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  • 1884
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scratch out the evidences and papers as he requires them. Now he will drink from the water-glass, now take a pinch of snuff, then look at his notes, or make an observation to some one; but still the smooth thread of his speech goes on to the committee: but it is smooth, and says as plainly as possible, ‘My dear friend, I am not to be hurried, understand that if you please.’ When, however, Mr. Scott has a joke against his learned friend he looks round, and his dark eyes twinkle out the joke most expressively…. There was a slight twinkle as he said to the committee, ‘Now I come to the question of gradients.’ It was amusing to see the five M.P.s twist in their chairs, and how readily the chairman told Mr. Scott the committee required to hear nothing further about gradients. Had the question of gradients been entered upon, one might have travelled to Brighton and back ere it was concluded. Mr. Hope-Scott had the advantage of a good case, and he ‘improved the occasion.’ He further had the advantage of the three shrewd gentlemen at his elbow, Messrs. Faithfull, Slight, and Hawkins, who allowed no point to slumber. The great features in favour of the Brighton Company were–first, that their line was acknowledged by all to be well connected; secondly, that Parliament had never granted a competing line of as palpable a character as the Beckenham; thirdly, that it had been shown by a committee of inquiry that competing lines invariably combine to the detriment of the public; and lastly, that the opposition line was not a _bona fide_ scheme, and not required for the traffic of the district. Mr. Denison replied at a disadvantage. [The chairman announced:] ‘The committee are unanimous in their decision that the preamble of the bill has _not_ been proved.’ The B. and S. C. has won the race. Another victory for _Scott’s lot!_ [Footnote: _Scott’s lot_. There was a celebrated trainer of the day, named Scott; and this expression was very familiar in the records of the turf.] The Beckenham project thrown out. [Footnote: _West Sussex Gazette_, June 18, 1863.]

The same writer (I have been told) also remarked that Mr. Hope-Scott succeeded with the committee by making an exceedingly clear _statement_ of the case, thereby making them think that they knew something about it–and that was half the battle. When it was over, Mr. Hope-Scott observed to a friend, ‘It is very likely I shall hear of that again; and very probably I shall be on the other side.’ In fact, the affair got mixed up with the South-Eastern, from which company Mr. Hope-Scott received a prior retainer, and carried the Beckenham line against the L. and B. On that occasion he met the probable production by the opposing counsel of the statement from his previous speech by showing that circumstances alter cases, and that two or three years make a great difference. These latter particulars, however, I only give as conversational. To prevent any adverse impressions which might be given by such random talk, I would remark in passing, that a case like the foregoing is not a question of right or wrong, truth or falsehood, but of a balance of _expediency_, which it is a counsel’s business in each instance to state, though certainly not to _overstate_. Further on (p.124) the reader will find evidence of Mr. Hope-Scott’s resolute conscientiousness in the matter of fees.

5. _Scottish Railways: an Amalgamation Case_.–A bill for the amalgamation of certain Scottish railways was one of the great cases in which Mr. Hope-Scott was concerned in the Parliamentary Session of 1866. A correspondent of the ‘Dundee Advertiser’ takes occasion from it to contribute to that journal a sketch of Mr. Hope-Scott’s personal history and professional career, with sundry comments on his style as an advocate. From this article I shall quote so much as refers in general to the Scottish part of his practice, and particularly to the case above mentioned. It will be perceived that the writer takes a comparatively disparaging view of Mr. Hope-Scott’s manner of pleading; but this only shows the coarse drawing which those who write for the people often fall into, like artists whose pictures are to be seen from a great distance. For convenience of arrangement I make a transposition in the passage which I now place before the reader.

Mr. Hope-Scott in pleading his cases has a peculiarly easy style of speech, which can hardly be called oratory, because it would be ridiculous to waste high oratory on a Railway or a Waterworks Bill. But he has an apparently inexhaustible flow of language in every case he takes up, and every point of every case. He has little gesture, but is graceful in all his movements. He fastens on every point, however small–not a single feature escapes him; and he covers it up so completely with a cloud of specious but clever words, that a Parliamentary committee, composed as it is of private gentlemen, are almost necessarily led captive, and compelled to view the point as represented by him. It was eminently so in the Amalgamation case. The specious excuses for unmitigated selfishness there put forth were poured into the ears of the committee with such an air of innocent candour, and with such a clever copiousness, that the committee was, as it were, flooded and overwhelmed by his quiet eloquence; and though Mr. Denison with the keen two-edged sword of his logic cut through and through the watery flood in every case, it was just like cutting water, which immediately closed the moment the instrument was withdrawn. I am not doing Mr. Scott injustice when I say that in the Amalgamation case his tact was at least in as much demand as his ability, and that for downright argument his speeches could not for one moment be compared to those of Mr. Denison. But having a bad case to begin with, and having to make a selfish arrangement between two railway companies appear a great public advantage, he certainly, by his quiet skilful touches, turned black into white before the committee with remarkable neatness. His reply on the whole case was another flood of rosewater eloquence, which rose gently over all the points in Mr. Denison’s speech, and concealed if it did not remove them. It was like the tide rising and covering a rock which could only be removed by blasting. Mr. Denison has the keen logical faculty which enables him to bore his way through the hardest argument, and blast it remorselessly and effectually as the gunpowder the rock. Mr. Scott, again, prefers to chip the face of the rock, to trim it into shape, to cover it over with soil, and to conceal its hard and rocky appearance under the guise of a flower-garden, through which any one may walk. And with ordinary men this style of thing is very popular. I do not mean that Mr. Scott is incapable of higher things. Far from it. I believe that had he to plead before a judge few could be more logical and powerful than he; but it is a remarkable evidence of the ‘Scottishness’ of his character, if I may coin a phrase, that when he has to plead before a committee of private gentlemen who have to be ‘managed,’ he should deliberately select a lower style of treatment for his subjects.

* * * * *

From his birth and social position, his mixing with the noblest and best society in the land, and his versatility and quick perceptive powers, Mr. Hope-Scott is so thoroughly master of the art of pleasing that a committee cannot fail to be ingratiated by him; and is certainly never offended, as he is gentlemanly and amiable to a fault. His temper is unruffled, and his speeches brimful of quick wit and humour; and when a strong-minded committee has to decide against him, so much has he succeeded in ingratiating himself with them that it is almost with a feeling of personal pain the decision is given. I remember seeing the chairman of one of the committees look distinctly sheepish as he gave his decision against Mr. Scott, and could not help thinking how much humbug there was in this system of Parliamentary committees altogether.

* * * * *

Mr. Hope-Scott has had a great deal to do in regard to Dundee and district business in Parliament. He represented the Harbour Trustees when they obtained their original Act, and he has had a hand in forwarding or opposing most of the railways in the district. He was employed by Mr. Kerr at the formation of the Scottish Midland; and I may mention that he was also employed in regard to the original Forfar and Laurencekirk line. In his conduct of the latter case a characteristic incident occurred which shows the highly honourable nature of the man. It was at the time of the railway mania, when fancy fees were being given to counsel, and when some counsel were altogether exorbitant in their demands. Mr. Hope-Scott was to have replied on behalf of the Forfar and Laurencekirk line, but intimated that he would not have time to do so, he being engaged on some other case. It was supposed, as fancy fees were being freely offered to secure attendance, that Mr. Scott was dissatisfied with his, and accordingly an extra fee of 150 guineas was sent to him along with a brief and a request that he would appear and make the reply. Mr. Scott sent back the brief and the cheque to the agents, with a note stating his regret that they should have supposed him capable of such a thing, also stating that he feared he would not have time to make the reply; but requesting that W. Kerr, of Dundee, should be asked to visit him and prepare him for the case, that he might be able to plead it if he did find time. This was done; he did find the time, he pleaded the case, but would not finger the extra fee! How different this conduct from that of some of the notorious counsel of those days, who, after being engaged in a case, sometimes stood out for their 1,000-guinea fees being doubled before they would go on with it!’ [Footnote: I have heard of even a stronger case at that period than those alluded to by this writer–of a brief of 300_l_. being returned by the counsel and agents backwards and forwards till it reached 3,000_l_.] (‘Dundee Advertiser,’ July 2, 1866.)

6. _Dublin Trunk Connecting Railway_.–This was a case of some interest in 1868 or 1869, when schemes were in agitation for the connection of lines and the construction of one great central station for Dublin. Seven bills had been proposed, two of which their supporters had great hopes of carrying: the Dublin Trunk Connecting line few had thought would pass, when Mr. Hope-Scott went into the committee-room one afternoon, examined some witnesses, and made a speech which carried all before it; and, to the astonishment of all, the bill passed. The project, indeed, was never realised, but all agreed that Mr. Hope-Scott’s single speech before the committee had snatched the affair from the hands of all the other competing parties.

7. His professional services to his old College of Eton in one important case (the Public Schools Bill of 1865) have already been more than once referred to. [Footnote: See vol. i. p. 17, and the present vol. ii. p. 106.]

But he similarly assisted Eton on other occasions also. One of these was a contest it had with the _Great Western Railway Company_ in 1848, and which did not terminate in complete success; but his exertions (which were gratuitous) called forth a most emphatic expression of thanks in an address to him from the head-master (Dr. Hawtrey) and from the whole body of the masters. They say:–

It would indeed have been impossible by any such payment to have diminished our debt. For we feel that you spoke as if you had a common interest in our cause, and the advocate was lost in the friend. Nothing was wanting in our defence which the most judicious eloquence, combined with the sincerest regard for Eton, could supply:–

Si Pergama dextra Defendi possent, etiam hac defensa fuissent.

But if the great object of our wishes could not be obtained against an opposition so powerful, restrictions have been imposed on the direction of the Great Western line, which would not have been granted but for the earnestness of your address to the committee; and whatever alleviations there may be to the evils which we expected, we shall owe them entirely to your advocacy.

I have little to add to what has now been brought together, yet a few scraps may still interest the reader.

Mr. Hope’s first general retainers (as already stated) date in 1844; but by the time he retired he was standing counsel to nearly every system of railways in the United Kingdom (not, however, to the Great Western, though he pleaded for them whenever he could–that is, when not opposed by other railways for which he was retained). With the London and North-Western he was an especial favourite. It is believed that on his retirement his general retainers amounted to nearly one hundred–an extraordinary number; among which are included those given by the Corporations of London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Liverpool, and others. There was, in fact, during his last years, constant wrangling among clients to secure his services. The cry always was ‘Get Hope-Scott.’ That there may have been jealousy on the part of some as to the distribution of time so precious, may easily be supposed. I find a hint of this in a book of much local interest, but which probably few of my readers have met with, ‘The Larchfield Diary: Extracts from the Diary of the late Mr. Mewburn, First Railway Solicitor. London: Simpkin and Marshall [1876].’ Under the year 1861 Mr. Mewburn says (adding a tart comment):–

The London and North-Western Railway Company had, in the session of 1860, twenty-five bills in Parliament, all which they gave to Mr. Hope-Scott as their leader, and he was paid fees amounting to 20,000_l_., although he was rarely in the committee-room during the progress of the bills.– ‘Larchfield Diary,’ p. 170.

As to this, it must be observed that the companies engaged Mr. Hope-Scott’s services with the perfect knowledge beforehand that the demands on his time were such as to render it extremely doubtful whether he could afford more than a very small share of it to the given case. They wished for his name if nothing else could be had; and, above all, to hinder its appearing on the opposite side. It was also felt that his powers were such, that a very little interference or suggestion on his part was very likely to effect all they wished. People said, ‘If he can only give us ten minutes, it will _direct_ us. We don’t want the chief to draw his sword–he will win the battle with the glance of his eye.’ In reference to one case I have described (No. 6) a client exclaimed, ‘Even in ten minutes he put all to rights. We should have gone to pieces but for those ten minutes.’ One is reminded of the exclamation of the old Highlander who had survived Killiecrankie: ‘O for one hour of Dundee!’ With these facts before us, and the astonishing unanimity of the best informed witnesses, as to Mr. Hope- Scott’s straightforwardness and high sense of honour, I think Mr. Mewburn’s objection is sufficiently answered. A remark, however, may be added, which I find in an able article in the ‘Scotsman’ (May 1, 1873): ‘Often unable to attend his examination of minor witnesses, Mr. Hope-Scott nevertheless took care to possess himself of everything material in their evidence by careful reading of the short-hand writers’ notes, and he always contrived to be at hand when the examination of an important witness might be expected to prove the turning-point in his case.’

The same writer goes on to say:–

Mr. Hope-Scott was not classed as a legal scholar, nor did his branch of the profession, which was the making, not the interpreting of laws, demand that accomplishment. His power lay, first, in a strong common sense and in a practical mind; next, in a degree of tact amounting to instinct, by which he seemed to read the minds of those before whom he was pleading, and steered his course and pitched his tone accordingly; and lastly, in being in all respects a thorough gentleman, knowing how to deal with gentlemen…. Though sincere and zealous in [religious] matters, Mr. Hope- Scott never, in his intercourse with the world and with men of hostile beliefs, showed the least drop of bitterness, or fell away in the smallest degree from that geniality of spirit which marked his whole character, and that courtesy of manner which made all intercourse with him, even in hard and anxious matters of business, a pleasure, not only for the moment, but for memory.

The following anecdote will serve to show that Mr. Hope-Scott was not the man to abuse the power which of course he well knew that he possessed, of ‘making the worse seem the better cause.’ Once when engaged in consultation with a certain great advocate, they both agreed that they had not a leg to stand upon. —- said that he would speak, and did deliver a speech which was anything but law. Mr. Hope-Scott being then called, bowed, and said that he had nothing to add to the speech of his learned friend. ‘How could you leave me like that?’ asked the other. ‘You had already said,’ replied Mr. Hope-Scott, ‘that you had no case.’

In his latter years Mr. Hope-Scott was thought to have become rather imperious in his style of pleading before the Parliamentary committees: I mention this, not to pass over an impression which probably was but incidental. Of an opposite and very beautiful trait see an example in Mr. Gladstone’s ‘Letter’ (Appendix III.).

It is obvious that Mr. Hope-Scott’s professional emoluments must have been, as I have already said in general, very great. Notwithstanding his generosity and forbearance, it was no more possible for him, with his talents and surroundings, to avoid earning a splendid income than (as Clarendon says of the Duke of Buckingham) for a healthy man to sit in the sun and not grow warm. Into the details of his professional success in this point of view I must refrain from entering. Although, considering the great historical interest of the era of ‘the railway mania,’ the question of the fees earned by a great advocate of that period can hardly be considered one of merely trivial curiosity, still, the etiquette and let me add the just etiquette, of the profession would forbid the use of information, without which no really satisfactory outline of this branch of my subject could be placed before the reader, least of all by a writer not himself a member of the profession. The popular notion of it must, I suppose, have appeared not infrequently in the newspapers of the day–an example may be found at p. 204 of this volume–and but very recently a similar guess appeared in a literary organ of more permanent character. But to correct or to criticise such vague statements on more certain knowledge, even if I possessed it, is what can hardly be here expected. Indeed, I ought rather to ask pardon for mistakes almost certainly incident to what I have already attempted.

In concluding the present subject I may remark that Mr. Hope-Scott’s professional labours by no means represent the whole work of his life. Nominally, he was supposed to be free for about half the year, but in reality this vacant time was almost filled up by other work of a business nature undertaken out of kindness to friends or relations–precisely what the old Romans called _officia_. Such was the charge of the great Norfolk estates, and of the long-contested Shrewsbury property; [Footnote: Bertram Talbot, last Earl of Shrewsbury of the Catholic branch, had bequeathed considerable property to Lord Edmund Howard (brother-in-law to Mr. Hope-Scott), on condition of his assuming the name of Talbot. His right to make this bequest was disputed by his successor, and a protracted litigation ensued in 1864 and the next few years, throughout which Mr. Hope-Scott acted as friend and adviser of the Howards, to whom he was guardian. The importance of this _cause celebre_ here consists chiefly in the self-sacrificing labours by which Mr. Hope-Scott succeeded in saving something for his relative out of the wreck, when to rescue the whole proved to be hopeless. I am not aware that it need be concealed that he had a very strong opinion against the justice of the decision.] such was another trust, on a considerable scale, for connections of his family in Yorkshire, involving, like the former, a great deal of travelling, for he was not satisfied with merely looking at things through other people’s eyes. Such, too, his guardianship of his elder brother’s eight children [Footnote: Mr. George W. Hope died on October 18, 1863–a great sorrow to Mr. Hope-Scott, to whom for years, in the earlier part of his career, his house had been a home, and who regarded him throughout with deep affection.] for about ten years before his death. A fourth may be added, that of the family of Mr. Laing, solicitor at Jedburgh, a convert who died young, requesting Mr. Hope to protect the interest of his seven children. A fifth, too–the guardianship of the children of his old legal tutor, Mr. Plunkett. The four first-mentioned guardianships occupied Mr. Hope till nearly the end of his life. And, on the top of all this, add a most voluminous correspondence, in which his advice was required on important subjects by important persons–and often on subjects which were to them of importance, by very much humbler persons too.

Of the spirit in which he laboured, the following passage of a letter of his to Father (now Cardinal) Newman gives an idea. Like some other letters I have quoted, it almost supplies the absence of a religious diary of the period. It is an answer to a letter of Dr. Newman’s, presently to be given (p. 143).

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

Abbotsford: Dec. 30, 1857.

Dear Father Newman,–… And now a word about yourself. I do not like your croaking. You have done more in your time than most men, and have never been idle. As to the way in which you have done it I shall say nothing. You may think you might have done it better. I remember that you once told me that ‘there was nothing we might not have done better’–and this was to comfort me; and it did, for it brought each particular failure under a general law of infirmity, and so quieted while it humbled me. And then as to the future: what is appointed for you to do you will have time for–what is not, you need have no concern about. There! I have written a sermon. Very impudent I know it is; but when the mind gets out of joint a child may sometimes restore it by telling us some simple thing which we perhaps have taught it. Pat your child then on the head, and bid him go to play, while you brace yourself up and work on, not as if you must do some particular work _before_ you die, but as if you must do your best _till_ you die. ‘Alas! alas! how much could I say of my past, were I to compare it with yours! And my future–how shall I secure it better than you can yours? But I must not abuse the opportunity you have given me…. With all good wishes of this and every season,

Yours very affectionately,


The Very Rev. Dr. Newman, Birmingham.



Mr. Hope’s Engagement to Charlotte Lockhart–Memorial of Charlotte Lockhart–Their Marriage–Mr. Lockhart’s Letter to Mr. J. R. Hope on his Conversion–Filial Piety of Mr. Hope–Conversion of Lord and Lady Henry Kerr–Domestic Life at Abbotsford–Visit of Dr. Newman to Abbotsford in 1852–Birth of Mary Monica Hope-Scott–Bishop Grant on Early Education–Mr. Lockhart’s Home Correspondence–Death of Walter Lockhart Scott–Mr. Hope takes the Name of Hope-Scott–Last Illness and Death of Mr. Lockhart–Death of Lady Hope–Letter of Lord Dalhousie–Mr. Hope-Scott purchases a Highland Estate–Death of Mrs. Hope-Scott and her Two Infants–Letters of Mr. Hope- Scott, in his Affliction, to Dr. Newman and Mr. Gladstone–Verses in 1858– Letter of Dr. Newman on receiving them.

This biography here reaches the point where the history of Mr. Hope’s marriage may fitly be placed before the reader. It was an event which, as I have already hinted, may very probably have been connected, like his eager pursuit of the Bar, with the break-down of his early ideas as to the Church of England. Yet, viewed merely in its worldly aspects, the step was one which could have caused no surprise, the time for it having fully arrived, as he was now thirty-five, in a conspicuous position in society, and making a splendid income. The lady of his choice was Charlotte Harriet Jane Lockhart, daughter of John Gibson Lockhart, and granddaughter of Sir Walter Scott. It was through Lady Davy that Mr. Hope had made Mr. Lockhart’s acquaintance; and thus what appeared a very meaningless episode in his juvenile years materially affected his destiny in life. In a letter of July 23, 1847, to his sister, Lady Henry Kerr, he speaks as follows of the important step in life he had decided upon, and of the character of his betrothed:–

I have for a long time contemplated the possibility of marriage, and had resolved that, all things considered, it might, under God’s blessing, be the best course which I could pursue. It was not, however, till I had made acquaintance with Charlotte Lockhart that I was satisfied I should find a person who in all respects would suit me. This a general knowledge of her character (which is easily known) convinced me of, and I then proceeded rapidly, and, as far as I can judge, am not mistaken in my choice.

She is not yet twenty, but has lived much alone; much also with people older than herself, and people of high mental cultivation. She has also had the discipline of depending on those habits of her father which are inseparable from a literary and, in some degree, secluded life. In short, she has had much to form her, and with great simplicity of character, and unbounded cheerfulness, she combines far more thought than is usual at her age. Having no mother and few connections, she is the more likely to become entirely one of us; which I value, not only on my own account, but for the sake of my mother, to whom I am sure she will be a very daughter.

I have said more to you about her than I have written to any one else, for I distrust marriage puffs, and desire that people may judge for themselves…. You may be assured that I look upon marriage in a very serious light; and I pray God heartily that it may be to us, whether in joy or sorrow, the means of mutual improvement, so that, when the account is rendered, each may show some good work done for the other.

Yours affectionately,


A little expedition which ensued on the engagement was long remembered as affording a very bright passage in their lives. With Lady Davy as kind chaperon, Mr. Hope and his betrothed visited his brother-in-law and sister, Lord and Lady Henry Kerr, at the Rectory of Dittisham, near Dartmouth, that the future sisters might become acquainted. The exquisite beauty of the scenery about the Dart, the splendour of the weather, and the charm of the moment, altogether made this a time of happiness not to be forgotten by any of those who shared in it. To the outline conveyed in Mr. Hope’s letter I shall add a few traits obtained from other sources, and thus complete, as far as possible, the image they present. Charlotte Lockhart is described as a very attractive person, with a graceful figure, a sweet and expressive face, brown eyes of great brilliance, and a beautifully shaped head: the chin indeed was heavy, but even this added to the interest of the face by its striking resemblance to the same feature in her great ancestor, Sir Walter Scott. A dearly cherished portrait of her at Abbotsford shows all that sweetness we should expect, yet it is at the same time full of character and decision. Her style of dress was marked by singular simplicity; and, unless to please her husband, or when society required it, she rarely wore ornaments. She was of a bright and cheerful nature, at first sight extremely open, but with that reserve which so often shows itself, on further acquaintance, in minds of unusual thoughtfulness and depth. There was something especially interesting in her manner–a mixture of shyness and diffidence with self-reliance and decisiveness, quite peculiar to herself. Her look, ‘brimful of everything,’ seemed to win sympathy and to command respect. Without marked accomplishments, unless that of singing most sweetly, with a good taste and natural power that were always evident, she had a passion for books, about which, however, she was particularly silent, as she dreaded anything like pretensions to literature. Her talent and quickness made everything easy to her, and she seemed to get through all she had to do with great facility. But this was much assisted by an extraordinary gift of order and method, which enabled her, without consulting her watch, to fix the instant when the time had arrived, for example, for prayers, so that her friends would say they felt sure she carried a clock in her head. Punctual to a minute, she seemed never to lose a moment. She governed herself by a rule of life, drawn up for her by Bishop Grant (and afterwards by Cardinal Manning), memoranda of which were found in her Prayer-book. Notwithstanding ill-health, she almost always commenced her devotions, even if unable to rise early, at six in the morning, and observed a perfect system in the round of her daily duties. She was never idle, and nothing that might be called her recreations was allowed to be decided by the wish of the moment, but was all settled beforehand–the time to be allotted, for instance, to a carriage drive, or to visiting. Mr. Hope-Scott himself said of her, that if she lay down on the sofa in the afternoon to enjoy a few hours of Dante or Tasso, you might be sure that every note had been answered, every account set down and carefully backed up, every domestic matter thoroughly arranged. As Lady Davy expressed it, ‘she was a very busy little housewife, putting order into every department.’

Of the usual lady’s industry of needlework, plain or fancy, she got through an amazing quantity; but she was also, in her early years, of great use to her father, whose companion she had been in a literary life of great loneliness, by relieving him of much of his correspondence. The same diligent and endearing aid she afterwards rendered to her husband in all his harassing overwork. Her great love and admiration for him, combined with her own natural reserve, made her somewhat disinclined to go into society; and in his compulsory absences, at which she was never heard to murmur, she could be happy for weeks together, with her child, in a comparatively solitary life at Abbotsford. Yet she was also quite able to appreciate society, and is described by her friends as a delightful companion, hardly ever talking of herself, and always charitable in talking of others. Though placed in the state of riches, and having unlimited permission from her husband to spend as much as she pleased, she was notwithstanding never wasteful, but governed her household expenditure with the prudence of an upright and well-regulated mind, taking the greatest pains that all around her should have strict justice. She spent nothing needlessly upon herself, but gave largely, and in the most self-denying manner, for charitable purposes, especially the Orphanage under the sisters at Norwood, which she appears to have constantly endeavoured to follow in spirit, making her inner life, as far as possible, that of a religious. She is remembered to have disposed of, for the sake of the Norwood Orphanage, a precious ornament, given her by her husband, which had belonged to the Empress Josephine; but a portion was reserved for a Lady altar in the Church of St. Mary and St. Andrew, Galashiels. When in London, it was her delight to visit St. George’s Hospital, where her attendance was efficient and regular, so long as she was able to render it.

Mr. Hope and Charlotte Lockhart were married at the parish church of Marylebone on August 19, 1847, his brother-in-law, Lord Henry Kerr, officiating; and after the wedding he took his bride to the Duke of Buccleuch’s house at Richmond, which had been lent to them for the honeymoon. The autumn was spent at Rankeillour, and the winter at Lady Hope’s in Charles Street. In 1848 Mr. Hope rented Abbotsford from his brother-in-law, Walter Lockhart Scott, and removed thither in August of that year. On the death of the latter, in 1853, he became its possessor in right of his wife, and for the remainder of his days made it his principal residence.

Mr. Hope’s conversion, as we have seen, took place before Easter in 1851. To his wife, the surrender of united prayer (of all trials the severest on both sides) was a sore distress: but the perception of truth is always aided by consistency, at whatever sacrifice; she had read and thought much on the controversy, and by Whitsuntide had followed her husband into the True Fold. Mr. Lockhart regarded his son-in-law’s conversion as a grief and a humiliation; but, nevertheless, the nobleness of his nature, and the deep regard he always felt for his virtues, prevailed without an effort. His letter on that occasion does himself as much honour as it does to Mr. Hope.

_J. G. Lockhart, Esq. to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C._

S[ussex] P[lace]: April 8, 1851.

My dear Hope,–I thank you sincerely for your kind letter. I had clung to the hope that you would not finally leave the Church of England; but am not so presumptuous as to say a word more on that step as respects yourself, who have not certainly assumed so heavy a responsibility without much study and reflection. As concerns others, I am thoroughly aware that they may count upon any mitigation which the purest intentions and the most generous and tender feelings on your part can bring. And I trust that this, the only part of your conduct that has given me pain, need not, now or ever, disturb the confidence in which it has of late been a principal consolation to me to live with my son-in-law.

Ever affectionately yours,


That incipient leaning to Catholicity which is so observable among the literary men of the later Georgian era, especially of the school of Sir Walter Scott, was probably not wanting in Mr. Lockhart. At Rome he seems to have chiefly lived among Catholics; and quite in keeping with this view is an anecdote I have heard, of his observing to Mr. Hope, when once at Mayence they were watching the crowd streaming out of the cathedral, ‘I must say this looks very like reality.’ This was in the course of a visit they made to Germany in 1850, when Mrs. Hope was staying at Kreuznach for her health. As for Lady Hope, her decidedly Protestant principles caused her to feel profound distress when her son became a Catholic. She anxiously sought to know what Roman Catholics really believed, and whether they worshipped the Blessed Virgin or not.

Her son wrote her the following beautiful letter the Christmas Eve after his conversion:–

_J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.C. to his Mother, the Hon. Lady Hope._

Abbotsford: Dec. 24, ’51.

Dearest Mamma,–… Writing on Christmas Eve, I cannot forbear, dearest mamma, from wishing you the blessings of this season, although I feel that in doing so I must necessarily cause painful thoughts; but amongst these, I trust, you will never admit any which imply that my love for you has diminished, or that I profess a religion which does not enforce and cherish the feelings of duty and affection which I owe to you. That I have often been wanting in my conduct towards you I well know and sincerely regret; but I can safely say that you have been throughout my life, to me, as you are still, an object of love, respect, and gratitude such as I scarcely have elsewhere in the world. Take then, dearest mamma, your son’s Christmas prayers. They are addressed to the God who gave you to me, and whom I thank heartily for the gift; and if I believe that His will has been manifested otherwise than you see it in some things, remember that this does not extend to the precepts of love and charity, or alter one tittle of my obligation and desire to be and to show myself to be

Your most affectionate Son,


In the course of 1853 Mr. Hope’s brother-in-law and sister, Lord and Lady Henry Kerr, were received into the Catholic Church. They ultimately settled near Abbotsford, at Huntley-Burn, a name familiar to all who have read Lockhart’s ‘Life of Scott,’ which afforded more frequent opportunities for the intimate and affectionate intercourse which existed between the families. Mr. Hope’s other immediate relatives, however unable they might be to sympathise with his change, retained their love and admiration for him undiminished. Writing from Luffness to Mr. Badeley (Jan. 21, 1852), he says: ‘Here there has been no controversy, it being agreed that we shall not _talk_…. We meet everywhere so much kindness now, that we can make no pretence to confessorship.’ His life as a Catholic, now that he had once found anchorage in the faith, passed in unbroken peace of mind, in wonderful contrast to the storms of which we have been so long telling, that swept over him before he reached this haven.

The years immediately succeeding Mr. Hope’s marriage with Charlotte Lockhart were probably the happiest of his life. He was then most buoyant, most in health, most himself, and at the height of his intellectual powers. His improving and practical hand was soon felt wherever he resided. He did much for Rankeillour, but for Abbotsford wonders. The place had been greatly neglected, the trees unthinned, and everything needing a restoration. He added a new wing to the house, formed a terrace, and constructed an ingenious arrangement of access by which the tourists might be admitted to satisfy their curiosity, while some sort of protection was afforded to the domestic privacy of the inmates. [Footnote: Particulars of some of the improvements will be given later on. The new house at Abbotsford was begun about 1855, and completed and furnished in 1857.] What he did for the Church I shall tell by-and-by. [Footnote: See chapter xxvi.] At both Rankeillour and Abbotsford Mr. Hope maintained a graceful hospitality, in every way befitting his position. A letter which has been communicated to me from a lady (now a nun) who was on a visit at Abbotsford during the autumn and winter of 1854, gives a very pleasing and distinct idea of the domestic life there during that brief period of happiness, which, however (as we shall see presently), was already chequered by sorrow destined in the Divine providence to become yet deeper and sadder. To this letter I am indebted for the following particulars, which I have ventured slightly to rearrange, yet keeping as closely as possible to the words of the writer:–

The impression left by that most interesting and charming family could never be effaced from my mind. It always seemed to me the most perfect type of a really Christian household, such as I never saw in the world before or since. A religious atmosphere pervaded the whole house, and not only the guests, but the servants must, it seems to me, have felt its influence. But, apart from that, there was so much genial hospitality, and every one was made to feel so completely at his ease. Mr. Hope-Scott was the _beau ideal_ of an English gentleman, and a model Catholic devoted to the service of the Church, doing all the good that lay in his power, far and near. There was a quiet dignity about him, and at the same time he was full of gentle mirth, full of kindness and consideration for others; and for every one with whom he came in contact, high and low, rich and poor, there was a kind word or a generous act.

Among all the guests of this happy interval, [Footnote: Lord and Lady Arundel and their family, Count Thun, Lady Davy, Lady Lothian, Lord Traquair, Bishop Carruthers, Mr. Badeley, &c.] none were more joyfully welcomed than Dr. Newman, who spent above five weeks at Abbotsford during the winter of 1852-3, though a much longer visit had earnestly been wished for by his kind host. It was a visit memorable in many ways, and at a memorable time of the Cardinal’s life, the year of the first Achilli trial (this took place June 21-24), in which Mr. Hope, though not one of his advocates, had rendered the most efficient help to the illustrious defendant by his counsel and support. The Catholic university of Ireland, as will be seen from the following letter, was also then preparing, for which its first legislator had turned to Mr. Hope as among the most trusted of his advisers.

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

5 Calverly Terrace, Tunbridge Wells: October 23, ’52.

Dear Newman,–I am much grieved by the account of your health which you send. Do, I entreat you, take _rest_ at once–and by rest I understand, and I suspect from Dr. Murray (?), total removal from work and change of scene. We hope to go to Abbotsford early next month. We have a chapel in the house, but no chaplain. You would confer on us the GREATEST pleasure, and would at the same time secure your doctor’s object, if you would come down there and spend with us the three or four months which will elapse before our return to town. You can say mass at your own hour, observe your own ways in everything, and feel all the time, I hope, perfectly at home. Do, pray, seriously think of this.

As to the University question which you put to me, I can give no reference here; and I suspect my view is rather historical than in the way of strict definition. In England public teaching in the schools preceded all the colleges, and the latter provided the training which the university did not undertake. In Scotland and in most places abroad there are no colleges in our English sense, and public teaching is the essence of their systems. Perhaps by looking into Athy Wood you may find passages to refer to, but I would rather rest upon the general statement of their origin. There are some derivations ascribed to the word _universitas_ as relating to universal knowledge, but I doubt them. Wife and child well.

Yrs affly,


I subjoin a few lines from Dr. Newman’s answer to this invitation (which at first he was unable to accept):–

It would be a great pleasure to spend some time with you, and then I have ever had the extremest sympathy for Walter Scott, that it would delight me to see his place. When he was dying I was saying prayers (whatever they were worth) for him continually, thinking of Keble’s words, ‘Think on the minstrel as ye kneel.’ (Dr. Newman to J. R. H. from Edgbaston, Birmingham, Oct. 29, ’52.)

Not less interesting is a letter in which he recalls this visit, years after. Writing to Mr. Hope-Scott on Christmas Eve, 1857 [compare p. 131], Dr. Newman says:–

I am glad to call to mind and commemorate by a letter the pleasant days I passed in the North this time five years. Five years has a melancholy sound to me now, for it is like a passing-bell, knolling away time. I hope it is not wrong to say that the passage of time is now sad to me as well as awful, because it brings before me how much I ought to have done, how much I have to do, and how little time I have to do it in…. I wonder whether Badeley is with you? What a strange thing life is! We see each other as through the peep-holes of a show. When had I last a peep at him or you?

At Abbotsford one blessing was still wanting to the completion of domestic happiness. It may be assumed that, after successes so brilliant, Mr. Hope could not but desire to found a family which should continue, in his own line, names so famous as those which he inherited and represented; but this was long withheld. His first child, a boy, was still-born (1848); the next, after an interval of four years (October 2, 1852, Feast of the Guardian Angels), was a daughter, Mary Monica (now the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell-Scott), named after a favourite saint of his; and several years more elapsed before the birth of another son. A passage from one of Bishop Grant’s letters to Mr. Hope will be read with interest at this point, both for the characteristic piety and for the intimacy of their friendship to which it witnesses:–

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

Dec. 10, 1852.

My dear Mr. Hope,–… As you will have more opportunities at Abbotsford than you will perhaps find in London, it may be well to tell you that the Italian nurses begin almost before children know how to use their eyes, to make them notice prints or statues of our dear Mother and of the saints. This helps their imagination, such as it is; and, after all, when we know how some babes notice their parents and nurses, there is every reason why we should accustom them to notice holy things. And, as they begin to talk, it is right to follow the rule which St. Augustine says his mother had, of constantly letting the sacred names drop, so that the great doctor says she completely destroyed his relish for all oratory from which those sweet names were absent.

May the blessings of Christmas fall abundantly on all at Abbotsford!

Yours very affectionately,


Mr. Hope’s domestic circle at this time included Mr. Lockhart, who, though not yet a very old man, was verging towards the close of a literary life of great toil. He was much with his son-in-law and daughter in Scotland and in London, and they sometimes stayed with him in Sussex Place. At length he had his books taken down to Abbotsford, where they still are, in a room called the Lockhart Library. When absent, he wrote almost daily either to his daughter or to Mr. Hope; and the collection of his letters, still preserved, affords a most amusing record, sparkling with genial sarcasm, of whatever was going on around him in London society. There is endless talk and incident, floating in that society, which never finds its way into print, or not till after the lapse of many years; and such is precisely the material of this home correspondence of Mr. Lockhart’s. It would be perhaps difficult to name letters with which they can be accurately classed. I do not forget Horace Walpole, and Swift’s ‘Journal to Stella.’ But Lockhart’s wit was more playful and more natural. The great charm of his letters is, that he thought, so far, of nothing but simply to relate what was likely to amuse his daughter, whether the matter in itself was of the least consequence or not. Such, however, were not the only topics of which he had to tell. Mr. Lockhart, who, with his somewhat haughty self-possession, might have been described, as the late Lord Aberdeen was, by one who knew him well, as ‘possessing a heart of fire in a form of ice,’ had yet a deeply felt but secret sorrow, with which even his resolution could hardly cope. If I do not disguise that for years he had much to vex him in the wild ways of a son whom he yet never ceased to love, it is only because otherwise I could convey little idea of the unreserved manner in which that lofty spirit could turn for consolation, in letter after letter, to Mr. Hope, or to his daughter, never failing to find all the comfort with which a wise head and a kind heart can reward a confidence so pathetic.

Mr. Hope’s conduct, all through these trials, was indeed forbearing and generous to such a degree as would make it a great example to all who have to sustain crosses of that kind. But enough, perhaps, has been said on the subject. In 1848 a severe illness of his brother-in-law at Norwich afforded another of those occasions in which he displayed that zeal and helpfulness in ministering to the sick, of which there are so many instances in his life. Walter Lockhart Scott died at Versailles on January 10, 1853. [Footnote: Walter Lockhart Scott and Charlotte (wife of Mr. Hope-Scott) were the last survivors of the children of Mr. Lockhart and Sophia, daughter of Sir Walter Scott. The eldest son, though very short-lived, is well remembered as ‘Hugh Littlejohn,’ to whom the _Tales of my Grandfather_ were dedicated.] Mr. Hope then assumed the name of Hope- Scott, by which I shall henceforth speak of him. It was on the occasion of her brother’s death that Bishop Grant addressed the following beautiful letter to Mrs. Hope-Scott:–

_The Right Rev. Dr. Grant, Bishop of Southwark, to Mrs. Hope-Scott_.

January 20 [1853].

My dear Mrs. Hope,–Although there is no artistic merit in the enclosed, I hope you will allow me to send it on account of the meditation which it suggests, how our dear Lord had the thought of His sufferings present to His mind in early childhood–indeed, from the first moment of His earthly existence. This thought may help to strengthen us when we reflect that He has not given us the foretaste of our sorrow, but has allowed us to grow up without any anticipation of distinct sorrow and suffering; and, for the first years, without any thought of their coming at all. When affliction comes at last in all its real bitterness, we can lighten it by uniting it to His sorrow, and by asking Him to remember His promise of making it easy to us.

I should not have troubled you so soon if it had not occurred to me that the days which follow the announcement of a cause of grief are often more trying than the commencement of them, and that during them the need of consolation may be more felt.

I do not know why I should intrude my poor sympathy upon you, but when we have shared in joy it seems ungrateful not to be willing to have a part in sadness, and therefore I hope you will excuse me….

Yours very respectfully,


Mr. Lockhart never got over the death of his last-remaining son. His health began to fail; he went to Rome for change of climate; came back worse, and soon after went down to his half-brother’s at Milton-Lockhart. Thither Mr. and Mrs. Hope-Scott went to see him, and entreated him to come to Abbotsford. He at first decidedly refused, and his will was a strong one; but some time after, when the house was full of Catholic guests, he suddenly announced that he wished to go immediately to Abbotsford. He arrived there, hardly able to get out of his carriage, and it was at once perceived that he was a dying man. He desired to drive about and take leave of various places, displaying, however, a sort of stoical fortitude, and never making a direct allusion to what was impending. To save him fatigue, it was important he should have his room near the library, but he shrank from accepting the dining-room (where Sir Walter Scott had died), and it required all Mr. Hope-Scott’s peculiar tact and kindness to induce him to establish himself in the breakfast-room close by. There he remained until the end. Yet he would not suffer any one to nurse him, till, one night, he fell down on the floor, and, after that, offered no further opposition. Father Lockhart, a distant cousin, was now telegraphed for, from whom, during Mr. Lockharts’s stay in Rome, he had received much kind attention, for which he was always grateful. He did not object to his kinsman’s presence, though a priest; and yielded also when asked to allow his daughter to say a few prayers by his bedside. Mr. Hope-Scott, in the meantime, was absent on business, but returned home one or two days before the end, which came suddenly. He and Mrs. Hope-Scott were quickly called in, and found Miss Lockhart (affectionately called in the family ‘Cousin Kate’) reading the prayers for the dying. Mr. Lockhart died on November 25, 1854, and was buried at Dryburgh Abbey, beside his father-in-law Sir Walter Scott. The insertion of these particulars, which are of personal interest to many of my readers, will perhaps be justified by their close association with the subject of this memoir.

After little more than a twelvemonth Mr. Hope-Scott had the sorrow to lose his mother. Lady Hope died rather suddenly on December 1, 1855, in consequence, it was thought, of injuries she had sustained from an accidental fall in the Crystal Palace a few days before. In writing to acquaint Mr. Gladstone with this sad event (December 4) [Footnote: Lady Frances Hope also died within a week after, on December 6, 1855.] Mr. Hope- Scott says:–

To you and Mrs. Gladstone, who knew her, I may confidently say that I believe a kinder, more generous and self-denying nature has seldom existed. To us, her children, her life has been one of overflowing affection and care; but many, many besides her immediate relations have known her almost as a mother, and will feel the closing of her house as if they had lost a home.

The following letter, written from India on the same occasion, is in every way deeply interesting:–

_The Marquis of Dalhousie to G. W. Hope, Esq._

Gov’t House: Feb. 6, 1856.

It was very kind of you, my dear George, to think of me, far away, when your heart must have been so sore. But, indeed, your kindness was not thrown away, or your considerate thoughtfulness misplaced.

Even Jim and yourself have not grieved with more heartfelt sorrow for that dear life that has been lost than I have in my banishment.

Thirty years have gone since your mother began to show to me the tenderness of an _own_ mother. I loved her dearly–she loved me, and loved what I loved. In the prospect of a return which has few charms for me the thought of finding Lady Hope good, kind, gracious, motherly, as she always was for me, was one of the few thoughts on which I dwelt, and to which I returned with real pleasure, and now it is all gone; and you would think it exaggerated if I said how deeply it depresses me to feel that it is so.

Give my love to Jim, and to your sister too. I see her boy goes to Madras. I had hoped to see him here, if only for a week.

In three weeks I am deposed. I have no wish to see England; but nevertheless I am, dear George,

Yours most sincerely,


The winter which followed Mr. Lockhart’s death at Abbotsford was a mournful one. Mrs. Hope-Scott had been deeply attached to her father. She had shared his griefs, as we have seen. Her earlier years had been somewhat lonely; her disposition, with all its reserve, was excessively sensitive and excitable, and a change of scene had doubtless begun to be felt necessary, when Mr. Hope-Scott bought a Highland estate, situated at Lochshiel, on the west coast of Inverness-shire, north of Loch Sunart, and nearly opposite Skye. The history of the purchase of this property, and of all that Mr. Hope-Scott did for it as a Catholic proprietor, is very interesting and curious, but involves so much detail, that I reserve most of it for a future chapter. He built a residence there, Dorlin House, a massive, comfortable mansion, practically of his own designing, abounding in long corridors, to enable the ladies and children to have exercise under shelter in the rainy Highland climate, and various little contrivances showing that few things were too minute for his attention. Here, as everywhere, he used a kindly and noble hospitality. Much of the charm of the place consisted in its remoteness and solitude, which caused just sufficient difficulty in obtaining supplies to afford matter of amusement. The post also came in and out only three times a week, and the nearest doctor was twelve miles off. All this, however, is now considerably changed by the greater vicinity of railways. A few lines from a letter of Mr. Hope-Scott’s to Dr. Newman, dated ‘Lochshiel, Strontian, N.B., September 25, 1856,’ will give a better notion of its surroundings than I can offer:–

We are here on the sea-shore, with wild rocks, lakes, and rivers near us, an aboriginal Catholic population, a priest in the house, and a chapel within 100 yards. We hope Badeley may turn up to-day, but are in doubt whether he will be as happy here as in Paper Buildings. The first necessaries of life sometimes threaten to fail us, and we have to lay in stores as if we were going on a sea voyage. At this moment we are in doubt about a cargo of flour from Glasgow, and our coal-ship has been long due. What Badeley will say to oat-cakes and turf fires remains to be seen.

On Christmas Eve of the following year (1857) Dr. Newman writes to Mr. Hope-Scott, in a letter I have already quoted from (p. 143):–

I was rejoiced to hear so good an account of your health, and of all your party. I suppose you are full of plans about your new property and your old. Your sister tells me you have got into your new wing at Abbotsford. As for the faraway region of which I have not yet learned the name, I suppose you are building there either a fortress against evil times, or a new town and port for happy times. Have you yet found gold on your estate? for that seems the fashion.

Mr. Hope-Scott did not indeed find gold at Dorlin, but he spent a great deal over it, which he was sometimes tempted to regret; but, on the whole, thought that the outlay had been devoted to legitimate objects, and that, as an experiment, it had succeeded. He built two chapels on this property, at Mingarry (Our Lady of the Angels) and at Glenuig (St. Agnes); and his letters are full of unconscious proof how the interests of Catholicity were always in his mind. A long wished-for event had lately thrown a bright gleam of sunshine over the house. On June 2, 1857, Mrs. Hope-Scott gave birth to a son and heir, Walter Michael, which was cause of rejoicing, not only to the whole Scottish nation, but wherever the English language is spoken, as promise of the continuance of the name and the line of Scotland’s greatest literary glory. And, to complete the circle of happiness, on September 17 of the following year, 1858, was born also a daughter, Margaret Anne. Three months after this had scarcely passed, when the mother and both her infants were no more.

Mrs. Hope-Scott had never really recovered from her first confinement. In the spring of 1858 she had had a severe attack of influenza, and consumptive symptoms, though not called by that name, came on. Towards the end of October arrangements had been made to take her to the Isle of Wight for the winter, but she never got further on her journey than Edinburgh. When she called, a day or two after her arrival there, on the Bishop, Dr. Gillis, he said to himself, ‘Ah! _you_ have been travelling by express train!’ Very soon after this, bronchitis set in, and rapidly became acute, and the case was pronounced hopeless. To herself, indeed, it was perhaps more or less sudden, though she had virtually made a retreat of preparation during the preceding six months, and left everything in the most perfect order at Abbotsford. She had said to ‘Cousin Kate’ (Miss Lockhart) that God had been very merciful to her in sending her a lingering illness; yet, on the last night, was heard to say,’ Hard to part–Jim–Mamo [Footnote: Mamo: an affectionate abbreviation for Mary Monica.]–God’s will be done.’ She accepted her death as God’s will. On being told of its approach, and after receiving the last sacraments, she said, ‘I have no fear now.’ Bishop Gillis gave her the last absolution, Fr. Noble, one of the Oblate Fathers from Galashiels, assisting. Her husband’s disposition never allowed him to believe in misfortune till it had really come, and, almost up to the last hour, he had failed to see what was plain to all other eyes; the parting, therefore, with him and with her little daughter Mamo (who could scarcely be torn from her) was sad beyond expression. The end came rapidly. She died on Tuesday, October 26, and on December 3 her baby daughter, Margaret Anne; and on December 11 the little boy, whose birth had caused such gladness. All three were buried in the vault of St. Margaret’s Convent, Edinburgh; the mother on November 2 (All Souls’ Day), her two children on December 10 and 17, 1858. Bishop Gillis spoke on November 2 and December 10, but his addresses were unwritten; Dr. Grant, Bishop of Southwark, on December 17. His address, and a beautiful one indeed it is, has fortunately been preserved.

Of three short letters, in which Mr. Hope-Scott had told Dr. Newman of each sorrow as it came, I transcribe the last:–

_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.G. to the Very Rev. Dr. Newman._

14 Curzon St, London, W.:

Dec. 11, 1858.

Dear Father Newman,–My intention, for which you so kindly said mass, has been fulfilled, for it was, as well as I could form it, that God should deal with my child as would be most for His honour and its happiness, and this afternoon He has answered my prayer by calling little Walter to Himself.

I rely upon you to pray much for me. It may yet be that other sacrifices will be required, and I may need more strength; but what I chiefly fear is that I may not profit as I ought by that wonderful union of trial and consolation which God has of late vouchsafed me.

Yours very affectionately,


The Very Rev. Dr. Newman.

On his wife’s death Mr. Hope-Scott had written the following letter to Mr. Gladstone:–

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

Abbotsford: Nov. 3, 1858.

My dear Gladstone,–I was uneasy at not having written to you, and hoped you would write–which you have done, and I thank you much for it. An occasion like this passed by is a loss to friendship, but it was not, nor is, easy for me to write to you. You will remember that the root of our friendship, which I trust [was] the deepest, was fed by a common interest in religion, and I cannot write to you of her whom it has pleased God to take from me without reference to that Church whose doctrines and promises she had embraced with a faith which made them the objects of sense to her; whose teaching now moulded her mind and heart; whose spiritual blessings surrounded and still surround her, and which has shed upon her death a sweetness which makes me linger upon it more dearly than upon any part of our united and happy life.

These things I could not pass over without ignoring the foundation of our friendship; but still I feel that to mention them has something intrusive, something which it may be painful for you to read, as though it required an answer which you had rather not give. So I will say only one thing more, and it is this: If ever, in the strife of politics and religious controversy, you are tempted to think or speak hardly of that Church–if she should appear to you arrogant, or exclusive, or formal, for my dear Charlotte’s sake and mine check that thought, if only for an instant, and remember with what exceeding care and love she tends her children….

And now good-bye, my dear Gladstone. Forgive me every word which you had rather I had not said. May God long preserve to you and your wife that happiness which you now have in each other! and when it pleases Him that either of you should have to mourn the other, may He be as merciful to you as He has been to me!

Yours affectionately,


And now Mr. Hope-Scott was left alone in Abbotsford, with his only surviving child, a very fragile and delicate flower too, such as to make a father tremble while he kissed it. We have already seen [Footnote: See pp. 44-46, and 55, 56, ch. ii, in vol. i.] that he could resort sometimes to poetry as that comfort for the over-burdened mind, in which Keble’s theory would place even the principal source of the poetical spirit. [Footnote: Keble, _Praelectiones Academicae_, Oxon. 1844. Prael. i. t. i. p. 10. ] As every reader will sympathise with such expressions of feeling, I do not hesitate to transcribe some touching verses which he wrote at this season of sorrow, and which, with a few others, he had privately printed, and given in his lifetime to two or three of his very closest friends. These others will be found in the appendix. [Footnote: Appendix IV.]

_Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas,
Cordi meo valide._


My babes, why were you born,
Since in life’s early morn
Death overtook you, and, before
I could half love you, you were mine no more?

Walter, my own bright boy,
Hailed as the hope and joy
Of those who told thy grandsire’s fame, And looking, loved thee, even for thy name;

And thou, my Margaret dear,
Come as if sent to cheer
A widowed heart, ye both have fled, And, life scarce tasted, lie among the dead!

Then, oh! why were you born?
Was it to make forlorn
A father who had happier been
If your sweet infant smiles he ne’er had seen?

Was it for this you came?
Dare I for you to blame
The God who gave and took again,
As though my joy was sent but to increase my pain?

Oh no! of Christmas bells
The cheerful music tells
Why you were born, and why you died, And for my doubting doth me gently chide.

The infant Christ, who lay
On Mary’s breast to-day,
Was He not born for you to die,
And you to bear your Saviour company?

Then stay not by the grave,
My heart, but up, and crave
Leave to rejoice, and hear the song Of infant Jesus and His happy throng.

That wondrous throng, on earth
So feeble from its birth,
Which little thought, and little knew, Now hath both God and man within its view!

Yes, you were born to die;
Then shall I grudging sigh
Because to you are sooner given
The crown, the palm, the angel joy of heaven?

Rather, O Lord, bestow
On me the grace to bow,
Childlike, to Thee, and since above Thou keep’st my treasures, there to keep my love.

It is scarcely necessary to say that one of the friends to whom Mr. Hope- Scott sent these verses on his family losses of 1858 was Dr. Newman. The note in which his friend acknowledged the precious gift witnesses to the intimacy of their friendship in as striking a manner as any I have been enabled to make use of:–

_The Very Rev. Dr. Newman to J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.G._

The Oratory, Birmingham: October 1, 1860.

My dear Hope-Scott,–I value extremely the present you have made me; first of all for its own sake, as deepening, by the view which it gives me of yourself, the affection and the reverence which I feel towards you.

And next I feel your kindness in thus letting me see your intimate thoughts; and I rejoice to know that, in spite of our being so divided one from another, as I certainly do not forget you, so you are not unmindful of me.

The march of time is very solemn now–the year seems strewn with losses; and to hear from you is like hearing the voice of a friend on a field of battle.

I am surprised to find you in London now. For myself, I have not quitted this place, or seen London, since last May year, when I was there for a few hours, and called on Badeley.

If he is in town, say to him everything kind from me when you see him.

Ever yours affectionately,


Of the Oratory.

James B. Hope-Scott, Esq.



Mr. Hope-Scott’s Return to his Profession–Second Marriage–Lady Victoria Howard–Mr. Hope-Scott at Hyeres–Portraits of Mr. Hope-Scott– Miscellaneous Recollections–Mr. Hope-Scott in the Highlands–Ways of Building–Story of Second-sight at Lochshiel.

The last of the poems in the little collection which is elsewhere given, evidently belongs to a time when Mr. Hope-Scott had regained his tranquillity, and was about to resume, like a wise and brave man, the ordinary duties of his profession. After his great affliction he had interrupted them for a whole year, first staying for some time at Arundel Castle, and then residing at Tours with his brother-in-law and sister, Lord and Lady Henry Kerr. To those readers who expect that every life which approaches in any way an exalted and ideal type must necessarily conform to the rules of romance, it may appear strange that Mr. Hope-Scott did not remain a widower for any great length of time. But in truth the same motives which led him to return to the Bar, notwithstanding the overwhelming calamity he had sustained, might also have led him again to enter the married state; or rather, if under other circumstances he would have thought it right to do so, would not have interposed any insuperable obstacle against it now.

Mr. Hope-Scott, soon after his conversion, had become acquainted with Henry Granville, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, afterwards Duke of Norfolk. They had first met, I believe, at Tunbridge Wells, where, on October 2, 1852, was born Mr. Hope-Scott’s daughter Mary Monica (now the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell- Scott), at whose baptism Lady Arundel and Surrey acted as proxy for the Dowager Lady Lothian. The acquaintance had very soon developed into an intimate and confidential friendship, which by this time had become still closer, from the fear which was beginning to be felt that the Duke’s life, so precious to his family and to the Catholic world in general, was fast drawing to its early termination. To the Duke, therefore, and to his family, it was but natural for Mr. Hope-Scott to turn for comfort in his extreme need. In such times sympathy soon deepens into affection, and thus it was that an attachment sprang up between Mr. Hope-Scott and the Duke’s eldest daughter, Lady Victoria Fitzalan Howard. This was towards the end of 1860. The Duke was then in his last illness, and on November 12 in that year the betrothed pair knelt at his bedside to receive his blessing. He died on November 25.

Although a notice of great interest might be drawn up from materials before me of Lady Victoria herself, and of the sweetness of character and holiness of life which so much endeared her to all with whom she was connected; yet the time of her departure is still so recent, that I shall better consult the feelings and the wishes of surviving friends by merely placing before my readers one passage from a letter relating to her. The writer was a nun intimately acquainted with her, and describes with great truth and simplicity the graces which especially adorned her: ‘She was a person to be observed and studied; and I do not think… I ever saw her without studying her, and consequently without my admiration for her increasing. She was so unworldly, so forgetful of self, and, what always struck me most, so humble, and striving to screen herself from praise; and humility and self- forgetfulness like what she practised, these are the virtues of saints, and not of ordinary people.’

The marriage of Mr. Hope-Scott and Lady Victoria Howard was solemnised at Arundel on January 7, 1861, and this too, it is needless to add, proved a very happy union, though on the side of affliction, in the loss of two infants, and in Lady Victoria’s early death, it strangely resembled the first marriage. Of twin daughters born June 6, 1862, Catherine and Minna- Margaret, the first lived for but a few hours. [Footnote: Two more daughters, Josephine Mary (born May 1864) and Theresa Anne (born September 14, 1865), were born before (again, as it were, but for an instant) a son was granted; this was Philip James (born April 8, 1868), but who lived only till the next day. He was placed beside his sister Catherine in the castle vault at Arundel. Mr. Hope-Scott’s last and only surviving son is James Fitzalan Hope, born December 18, 1870.] There are, however, many days of sunshine still to record. Abbotsford and Dorlin, as before, were the chief retreats in which Mr. Hope-Scott found repose from the toil and harass of his professional life. At Arundel Castle and Norfolk House he and his family were, of course, frequent guests. From 1859 it was thought necessary that the surviving child of his first marriage should spend every winter in a warm climate. Hyeres, in the south of France, was selected for this purpose, which led to Mr. Hope-Scott’s purchasing a property there, the Villa Madona, on a beautiful spot near the Boulevard d’Orient. Here he spent several winters with his family, in the years 1863-70. He added to the property very gradually, bit by bit; first a vineyard, and then an oliveyard, as opportunities offered, and indulged over it the same passion for improvement which he had displayed at Abbotsford and Dorlin. He took the most practical interest in all the culture that makes up a Provencal farm, the wine, the oil, the almonds, the figs, not forgetting the fowls and the rabbits. He laid out the ground and made a road, set a plantation of pines, and adorned the bank of his boulevard with aloes and yuccas and eucalyptus–in short, astonished his French neighbours by his perfection of taste and regardlessness of expense. He did not, however, build more than a bailiff’s cottage in the first instance, but rented the Villa Favart in the neighbourhood, and amused himself with his estate, intending it for his daughter’s residence in future years. At his death, however, the French law requiring the estate to be shared, it was found necessary to sell it. He greatly enjoyed the repose of Hyeres, the strolls on the boulevard, and the occasional excursions that charming watering-place affords–Pierrefeu, for example, and all the beautiful belt of coast region extending between Hyeres and the Presqu’ile. He was also able to enter more into society at Hyeres than latterly his health and business had permitted in London. One of his oldest and most valued friends, the late Serjeant Bellasis, had taken the Villa Sainte Cecile in his neighbourhood, and there was a circle of the best French families in and around Hyeres, whose names must not be omitted when we speak of Mr. Hope-Scott’s and Lady Victoria’s annual sojourn in the little capital of the Hesperides. Among these was the late Due de Luynes, so well known for his researches into the hydrography of the Dead Sea, Count Poniatowski, Madame Duquesne, M. de Butiny, Maire of Hyeres, M. and Madame de Walmer, and others. Cardinal Newman has noticed, what appears also in the correspondence, to how surprising a degree Mr. Hope-Scott was consulted by his French neighbours, even in affairs belonging to their own law. Whenever there was a difficulty, a sort of instinct led people to turn to him for counsel.

As it was at Hyeres that I first became acquainted with Mr. Hope-Scott, I may introduce into this chapter, perhaps as conveniently as anywhere, such personal recollections of him as I can call to mind. They are much more scanty than I could wish; still, where the memorials to be collected from any sources are but few, and rapidly passing away, surviving friends may be glad of the preservation of even these slight notices.

In 1864-5 I had the honour of being entrusted with the tuition of Henry, Duke of Norfolk, and, as the Duke spent that winter with his relatives at Hyeres, I had several opportunities of conversing with Mr. Hope-Scott in his domestic circle, as on other occasions afterwards.

Mr. Hope-Scott was then in his fifty-third year. He was tall, largely built, with massive head, dark hair beginning to turn grey, sanguine, embrowned complexion, very dark eyes, fine, soft, yet penetrating. ‘_Quel bel homme! quel homme magnifique_!’ the French would exclaim in talking of him. In his features might be remarked that indefinable expression which belongs to the practised advocate. He had an exceedingly winning smile, an harmonious voice, and deliberate utterance. His manners, I need hardly say, showed all that simplicity and perfection of good breeding which art may simulate, but can never completely attain to.

I am not aware that there is any likeness of Mr. Hope-Scott in his later years. There is an excellent one of him about the age of thirty-two, painted by Richmond for Lady Davy, and now at Abbotsford, of which an engraving was published by Colnaghi. Mr. Lockhart, writing to Mrs. Hope- Scott on August 29, 1850, says: ‘I called, yesterday at Mr. Richmond’s to inspect his picture of J. R. H., and was extremely pleased–a capital likeness, and a most graceful one…. I am at a loss to say whether I think Grant or he has been most lucky–and they are very different too.’ I have heard that the portrait by Richmond is supposed to represent his expression when pleading. Mr. Richmond also drew (in crayon, previously to 1847) two others, one for Lady Frances Hope, subsequently given to the Hon. Mrs. G. W. Hope, and another for Mr. Badeley, after whose decease it was given by Mr. Hope to the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. There was also a small life- portrait, done after his marriage by Mr. Frank Grant, but not thought so pleasing a likeness as Richmond’s. There is a good bust by Noble at Abbotsford, but this was made after his death, by study of casts, &c. It might express the age of about thirty-five or forty.

In his hospitality Mr. Hope-Scott showed great kindness and thoughtfulness. One day, for example, he would invite to dinner the cure of Hyeres and his clergy; on another occasion, a young lady having become engaged, a party must be given in her honour; or an English prelate passes Hyeres on his way home, and must be entertained. He was very attentive to guests, took pains to make people feel at their ease, and dispensed with unnecessary formality, but not with such usages as have their motive in a courteous consideration for others. Thus, when there were French guests, he was particular in exacting the observance of the rule that the English present should talk to each other, as well as to the strangers, in French. He had a thorough colloquial knowledge of the French language, marked not so much by any French mannerism, of which there was little, as by a ready command of the vocabulary of special subjects–for instance, agriculture.

In society Mr. Hope-Scott’s table-talk was highly agreeable. There was, however, a certain air of languor about him, caused partly by failing health, but far more, no doubt, by that ‘softened remembrance of sorrow and pain’ which my readers can by this time understand better than any of those who then surrounded him. His conversation, therefore, when the duty of entertaining his guests did not require him to exert himself, was liable to lapse into silence. Some people seem to think it a duty to break a dead silence at any price; but this, in Mr. Hope-Scott’s opinion, was not always to be followed as a rule of etiquette; so, at least, I have heard.

I cannot remember that he showed any great interest in politics. He told me that he seldom read the leading articles of the ‘Times,’ which he thought had little influence on public events. I can, however, recall an interesting conversation on the social state of France, of which he took a very melancholy view; and again, in 1870, when he pronounced decisively against the chances of the permanent establishment of the Commune, on the ground of the total change in the condition of Europe since the Middle Ages–the old Italian republics having been alleged in favour of the former.

His conversation seldom turned upon general literature, and at the time I knew him he had given up the ‘bibliomania.’ His favourite line of reading, for his own amusement, seemed to be glossaries, such as those of the Provencal dialect, and the archaeology of Hyeres, on which a friend of his, the late M. Denis, had written an interesting volume. Le Play’s elaborate treatise, ‘La Reforme Sociale,’ strongly attracted his attention. He was fond of statistical works, such as the ‘Annuaire du Bureau des Longitudes,’ a little compilation bristling with facts. He greatly cherished, as might be expected, the memory of Sir Walter Scott; and, had his life been prolonged, would probably have done more for it than the republication of the abridgment of Lockhart’s Life. I recollect his mentioning that there were in his hands unpublished MSS. of Sir Walter’s which would furnish materials for a volume. [Footnote: In a letter to Lord Henry Kerr, dated ‘Norfolk House, London, S.W., July 6, 1867,’ Mr. Hope-Scott says:–

‘I have, because everybody seemed to think I must, become a purchaser to- day of some of Sir Walter’s MSS., viz. _Rokeby, Lord of the Isles_, _Anne of Geierstein_, and a volume of fragments of _Waverley, Ivanhoe, &c._ I am ashamed to say what they cost, but the _Lady of the Lake_ alone cost _another_ purchaser more than half what I paid for the four, and I can hardly say that it was to please myself that I bought at all.’] ‘What he chiefly valued in the character of Sir Walter Scott (remarks a correspondent) was his _manliness_. I noticed that when Sir Walter was praised, Mr. Hope-Scott always spoke of his manliness.’ These observations may somewhat qualify the impression of an intimate friend of his later years, by whom I have been told that Mr. Hope-Scott ‘hardly opened a book, read scarcely at all, though he seemed to know about books.’ He certainly could not, in the ordinary sense of the word, be called a literary man; but the active part of his life was far too busy for study, unless study had been a passion with him; and towards its close the state of his health made reading impossible.

Mr. Hope-Scott very rarely made mention of himself, and his conversation accordingly supplied little or no biographical incident. Yet I have heard him allude, more than once, to his intimacy with Mr. Gladstone. ‘They had been,’ he said, ‘like brothers;’ and he spoke also with pleasure of visits to the house of Sir John Gladstone, from whom he thought the Premier had derived much of his _back_.

Everything that I saw or heard of Mr. Hope-Scott conveyed the impression that he always acted on a plan and an idea; but this is so evident from what I have already related of him, that I am unwilling to add trivial anecdotes in its illustration. That tenderness of heart of which such ample proof has also been given, I recollect once coming curiously out in a chance expression. ‘If a man wants to cry,’ said Mr. Hope-Scott, ‘_let him read the Police Reports_, or (checking himself with that humour by which deep feeling is often veiled) take a cup of coffee!’

He was a thoroughly kind friend in this way, that, unasked, he thought of openings which might be available, and, without offering direct advice, threw out, as if incidentally, useful hints. In giving advice, he applied his mind to the subject; and a small matter, such as the interpretation of a route in _Bradshaw_, received as complete consideration, as far as was needed, as he could have given to the most difficult case submitted by a client.

As to his religious habits, I only had the opportunity of remarking his regularity in attending mass. I recollect, too, that he was anxious that one in whom he took an interest should not leave Hyeres without visiting a favourite place of pilgrimage in the vicinity called L’Ermitage, and heard with pleasure that St. Paul’s, in the upper town, had not been forgotten–a church where St. Louis heard mass before setting out on his crusade, and which rivals the Hermitage as a resort of popular devotion.

I now throw together a few scattered recollections communicated to me by friends, for which I have not been able to find a place elsewhere.

Mr. Hope-Scott often talked of Merton College; he used to compare his affection for it to that felt for a wife.

In his professional habits of mind he was a contrast in one respect to his friend Mr. John Talbot. The latter (as he himself once remarked) was always anxious about a case, and a failure was a great blow to him; but Mr. Hope- Scott, on the other hand, did the best he could, and if he failed, he failed; but he did not allow _that_ to wear him out. He always met the thing in the face, never _mourned_ over it.

He never gave way to small troubles; yet he was not a calm person by nature, but by self-command.

The only occasion on which I ever knew Mr. Hope put out (said a friend who knew him well) was when one of his fellow-counsel, whom he had endeavoured to supply with a complete answer to the whole difficulty in an important case, made a mess of it. ‘How hard it is,’ said Mr. Hope, ‘to sit by and listen to a man speaking on one’s side, and _always_ missing the point!’

Mr. Hope-Scott was a man _run away with by good sense_. He had great playfulness of character (by no means inconsistent with the last trait), and was especially addicted to punning. A constant fire of puns was kept up when he, Bishop Grant, and Mr. Badeley were together, though the Bishop always sought a moral purpose in his jesting.

After having heard Mr. Hope-Scott’s and Mr. Serjeant Wrangham’s arguments on the Thames Watermen and Lightermen’s Bill (1859), the chairman of the committee said: ‘Mr. Hope-Scott, the committee have three courses–either to throw the bill out, to pass it in its entirety, or to pass it with alterations. Therefore we shall be glad if counsel will retire.’ After waiting for half an hour, the door opened. Mr. Hope-Scott said to Serjeant Wrangham: ‘Come along, Serjeant; now that they have disposed of their three courses, we shall have our _dessert_.’

A speech of his at the Galashiels Mechanics’ Institute gave great amusement at the time: ‘I am a worker like you,’ he said; ‘my head is the _mill_, my tongue is the _clapper_, and I _spin long yarns_.’

Once, after signing a good many cheques in charity matters, he said, ‘They talk of hewers of wood and drawers of water; but I think I must be called _a drawer of cheques_.’

He was highly genial with everybody, and even in reproving his servants would mingle it with humour.

The last of Sir Walter Scott’s old servants, John Swanston the forester (often mentioned in _Lockhart_), seemed rather shocked when Mr. Hope- Scott’s son and heir was named Michael; upon which Mr. Hope-Scott said to him playfully: ‘Ye mauna forget, John, that there was an Archangel before there was a Wizard; and besides, the Michael called the Wizard was, in truth, a very good and holy Divine.’

With servants Mr. Hope-Scott was very popular. He took great interest in people, taking them up, forwarding their views, advising, protecting, even interfering.

He was very fond of children, and they of him. The presence of ‘Uncle Jim’ was the signal for fun with his little nephews and nieces: but the case was different with young people; they rather stood in awe of him (but another informant thinks these were the exceptions).

He abhorred gossip and spreading of tittle-tattle; avoided speaking before servants, or any one who would retail what was said. When there was any danger of this, he relapsed into total silence; and was, indeed, on some occasions over-cautious. He especially avoided talking of his good deeds, or of himself generally. He was singularly reserved; not by nature, but from his long habituation to be the depositary of important secrets. Sir Thomas Acland worked a good deal with him in Puseyite days. ‘Tell me what my brother is about,’ asked Lady H. K. ‘I cannot tell,’ was the reply; ‘he is a well too deep to get at.’

He had a determined will, though affectionate and kind-hearted. When entertaining guests, he made all the plans day by day; used to lay out the day for them, seeing what could be done, though he might not himself be well enough to join the party.

He was extremely systematic in his habits, paid for everything by cheques; and used to preserve even notes of invitation, cards of visitors, and the envelopes of letters. [Footnote: I recollect the great importance he attached to them as dates, and his regret at the change from the old method of folded sheets.–W. E. G.]

Yet he had not punctuality naturally; he _drilled_ himself to it. Nor was he naturally particular, but, when married, became over-particular.

He had great kindness and tact, and was always kind in the right way. He was once seen, as a lad, flying to open a gate for perhaps the most disgusting person in the parish.

It was a feature in his life’s history to keep up intimacies for a certain number of years; the intercourse ceased, but not friendliness.

‘In giving me an explanation of the mass before I was received into the Church, I remember’ (said a near relative of his) ‘his saying that he delighted especially in the _Domine, non sum dignus_. “It is to me [he remarked] the most beautiful adaptation of Scripture.”‘

In discussing religion with Presbyterians, he was fond of asserting the truth, ‘I, too, am a _Bible Christian_.’

In conversation once chancing to turn on the subject of one’s being able to judge of character and conduct by looking at people in the street, Mr. Hope-Scott remarked: ‘Yes, if you saw a novice of the Jesuits taking a walk, you would see what that means.’

The following more detailed recollections appear to deserve a place by themselves:–

When residing on his Highland property at Lochshiel, Mr. Hope-Scott personally acquainted himself with his smaller tenantry, and entered into all their history, going about with a keeper known by the name of ‘Black John,’ who acted as his Gaelic interpreter. His frank and kindly manners quite won their hearts. Sometimes he would ask his guests to accompany him on such visits, and make them observe the peculiarities of the Celtic character. On one of these occasions he and the late Duke of Norfolk went to visit an old peasant who was blind and bedridden. After the usual greetings, they were both considerably astonished to hear the old man exclaim, in great excitement: ‘But tell me, how is Schamyl getting on?’ It was long after the Circassian chief had been captured; but his exploits were still clinging to the old Highlander’s imagination, full of sympathy for warfare and politics. The natural ease and politeness of the Highland manners in this class, as contrasted with the rougher type of the Lowlands, used always to delight Mr. Hope-Scott. Over and over again, after the ladies had withdrawn from the dinner-table, he would send for a keeper, or a gillie, or a boatman, and ply them with plausible questions, that his guests might have the opportunity of witnessing the good breeding of the Highlands. John, or Ronald, or Duncan, or whoever it might be, would stand a few yards away from the table, and, bonnet in hand, reply with perfect deference and self-possession, his whole behaviour free, on the one hand, from servility, and on the other, from the slightest forwardness. As will readily be supposed, the interview commonly ended with a dram from the laird’s own hand.

In one respect he was very strict with his people. He never would tolerate the slightest interference on their part with the rights of property. Some of them were in the habit of presuming on the laird’s permission, and helping themselves–no leave asked–to an oar, or a rope, or any implement which they chanced to stand in need of, belonging to the home farm. They indeed brought back these articles when done with; but Mr. Hope-Scott ever insisted they should be _asked for_, and would not accept the excuse that the things were taken without leave in order to save him the trouble of being asked. He was very severe in repressing drunkenness and dissipation, though no one was readier to make allowance for a little extra merriment on market days and festive gatherings.

Mr. Hope-Scott’s chief source of relaxation and pleasure, when he could escape from his professional duties, was building. In this amusement he followed his own ideas, sifting the plans of architects with the most rigid scrutiny, and never hesitating to alter, and sometimes to pull to pieces, what it had cost hours of hard brain-work to devise. No amount of entreaty could extort his consent to what did not commend itself as clear and faultless to his understanding. It might not be a very agreeable process to some of those concerned, but the result was generally satisfactory to the one who had a right to be the most interested. As for contractors, he latterly abjured them altogether; and Dorlin House was commenced and brought to completion under the management of a clerk of the works in whom he had great confidence. In the kindred pursuit of planting (as has already been noticed) Mr. Hope-Scott also took great interest, and the young plantations which now adorn the neighbourhood of Dorlin are the result of his care.

Strong-minded lawyer as he was, he had a firm belief in second-sight. One case in particular, which occurred in his immediate vicinity, is remembered to have made a deep impression on his mind. The facts were these: One Sunday, shortly before Mr. Hope-Scott came to Lochshiel, it happened, during service in a small country chapel close to the present site of Dorlin House, that one of the congregation fainted, and had to be carried out. After the service was over, the late Mr. Stewart, proprietor of Glenuig, asked this man what was the cause of his illness. For a long time he refused to tell, but at length, being pressed more urgently, declared that, of the four men who were sitting on the bench before him, three suddenly appeared to alter in every feature, and to be transported to other places. One seemed to float, face upwards, on the surface of the sea; another lay entangled among the long loose seaweed of the shore; and the third lay stretched on the beach, completely covered with a white sheet. This sight brought on the fainting fit. Somehow the story got abroad, and the consequence was, that the fourth individual, who did not enter into the vision at all, passed, in the course of the next four months, into a state verging on helpless idiocy, from the fear that he was among the doomed. But, strange to tell, the three men who were the subjects of the warning were drowned together, a few months later on, when crossing an arm of the sea not far from the hamlet in which they dwelt. One of the bodies was found floating, as described above. Another was washed ashore on a sandy part of the coast, and, on being found, was covered with a sheet supplied by a farmer’s family living close to the spot. The third was discovered at low water, half buried under a mass of seaweed and shingle. The fourth, who had survived to lose his senses, as we have said, died only two years ago.



Visit of Queen Victoria to Abbotsford in 1867–Mr. Hope-Scott’s Improvements at Abbotsford–Mr. Hope-Scott’s Politics–Toryism in Early Life–Constitutional Conservatism–Mr. Hope-Scott as an Irish and a Highland Proprietor–Correspondence on Politics with Mr. Gladstone, and with Lord Henry Kerr in 1868–Speech at Arundel in 1869.

Towards the end of August 1867, her Majesty Queen Victoria, visiting the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, at Floors Castle, was received with great rejoicings at the various Scottish border towns on the Waverley route from Carlisle to Kelso. On this occasion her Majesty honoured Mr. and Lady Victoria Hope-Scott by calling at Abbotsford. The newspapers of the day contain copious narratives of the tour, otherwise unimportant for our present purpose. The following account is taken from the ‘Daily Telegraph’ of August 24, with a few additional particulars introduced from the ‘Border Advertiser’ of August 23, 1867, the former journal supplying details of much interest relating to Mr. Hope-Scott’s improvements at Abbotsford. I have shortened the original, and made some slight alterations in it:–

Her Majesty visited Melrose and Abbotsford on Thursday, August 22, with Princess Louise, Prince and Princess Christian, the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, and the Duke of Buccleuch. The Queen having viewed Melrose Abbey, Mr. Hope-Scott and his family were honoured, later in the day, by her Majesty’s presence at Abbotsford, which was reached shortly after six o’clock. In the fields in front of the lodge, and for a great distance along the road, was a great concourse of people, many of whom had waited for hours, and vehement cheering rang through the Abbotsford woods.

Many alterations and additions had been made to the Abbotsford of Sir Walter during Mr. Hope-Scott’s nineteen years’ possession of the place. In the lifetime of the Great Magician, the ground on which he fixed his abode was nearly on a level with the highway running along the south front; and wayfarers could survey the whole domain by looking over the hedge. Mr. Hope-Scott, twelve years ago or more (1855), threw up a high embankment on the road front of Abbotsford, and it is from this steep grassy mound that one of the best views may be had. The long, regular slope, steep near the level top where laurels are planted, is a beautiful bank from end to end, being well timbered with a rich variety of trees, among others the silver birch, the oak, the elm, the beech, the plane, and the good old Scotch fir; and being, moreover, naturally favourable to the wild flora of the district, especially to the bluebell and forget-me-not. The wild strawberry also is in great abundance, with its sweet, round little beads of fruit dotting the green. The square courtyard of the house is planned as a garden, with clipped yews at the corners of the ornamental plots of grass, and with beds all ablaze with summer flowers, a brilliant pink annual making a peculiarly fine appearance by well-arranged contrast with the sober greys of an edging of foliage plants. On one side of the courtyard is a postern, which was thrown open when the royal cavalcade had entered the grounds by the lodge gate. The opposite flank of the quadrangle is a kind of ornamental palisade, or open screen of Gothic stonework, the spaces of which are filled up by iron railings. This palisade divides the courtyard from the pleasure-gardens, which are well laid out, and bordered with greenhouses. The porch was beautifully decorated with rows of ferns along the margin of the passage, and behind the ferns were magnificent fuchsias rising to the roof, and mingled with other choice and rare flowers. The floors of the porch and other rooms were covered with crimson cloth, but beyond that, and the addition of vases of flowers, ‘Sir Walter’s Rooms’ were in the same condition in which they have been witnessed by the many thousands drawn thither from every civilised country in the world.

Her Majesty was received by Mr. Hope-Scott, Lady Victoria Hope-Scott, and Miss Hope-Scott, Lord and Lady Henry Kerr, Miss Kerr, and Miss Mackenzie. Mr. Hope-Scott bowed to the Queen, and led the way to the drawing-room, where a few minutes were passed. Her Majesty then in succession passed through Sir Walter’s library, study, hall, and armoury, and viewed with great interest all these memorials. The royal party then proceeded to the dining-room, where fruits, ices, and other refreshments had been prepared, but her Majesty partook only of a cup of tea and ‘Selkirk bannock.’ When the Queen was passing through ‘Sir Walter’s library,’ some photographic views of Abbotsford, which had been taken recently by Mr. Horsburgh of Edinburgh, attracted her attention, and she graciously acceded to the request of Mr. Hope-Scott that her Majesty might be pleased to accept of a set of the photographs. Her Majesty expressed to Mr. Hope-Scott the great pleasure she had experienced in visiting what had been the residence of Sir Walter Scott. The Queen and suite then entered their carriages, and left Abbotsford about seven o’clock. The day was not so bright as the preceding one; but the little rain which fell, just as her Majesty had got under the shelter of the historical roof, did not spoil the holiday which some thousands of people from Galashiels, Hawick, Kelso, Berwick, and Edinburgh had been bent on making.

Mr. Hope-Scott, in a letter to Mr. Badeley of August 23, 1867, gives a brief description of the Queen’s visit, concluding as follows:–

‘Throughout her visit, her Majesty was most gracious and kind, and her conduct to Mamo was quite touching.

She showed a great deal of interest in the place and the principal curiosities, looked remarkably well and active, and, I am told, is much pleased with the reception she has met with on the Border.’

The political aspects of Mr. Hope-Scott’s character, on which it is now time that we should enter, do not require any very extended discussion. His opinions and feelings were Conservative in the constitutional sense, and in his early years seem to have gone a good deal further. It is perhaps scarcely fair to bring evidence from the correspondence of youths of nineteen, but Mr. Leader tells him (November 3, 1831): ‘The latter part of your letter is an admirable specimen of Tory liberality and Tory argument…. What! are all Radicals fools or knaves, and all Conservatives honest or intelligent?… _Absint hae ineptiae paene aniles_.’ A few years later the Thun correspondence, though only affording incidental references to Mr. Hope’s own letters, shows clearly that, like ‘young Oxford’ of that date and long afterwards, he adopted Tory views as deductions from Scripture, and as the political side of religion. Thus Count Leo Thun writing to Mr. Hope on December 14, 1834, says: ‘We both agree in the first principles; I copy your own words: “Everything we do is to be done in the name of the Lord: admitting this, it is evident that the _principle_ on which we are to act with regard to politics is to be derived from the Scriptures.”‘ The future Austrian statesman, however, declares that he cannot find in the Scriptures ‘that blind and passive obedience’ which his friend requires, and enters at considerable length into the question, controverting the application which the latter had made of certain passages. Again pass on a few years, and we find Mr. Hope writing to Mr. Badeley (it is the first letter in that collection), January 12, 1838: ‘I have managed to read Pusey’s sermon, in which there is nothing that I am disposed to quarrel with. The origin of civil government used long ago to be a favourite subject of inquiry with me; and I had long been convinced of the absurdity of any but the patriarchal scheme. Aristotle, the most sensible man, perhaps, who ever lived, came to the same conclusion without the aid of revelation.’

These views sustained practically some modification as time went on. Toryism, in its _historical_ sense, could never be the political creed of a mind on which the Church of England had lost its hold. This begins to appear in a speech made by him at an early date, without preparation indeed, but not carelessly spoken. On the occasion of the ceremony for turning the first sod for the Sheffield and Huddersfield Railway (August 29, 1845), Mr. Hope said:–

If you lived under a despotic government, you would have lines made without reference to your local wants, and perhaps from visionary views of public advantage, but without reference to your private interests. It would be the same if a democratic body were to govern. In the one case you would be subject to the dictates of the imperial office; in the other, to the votes of a turbulent assemblage; but in neither case would there be that mixed regard to public justice and private interests which are combined in an efficient system. I dare say we [railway lawyers] are troublesome, but we belong to a system which has in it great elements of constitutional principle, which combines a regard for the public interest, and for private rights, with that free spirit which enterprises of this nature require in a great commercial country. [Footnote: _Sheffield and Rotherham Independent_, August 30, 1845.]

In the letter to Mr. Gladstone, of December 9, 1847 (quoted p. 78), we perceive an uncertain, sea-sick tone, the sadness natural to a mind not yet sure of its course. Very different is the buoyancy that breathes in Mr. Hope-Scott’s remarks, ten years later, on the rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool, in his speech on the Mersey Conservancy and Docks Bill (quoted p. 115), though that, perhaps, is too rhetorical for us to found an argument upon. It will be more to the purpose here if I give an extract from a letter which he had written that same year, as an Irish proprietor, on the eve of a contested election, to the agent for his estates in co. Mayo, Joseph J. Blake, Esq., at Castlebar. It will show the wise and kindly spirit in which he dealt with his people, as well as the reference to the interests of Catholicity which now governed his politics:–

As to the election for the county of Mayo, I am in considerable ignorance about the state of parties in that particular part of Ireland. I may state, however, that I should myself prefer the candidate who is the most sincere friend of the Catholic Church, and most disposed to take a calm and careful view of the questions which most affect the interests of the Irish people– say Tenant Right, for instance, in which I think something should be done, but perhaps not so much as the more noisy promoters of it insist on. I do not, however, wish to influence my tenants more decidedly than by letting them know my general feelings on these subjects. (March 25, 1857.)

The question here involved, which has very recently ripened into difficulties so formidable as far as regards Ireland, also affected at the time, as it still affects, the state of property in the Western Highlands, where it seems to have interfered a good deal with Mr. Hope-Scott’s efforts to raise the condition of his tenantry. He urged on them the necessity of cultivating more of the waste land which stretched for miles before their doors, but they never took kindly to this task. No rent was to be demanded for the reclaimed lands, and they were promised compensation if called upon to give them up at any future year. They were perfectly convinced of Mr. Hope-Scott’s sincerity, but were unwilling to enter into these schemes of amelioration without the security of possession guaranteed by leases. [Footnote: Further details of Mr. Hope-Scott’s relations with his Highland tenants will he found in chap. xxvi. See also chap. xxiv. pp. 171, 172 in this vol. as affording some indirect illustration.] My office not being that of the political economist, it is unnecessary to enlarge on the subject, especially as the following important letter of Mr. Hope-Scott himself will enable the reader to judge of the reasons upon which he acted:–

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

(_Private_.) Abbotsford: Oct. 28, 1868.

Dear Gladstone,–As you are kind enough to care for my political ideas, I will try to describe them.

Born and bred a Tory and a Protestant, I have discarded both the creeds of my youth. But with this difference in the result: in religion I have found sure anchorage; in politics I am still adrift.

Had the followers of Sir Robert Peel been able to found a permanent party, my case would probably have been different. But death took many of them, and the rest are scattered.

Of the two great parties now forming on the ruins of the old ones, that which you lead has a claim upon me for the work of justice [disestablishment of the Irish Church] which it has undertaken, and which the other seeks to frustrate. But, nevertheless, this work is to me no test of the abiding principles of the party. In you I acknowledge the promotion of it to be a sign of honesty and courage which few can better appreciate than myself; and I know that you mean it as a pledge of steady advancement in the same path. But amongst those who act with you there are many minds of a very different stamp.

A few words will bring out my views.

Speaking logically, justice to the Catholic people of Ireland means, if it means anything, the undoing of the Reformation, the replacing of the Church of the great majority in the position from which it has been unjustly removed.

But had you proposed this, or anything savouring of this, you know that your followers would have been few indeed; and that you have been able wholly to avoid such a danger for yourself, and even to turn it against your political opponents, has arisen chiefly from the moderation and wisdom of the Catholic clergy.

By their acquiescence in a mere disestablishment you got so far rid of the fear of Popery as to give scope to the voluntary principles of ultra- Protestantism, and, as a consequence, many now support you upon grounds so wholly different from your own, that, when the assault is over, and the stronghold taken, half your forces may disappear from the field, or remain only to rebel against your next movement.

This, then, is the reason why, seeking for a party, I cannot accept the present action against the Irish establishment as materially affecting my choice; but I must add that the Church question does not, in point of statesmanship, appear to me to be either the most important or the most difficult of the Irish questions.

That of Land Tenure exercises a wider influence among the people, and calls for a higher science of government.

Now, upon this most difficult and most delicate subject, there are prominent men among your supporters who have put forth views which I am forced to call in the highest degree crude, if not extravagant.

The law of demand and supply renders one class dependent upon another to an extent little short of slavery, not only in contracts for land in Ireland, but in all questions which, in free countries, turn upon the possession by one man of what another cannot or will not do without. The scale of wages of the agricultural labourers in some counties in England, and the rates paid for the worst lodgings by the poorest classes in our large towns, are full of the same meaning as the difficulties of the Irish tenant farmer.

But, more than this, the Irish land question itself is not exclusively Irish. It is to be found also, smaller of course in extent, but identical in its main features and in some of its worst consequences, in the West Highlands of Scotland; and I, who am a proprietor in both countries, can hardly be expected to put much trust in the political physicians who, to cure a disease in Mayo or Galway, propound remedies the first principles of which they would deem inapplicable to the same disorder in Argyle or Inverness.

That I am hopeless of any reasonable mode of relief being found, I will not say; but, if it is to be safe, it certainly cannot be speedy; and if it is to be permanent, it must depend upon a change in the habits of a race rather than upon a new distribution of landed property by Parliament.

And now, turning from Irish to general policy, I profess that I accept your principles of finance and commerce with entire satisfaction, and with a confidence in your power of applying them which I give to no other man.

I enter heartily also into your schemes for the material improvement of the labouring classes, and admire the wisdom as well as the kindness of what you have done.

With regard to the Franchise, I have no fear of Household Suffrage, and I prefer it to the more limited measure which you formerly advocated, because it brings into play a greater variety of interests; and, if it is liable to the objection that it gives votes to the ignorant and the profligate, I answer that your bill would have bestowed still greater, because more exclusive and more concentrated power, upon a class which comprises not only the Lancashire operative, but the Sheffield rattener.

Moreover, I believe that all which is worth defending in our social and political state in England and Scotland, has better guarantees in the spirit of the people than in any provision of the law. When Talleyrand said that England was the most aristocratic country in the world, because there was scarcely any one in it who did not look down on somebody else, he touched the keystone of our society. I have already met with amusing instances of the effect on Scotch middle-class Liberals of the recent enfranchisement of those below them; and my conviction is, that the more you widen the base, the more closely will you bind the superstructure together.

What I fear more than democracy is the strife between capital and skilled labour. This appears to me to be among the most pressing questions of the day, and I shall think well of the statesman, whoever he may be, who, with a just but firm hand, shall regulate the relations of these forces.

On Education I hope we are agreed; at any rate, I feel sure that you will not intentionally divorce it from religion; but I have yet to learn what measure your party would support.

There remains one subject of home policy which with me is paramount. At the time when I became a Catholic the so-called Papal Aggression was the great topic of the day; and while the ignorance and violence of the majority, both in and out of Parliament, greatly assisted my conversion, the steady reason and justice of Lord Aberdeen, and of those who, like yourself, acted with him, drew from me a greater feeling of respect than I have ever been sensible of on any other political occasion, or towards any other political men. I felt that they were determined honestly to carry out the principles of Catholic emancipation, amidst great popular excitement, and without reference even to their personal prejudices, far less to their political interests, and I honoured them with no stinted honour.

In the same direction much still remains to be done, and I wonder to myself whether you will ever head a party which will venture its political power in a contest with county magistrates and parish vestries on behalf of the Catholic poor.

I wonder too sometimes, but with less of hope, whether yours will be a party which will be content to forego that political propagandism which seems chiefly favoured in England when applied to the weaker countries which profess the Catholic faith, and which, in those countries, seems to impair religion much more than it increases temporal prosperity; and, lastly, whether it will have enough moderation to admit that the protection of the public law of Europe ought not to be denied to the States of the Church, merely because a neighbouring power demands them in the name of Italian unity.

Such, my dear Gladstone, are the thoughts of a somewhat indolent, but not indifferent observer of what is going on around him. They are put before you neither to elicit opinions nor to provoke controversy, but to explain how it is that an old friend, who loves and admires you, should withhold his support, insignificant as it is, at the very moment when, as the leader of a party, you might be thought to have justly earned it.

Yours aff’ly,


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

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

Hawarden, N.W.: Nov. 1, ’68

My dear Hope-Scott,–Everything in your handwriting is pleasant to read, and I thank you sincerely for your letter.

* * * * *

When I come to the _gros_ of your letter touching politics, I own it appears to me that we have a moral title to your serious and even strenuous aid.

I hope you will not think my writing to say so a bad compliment, for, as far as the value of the aid is concerned, even such as yours, I assure you I cannot afford to buy it at the present moment by personal appeals in writing.

But you praise _justly_ the ‘moderation and wisdom’ of the R. C. clergy on the question of the hour–why do you not imitate them?

Simply because you cannot trust those who are acting with me in the _paulo post futurum_. Is that a sound rule of political action? You think much, as I do, of the importance of the Land Question. You see a great evil–you do not see any other man with a remedy–you hold off from us who made a very moderate proposal in 1866, because eminent men among our supporters have made proposals which you think extravagant or crude, and to which we have never given any countenance.

Now I will not indulge myself here by going over the many and weighty matters in which we are wholly at one; all that you say on them gives me lively satisfaction.

I will only, therefore, touch the one subject on which you anticipate difficulty as possible–that of political propagandism, meaning the temporal power of the Pope: for I do not suppose you mean to censure English pleas for civil rights of the United Greeks in Poland against the Emperor of Russia, though touching their religion.