This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
  • 1884
Buy it on Amazon FREE Audible 30 days

in point. ‘Your impression of Rome (he writes to Mr. Badeley, October 16, 1847) appears to be similar to that of most who see it for the first time; but it grows upon one, and the recollection will be deeper than the present feeling.’

There is a pleasing note to Mr. Hope, dated December 20, 1844, from Mgr. Grant, then Rector of the English College at Rome, and afterwards the well- known Bishop of Southwark, one of the most beloved and venerated friends of his Catholic period. It merely gives information to assist him in visiting St. John Lateran’s, and promises to send an order for St. Peter’s. It concludes characteristically: ‘I shall be too happy to serve you whenever I can be useful. Although you do not think so, you will find that _little people_ are not without some use; and, in the hope that you will allow me an opportunity of proving that I am in the right, I remain, with many thanks for your kindness, &c.,–THOMAS GRANT.’ I may here also give a short letter of Bishop Grant’s, of later date, illustrating their friendship, and including some traces of its beginning at Rome:–

_The Right Rev. Dr. Grant, Bishop of Southwark, to J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C._

June 23, 1853.

My dear Mr. Hope-Scott,–The _frescoes_ have arrived, and I hasten to thank you for a gift, valuable in itself, but most dear to me, because it will ever remind me of the beginning of that friendship which has always been so pleasing to me, and which forms one of the consolations that are allowed to me in the midst of the weighty duties of my present state– duties which I little expected when we quarrelled peacefully about Swiss guards and troops of soldiers lining St. Peter’s on grand days.

When you next visit the churches and antiquities of Rome, Mary Monica will catch up the ardour that will then probably have gone by for you and myself, and will wonder why you care so little for them; and if I am with you I fear I shall be more tempted to tell her of the quiet rooms in Via della Croce, when I first knew her father, than of the Arch of Drusus, or other pagan monuments that once entertained our attention.

Yours very sincerely,


Mr. Hope-Scott had a high admiration for this saintly Bishop, and used to speak of him as ‘_the_ Bishop,’ always meaning by that Bishop Grant.

Early in 1845, and not many weeks after his return to England, Mr. Hope resigned his chancellorship of Salisbury. It can scarcely be doubted that misgivings as to his religious position, more apparent perhaps to us now than they then were even to himself, were among his leading motives for taking this important step; although the immense accumulation of his business before the Parliamentary committees must have rendered it difficult for him, even with his talents, to hold with it an appointment like that in such times; and feelings of friendship for his successor, the present Sir Robert Phillimore, may also have influenced him. The date of the resignation was Feb. 10.

The judgment of Sir Herbert Jenner Fust in the celebrated ‘Stone Altar Case,’ by which wooden altars only were permitted, was a severe discouragement to the Tractarian party, being felt to interfere with the idea of sacrifice. From the following passage of a letter (undated) of Dr. Pusey’s to Mr. Hope, it appears that he (Mr. Hope) had endeavoured to take a more favourable view. The letter probably belongs to Feb. or March 1845.

I do not know whether the opinion you give is as to law previous to Sir H. J. F.’s decision, and as a ground of appeal against it, or as to what would still be allowed. Would his judgment preclude our having a stone slab, either upon stone pedestals or a wooden panelled altar? I have comforted others with the same topic you mention, that wooden tables are altars by virtue of ye sacrifice, and so that this decision really alters nothing. Still, it does seemingly, and was intended to discountenance the doctrine…. It must be confessed, too, that this decision of Sir H. J. F. is a defeat–only an outward one, and availing nothing while truth spreads within. Still it is well to neutralise the sentence as much as we can.

Ever yrs affectly,


Notwithstanding this, Mr. Hope is remembered, after the adverse decision, to have despondingly asked, ‘Where is the use of fighting for the shell when we have lost the kernel?’

Among the other agitations of that time was the prosecution instituted in the Court of Arches by Dr. Blomfield, Bishop of London, against the Rev. Frederick Oakeley (the late Canon) for views which he had expressed about the Blessed Sacrament. Canon Oakeley, in a conversation I had with him in 1878, gave me the following information as to the part taken by Mr. Hope as his friend and adviser in this case, and general recollections of him. He had resolved to let the case go by default, partly because he felt convinced that it was sure to be decided in favour of the Bishop, as those cases always were; partly because he disliked a subject like the Blessed Sacrament to be bandied about by the lawyers in that way. Mr. Hope, on the other hand, urged him to place himself in the hands of counsel, and thought a good case might be made by reference to books on canon law and Roman writers of the moderate school (Gallican), showing that, in point of fact, the holding of ‘all Roman doctrine’ (thus interpreted) was compatible with the doctrine of the Church of England. [Footnote: _Thus interpreted_, observe. Mr. Newman himself, in a letter to Mr. Hope, dated Littlemore, May 14, 1845, says: ‘You are quite right in saying I do not take Ward and Oakeley’s grounds that all Roman doctrine may be held in our Church, and that _as_ Roman I have always and everywhere resisted it.’] The principle on which he went was the approximation made out by Sancta Clara and in Tract 90. Mr. Hope had more hopes of the House of Lords than of the Court of Arches, and wished Mr. Oakeley to appeal to the former. If he was afraid of the expenses, he said they would manage all that for him. [Footnote: Mr. Hope had formed a committee (in conjunction with Serjeant Bellasis, Mr. Badeley, and Mr. J. D. Chambers) in order to raise contributions to meet Mr. Oakeley’s expenses. I find an exchange of notes dated March 10, 1845, between Mr. Hope and Mr. Gladstone on this matter. Mr. Hope encloses a circular, and invites Mr. Gladstone to contribute, remarking ‘As the process must throw light upon many collateral points, I amongst others am much interested in its being well conducted. I am, moreover, as a friend of O.’s, anxious that he should have fair play….This looks like the beginning of the end.’ Mr. Gladstone, in reply, alludes to doubts he had had whether he could subscribe _in re_ Ward. ‘Although I am far from having (upon a slight consideration as yet, for I have been very busy with other matters) found them conclusive; for I think we are going to try questions of academical right, and even of general justice.’ He therefore declines subscribing in Mr. Oakeley’s case, promising to give Mr. Hope his reasons whenever they should meet.]He added, however, ‘But I think you are inclined to go over to the Church of Rome; and if that is the case, it is useless to proceed.’ Mr. Hope at that time (said the Canon) was a staunch Anglican. He did not, however, see more of him than of any other member of his congregation perhaps once in three months. After Mr. Oakeley had become a Catholic, Mr. Hope once asked him to breakfast, which he accepted rather hesitatingly. At that time he (Mr. Oakeley) thought less favourably of Protestants than he did now, and hinted that he must take a line in conversation that might not be acceptable. Mr. Hope said they need not talk of that, let him come. At this breakfast Mr. Hope mentioned that he had been lately at Rome (he could allude to no other visit than that of 1844-5), where he had seen a procession of the Pope in the _sedia gestatoria_, and thought how much better it would have been if he had walked in the procession like any other Bishop–that was the line he took. [I ought to add that, later in my conversation with him, Canon Oakeley seemed rather to hesitate whether it was Mr. Hope or some one else who made this observation about the Pope’s procession, but in the end he appeared to feel satisfied that it was Mr. Hope.]

In the same troubled spring of 1845 a movement was going on to assimilate the office of the Scottish Episcopalian Church to that of the English. Dean Ramsay of Edinburgh had asked Mr. Hope for a legal opinion on a case in which he was concerned bearing on this. Mr. Hope, in a letter to him dated April 8, declines to meddle with the question, and adds:–

I can hardly tell you how much I deprecate any steps which may tend to diminish the authority of the _native_ office; how entirely I dissent from any plans of further assimilation to the foreign English Church. Indeed, the consequences of such schemes at this moment would in my opinion be most disastrous.

Some letters of great interest with reference to Mr. Hope’s religious position at this period occur in the Gladstone correspondence. Mr. Gladstone, being now thoroughly aware that his friend was entertaining serious doubts as to the Catholicity of the Church of England, writes him a very long and deeply considered letter, appealing in the first place to a promise of co-operation which Mr. Hope had made him in the earlier days of their friendship, and placing before him, with all the power and eloquence of which he is so great a master, what he regarded as the most unanswerable arguments for remaining in the Anglican communion. From this letter I quote the following passages as strictly biographical:–

_The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. to J. M. Hope, Esq._

13 Carlton House Terrace: Thursday night, May 15, ’45.


My dear Hope,–In 1838 you lent me that generous and powerful aid in the preparation of my book for the press, to which I owe it that the defects and faults of the work fell short of absolutely disqualifying it for its purpose. From that time I began to form not only high but definite anticipations of the services which you would render to the Church in the deep and searching processes through which she has passed and yet has to pass. These anticipations, however, did not rest only upon my own wishes, or on the hopes which benefits already received might have led me to form. In the commencement of 1840, in the very room where we talked to-night, you voluntarily and somewhat solemnly tendered to me the assurance that you would at all times be ready to co-operate with me in furtherance of the welfare of the Church, and you placed no limit upon the extent of such co- operation. I had no title to expect and had not expected a promise so heart-stirring, but I set upon it a value scarcely to be described, and it ever after entered as an element of the first importance into all my views of the future course of public affairs in their bearing upon religion. [Footnote: With this may be compared Mr. Hope’s letter to Mr. Gladstone of October 11, 1838, given in chapter ix. (vol. i.).]

* * * * *

If the time shall ever come (which I look upon as extremely uncertain, but I think if it comes at all it will be before the lapse of many years) when I am called upon to use any of those opportunities [the writer had just spoken of ‘the great opportunities, the gigantic opportunities of good or evil to the Church which the course of events seems (humanly speaking) certain to open up’], it would be my duty to look to you for aid, under the promise to which I have referred, unless in the meantime you shall as deliberately and solemnly withdraw that promise as you first made it. I will not describe at length how your withdrawal of it would increase that sense of desolation which, as matters now stand, often approaches to being intolerable. I only speak of it as a matter of fact, and I am anxious you should know that I look to it as one of the very weightiest kind, under a title which you have given me. You would of course cancel it upon the conviction that it involved sin upon your part: with anything less than that conviction I do not expect that you will cancel it; and I am, on the contrary, persuaded that you will struggle against pain, depression, disgust, and even against doubt touching the very root of our position, for the fulfilment of any actual _duties_ which the post you actually occupy in the Church of God, taken in connection with your faculties and attainments, may assign to you.

You have given me lessons that I have taken thankfully. Believe I do it in the payment of a debt, if I tell you that your mind and intellect, to which I look up with reverence under a consciousness of immense inferiority, are much under the dominion, whether it be known or not known to yourself, of an agency lower than their own, more blind, more variable, more difficult to call inwardly to account and make to answer for itself–the agency, I mean, of painful and disheartening impressions–impressions which have an unhappy and powerful tendency to realise the very worst of what they picture. Of this fact I have repeatedly noted the signs in you.

I should have been glad to have got your advice on some points connected with the Maynooth question on Monday next, but I will not introduce here any demand upon your kindness; the claims of this letter on your attention, be they great or small, and you are their only judge, rest upon wholly different grounds.

God bless and guide you, and prosper the work of your hands.

Ever your aff’te friend, W. E. GLADSTONE.

J. R. Hope, Esq.

The friends both being in London at the time, the correspondence gives no further light at this point. In July Mr. Gladstone proposed to Mr. Hope that they two should go on a tour in Ireland together. The invitation must be given in his own words:–

_The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. to J. R. Hope, Esq._

13 C. H. Terrace: July 23, 1845.

My dear Hope,–Ireland is likely to find this country and Parliament so much employment for years to come, that I feel rather oppressively an obligation to try and see it with my own eyes instead of using those of other people, according to the limited measure of my means.

Now your company would be so very valuable as well as agreeable to me, that I am desirous to know whether you are at all inclined to entertain the idea of devoting the month of September, after the meeting in Edinburgh, to a working tour in Ireland with me–eschewing all grandeur, and taking little account even of scenery, compared with the purpose of looking from close quarters at the institutions for religion and education of the country, and at the character of the people. It seems ridiculous to talk of supplying the defects of second-hand information by so short a trip; but though a longer time would be much better, yet even a very contracted one does much when it is added to an habitual though indirect knowledge.

Believe me Your attached friend, W. E. GLADSTONE.

It is much to be regretted that this tour was not accomplished, but various engagements prevented Mr. Hope’s accepting the invitation: he spent that part of the vacation in Scotland, and Mr. Gladstone on the Continent. Shortly after the date of the preceding letter Mr. Gladstone appears to have suggested to Mr. Hope the idea of his joining some association for active charity, which is partly illustrated by a correspondence which I shall presently quote; but Mr. Hope (August 6) writes:–

As to the guild or confraternity, I am not at this moment prepared to join it. My reasons are various, but I have not had leisure to think them out. When I have revolved the matter further, perhaps I may trouble you again upon it.

On October 9, 1845, Mr. Newman was received into the Catholic Church, and Mr. Hope writes to him on the 20th:–

I was so fully prepared that the event fell lightly on my mind, but the feeling of separation has since grown upon me painfully. The effect which, I think I told you, it would have upon my conduct, is that of forcing me to a deliberate inquiry; but I feel most unfit for it, and look with anxiety to your book as my guide. I hope to be at Oxford early next week, and trust to see you. Meantime, if it be anything to you to know that all my personal feelings towards you remain unaltered, or rather, are deepened, that much I can sincerely say.

On December 1 he speaks of his own joining the Roman Catholic Church as ‘what may eventually happen,’ adding: ‘But I feel that I have yet much before me, both in moral and intellectual exertion, ere I can hope for a conclusion. Meantime I beg your prayers.’

On December 22 he gives his impressions of Newman’s ‘Essay on Development,’ so eagerly expected:–

I have read your book _once_ through. To apprehend it fully will require one, if not two more perusals. The effect produced upon me as yet is that of perplexity at seeing how wide a range of thought appears to be required for the discussion. I had thought that the principles which I already acknowledge would, upon a careful application, suffice for the solution of the difficulties; but you have taken me into a region less familiar to me, and the extent of which makes me feel helpless and discouraged.

It may be worth mentioning that soon after the ‘Essay on Development’ came out, Mr. Hope asked a friend at dinner across the table (the anecdote was given me by the latter), ‘Have you read the “Extravagant of John”?’ To understand this, the unlearned reader must be told that certain celebrated constitutions, decreed by Pope John XXII., are called by canonists the ‘Extravagantes Joannis.’ The play on the word was one which would be relished by Mr. Hope’s friend, who was almost as great a student of the canon law as himself. His meaning, however, may have been that he thought Mr. Newman had taken up a view outside of the received system.

In the two letters I have just quoted Mr. Hope enters, like a kind friend and adviser, into Mr. Newman’s plans in the early days of his conversion, but an interruption of the correspondence seems to have followed on Mr. Newman’s going to Rome, where he was from autumn, 1846, to the beginning of 1848. It is probable, indeed, that it was the consciousness of his own affection for Mr. Newman, and of Mr. Newman’s influence over him, that led Mr. Hope to abstain, during that long interval, from intercourse with a friend whom he regarded with such deep respect and admiration. There is, however, a letter of Mr. Newman’s from Rome in the interval, which will be read with great interest, both for his own history and for the light, yet thrilling touch of spiritual kindness which it conveys towards the end. It contains, too, a line explaining his own silence.

_The Rev. J. H. Newman to J. R. Hope, Esq_.

(Private.) Collegio di Prop.: Feb. 23, ’47.

My dear Hope,–I have been writing so very, very much lately, that now that I want to tell you something my hand is so tired that I can hardly write a word. We are to be Oratorians. Mgr. Brunelli went to the Pope about it the day before yesterday, my birthday. The Pope took up the plan most warmly, as had Mgr. B., to whom we had mentioned it a month back. Mgr. had returned my paper, in which I drew out my plan, saying, ‘Mi piace immensamente,’ and repeated several times that the plan was ‘ben ideata.’ They have from the first been as kind to us as possible, and are ever willing to do anything for us. I have ever been thinking of you, and you must have thought my silence almost unkind, but I waited to tell you something which would be real news. It is _no_ secret that we are to be Oratorians, but matters of detail being uncertain, you had better keep it to yourself. The Pope wishes us to come here, as many as can, form a house under an experienced Oratorian Father, go through a novitiate, and return. Of course they will hasten us back as soon as [they] can, but that will depend on our progress. I _suppose_ we shall set up in Birmingham… You are not likely to know the very Jesuits of Propaganda. We are very fortunate in them. The Rector (Padre Bresciani) is a man of great delicacy and real kindness; our confessor, Father Ripetti, is one of the most excellent persons we have fallen in with, tho’ I can’t describe him to you in a few words. Another person we got on uncommonly with was Ghianda at Milan. Bellasis will have told you about him. We owed a great deal to you there, and did not forget you, my dear Hope. Let me say it, O that God would give you the gift of faith! Forgive me for this. I know you will. It is of no use my plaguing you with many words. I want you for the Church in England, and the Church for you. But I must do my own work in my own place, and leave everything else to that inscrutable Will which we can but adore;… Well, our lot is fixed. What will come to it I know not. Don’t think me ambitious. I am not. I have no views. It will be enough for me if I get into some active work, and save my own soul…. My affectionate remembrances to Badeley….

Ever y’rs affectionately, John H. Newman.

I find, towards the end of 1850, a very interesting exchange of letters between Dr. Newman and Mr. Hope, which may conveniently be given here, though chronologically they ought to come later. I first give a letter needed to explain them:–

_J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C. to the Rev. Stuart Bathurst._

Abbotsford: Nov. 4, ’50.

Dear Bathurst,–Your kind letter needed no apologies; and for your prayers and good thoughts for me I thank you much. May they of God be blessed to me in clearer light as well as in a purer conscience! As yet I do not see my way as you have done yours, but I pray that I may not long remain in such doubt as I now have.

From our address I conclude that you are with Newman. Tell him with my kind regards that I hope he has not forgotten me. I have very often thought of him, and have sometimes been near writing to him, but have had nothing definite to say. I have read his last lectures, and wish they were extended to a review of doctrine, and the difficulties which beset it to an Anglican.

Let me hear from you when you have time, and believe me, my dear Bathurst,

Yours ever aff’tly,

James R. Hope.

The Rev. S. Bathurst.

_The Very Rev. Dr. Newman to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C._

Oratory, Birmingham: Nov. 20, 1850.

My dear Hope,–It is with the greatest pleasure I have just read the letter which you wrote to Bathurst, and which he has forwarded to me…. I now fully see … that your silence has arisen merely from the difficulty of writing to one in another communion, and the irksomeness and indolence (if you will let me so speak) we all feel in doing what is difficult, what may be misconceived, and what can scarcely have object or use.

I know perfectly well, my dear Hope, your great moral and intellectual qualities, and will not cease to pray that the grace of God may give you the obedience of faith, and use them as His instruments. For myself, I say it from my heart, I have not had a single doubt, or temptation to doubt, ever since I became a Catholic. I believe this to be the case with most men–it certainly is so with those with whom I am in habits of intimacy. My great temptation is to be at _peace_, and let things go on as they will, and not trouble myself about others. This being the case, your recommendation that I should ‘take a review of doctrine, and of the difficulties which beset it to an Anglican,’ is anything but welcome, and makes me smile. Surely, enough has been written–all the writing in the world would not destroy the necessity of faith. If all were now made clear to reason, where would be the exercise of faith? The single question is, whether _enough_ has not been done to _reduce_ the difficulties so far as to hinder them absolutely blocking up the way, or excluding those direct and large arguments on which the reasonableness of faith is built.

Ever yours affectionately,

John H. Newman.

_J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C. to the Very Rev. Dr. Newman._

Abbotsford: Nov. 27, ’50.

Dear Newman,–The receipt of your letter gave me sincere pleasure. It renews a correspondence which I value very highly, and which my own stupidity had interrupted. Offence I had never taken, but causes such as you describe much better than I could have done were the occasion of my silence.

You may now find that you have brought more trouble on yourself, for there are many things on which I should like to ask you questions, and I know that your time is already much engaged. However, at present my chief object is to assure you how very glad I am again to write to you, as the friend whom I almost fear I had thrown away. Whatever occurs, do not let us be again estranged. It is not easy, as one gets older, to form new friendships of any kind, and least of all such as I have always considered yours….

Ever, dear Newman,

Yours affectionately


_The Very Rev. Dr. Newman to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C._

Oratory, Birmingham: November 29, 1850.

My dear Hope,–I write a line to thank you for your letter, and to say how glad I shall be to hear from you, as you half propose, whether or not I am able to say anything to your satisfaction, which would be a greater and different pleasure.

It makes me smile to hear you talk of getting older. What must I feel, whose life is gone ere it is well begun?

Ever yours affectionately,


Congr. Orat.



Mr. Hope’s Doubts of Anglicanism–Correspondence with Mr. Gladstone– Correspondence of J. R. Hope and Mr. Gladstone continued–Mr. Gladstone advises Active Works of Charity–Bishop Philpotts advises Mr. Hope to go into Parliament–Mr. Hope and Mr. Gladstone in Society–Mr. Hope on the Church Affairs of Canada–Dr. Hampden, Bishop of Hereford–The Troubles at Leeds–Mr. Hope on the Jewish Question, &c.–The Gorham Case–The Curzon Street Resolutions–The ‘Papal Aggression’ Commotion–Correspondence of Mr. Hope and Mr. Manning–Their Conversion–Opinions of Friends on Mr. Hope’s Conversion–Mr. Gladstone–Father Roothaan, F.G. Soc. Jes., to Count Senfft–Dr. Doellinger–Mr. Hope to Mr. Badeley–Conversion of Mr. W. Palmer.

To return to the Gladstone correspondence which we quitted some pages back. In a letter dated Baden-Baden, October 30, 1845, Mr. Gladstone, after mentioning his having been at Munich, where, through an introduction from Mr. Hope, he had made the acquaintance of Dr. Doellinger, criticises at some length Moehler’s ‘Symbolik,’ which he had been reading on Mr. Hope’s recommendation. I must quote the conclusion of the letter in his own words:–

No religion and no politics until we meet, and that more than ever uncertain. Hard terms, my dear Hope; do not complain if I devote to them the scraps or ends of my fourth page. But now let me rebuke myself, and say, no levity about great and solemn things. There are degrees of pressure from within that it is impossible to resist. The Church in which our lot has been cast has come to the birth, and the question is, will she have strength to bring forth? I am persuaded it is written in God’s decrees that she shall; and that after deep repentance and deep suffering a high and peculiar part remains for her in healing the wounds of Christendom. [Nor] is there any man, I cannot be silent, whose portion in her work is more clearly marked out for him than yours. But you have, if not your revenge, your security. I must keep my word. God bless and guide you.

Yours affectionately,

W. E. G.

The following letter is deeply interesting:–

_J. R. Hope, Esq. to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P._

35 Charles Street, Mayfair:

December 5, 1845.

Dear Gladstone,–I return Doellinger’s letter, which I had intended to give you last night.

The debate has cost me a headache, besides the regrets I almost always feel after having engaged in theological discussions. A sense of my own ignorance and prejudices should teach me to be more moderate in expressing, as well as more cautious in forming opinions; but it is my nature to require some broad view for my guidance, and since Anglicanism has lost this aspect to me, I am restless and ill at ease.

I know well, however, that I have not deserved by my life that I should be without great struggle in my belief, and this ought to teach me to do more and say less.

I must therefore try more and more to be fit for the truth, wherever it may lie, and in this I hope for your prayers.

Yours affectionately,


_The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. to J. R. Hope, Esq._

13 C. H. Terrace:

Dec. 7, 2nd Sunday in Advent, 1845.

My dear Hope,–I need hardly tell you I am deeply moved by your note, and your asking my prayers. I trust you give what you ask. As for them you have long had them; in private and in public, and in the hour of Holy Communion. But you must not look for anything from them; only they cannot do any harm. Under the merciful dispensation of the Gospel, while the prayer of the righteous availeth much, the petition of the unworthy does not return in evils on the head of those for whom it is offered.

Your speaking of yourself in low terms is the greatest kindness to me. It is with such things before my eyes that I learn in some measure by comparison my own true position…. [Mr. Gladstone goes on to controvert his friend’s desire for ‘broad views,’ on the principles of Butler, and proceeds] Now let me use a friend’s liberty on a point of practice. Do you not so far place yourself in rather a false position by withdrawing in so considerable a degree from those active external duties in which you were so conspicuous? Is rest in that department really favourable to religious inquiry? You said to me you preferred at this time selecting temporal works: are we not in this difficulty, that temporal works, so far as mere money is concerned, are nowadays relatively overdone? But if you mean temporal works otherwise than in money, I would to God we could join hands upon a subject of the kind which interested you much two years ago. And now I am going to speak of what concerns myself more than you, as needing it more.

The desire we then both felt passed off, as far as I am concerned, into a plan of asking only a donation and subscription. Now it is very difficult to satisfy the demands of duty to the poor by money alone. On the other hand, it is extremely hard for me (and I suppose possibly for you) to give them much in the shape of time and thought, for both with me are already tasked up to and beyond their powers, and by matters which I cannot displace. I much wish we could execute some plan which, without demanding much time, would entail the discharge of some humble and humbling offices…. If you thought with me–and I do not see why you should not, except that to assume the reverse is paying myself a compliment–let us go to work, as in the young days of the college plan, but with a more direct and less ambitious purpose…. In answer give me advice and help if you can; and when we meet to talk of these things, it will be more refreshing than metaphysical or semi-metaphysical argument. All that part of my note which refers to questions internal to yourself is not meant to be answered except in your own breast.

And now may the Lord grant that, as heretofore, so ever we may walk in His holy house as friends, and know how good a thing it is to dwell together in unity! But at all events may He, as He surely will, compass you about with His presence and by His holy angels, and cause you to awake up after His likeness, and to be satisfied with it! …

Ever your affectionate friend,


J. R. Hope, Esq.

The above letter appears to throw a light upon Mr. Hope’s views of action at that time (it was a year of approaching the acme of his professional energies) which I have not met with elsewhere. Those views he did not see his way to give up, notwithstanding the representations so kindly urged by his friend. It will have been remarked that Mr. Gladstone did not expect any answer, in the ordinary sense of the word, to the most serious part of his letter, and in his reply (December 8), which is merely a note, Mr. Hope simply says:–

Many, many thanks for your letter, which I received this morning. I will think it over, and particularly as regards the engagement in some temporal almsdeed. I see, however, many obstacles in my own way, both from health and occupation.

After this, though the two friends continued still to correspond, yet the letters are of comparatively little moment, the subject nearest to the hearts of both being of necessity suppressed, or almost so; topics once of common interest, such as Trinity College (now near its opening) [Footnote: See vol. i. (ch. xiv. p. 278).] and Church legislation, having of course lost their attractions for Mr. Hope. In the autumn of 1846 there was an interchange of visits between Rankeillour [Footnote: Rankeillour, a family seat near Cupar, in Fifeshire, which Mr. Hope with his sister-in-law, Lady Frances Hope, had rented the previous year, 1845, from his brother, Mr. G. W. Hope, of Luffness, and which was theirs and Lady Hope’s joint home when in Scotland, until Mr. Hope’s marriage in 1847.] and Fasque, and kind and friendly offices and family sympathies went on as of old. Yet, if the _idem sentire de republica_ was long ago recognised as a condition of intimate friendship, how much more is the observation true of the _idem sentire de ecclesia_! The following letter, addressed to Mr, Hope early in 1846 by Dr. Philpotts, will show what powerful influences were still at work to gain or recover Mr. Hope’s services to Anglicanism in political life:–

_The Right Rev. Dr. Philpotts, Bishop of Exeter, to J. R. Hope, Esq._

Bishopstowe: 16 Feb., 1846.

My dear Sir,–… The miserable state of political matters makes me earnestly wish (which I fear you do not) that you may soon be in Parliament. It is manifest that we are approaching a most important crisis. To give any rational ground of hope (humanly speaking) of a favourable issue, it is most necessary that there should be an accession of high- principled talent and power of speaking to the honest party. You would carry this, and, forgive my adding, _ought_ to carry it if a fit opportunity be presented to you.

I say not this with any imagination that the objects of political ambition have any attraction to you, but because I think you would (with God’s blessing) be a tower of strength to all the best institutions and interests of the country.

_Hactenus haec._

Yours most faithfully,


‘Henry of Exeter,’ in a conversation with Lady Henry Kerr in those days, once said that he considered three men as those to whom the country had chiefly to look in the coming time: Manning in the Church, Gladstone in the State, and Mr. Hope in the Law. The Bishop was, I believe, thought rather apt to indulge in what were called ‘Philpottic flourishes,’ but the above letter shows his deliberate opinion of Mr. Hope, which is quite borne out by the rest of his correspondence. He constantly asks his counsel on Church affairs and Church legislation, till his conversion was approaching; and even long after it, I find him in 1862, when about to appeal to the House of Lords from a decision in the courts below, asking Mr. Hope’s assistance in these terms: ‘I venture to have recourse to you–as one whose skill and ability, knowledge–as well as your kindness often experienced–makes me estimate more highly than any other…. I am _very anxious_ to obtain your powerful advocacy before the Lords. Is this contrary to your usage? [Footnote: Right Rev. Dr. Philpotts to J. R. Hope-Scott, February 22, 1862.] In a letter, now before me, from a member of the legal profession and a Protestant, the writer, referring to some occasion in early days on which he had met Mr. Hope and Mr. Gladstone together in society, remarks: ‘They were constantly discussing important questions. I am sure that, if a stranger had come in, and heard that one of them would be Premier, he would have selected [Mr. Hope] as the superior of the two. And I always thought that his abilities and character fitted him for the highest positions in the country. But his aims were for eminence in a still higher sphere, and he readily abandoned the road to worldly distinctions when he thought that his duty towards God required the sacrifice.’ Of course I only quote this as evidence of the impression which Mr. Hope had made on an individual observer, [Footnote: It is perfectly just.–_W. E. G._] not as instituting any comparison, which would be wholly out of place.

The following letter is more of ecclesiastical and legal than personal interest. It is in reply to a line from Mr. Gladstone, asking his advice:–

_J. R. Hope, Esq. to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P._

35 Charles Street:

Wednesday evening, March 18, ’46.

Dear Gladstone,–I had some hopes of being able to call on you this morning, but was disappointed.

With regard to the Canadian Archbishopric, if you have seen what I wrote about a bishopric in the same colony you will have got the historical view which I was then induced to take. I am convinced that the parties to the Treaty of Paris and the framers of the first Act contemplated a Roman Church with an Anglican supremacy of the Crown. Their successors did not understand this, and proceeded upon the theory of toleration–thereby at once yielding the power of direct interference and refusing direct establishment. But in fact the R. C. Church is established, and consequently Rome has the advantage both of establishment and complete independence. I am not the man to say that the latter ought to be infringed, but I think it right to draw your attention to the departure from the original idea of the position of the R. C. Church in Canada. As matters now stand I think Lord Stanley had no option, and could only be neutral; but the original theory of royal supremacy having failed (as was natural), a concordat alone can decide the relations of Church and State in that quarter. The question of precedence is certainly not in itself sufficient to decide the conduct of Government, but it presents a difficulty; and the more difficulties there are, the more needs of a complete solution.

It seems to me, therefore, that you must either follow Lord Stanley in his neutrality, and leave the consequences to chance, or at once originate a communication with the Holy See; and for the latter purposes I think Canada affords as fair an occasion as it is possible to find.

Yours ever truly,


Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P.

In the same year, 1846, the appointment of Dr. Hampden to the see of Hereford was ‘a heavy blow and great discouragement’ to the Tractarian party; but the correspondence does not throw much light on the subject as far as regards Mr. Hope. He must have felt his profession sucking him in like a vortex, from which it is wonderful how he could grasp the Catholic faith in the end. Many of his friends were now doing so, but he still held back. The following sentences from a letter he wrote to Father Newman, then (April 23, 1846) contemplating his departure for Rome, will show something of Mr. Hope’s then position–Anglican ideas not so vanished that they might not possibly have been, at least in imagination, renewed–Catholic ideas not yet distinctly written in their place.

I can construe the obscure wish with which your letter concludes. I join heartily in desiring _some_ termination to my present doubts; but whether in the direction you would think right, or by a return to Anglicanism, is the question. I am astonished to find how resolute Keble is in maintaining his present position. Others, also, of more earnestness and better knowledge than myself, are recoiling–and this troubles me, for I cannot but look around for authority.

To his own family he became more and more reserved on the subject, and showed unwillingness that difficulties should be touched; for, great as was his wish that the Church of England should assert herself Catholic, he dreaded, on good grounds, that if awakened from her slumbers, the only effect would be that she would use her giant strength against her friends as well as enemies, hit them knocks, and then relapse into repose. Unable even yet to make up his mind whether those of his friends who had joined the Church of Rome had done right or wrong, materially, at all events, he remained an Anglican. Such a state of mind necessarily varied, if not from day to day, at least at longer intervals. At the close of 1846 came the troubles at St. Saviour’s, Leeds, a stronghold of the section peculiarly under Dr. Pusey’s influence, which encountered the opposition of the old Tractarianism, or rather Church-of-Englandism of Dr. Hook. They ended in some important conversions, but, as affecting Mr. Hope, seem scarcely to require to be dwelt on. In May 1847 I find him exerting himself in favour of Mr. Gladstone’s candidature for the University of Oxford. On December 9 he writes (from Rankeillour) to Mr. Gladstone on the question of Jewish emancipation as follows:–

On the Jewish question my bigotry makes me liberal. To symbolise the Christianity of the House of Commons in its present form is to substitute a new Church and creed for the old Catholic one; and as this is delusive, I would do nothing to countenance it. Better have the Legislature declared what it really is–not professedly Christian, and then let the Church claim those rights and that independence which nothing but the pretence of Christianity can entitle the Legislature to withhold from it. In this view the emancipation of the Jews must tend to that of the Church, and at any rate a ‘sham’ will be discarded. However, I am not disposed to press my views on this or similar points. I have withdrawn from Church politics, and never had to do with any others. How long this peaceful disposition may last I know not, but my station in life does not seem to me to require that I should meddle. For this reason, if for no other, you may be sure I do not regret having lost the honour of being armour-bearer to the Bishop of Exeter in the Hampden strife. That appointment, however, is certainly bad enough.

Mr. Hope was now, in the ordinary sense of the word, ‘settled in life’ (he married in August of that year, 1847); but the great happiness he found in this change of condition was no talisman that could ward off the question which still imperiously demanded a solution; and perhaps scarce a month passed in these times without some new event arising to bring it more forcibly upon minds that had once been fairly within its influence. Mr. Hope’s style in writing to Mr. Badeley on the Hampden affair, under date January 16, 1848, shows in some degree a renewed interest, but with symptoms, like the passage last quoted, of passing off into Liberalism.

I am right glad that you have got your Rule, and have good hopes that you will make it absolute…. When the argument is resumed pray remember my favourite plan of establishing the old Ecclesiastical Law as the Common Law of England before the Reformation, and requiring evidence of a direct statutory repeal. Reid writes me that there is a fund for the expense of the opposition. If so I shall be happy to contribute, for I feel very strongly (not about Dr. Hampden, though I do feel as to him, but) about this violent piece of Erastianism, such as no Christian community ought to endure.

Following this, for about two years, the Church of England was convulsed with the Gorham case. This, too, has passed into the history of Anglicanism. It will be sufficient to remind the reader that Dr. Philpotts, the Bishop of Exeter, had refused to institute the Rev. G. C. Gorham to the vicarage of Brampford Speke, because he denied the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, Mr. Gorham sued the Bishop in the Court of Arches, but judgment was given by Sir H. J. Fust against the plaintiff, who then appealed to the Crown, and the result was that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, on March 8, 1850, reversed Sir H. J. Fust’s judgment, and held that Mr. Gorham’s doctrine was not repugnant to that of the Church of England. On March 12 a meeting was held at Mr. Hope’s house in Curzon Street by several leading men of the Tractarian party–the number, I believe, was fourteen–including Mr. Hope himself, Archdeacon Manning, Archdeacon Kobert Wilberforce, and Mr. Badeley–to consider the effect of this sentence on the Church of England. Certain resolutions were passed and signed, and afterwards circulated in a somewhat modified form. The document, as finally issued, is to be found in more publications than one, and may be referred to in Mr. Kirwan Browne’s ‘Annals of the Tractarian Movement,’ 3rd edition, p. 191. Its main significance is contained in Resolutions 5 and 6, which are given as follows, in a printed copy now before me:–

5. That inasmuch as the Faith is one, and rests upon one principle of authority, the conscious, wilful, and deliberate abandonment of the essential meaning of an Article of the Creed destroys the Divine Foundation upon which alone the entire Faith is propounded by the Church.

6. That any portion of the Church which does so abandon the essential meaning of an Article of the Creed, forfeits not only the Catholic doctrine in that Article, but also the office and authority to witness and teach as a Member of the Universal Church.

It is easy to see that these apparently strong declarations afforded a loophole for the escape of moderates; but Mr. Manning and his friends, as the result proved, were prepared to act upon them in their original and unqualified form; for all the four I have named, with two others, eventually became Catholics. The rest of those present at the Curzon Street meeting remained Protestants. As for Mr. Hope, the year rolled round, and he was still externally where he was; but the following allusion, in a letter of his to Mr. Gladstone, dated Abbotsford, September 6, 1850, to some recent conversions, must have made it evident that his own was drawing very near:–

I have heard a good deal on the —-‘s: it is attributed more immediately to her–but however brought about, I cannot think hardly of it. Rather, I feel as if those were to be congratulated who have already done that which _intellectually_, and to a great extent _morally_, I feel persuaded should be done.

Yrs. ever affectionately,


The memorable ‘Papal Aggression’ excitement, which arose in England in November 1850, is believed to have been what finally brought Mr. Hope to the conclusion, or rather, to action upon the conclusion, to which he had been so long tending. Some time after this, when, in conversation, Mr. Lockhart asked him how it was possible he could have attributed such weight to so slight a reason, Mr. Hope replied to the effect that Mr. Lockhart would easily understand that the last link in a chain of argument on which action depends, needs not in appearance be the strongest. He spoke of his conversion as of a veil falling from his eyes. [Footnote: A correspondence of this period of Mr. Hope’s with the present Cardinal Newman (very important as far as it goes) has been given in some previous pages (pp. 65- 68).] The same influence is visible in the letter in which Mr. Manning (since the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster) announced to Mr. Hope his resignation of the Archdeaconry of Chichester.

_The Rev. H. E. Manning to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C._

Lavington: Nov. 23, 1850.

My dear Hope,–Your last letter was a help to me, for I began to feel as if every man had gone to his own house and left the matter…. Since then events have driven me to a decision. This anti-Popery cry has seized my brethren, and they asked me to be convened. I must either resign at once, or convene them ministerially and express my dissent, the reasons of which would involve my resignation. I went to the Bishop and said this, and tendered my resignation. He was very kind, and wished me to take time, but I have written and made it final…. I should be glad if we might keep together; and whatever must be done, do it with a calm and deliberateness which shall give testimony that it is not done in lightness.

Ever affectionately yours,

H. E. M.

Mr. Manning was considerably Mr. Hope’s senior, [Footnote: Four years exactly. He was born July 15, 1808. The same also was Mr. Hope’s birthday.] but they had been brother-Fellows of Merton College, and were now intimate friends, passing through the same stages of conversion, each having great confidence in the logical powers and in the earnestness of the other in applying them. Either at that time, or very soon afterwards, Mr. Manning became the guest of Mr. Hope at his house in Curzon Street; and here he used to receive the many converts and half-converts who flocked to consult him in their difficulties during that period of transition, when such an unexampled rush seemed to be making into the net of the fisherman. Mr. Hope’s letters to Cardinal Manning were unfortunately destroyed about three years ago, but the other side of the correspondence is still represented by a small collection of letters of great interest. Mr. Hope, I think, had made up his mind at Abbotsford, and on his arrival in London announced it to his mother; but it is certain that immediately before taking the final step he and Mr. Manning went over the whole ground again together, to satisfy themselves that there was no flaw or mistake in the argument and conclusion.

_The Rev. Henry E. Manning to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C._

_Private_. 44 Cadogan Place: December 11, 1850.

My dear Hope,–I feel with you that the argument is complete. For a long time I nevertheless felt a fear lest I should be doing an act morally wrong.

This fear has passed away, because the Church of England has revealed itself in a way to make me fear more on the other side. It remains, therefore, as an act of the will. But this I suppose it must be. And in making it I am helped by the fact that to remain under our changed or revealed circumstances would also be an act of the will, and that not in conformity with, but in opposition to intellectual real conviction; and the intellect is God’s gift, and our instrument in attaining knowledge of His will…. It would be to me a very great happiness if we could act together, and our names go together in the first publication of the fact…. The subject which has brought me to my present convictions is the perpetual office of the Church, under Divine guidance, in expounding the truth and deciding controversies. And the book which forced this on me was Melchior Canus’ ‘Loci Theologici.’ It is a long book, but so orderly that you may get the whole outline with ease. Moehler’s _Symbolik_ you know.

But, after all, Holy Scripture comes to me in a new light, as Ephes. iv. 4- 17, which seems to preclude the notion of a divisible unity: which is, in fact, Arianism in the matter of the Church.

I entirely feel what you say of the alternative. It is either Rome or licence of thought and will….

Believe me always affectionately yours,


The following extract from a letter of Mr. Hope’s to the Rev. Robert Campbell [since also a Catholic], dated ‘Abbotsford, September 15, 1851,’ affords additional and important light on the motives of his own conversion:–

You seem to think that the present condition of the Church of England has been the cause of my conversion. That it has contributed thereto I am far from denying, but it has done so by way of evidence only; of evidence, the chain of which reaches up to the Reformation, and confirms by outward proofs those conclusions which H. Scripture and reason forced upon me as to the character of the original act of separation. This distinction I am anxious should be observed, for the neglect of it has led some to suppose that recent converts have, from disgust or other causes, deserted a true Church in her time of need, whereas, for one, I can safely say that I left her because I was convinced that she never, from the Reformation downwards, had been a true Church. Pray excuse this digression, which I do not mean by way of controversy, but merely of explanation.

J. R. H.

On _Passion Sunday_, April 6, 1851, Mr. Hope, and at the same time with him Mr. Manning, were received into the Catholic Church at Farm Street by the Rev. Father J. Brownbill, S.J.

I must not withhold from the reader a note, written the next day, and one or two passages from later letters of Mr. Manning’s referring to the same subject.

_The Rev. Henry E. Manning to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C._

14 Queen Street: April 7, 1851.

My dear Hope,–Will you accept this copy of the book you saw in my room yesterday [the ‘Paradisus Animae’], in memory of Passion Sunday, and its gift of grace to us? It is the most perfect book of devotion I know. Let me ask one thing. I read it through, one page at least a day, between Jan. 26 and Aug. 22, 1846, marking where I left off with the dates. It seemed to give me a new science, with order and harmony and details as of devotion issuing from and returning into dogma. Could you burden yourself with the same resolution? If so, do it for my sake, and remember me when you do it…. I feel as if I had no desire unfulfilled, but to persevere in what God has given me for His Son’s sake.

Believe me, my dear Hope,

Always affectionately yours,

H. E. M.

14 _Queen St.: Oct._ 21, 1851.–… I am once more in my old quarters. They bring back strange remembrances. What revolutions have passed since we started from this room that Saturday morning! And how blessed an end! as the soul said to Dante. ‘E da martirio venni a questa pace.’… You do not need that I should say how sensibly I remember all your sympathy, which was the only human help in the time when we two went together through the trial, which to be known must be endured.

_Rome: March_ 17, 1852…–How this time reminds me of last year! On Passion Sunday I shall be in Retreat. ‘Stantes erant pedes nostri,’ [Footnote: These words were written in a copy of the _Speculum Vitae Sacerdotalis_, given by J. R. Hope to H. E. Manning in April 1851. [Note by his Eminence Cardinal Manning.]] and we made no mistake in our long reckoning, though we feared it up to the last opening of Fr. B.’s door.

H. E. M.

The superficial impression which many of his friends had of Mr. Hope’s conversion at the time will be illustrated by the following remarks, one of them made to me in conversation with a view to this memoir: ‘Mr. Hope was a man with two lives: one, that of a lawyer; the other, that of a pious Christian, who said his prayers, and did not give much thought to controversy. He would be rather influenced by patent facts. He was not at all moving with the stream, and rather laughed at X. with his “narrow views.” He was a strong Anglican, an adherent of _learned_ Anglicanism. His conversion took _Catholics_ by surprise, who were not aware how far he went.’ The feeling in society as to his change was marked by a tone of much greater consideration than was commonly displayed in such cases, of which proof is given in an interesting letter which I have quoted in a former page. ‘As far as I know’ (writes Lady Georgiana Fullerton) ‘there was no attempt made, in Mr. Hope’s case, to trace that act to any of the causes which, in almost every other instance, were supposed to account for conversions to Catholicism. The frankness of his nature, his well-known good sense, the sound clearness of his judgment, so unmistakably evinced in his profession, precluded the possibility of attributing his adoption of the Catholic faith to weakness of mind, duplicity, sentiment, eccentricity, or excitability.’

I reserve what may be called the domestic side of this crowning event of Mr. Hope’s religious life to a future chapter. The following is the letter alluded to by Mr. Gladstone in his letter to Miss Hope-Scott, given in Appendix III., and on which he wrote the words ‘_Quis desiderio_.’ [Footnote: Let me balance Mr. Gladstone’s _Quis desiderio_ with a note written by Pere Roothaan, Father-General of the Jesuits, to Count Senfft, on hearing of Mr. Hope’s conversion:–

‘Plurimam salutem nostro C. de Senfft, qui procul dubio maxima cum congratulatione accepit notitiam de conversione ad rel. cath. praeclari Dni. Hope, Anglicani, quem ipse comes Monachio Romam venientem mihi commendaverat. Ipsum tunc et iterum et tertio Romam intra hos tres annos venientem videram saepius, et semper vicinior mihi visus fuerat regno Dei. Nuper tandem cessit gratiae. Alleluja!’–Given in a letter of Count Senfft’s to Mr. Hope-Scott, dated Innsbruck: 1 Juin, 1851.]

_J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C. to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P._

14 Curzon Street: June 18, ’51.

My dear Gladstone,–I am very much obliged for the book which you have sent me, but still more for the few words and figures which you have placed upon the title-page. The day of the month in your own handwriting will be a record between us that the words of affection which you have written were used by you after the period at which the great change of my life took place. To grudge any sacrifice which that change entails would be to undervalue its paramount blessedness, but, as far as regrets are compatible with extreme thankfulness, I do and must regret any estrangement from you– you with whom I have trod so large a portion of the way which has led me to peace; you, who are ‘ex voto’ at least in that Catholic Church which to me has become a practical reality, admitting of no doubt; you, who have so many better claims to the merciful guidance of Almighty God than myself.

It is most comforting, then, to me to know by your own hand that on the 17th June, 1851, the personal feelings so long cherished have been, not only acknowledged by yourself, but expressed to me–I do not ask more just now–it would be painful to you; nay, it would be hardly possible for either of us to attempt (except under one condition, for which I daily pray) the restoration of entire intimacy at present; but neither do I despair under any circumstances that it will yet be restored. Remember me most kindly to Mrs. Gladstone, and believe me,

Yours as ever most affectionately,


The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, &c. &c.

The subjoined reply of Mr. Gladstone to this beautiful letter, which he has mournfully called ‘the epitaph of our friendship,’ is certainly a noble and a tender one. The very depth of feeling which he shows at his friend’s refusal of what he considers ‘the high vocation’ before him, is, however, only a proof of that spiritual chasm which Mr. Hope more unflinchingly surveyed. After this date the correspondence soon flags, and at length sustains an interruption of years. It was practically resumed towards the close of Mr. Hope’s life, and affords one more letter of great interest, in which Mr. Hope explains his own political views. This I shall give as we proceed.

_The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C._

6 Carlton Gardens: June 22, 1851.

My dear Hope,–Upon the point most prominently put in your welcome letter I will only say you have not misconstrued me. Affection which is fed by intercourse, and above all by co-operation for sacred ends, has little need of verbal expression, but such expression is deeply ennobling when active relations have changed. It is no matter of merit to me to feel strongly on the subject of that change. It may be little better than pure selfishness. I have too good reason to know what this year has cost me; and so little hope have I that the places now vacant can be filled up for me, that the marked character of these events in reference to myself rather teaches me this lesson–the work to which I had aspired is reserved for other and better men. And if that be the Divine will, I so entirely recognise its fitness that the grief would so far be small to me were I alone concerned. The pain, the wonder, and the mystery is this–that you should have refused the higher vocation you had before you. The same words, and all the same words, I should use of Manning too. Forgive me for giving utterance to what I believe myself to see and know; I will not proceed a step further in that direction.

There is one word, and one only in your letter that I do not interpret closely. Separated we are, but I hope and think not yet estranged. Were I more estranged I should bear the separation better. If estrangement is to come I know not, but it will only be, I think, from causes the operation of which is still in its infancy–causes not affecting me. Why should I be estranged from you? I honour you even in what I think your error; why, then, should my feelings to you alter in anything else? It seems to me as though, in these fearful times, events were more and more growing too large for our puny grasp, and that we should the more look for and trust the Divine purpose in them when we find they have wholly passed beyond the reach and measure of our own. ‘The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.’ The very afflictions of the present time are a sign of joy to follow. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, is still our prayer in common: the same prayer, in the same sense; and a prayer which absorbs every other. That is for the future: for the present we have to endure, to trust, and to pray that each day may bring its strength with its burden, and its lamp for its gloom.

Ever yours with unaltered affection,


J. R. Hope, Esq.

The following letter, written on the same occasion by another celebrated person, will be read with a very painful interest:–

_The Rev. Dr. Doellinger to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C._

Munich: April 22, 1851.

My dear Sir,–Allow me to express the sincere delight which I have felt and am still feeling at the intelligence which has reached me of your having entered the pale of the Church. This is indeed ‘a consummation devoutly wished’ ever since I had the good luck of making your acquaintance. How often when with you did the words rise to my lips: _Talis cum sis, utinam noster esses!_ I knew well enough that in voto you belonged already to the one true Church, but I could not but feel some anxiety in reflecting that in a matter of such paramount importance those who don’t move forward must needs after a certain time go backward. Then came the news of your marriage, and I don’t know what put the foolish idea into my head that you would probably get connected with the ‘Quarterly Review’ and its principles, and that thereby a new barrier would interpose itself between you and the Church, and that perhaps your feelings for your friends in Germany would not remain the same. Happily these _umbrae pallentes_ have now vanished, and I trust we will make the ties of friendship closer and stronger by establishing between us a community and exchange of prayers.

I can but too well imagine how severe the trials must be to which you are now exposed–especially in the present ferment, when a vein of bitterness has been opened in England which will not close so soon, and when the hoarse voice of religious acrimony is filling the atmosphere with its dismal sounds. With the peculiar gentleness of your disposition you will have to encounter the fierce attacks of the [Greek: Ellaenes], as well as of the [Greek: Hioudaioi], I mean of those to whom the Church is a [Greek: skandalon], as well as of those to whom it is [Greek: moria]. I can only pray for you, and trust that He who has given you the first victory of faith will also give you _robur et aes triplex circa pectus_, for less will scarcely do….

Yours entirely and unalterably,


Mr. James R. Hope, Queen’s Counsel.

I have not met with any later correspondence of Dr. Doellinger’s with Mr. Hope-Scott than this, excepting a mere note. He visited Abbotsford in 1852. There is a letter of Count Leo Thun’s to Mr. Hope (dated Wien, den 7. Juli 1851), in which, after expressing the joy he had felt at the news of his having become a Catholic, he remarks, ‘I know how slowly, and on what sure foundations the decision came to maturity in your soul.’ Two letters of Mr. Hope’s to Mr. Badeley, though not coincident in point of time with the event before us, contain passages so closely connected with it as to find their place here. Though Mr. Badeley’s Anglicanism was scarce hanging by a thread, he held out for a time, but became a Catholic previously to July 15, 1852.

_J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C. to E. Badeley, Esq._

Abbotsford: Oct. 25, ’51.

Dear B.,– … As for you, I hold your intellect to be Catholic. You cannot help it, but your habits of feeling will give you, as they gave me, more trouble than your reason. How can it be otherwise, considering how many years of training in one posture we both of us underwent? But I pray and hope for you, and that speedily, that freedom of life and limb which has been vouchsafed to me. Freedom indeed it is, for it is to breathe in all its fulness the grace and mercy of God’s kingdom, instead of tasting it through the narrow lattices of texts and controversies. To believe Christ present in the Eucharist, and not adore Him–not pray Him to tarry with us and bless us. To hold the communion of saints, and yet refuse to call upon all saints–living and departed, to intercede for us with the great Head of the body in which we all are members. To accept a primacy in St. Peter, and yet hold it immaterial to the organisation of the Church. To acknowledge one Church, and then divide the unity into fragments. To attribute to the Church the power of the keys, and then deny the force of her indulgences while admitting her absolutions. To approve confession, and practically set it aside. To do and hold these and many other contradictions–what is it but to submit the mind to the fetters of a tradition which, if once made to reason, must destroy itself?… Yrs ever affly,


Abbotsford: July 16, 1852.

Dear Badeley,–I received your most kind letter yesterday. I well knew that I should hear from you, for you are an accurate observer of my birthdays– not one for many years having escaped you. This one does indeed deserve notice in one sense, as being the first on which you and I could salute each other as Catholics. May God grant that this His great gift may be fruitful to us both! Forty years of my life are already gone–of yours, more. Let us try to make the best of what may still remain. We have now all the helps which Christ’s death provided for us, and all the responsibilities which come with them. ‘Deus, in adjutorium meum intende. Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina!… Yrs most affly, JAMES R. HOPE.

E. Badeley, Esq.

To the above correspondence, the following scrap from a letter of Mr. David Lewis, congratulating Mr. Hope on his conversion, may form an appropriate _pendant_, as showing Mr. Hope’s influence in the Catholic direction previously to that event: ‘I may add that I owe in part my own conversion to conversation with you, which turned me to a course of reading the end of which I did not expect. It is therefore no small joy to me to see you in the same harbour of refuge’ (May 15, 1851). Some years later (in spring, 1855) it was a subject of intense joy to Mr. Hope-Scott when the news came from Rome that William Palmer had been received into the Church by Father Passaglia.



Review of Mr. Hope’s Professional Career–His View of Secular Pursuits– Advice from Archdeacon Manning against Overwork–Early Professional Services to Government–J. K. Hope adopts the Parliamentary Bar–His Elements of Success–Is made Q.C.–Difficulty about Supremacy Oath–Mr. Venables on Mr. Hope-Scott as a Pleader–Recollections of Mr. Cameron–Mr. Hope-Scott on his own Profession–Mr. Hope-Scott’s Professional Day– Regular History of Practice not Feasible–Specimens of Cases: 1. The Caledonian Railway interposing a Tunnel. 2. Award by Mr. Hope-Scott and R. Stephenson. 3. Mersey Conservancy and Docks Bill, ‘Parliamentary Hunting- day,’ Liverpool and Manchester compared. 4. London, Brighton, and South Coast and the Beckenham Line. 5. Scottish Railways–An Amalgamation Case– Mr. Hope-Scott and Mr. Denison; Honourable Conduct of Mr. Hope-Scott as a Pleader. 6. Dublin Trunk Connecting Railway. 7. Professional Services of Mr. Hope-Scott to Eton–Claims of Clients on Time–Value of Ten Minutes– Conscientiousness–Professional Income–Extra Occupations–Affection of Mr. Hope-Scott for Father Newman–Spirit in which he laboured.

On taking the step of which I have just related the history, Mr. Hope had not to encounter the usual array of external ills that assail the convert’s life. Although he was now a Catholic, his eloquence had lost none of its magic, and railway directors were not very likely to indulge their bigotry at the expense of their dividends. He lost not, I suppose, a single retainer, and his practice at the bar went on as before. His conversion, however, affords us a convenient point at which to turn aside and review his professional career, contrasting so singularly with what the ordinary observer would have anticipated for him under such a condition. We are so much accustomed to associate religious doubts or convictions with an unworldliness which is rarely visible where great worldly success is attained, that on leaving the cloisters of Oxford, and entering with him the committee-rooms of the Houses of Parliament, we seem to behold the curtain raised all at once, and the same actor appearing in a totally new character, with hardly a feature left that can identify him with the previous representation.

He was, indeed, himself not insensible to this contrast, and had early marked off from purely secular pursuits that choice and precious portion of his time which could be reserved for higher objects. An interesting passage in a letter of his to Mr. Gladstone (dated from Lincoln’s Inn, June 25, 1841) will illustrate this feeling by a phrase which I italicise, as I believe he was fond of using it: ‘My reason for staying in town is to read ecclesiastical law, and to prepare (if so be) for election committees. _The former branch I reckon my flower-garden, the latter my cabbage- field.’_ [Footnote: See letter of Mr. Gladstone to Miss Hope-Scott, Appendix III.] When Anglicanism and its institutions had broken down under him, and others not as yet come in their place, he sought in the purely temporal works of his calling perhaps a refuge from doubts, certainly a means of sanctification; and either alternative explains the issue. A religious mind could never succeed in silencing religious difficulty by earthly pursuits, but in whatever measure it sought to sanctify the latter, would be led onwards to the faith. The following passage from a letter of the then Archdeacon Manning (now Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster) to Mr. Hope (dated Dec. 9, 1842) will show that this ardent and restless application to his profession was watched at the time by Mr. Hope’s friends with some degree of anxiety and surprise. The kind and wise admonitions it conveys, only distantly indeed bearing on the religious side of the question, many may read with much profit:–

As a bystander I see you working too much, and looking at times overwrought; and I ask myself, what is this man’s aim? It must needs be something very high and far off to need all this unremitting tension of mind. I do much wish to see you more relaxed, and with more play. I know it is a more difficult attainment to be able both to work intensely and to relax thoroughly. But without it a man deteriorates. He becomes a keen, case-hardened tool, and no man. Our friends the Germans are not far wrong when they talk about developing what is universal in man, i.e. his humanity, which is a whole, and must be unfolded as a whole to be perfect, or even to approximate perfection. You will burn this if I go on, so I will leave you to Lancilotti.

Believe me ever yours affectly,


The field finally adopted by Mr. Hope was the _Parliamentary Bar_, at which, as we have seen, he had practised to a certain extent from the first, though with considerable interruption from the legal and financial affairs of his college and the Sarum Chancery, as well as other weighty business, including in 1839 services rendered as Counsel to the Government in the preparation of the Foreign Marriages Bill; in 1843 of the Consular Jurisdiction Bill, the report which he furnished on which, to be seen in the Parliamentary Records, would alone have been sufficient to have made a great reputation in that particular line; and in 1843-44 he was engaged by Government in the matter of the Franco-Mexican arbitration to prepare a report on some points in dispute between France and Mexico, which had been submitted to the arbitration of Great Britain. I presume that his retainers in these cases would be principally due to the fact that his brother, Mr. George W. Hope, was now a member of the Government as Under Secretary of State for the Colonies in Sir Robert Peel’s administration. But the ‘fame’ that had already gone abroad regarding him, particularly for his learning in all matters that touched ecclesiastical law, would have been sure, independently of private interest, to have brought him early into prominence. The Ecclesiastical Courts Bill in 1843 engaged much of his attention, and his share in the legal business connected with troubles of that year at Oxford has been noticed in its place. On October 26, 1843, he took his degree of D.C.L. at Oxford. In 1844, at the suggestion of the Bishop of London (Right Rev. Dr. Blomfield), he was accepted by the Lord Chancellor as one of the persons to consider the chapter on offences against religion and the Church in the proposed Code of Criminal Law.

In a short, time, however, his practice seems to have merged in the department with which his name is principally connected, that of railway pleading. This branch of the profession, though affording little or no scope for those powers of oratory which his first speech before the Lords showed that he possessed, nor yet opening those avenues to power and fame which usually tempt minds of his class, were undoubtedly highly lucrative, and by this time Mr. Hope’s charities must have nearly exhausted his modest patrimony. It had also one great advantage, in its business being principally confined to the Parliamentary session, thus leaving him free to travel six months in the year. I have seen it stated that in conversation with a friend he gave this as his chief reason for adopting it. He may have said so half in jest; but there can, I believe, be little doubt that a far deeper reason was that the Parliamentary bar was likely to present fewer cases of difficulty in point of conscience than he would have had to encounter in the Common Law courts.

It is needless to mention, except for the sake of the few persons who may not happen to have even that superficial acquaintance with the subject which newspaper reading can supply, that advocates practising at the Parliamentary bar are engaged in pleading for or against the private bills referred to committees of Parliament, relating, for example, to railways, canals, docks, gas-works, and the like. These are each referred to a committee of five, supposed to represent the whole House; witnesses of course are examined, and counsel heard on behalf of the companies or individuals concerned. To plead before a tribunal of such a nature and on such interests evidently demands qualifications of a special kind. Mr. Hope possessed some external ones which are by no means unimportant. His noble presence, in the first place, gave him a great advantage; and a known name and known antecedents like his were also additional recommendations of great value. Then came his tact, clearness of intellect, memory for names and details, his moral qualities, especially his perfect sense of honour, which gained him the ear of the committees, and, what is still more difficult, enabled him to keep it.

Mr. Hope then very early attained to the front rank in his profession, and on the retirement of Mr. Charles Austin, Q.C. (1848), and the deaths of Sergeant Wrangham (_d_. March 1869) and Mr. John C. Talbot, Q.C. (_d_. 1852), may be said to have had no rival in reputation or practice until the present Sir E. B. Denison ‘gradually began to compete with him on not unequal terms.’ Mr. St. George Burke, Q.C., Mr. Merewether, Q.C., and Mr. Rodwell, Q.C., were other contemporaries of his, who all had a large practice and great reputation, but were, I believe, as seldom as possible pitted against Mr. Hope-Scott.

Early in 1849 Mr. Hope received a patent of precedence, entitling him to rank with her Majesty’s counsel; and in April of that year attended the levee as Q.C. It was at his own request that the dignity of the silk gown was conferred upon him in this form; and his reason was a conscientious difficulty about taking the oath of supremacy so far as it denied the papal authority, ecclesiastical or civil, as existing _de facto et de jure_ in the realm. He states his difficulty in a letter to Mr. Badeley (February 23, 1849), as follows:–

That the Pope _does_ exercise jurisdiction in this country is notorious; and that he ought to do so over R. Catholics seems to be admitted by the present state of the law as to that church. The oath, then, cannot be taken as it was originally meant, and the only sense in which I think it can be accepted is, that the Pope has not, nor without consent of the Legislature ought to have, an external coercive power over the Queen’s subjects.

But this compromise did not satisfy him, and he therefore refused the silk gown, except under the conditions previously stated, which did not require him to take the oath of supremacy at all. His request for the patent of precedence, and his reasons for wishing it, were conveyed through a legal friend to the then Lord Chancellor, Lord Cottenham, who made no difficulty whatever in granting it. The following anecdote will amuse the reader. When the Chancellor had to report to the Premier (Lord John Russell) the various appointments he had made, Lord John asked Lord Cottenham why he had given Mr. Hope-Scott a patent of precedence instead of making him a Q.C. On the Chancellor’s replying that he had done it because of Mr. Hope-Scott’s scruples about the oath, Lord John exclaimed, ‘That’s more than I would have done.’

Such illustrations of Mr. Hope-Scott’s professional success as I have been able to collect, either from oral sources or correspondence, may fitly be introduced by a valuable paper on his characteristics as an advocate by Mr. G. S. Venables, Q.C. It is obviously drawn up with great care and reflection by a skilled observer, who had the best opportunities for arriving at a correct judgment. I omit the two opening paragraphs, the principal facts contained in which have been given in a former page. CRITICISM ON MR. HOPE-SCOTT’S CHARACTERISTICS AS A PLEADER. BY G. S. VENABLES, ESQ., Q.C.

The Bar is exempt from envy of merited success, and Mr. Hope-Scott’s undisputed pre-eminence never provoked a feeling of personal jealousy. Though he cultivated little intimacy with his professional associates, his courtesy and good humour never failed; and he showed due appreciation of the services a leader requires from his junior colleagues.

His singularly attractive appearance produced its natural effect in conciliating those around him, and the pleasant and cheerful manner which nevertheless repelled familiarity tended to make him generally popular.

The most remarkable forensic qualities of Mr. Hope-Scott were facility, prudence, and grace of language and manner. The subtlety of his intellect, if it had been ostentatiously displayed, might perhaps have impaired the confidence which he had the art of inspiring. Inexperienced members of the tribunals before which he practised were tempted to forget that he was an advocate, while they listened to the perspicuous statements which led up with apparent absence of design to a carefully premeditated conclusion. It could never be suspected from his manner that he was constantly supporting a paradox, or that he anticipated defeat.

When he had occasion in successive contests to maintain opposite propositions, it seemed that the circumstances of the case, not the position of the advocate, had been changed.

In Parliamentary practice there is no room for the more ambitious kinds of eloquence, nor can it be known whether Mr. Hope-Scott would have been capable of elevated declamation. [Footnote: Of the latter, however, two or three specimens are given in this memoir. See vol. i. (pp. 199, 200), vol. ii. (pp. 115-118).] In dealing with questions of fact, of expediency, of equitable policy, and of complicated agreement, he has probably never been excelled. His lucid arrangement of topics, his pure polished style, and his appearance of dispassionate conviction secured the pleased attention of his audience. The more tedious parts of his argument or narrative were from time to time relieved by touches of the playfulness which is more popular than humour; but the colleagues and opponents who thoroughly understood his object, knew that it was pursued with undeviating constancy of purpose.

In the lightest of his speeches there was neither carelessness nor vacillation. Less finished advocates turn aside to indulge themselves in playing with an illustration or a favourite proposition, at the risk of betraying the distinction between their own natural train of thought and their immediate argument. Mr. Hope-Scott was too consummate an artist to be tempted into irrelevance or digression.

His success would not have been less complete if his practice had required him to trace the fine analogies and close deductions of law. His intellect was admirably adapted to the comparison of precedents and to the application of legal principles. His acuteness was at the same time comprehensive and minute, and he delighted in finding appropriate expression for the nicest distinctions. When he had sometimes occasion to spend hours in contesting the clauses of a bill, he had a surprising faculty of averting the weariness which is ordinarily inseparable from the prolonged discussion of details. Professional associates, who willingly recognised his general superiority, sometimes confessed that in the most irksome of their contests they were placed at an exceptional disadvantage in comparison of Mr. Hope-Scott’s felicitous adroitness. He excelled in dealing with skilled witnesses, who were themselves from the nature of the case supplementary advocates. The object of cross-examination, where there is little serious dispute as to the facts, is to draw from the mouth of a hostile witness the other half of the story. An accurate memory, stored by abundant experience, enabled Mr. Hope-Scott to recall the history of every railway company, the expressed opinions of general managers, and the characteristics and theories of engineers. The wariest veterans needed all their caution to anticipate the design of the friendly conversation which gradually tempted them to damaging admissions. He was slow to resort to harder modes of attack, of which he was at the same time fully capable. Every facility was offered to a candid and confiding witness, and there was still greater satisfaction in baffling the vigilance of an adversary who was on his guard against an attack from a different quarter. A hostile witness, after an encounter with Mr. Hope-Scott, sometimes found that his answers formed a plausible argument in favour of the proposition he had intended to confute. His perplexity must have been increased when he afterwards heard his own statements reproduced in the speech of the opposing counsel. Almost the only point in which Mr. Hope-Scott could be charged with a want of caution consisted in his frequent affirmation of certain general opinions, such as the common and questionable doctrine that competition cannot last where combination is possible. An advocate who is changing his clients is ill-advised in hampering himself with the enumeration of maxims which may from time to time be quoted against him. In such cases Mr. Hope-Scott almost converted a self-imposed difficulty into an additional resource. With marvellous ingenuity he proved that any competition scheme which he happened to support formed an exception to the rule which he carefully reasserted; and unsophisticated hearers admired the consistency with general principles which was found not to be incompatible with immediate expediency.

It is almost superfluous to say that Mr. Hope-Scott never exceeded the legitimate bounds of forensic debate. All litigated questions, and especially this species of private legislation, have two sides, and it is the business of an advocate to present in the most favourable light the cause which he is retained to defend. Deliberate sophistry is as culpable as false relations of fact; but completeness or judicial impartiality belongs to the tribunal, and not to the representative of the litigant. When all moral scruples have been allowed their full weight, the qualifications of a great advocate are almost exclusively intellectual. It is to this part of Mr. Hope-Scott’s character that I have strictly endeavoured to confine myself. It is probable that an attempt to analyse a distinct personal impression may have produced but a vague result. I have little doubt that, although Mr. Hope-Scott was almost unequalled in professional ability, his real life lay outside his occupation as an advocate. The grounds of the affection and admiration with which he is remembered by his family and his nearest friends have but a remote connection with the faculties and accomplishments which I have endeavoured to describe.

Another friend (Mr. H. L. Cameron), who had continual opportunities, from about the year 1859, of observing Mr. Hope-Scott’s character in its professional aspect, furnishes some very interesting reminiscences, on a part of which, however, it may be worth while to observe that the versatility and pliability of intellect which the writer so well describes in Mr. Hope-Scott is no doubt more or less common to every great barrister, and is a habit to which all who are actively engaged in the profession are obliged to train their minds as they can. Still, it is equally certain that Mr. Hope-Scott possessed this faculty in an uncommon degree; and, in order to form a complete idea of him as he appeared in the eyes of his contemporaries, as well as to understand the relations of one part of his character to another, it is necessary to draw these features in considerable detail. After noticing particularly a very pleasing trait in Mr. Hope-Scott’s demeanour as a leading counsel, shown in the kindness and tact with which, in consultation, he took care to prevent the inexperience or ignorance of his juniors being made apparent, and sought rather to ask them questions on points which they were likely to know something about, Mr. Cameron continues as follows:–


What made Mr. Hope-Scott so much loved by all who were brought into contact with him was his great amiability, thorough kindness of heart: his care was always not to hurt or wound another’s feelings; and even in the heat of debate, and under great provocation, I never heard him utter an unkind word, or put a harsh construction on the conduct of any one, even an adversary.

As regards his talents, they are so universally known and admitted, that I can say very little you have not heard already. Westminster has rarely– never certainly in later years–heard such an advocate. The secret of his great success at the bar, beyond his intellectual power, lay, I think, in a peculiar charm and fascination of manner–a manner which could invest the driest and most technical matters with interest, and compelled the attention of the hearers to the subject under discussion. The melody of his voice was, to me, one of his greatest attractions. Then, again, what a noble presence! and that goes a long way at the Bar. I can look back, and see now, as he used to walk into his room to attend some consultation, how vigorous, handsome, and stately he always appeared, bringing the force of his powerful intellect at once to bear upon the subject under consideration, doing all in such a genial manner, without any attempt at showing his mental superiority to those around him.

In those busy times he would perhaps be engaged in twenty different cases on the same day; the competition to engage him was most keen: it was almost the first thing one thought about when clients came to consult upon a new scheme. He would go from one committee to another, by some extraordinary means always being at the place where he was most needed. It was marvellous how he kept all these matters distinct in his brain; he was never in confusion or at fault. In one room he would open a case, say an Improvement Bill, with a brilliant speech setting forth all its merits, a speech which would probably immediately impress the committee and carry the case, whatever after arguments might be urged against it, or speeches made by other counsel. Then he would go into another room, and cross-examine a skilled witness in a railway case, showing his intimate knowledge of engineering, and beating the witness perhaps on his own ground. Then he would take an Irish case, or a Gas and Water Bill, or landowner’s case, whose property was about to be intersected, a ratepayer’s, a carrier’s, each case being thoroughly gone into, and thoroughly mastered and understood. After all this, and late in the day, when any one else would have felt fatigued and exhausted, in mind at any rate, if not in body, he would go into a room where an inquiry had been going on perhaps for weeks, and reply on the whole evidence. Those who know what labour this entails can alone appreciate such a capability.

No one at the bar whom I have ever heard reasoned with such perfect lucidity. He would explain a case which his client the solicitor would have wrapped up in fifty or sixty brief sheets, and involved in as much obscurity as it were well possible, to a committee in a few minutes; and I have often thought his clients never understood their own cases until he had explained them. It was wonderful how he could make a committee (sometimes composed of by no means the highest specimens of mankind) understand a case; and his persuasive power with those tribunals was also marvellous.

One word more on his character in his business life, and that is as to his entire conscientiousness. No case did he ever consider insignificant or beneath his notice. He gave the same attention to the humblest client that he would to a duke. He never left anything he had to do _half_ done: his work was thorough, complete, good. Time, which he considered his client’s, was never wasted; and to enable him to get through his work he would rise at four or five o’clock in the morning, and he would be engaged either getting up a case, attending consultations, or in committee until five or six o’clock in the evening. His life was an exact fulfilment of that precept, ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.’ [Footnote: Mr. H.L. Cameron. Letter to Miss Hope, October 28,1877.] To what has now been expressed by critics so competent, I shall add the only passage which I have been able to discover, in which Mr. Hope-Scott has left on record any opinion relating to himself in connection with his professional experience in an intellectual point of view. In pleading before the Select Committee of the Lords, on behalf of Eton College, on the Public School Bill of 1865, after stating his objection to the notion of such subjects as natural philosophy playing so very large a part in early education as some persons would have them do, he goes on to say:–

I, if I may venture here to speak of myself, have observed enough in a life which has been tolerably devoted to business to know this, that the possession of knowledge upon any one subject is worthless compared to the possession of a power of using it when you have got it. My Lords, in my profession, though not in my part of it, there are many men who will take up a patent case, or a mining case, without the slightest previous knowledge of the natural sciences relating to it, and who will make statements to a jury which the scientific men at hand will stand aghast at; what does that mean? It means that they have been so trained in the acquisition of knowledge when presented to them, that it becomes to them a mere matter of get-up, in many instances, to acquire an amount of knowledge which would absolutely electrify many a learned society. [Footnote: _Min. Evid. Sel. Com. Public Sch. B._ p. 209.]

Notwithstanding the qualification under which Mr. Hope-Scott here speaks, it will be seen from a case I shall presently cite (the ‘Caledonian Railway,’ p. 110) that he describes a faculty he was of course aware that he himself possessed. He said, I believe, in conversation, that there was hardly any subject which he had not had occasion to look up in his profession, and this was one of the reasons which made him so fond of it.

It will perhaps give pleasure to those whose affection for Mr. Hope-Scott’s memory has suggested this record, if I note down some particulars of his daily round of occupations during the most active period of his life, principally supplied me (with other interesting details) by the kindness of Mr. John Q. Dunn, who, from the year 1859 until the end, was Mr. Hope- Scott’s confidential clerk, continually about him in the most unreserved trust, made out his daily _agenda_, and was intimately acquainted with all his habits and ways.

Mr. Hope-Scott rose early, between five and six o’clock, made his coffee, and then went through his devotions, a black ebony crucifix, with the figure of our Lord in brass, on the table before him. Wherever he went he had this carried with him. [Footnote: This particular crucifix, however, was only used by Mr. Hope-Scott after his first wife’s death. It was the one which she held in her hands when dying.] His next employment was his brief, which he read with great rapidity, [Footnote: ‘Bellasis says you never read even a brief, but divine its contents in half the time required.’–Bishop Grant to Mr. Hope-Scott, November 19, 1852.] making notes as he went on. This lasted till about eight, when he dressed and breakfasted. He then drove from his private residence, or from Norfolk House, to attend consultations in Chambers at 9.30. Each consultation lasted five or ten minutes, sometimes fifteen, never more, until eleven o’clock, not a minute being wasted. Public business then commenced, in the Lords at eleven, in the Commons at twelve. His papers having been taken over to the various committee-rooms, he would go from room to room, making a speech here, or cross-examining witnesses there, as the occasion might require, throughout the day. He was always cool and business-like, never in the slightest degree flurried. This, which was only due to his immense self-control, made people _imagine_ that the work was excessively easy to him. Business before the committees lasted till four, when the bags were collected (which were a porter’s load); and in Chambers another series of cases ensued, from four to five or six. In the intervals of business he would dictate, with surprising exactness and calmness, letters on his private affairs, such as the management of his Highland estate–minute directions for painting outhouses it might be, or the like small matters. At six he went home in a cab, tired and exhausted; dinner followed, after which he invariably went to sleep for two hours, waking up about ten, when he read his prayers. He commonly slept sound, and got up next morning bright and fresh. Clients sometimes came as early as six or seven, and had undivided attention for three-quarters of an hour: these audiences amounted, in fact, to fresh verbal briefs, but were never charged for, as the arrangement was made for his own convenience.

On first undertaking to write this memoir, the idea naturally suggested itself whether it might not be possible to give something like a connected history of Mr. Hope-Scott’s practice at the bar, especially considering the great social interest of the whole subject of railway construction in these countries, of which it really forms part. But I was assured by those thoroughly conversant with the matter, that such a task was not to be thought of. Legal arguments, occupying many hours for days together, however extraordinary they no doubt were as efforts of talent, and however important to those concerned at the time, who, perhaps, might be seen expecting, with white faces, the long-pending decision of committees for or against them, cannot, after the lapse of a generation, nay, after a far shorter interval than that, be even understood without an amount of labour which few would be inclined to devote to them. It may, indeed, be said that railway law is the creation of such great advocates as Mr. Hope-Scott, who reigned supreme in their own province at the time of its formation; and no doubt suggestions of counsel may have been adopted into law. But how to assign to each his share in the mighty structure? or guess to whom any particular change may have been due? It would at all events be the office, not of the biographer, but of the historian of jurisprudence. I shall nevertheless so far venture to deviate from the advice to which I have referred as to notice five or six cases, not as being in every instance of special and remembered celebrity, but merely as specimens of the kind of practice in which Mr. Hope was engaged. Two of these will also give me the opportunity of quoting some clever articles from the contemporary newspaper press, serving to show what the opinion about Mr. Hope-Scott was at the time, as the criticisms of his professional friends already given convey to us a distinct idea of the impression which he produced on his brethren of the Bar. I take first a case in which the Caledonian Railway Company were concerned, as it is very clearly and concisely explained by Mr. Hercules Robertson (better known as Lord Benholme, his title as Lord of Session), one of the counsel associated in it with Mr. Hope-Scott, in a letter which has been kindly communicated to me:–

1. _The Caledonian Railway_.–‘We were associated together as counsel for the Caledonian Railway Company in supporting several important bills upon Parliamentary committees, involving difficulties of no ordinary magnitude. One very important object that Company had to attain was leave to alter their entrance into Glasgow by lowering their access by many feet of perpendicular elevation. Their bill proposed to effect this by a tunnel which had to be interposed between the canal above, on the surface, and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway beneath. Our tunnel had to pass between these hostile undertakings just at the point where the former of these lay above the other with a very scanty space between. The difficulty was to induce the committee to believe that the thing was possible–that it was in the power of engineering to thread a way for the Caledonian Railway so as not to bring down the water of the canal on the one hand, or to break into the other railway by destroying its roof on the other. Mr. Hope-Scott had a power of persuasion that owed its efficacy not more to his commanding talents than to his straightforward ways and his honest and candid manner, which seemed to afford a satisfactory pledge that he would not seriously and anxiously advocate anything that was not true and possible. By his powerful assistance the Caledonian Company carried their bill, and in the course of the proceedings I had a full opportunity of estimating the elements of success in Mr. Hope-Scott’s career which made him one of the most popular of Parliamentary counsel. I need hardly say that his kindness and courtesy to myself were all that I could expect or wish from one with whom I was otherwise so closely connected.–H. J. RORBETSON.’

2. _Award by Mr. Hope-Scott and Mr. R. Stephenson_.–In 1852 Mr. Hope- Scott was associated with Mr. Robert Stephenson, the celebrated engineer, in making an important award upon certain questions in difference between the London and North-Western and North Staffordshire Railway Companies. This document, dated October 6, 1852, appears in the newspapers of the day; but either to quote from or analyse it would not be of the slightest interest to my readers. A letter of Mr. R. Stephenson’s to Mr. Hope-Scott on some private business of later date is of more value for our purposes as showing the opinion which this great engineer had formed of Mr. Hope-Scott in his own field, and also that these two remarkable men were by that time on the terms of intimacy that might be expected where minds of such calibre, and so capable of understanding each other, met in the conduct of affairs.

_Robert Stephenson, Esq., C.E. to J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C._

24 Great George Street: 2 Feb. 1855.

My dear Hope-Scott,–I have a sketch, in hand for your bridge. Your specification is excellent. I know what you want exactly. If I had not finished my engineering career, I should certainly have been jealous of your powers of specification. I do not know that it is sufficient to base a contract upon that would hold water in law; nevertheless, it is sufficient for me. I cannot offhand state the cost; but when the sketch and estimate are made, you shall see them; and if the cost exceeds your views, there will be no harm done; on the contrary, I shall have had the pleasure of scheming a little for you by way of pastime.

Yours faithfully,


James Hope-Scott, Esq.

3. The Mersey Conservancy and Docks Bill.–The speeches delivered by Mr. Hope-Scott in this case (June 23 and 24,1857) on behalf of the Corporation of Liverpool against the Mersey Docks and Conservancy Bill, were considered as among his greatest forensic efforts. His engagement in it was originally due to an accident, the brief having been given in the first instance to Mr. Plunkett, in whose chambers, as already mentioned. Mr. Hope had been a pupil. Mr. Plunkett having been prevented by illness from taking the brief, it was placed in the hands of Mr. Hope-Scott, who made a brilliant use of the opportunity. To place the reader in possession of the main question, it may be sufficient to state that the object of the Bill was to consolidate the Liverpool and Birkenhead Docks into one estate, so as to vest the whole superintendence of the Mersey in one body, principally elected by the Docks Ratepayers for the time being. This was felt by the Corporation of Liverpool as an unjust interference with their local rights, and the case is argued by Mr. Hope-Scott (when he comes upon general grounds) as one in which the commercial was being sacrificed to the jealousy of the manufacturing interest, and the principle of local government to that of centralisation. The reasonings as to matters of fact and business which make up the great bulk of these speeches are quite outside of our range, which can only deal with that which is more popular and rhetorical. Two specimens in the latter style I venture to quote–one of them appearing an excellent example of the genial humour he knew so well how to throw around the driest of arguments; the other a highly coloured view of the history and position of Liverpool in the commercial world, and of the danger of disturbing it in obedience to the clamour of its manufacturing rivals. The treatment of the subject rather reminds us of Burke’s manner, and it is easy to see that Mr. Hope-Scott’s own political feelings, always constitutionally conservative, would here assist his eloquence, as, in a far higher degree, the same sympathies had added splendour to his early display before the House of Lords. In the case before us it is hardly necessary to say that millions of money were concerned. An exciting scene is remembered in connection with it, the secretary of the Birkenhead Docks fainting away during the proceedings. Mr. Hope-Scott is _said_ to have received a fee of 10,000_l_.; but a friend, likely to be well informed, thinks this is a fable.


[After describing the provisions of an earlier centralising scheme proposed by Government in 1856, Mr. Hope-Scott proceeds:]

Well, sir, all this set the game fairly afoot; and such a day’s sport could hardly have been anticipated since the days when–

Earl Percy of Northumberland
A vow to God did make,
His pleasure in the
Scottish woods Three summers’ days to take.

The Queen herself had not indeed made a vow, but had announced the hunting from the throne. The Royal Commissioners had driven the whole country for game, and there was a large field, nearly all the counties of England being interested spectators; the hounds in good condition–very skilful whips– everything seemed to promise a fine day’s sport: and what would have been the issue is not very easy to foresee, had it not been for what I may be allowed to term (pursuing the metaphor) the very unfortunate riding of the gentleman who, upon that occasion, acted as huntsman. It appears from his own statement at the outset that he had very little previous acquaintance with the country; but he went off with very considerable confidence upon ‘the shipping interest,’ and there seemed to be every prospect of his having a pleasant ride; but as he got along, he seems to have found the ground deeper and the fences stiffer than he had reckoned upon, and, moreover, that ‘the shipping interest’ had been a good deal exhausted in the service of the department before.

So about the middle of the day (it is more easy to give a description of personal events in the form of analogy than from direct representation)– about the middle of the day he seems to have changed his mount; and when he was next seen he was going at a tremendous rate across country, firmly seated upon the ‘natural rights of man.’ As you may suppose, he very soon made up for lost ground upon so splendid a creature. But the difficulties began when he came up with the hunt; for the horse in question is a desperate puller, very awkward to manage in old enclosures, and not at all accustomed to hunt with any regular pack, least of all with her Majesty’s hounds. The consequence was what might have been expected. He was hardly up with the hounds when he was in the middle of them, rode over half the pack, and headed the whole; and so there was nothing for it but for the master of the hounds to call them off, and declare he would not hunt that country again until he had had a further survey made of it.

Now I have endeavoured to give, in as gentle a manner as I can, an account of that which caused the principal disaster on this famous sporting day. It was stated that further information was necessary. But another member of the Government described the difficulty in a good deal broader terms. Mr. Labouchere declared that ‘the sons of Zeruiah had been too strong for them.’ However that may be, a select committee was appointed. [Footnote: _Report: Mersey Conservancy and Docks_, Westminster, 1857, p.46.]


What has made Liverpool? Manchester says it has made Liverpool. Sir, the East and West Indies, America and Africa and Australia have made Liverpool, just as they have made Manchester. We know that for a long time that western side of the kingdom was far behind the eastern portions of it; that it had no wool trade, which was the old staple of the country; that South Lancashire was covered with forests; that in Edward the Second’s time there was but one poor fulling-mill in Manchester: and what has been the eventual result? After long waiting, after long delays, a new continent in the far west, and a new British Empire founded in the far east, have come to the relief of that portion of the country; that, concurrently with the development of that system, a Brindley, a Watt, an Arkwright, a George Stephenson arose. And so it is that Liverpool became what it is; and so it is that Manchester became what it is. But who was watching this great design of Providence in its small beginning? Who was fostering the trade? Who was promoting the internal communications with Manchester? Who was spending money and giving land for the benefit of the infant trade? It was the corporation of Liverpool…. Where was representation and taxation then, sir?… You cannot have it till the port is made. You cannot have it till the risk has been run, till the ratepayers have been created. Then, no doubt, you may turn round upon the body who have made the port, made the ratepayers, made them what they are; and you may insist upon dethroning them from that position which they have occupied, at so much risk and so much labour, up to the time when the full development of the trade takes place. Now, sir, that is the case with Liverpool. It is the case with nearly all the remarkable ports of this kingdom. And then, forsooth, when all this has been done, and when Liverpool has nursed from its infancy the rising trade of the Mersey, watched it, developed it into a system which is unequalled, I venture to say, in the habitable world, we are to have gentlemen from Manchester coming down upon us to tell us that the true nostrum to make a port is taxation and representation, and to turn out those who, before there was any trade to tax, taxed themselves in order to create it.

* * * * *

Apart from the Great Western Company’s intervention this is a case of Manchester against Liverpool; in other words, it is a struggle between a manufacturing and a commercial interest. Now, sir, what is called the balance of power in the British Constitution, meaning as it does the equipoise caused by conflicting interests and passions, is a principle which is not confined to constitutional forms, but works out throughout the whole body of society; and we find a gradual tendency in latter days to conflicts between classes, and classes which were before allied together against other classes. We know the distinctions between land and trade, speaking generally, and the conflicts which have ensued. In these latter days we have had trade subdivided into manufactures and commerce…. What you are asked to do now is to humble a commercial interest at the instance of a manufacturing interest…. There can be no doubt, sir, that if we contrast the habits of mind of different classes, commercial pursuits give a different tone and a different feeling. I am not saying it is better, I am not saying it is worse–that is not my question–but a different tone and feeling from what manufacturing pursuits do. I will not even analyse the cause of it; but I may state this much, that commerce has that which manufacture has not. It has its traditions and its history upon a higher and very different footing: it has even its romance and its poetry. A profession exercised within a port which is associated with such names as those of Tyre, of Byzantium, of Venice, of Genoa, of the Hanse Towns, and many of the chief cities of history, may be said to have some liberal features which I do not say are beneficial; I am merely saying that they are different from those which arise out of the associations of manufacture. Images of greatness and of splendour are connected with the one much more than with the other, and the term ‘merchant princes’ is a term which neither historians nor orators would treat as otherwise than properly applied to many of the chief men of the cities which I have named in former days, and many of the chief men of the cities with which we are now dealing. Moreover commerce brings the parties engaged in it into connection and contact with almost the whole known world. Liverpool is not the Liverpool of Lancashire only, or of Cheshire only, or of England only; Liverpool is the Liverpool of India, of China, of Africa, of North and South America, of Australia–the Liverpool of the whole habitable globe; and she has her features of distinction; she has her habits of thought and feeling, her traditions of mind fostered by influences such as these. There she sits upon the Mersey, a sort of queen of the seas; and Manchester, her sister, looks at her and loves her not. _She_ too is great, and _she_ too is powerful–but she is not Liverpool, and she cannot become Liverpool. At Liverpool she is lost in the throng of nations and the multitude of commerce; she is merely one of the many customers of the port. Well, as she cannot equal Liverpool, what is the next thing? It is to pull down Liverpool; to make Liverpool, forsooth, the Piraeus of such an Athens as Manchester! That, sir, will suit her purpose, but will it suit yours?… No commercial interests can act, sir, more than any other interests, without some local association, without some united home, such as is afforded in the constitution of our own port…. To found upon injustice, and to proceed by agitation, to put down a rival whom they cannot help admiring though they cannot love–that, sir, is a process neither worthy of them nor likely to accord with the views of the constitutional politician, who is willing indeed that, according to the natural force of circumstances and the development of time, every interest should acquire its legitimate position in the balance of power under the constitution, but who certainly would not lend his aid to destroy by anticipation and violently any of those great commercial landmarks which remain–and long may they remain–in this country, standing monuments of the past, and affording in the present working of different political passions and interests a counterpoise, the loss of which would soon be felt, and would lead every one to regret the legislation which had converted this bill into an Act. (Pp. 213, 214, 221- 4.)

4. _The L. B. & S. C. Company–the Beckenham Line_.–In this great case Mr. Hope-Scott was retained by the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company to oppose a bill by which it had been sought to construct a new and rival line by Beckenham, and, with his usual address, succeeded in turning it out. The question was one of considerable local importance, and on its decision a clever article appeared in the ‘West Sussex Gazette,’ written by the editor of that paper, the late Mr. William Woods Mitchell, in whose sudden death in 1880 the public press of England lost a most able and talented journalist, who (I may remark in passing) had as considerable a share as any one in carrying the principle of unstamped newspapers. His description of Mr. Hope-Scott’s style of pleading is interesting, as conveying the impressions of a very sharp-sighted spectator, and, so to speak, placing before our bodily vision what such refined criticism as that of Mr. Venables has addressed rather to the eye of the mind.

To one of an impulsive temperament Mr. Hope-Scott’s unconcern and _sang- froid_ is perfectly irritating. It is amazing how he remembers minute points and names. From the highest questions of policy down to Mr. Ellis’s cow and ladder case he was ‘up’ in detail, never lost for a word, and not to be astonished at anything. If the House of Commons were on fire he would ask the committee simply if he should continue until the fire had reached the room, or adjourn on the arrival of the engines. Whilst he delivers his speech he is keeping up a little cross-fire with the clerks behind, who