principles of ultra-
Protestantism, and, as a consequence, many now support you upon grounds so
wholly different from your own, that, when the assault is over, and the
stronghold taken, half your forces may disappear from the field, or remain
only to rebel against your next movement.
This, then, is the reason why, seeking for a party, I cannot accept the
present action against the Irish establishment as materially affecting my
choice; but I must add that the Church question does not, in point of
statesmanship, appear to me to be either the most important or the most
difficult of the Irish questions.
That of Land Tenure exercises a wider influence among the people, and calls
for a higher science of government.
Now, upon this most difficult and most delicate subject, there are
prominent men among your supporters who have put forth views which I am
forced to call in the highest degree crude, if not extravagant.
The law of demand and supply renders one class dependent upon another to an
extent little short of slavery, not only in contracts for land in Ireland,
but in all questions which, in free countries, turn upon the possession by
one man of what another cannot or will not do without. The scale of wages
of the agricultural labourers in some counties in England, and the rates
paid for the worst lodgings by the poorest classes in our large towns, are
full of the same meaning as the difficulties of the Irish tenant farmer.
But, more than this, the Irish land question itself is not exclusively
Irish. It is to be found also, smaller of course in extent, but identical
in its main features and in some of its worst consequences, in the West
Highlands of Scotland; and I, who am a proprietor in both countries, can
hardly be expected to put much trust in the political physicians who, to
cure a disease in Mayo or Galway, propound remedies the first principles of
which they would deem inapplicable to the same disorder in Argyle or
That I am hopeless of any reasonable mode of relief being found, I will not
say; but, if it is to be safe, it certainly cannot be speedy; and if it is
to be permanent, it must depend upon a change in the habits of a race
rather than upon a new distribution of landed property by Parliament.
And now, turning from Irish to general policy, I profess that I accept your
principles of finance and commerce with entire satisfaction, and with a
confidence in your power of applying them which I give to no other man.
I enter heartily also into your schemes for the material improvement of the
labouring classes, and admire the wisdom as well as the kindness of what
you have done.
With regard to the Franchise, I have no fear of Household Suffrage, and I
prefer it to the more limited measure which you formerly advocated, because
it brings into play a greater variety of interests; and, if it is liable to
the objection that it gives votes to the ignorant and the profligate, I
answer that your bill would have bestowed still greater, because more
exclusive and more concentrated power, upon a class which comprises not
only the Lancashire operative, but the Sheffield rattener.
Moreover, I believe that all which is worth defending in our social and
political state in England and Scotland, has better guarantees in the
spirit of the people than in any provision of the law. When Talleyrand said
that England was the most aristocratic country in the world, because there
was scarcely any one in it who did not look down on somebody else, he
touched the keystone of our society. I have already met with amusing
instances of the effect on Scotch middle-class Liberals of the recent
enfranchisement of those below them; and my conviction is, that the more
you widen the base, the more closely will you bind the superstructure
What I fear more than democracy is the strife between capital and skilled
labour. This appears to me to be among the most pressing questions of the
day, and I shall think well of the statesman, whoever he may be, who, with
a just but firm hand, shall regulate the relations of these forces.
On Education I hope we are agreed; at any rate, I feel sure that you will
not intentionally divorce it from religion; but I have yet to learn what
measure your party would support.
There remains one subject of home policy which with me is paramount. At the
time when I became a Catholic the so-called Papal Aggression was the great
topic of the day; and while the ignorance and violence of the majority,
both in and out of Parliament, greatly assisted my conversion, the steady
reason and justice of Lord Aberdeen, and of those who, like yourself, acted
with him, drew from me a greater feeling of respect than I have ever been
sensible of on any other political occasion, or towards any other political
men. I felt that they were determined honestly to carry out the principles
of Catholic emancipation, amidst great popular excitement, and without
reference even to their personal prejudices, far less to their political
interests, and I honoured them with no stinted honour.
In the same direction much still remains to be done, and I wonder to myself
whether you will ever head a party which will venture its political power
in a contest with county magistrates and parish vestries on behalf of the
I wonder too sometimes, but with less of hope, whether yours will be a
party which will be content to forego that political propagandism which
seems chiefly favoured in England when applied to the weaker countries
which profess the Catholic faith, and which, in those countries, seems to
impair religion much more than it increases temporal prosperity; and,
lastly, whether it will have enough moderation to admit that the protection
of the public law of Europe ought not to be denied to the States of the
Church, merely because a neighbouring power demands them in the name of
Such, my dear Gladstone, are the thoughts of a somewhat indolent, but not
indifferent observer of what is going on around him. They are put before
you neither to elicit opinions nor to provoke controversy, but to explain
how it is that an old friend, who loves and admires you, should withhold
his support, insignificant as it is, at the very moment when, as the leader
of a party, you might be thought to have justly earned it.
JAMES R. HOPE-SCOTT.
The Right Hon'ble W. E. Gladstone, &c. &c. &c.
_The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. to J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C._
Hawarden, N.W.: Nov. 1, '68
My dear Hope-Scott,--Everything in your handwriting is pleasant to read,
and I thank you sincerely for your letter.
* * * * *
When I come to the _gros_ of your letter touching politics, I own it
appears to me that we have a moral title to your serious and even strenuous
I hope you will not think my writing to say so a bad compliment, for, as
far as the value of the aid is concerned, even such as yours, I assure you
I cannot afford to buy it at the present moment by personal appeals in
But you praise _justly_ the 'moderation and wisdom' of the R. C.
clergy on the question of the hour--why do you not imitate them?
Simply because you cannot trust those who are acting with me in the
_paulo post futurum_. Is that a sound rule of political action? You
think much, as I do, of the importance of the Land Question. You see a
great evil--you do not see any other man with a remedy--you hold off from
us who made a very moderate proposal in 1866, because eminent men among our
supporters have made proposals which you think extravagant or crude, and to
which we have never given any countenance.
Now I will not indulge myself here by going over the many and weighty
matters in which we are wholly at one; all that you say on them gives me
I will only, therefore, touch the one subject on which you anticipate
difficulty as possible--that of political propagandism, meaning the
temporal power of the Pope: for I do not suppose you mean to censure
English pleas for civil rights of the United Greeks in Poland against the
Emperor of Russia, though touching their religion.