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  • 1884
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I have at all times contended that the Pope as prince ought to have the full benefit of the public law of Europe, and have often denied the right of the Italian Government to absorb him. But you must know that extraordinary doctrines, wholly unknown to public law, have been held and acted on for the purpose of maintaining the temporal power. If you keep to public law, we _can_ have no differences. If you do not, we may: with Abp. Manning I have little doubt we should. But that question is and has been for years out of view, and is very unlikely to come into it within any short period. Rational cooperation in politics would be at an end if no two men might act together until they had satisfied themselves that in no possible circumstances could they be divided. Q.E.D.

There in brief is my case, based on yours, and I would submit it to any committee you ever spoke before, provided you were not there to bewilder them with music of the Sirens.

Now pray think about it. I shall bother you no more. I wish I had time to write about the Life of Scott. I may be wrong, but I am vaguely under the impression that it has never had a really wide circulation. If so, it is the saddest pity; and I should greatly like (without any censure on its present length) to see published an abbreviation of it.

With my wife’s kindest regards,

Always aff’tely yours,


J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C.

Mr. Hope-Scott, in replying to the above letter of Mr. Gladstone’s (under date ‘Abbotsford, November 4, 1868’), says:–

I fully acknowledge the compliment which you have paid me in writing at such length at such a time, and there are some things in your letter which I am glad to have had from yourself. But your main argument for action fails to convince me. I cannot put ‘paulo post futurum’ into my pocket, and march to the poll. For the present, then, I cannot enlist with you in politics, but I can do so heartily in any attempt to extend a knowledge of Walter Scott.

The following letters, of the same year, will further illustrate Mr. Hope- Scott’s view of the Irish disestablishment question, and the independent line of politics which he adopted in his closing years:–

_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C. to the Lord Henry Kerr._

Norfolk House, St. James’s Square:

March 22, ’68.

Dear Henry,–[The Archbishop] thinks that if Gladstone is serious (which he and I both believe him to be) about the Irish establishment, he will carry his motion, although it seems probable that Disraeli will make it a rallying-point, and may even dissolve Parliament if beat. How he is to manage the latter operation in the present condition of the Reform Question I hardly see….

It is astonishing to find on all sides such proof of the progress of opinion in Irish, and I think generally, in Catholic matters. The Fenian blister has certainly worked well; but besides that, Ireland and the Catholic religion offer the best field for the Liberals, as a party, to recover the ground which Disraeli last year ousted them from. Hence it is that my two months’ absence from England seems to count as years on this point. Indeed, Gladstone’s great declaration on Monday last is supposed to be due to the rapid progress of a few weeks, or even days….

Yours affectionately,


_The Same to the Same._

Dorlin, Strontian: Sept. 16, ’68.

Dear Henry,–… In politics I have taken my line, and have told Curie and Erskine that, as at present advised, I do not intend to meddle with either Roxburgh or any other election. I trust neither party enough to identify myself with either; and while I do not think that the demolition of the Irish establishment is enough of a religious question to make me support the Liberals, I think it sufficiently so to prevent me siding with the Conservatives. On the other matters which you mention, members of both political parties seem to be at present free to follow their own consciences or interests, but their leaders may at any moment require obedience, and in that case I would rather trust the necessary tendency of the Liberals than that of the Conservatives on all home questions; and foreign policy seems, by accord of all parties, to have now settled into non-interference….

Yrs affly,

James R. Hope-Scott.

The Lord Henry Kerr.

In a speech at Arundel, January 5, 1869, perhaps the last Mr. Hope-Scott made on a public occasion, he remarked that he did not think the wisest thing had been done in remodelling the constituency by simply numbering heads. By depriving Arundel of its member, a large interest had been left unrepresented–that is, the Catholic interest. An intimate friend of his, possessing excellent means of information and judgment, said to me: ‘Hope- Scott, in his latter years, was not political–not a party man in any sense. Indeed, he got into a scrape with the Whigs when the Duke of Norfolk voted with the Tories. This much mortified the Whigs, and they complained to Hope-Scott of the Duke’s line: he said he wished him to be of no party. This was his line as a Catholic. Every lawyer, in fact, is Conservative. Revolution is against all their theories of government.’ This, however, so far as it relates to the personal influence exercised by Mr. Hope-Scott, must be balanced by the evidence of another friend, also very intimate with him, to whom the _late_ Duke of Norfolk, while still traditionally a Liberal, had remarked that he thought Conservatives would do more for Catholics, and that nothing was to be expected from the Liberals.



Religious Life of Mr. Hope-Scott–Motives of Conversion–Acceptance of the Dogma of Infallibility–The ‘Angelus’ on the Committee-room Stairs–Faith in the Real Presence–Books of Devotion–The Society of Jesus–Letter of Mr. Bellasis–Mr. Hope-Scott’s Manners–His Generosity–Courage in admonishing–Habits of Prayer–Services to Catholicity–Remark of Lord Blachford–The Catholic University of Ireland–Cardinal Newman’s Dedication of his ‘University Sketches’ to Mr. Hope-Scott–Aid in the Achilli Trial– Mr. Badeley’s Speech–Charitable Bequests–Westminster Missions–Repeal of Titles Act–Statement of Mr. Hope-Scott–Letter to Right Hon. S. Walpole– Correspondence with the Duke of Norfolk–Scottish Education Bill, 1869– Parliamentary Committee on Convents–Services of Mr. Hope-Scott to Catholicity in Legal Advice to Priests and Convents–Other Charities in Advice, &c.–Private Charities, their General Character–Probable Amount of them–Missions on the Border–Galashiels–Abbotsford–Letter of Pere de Ravignan, S.J.–Kelso–Letter of Father Taggart–Burning of the Church at Kelso–Charge of the Lord Justice-Clerk–Article from the ‘Scotsman’– Missions in the Western Highlands–Moidart–Mr. Hope-Scott’s Purchase of Lochshiel–‘Road-making’–Dr. Newman’s ‘Grammar of Assent’–Mr. Hope- Scott’s Kindness to his Highland Tenants–Builds School and Church at Mingarry–Church at Glenuig–Sells Dorlin to Lord Howard of Glossop–Other Scottish Missions aided by Mr. Hope-Scott–His Irish Tenantry–His Charities at Hyeres.

The reader has now been enabled to form an opinion of Mr. Hope-Scott’s character and actions in various aspects. The most important of all–his religious life, his services to the Church, and his charities during his Catholic period–remain to be reviewed; and that interval appears the most natural for making such a survey, which comes just before the time when he was visibly approaching the end of his career.

The path by which Mr. Hope-Scott was led to Catholicity has been made sufficiently apparent. We have seen that he was principally influenced by two reasons, affecting, on the one hand, Church order, and on the other, dogma: the Jerusalem Bishopric, which was set up by Anglicans and Lutherans together; and the Gorham judgment, which rejected an article of the Creed. These reasons were, as he acknowledged, _clenched_ by his disgust at the outcry raised against the exercise of Papal authority in the institution of the Catholic hierarchy in England; and perhaps the greater stress ought to be laid upon this last, as it might have been the less expected, because his early ecclesiastical studies, and early contact with Catholic society, were certainly not such as could have led him to views usually classed as ‘ultramontane.’ On this head it may be sufficient simply to state that, when the time of its promulgation arrived, he rendered, without reservation, the homage of his intellect to the exalted dogma of Infallibility, which in our days has been welcomed by the whole Catholic world from the voice of its Chief Pastor. It is, further, only necessary to refer to his political letter to Mr. Gladstone to see that he endeavoured to make his influence (often so much more effective than any outward agitation) available towards the recovery of the temporal power and the rights of the Holy See.

As to his religious habits as a Catholic, every page of this memoir shows, or might show, that he was a man of great faith, great earnestness, and the most sincere intention to obey the will of God. Yet it must be remembered that his duty called him into the very thick of the battle of life from morning–till night: whilst so engaged (and it was the case during half the year) it was by no means in his power either to attend daily mass or to be a frequent communicant, though, at Abbotsford, he would communicate two or three times a week. But a little anecdote will serve to prove that he took care to place himself in the presence of God in the midst of the busy world in which he moved. He told his friend Serjeant Bellasis that he found he was just able to say the _Angelus_ in the time he took to mount the stairs of the committee-rooms at Westminster. At home he regularly said the _Angelus_; as was noticed by persons who accidentally entered his room at the hours assigned to it, and used to find him standing to say it.

The one absorbing devotion of his Catholic life was undoubtedly the adoration of our blessed Lord in the Sacrament of the altar. Few who have seen him in prayer before the Tabernacle could forget his look of intense reverence and recollection, the consequence of his strong faith in the Real Presence. After the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, St. Michael was his favourite saint; his favourite books of devotion the _Missal_ and the _New Testament_; and, among religious orders, he was personally most attracted by the _Society of Jesus_, with members of which order we have already seen that he was on terms of friendship, even before his reception into the Church.

His admiration for the society lasted throughout his life; and for more than twenty years together, until the end, I believe that for the direction of his conscience it was to the Jesuit Fathers that he always had recourse. In private conversations, when expressing the great satisfaction he felt at seeing the Society established in Roxburghshire and the Highlands, he often said that the Jesuits seemed to him ‘like the backbone of religion.’ Yet this love for the Society never led to any want of hearty appreciation of the merits of other Orders, or of the Seculars. Thus he hoped, at one time, to see the Dominicans at Galashiels, and showed the greatest regard for the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate, who were for nine years in charge of the mission there, while, both in London, and at Abbotsford and Dorlin, the Fathers of the Oratory and the Secular clergy were welcome and honoured guests. The high value he set upon the Rev. P. Taggart (whom he used to call ‘the Patriarch of the Border’), and on the hard-worked Highland priests, is well remembered. I am here, however, partly anticipating another branch of the subject, and shall conclude what I have to say about the personally religious aspect of his character by the following letter, from a friend who knew him well, and which contains one or two fine illustrations of it, and some very interesting general recollections also:–

_Mrs. Bellasis to the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell-Scott_.

Villa Ste Cecile: Dec. 31, 1880.

My dear Friend,–You ask me [for] some of those impressions which memory gives me of the kindest friend we ever possessed–your excellent father.

Years have rolled on, and yet the intercourse with so striking a person has left a remembrance not to be deadened by lapse of time. The noble form– that beautiful, intellectual countenance–the kindly tone of voice, so encouraging in difficulty, so sympathetic in sorrow, so persuasive in advice–who that knew James Hope-Scott could ever forget?

He had a peculiar way of listening, with the head a little bent on one side, to the most trivial subject broached by a friend in conversation, as if it was of the deepest importance, which pleased you with its unintentional flattery. With true Christian politeness he never interrupted you, but, if the subject was an important one, he would come down with some unanswerable view which at once approved itself to the listener as the course to be followed: ‘Hope thinks so-and-so’–and it always proved the right thing.

With regard to his generosity, it was his nature to be generous–he had learned the pleasure of giving; and, when any principle was involved in a gift, there was no stint. As an illustration of this, I remember on one occasion a friend–not rich–known to us both, had given me a picture to dispose of, as she did not care for it: it was small, and out of condition, and of an objectionable subject, though we had not perceived its closely veiled viciousness. I failed in persuading a picture dealer to purchase it, and, having to return home by my husband’s chambers, I there found Mr. Hope-Scott. I mentioned my want of success, and your father at once said, ‘Let us see it.’ It was fetched up from the carriage, and after looking at it attentively–‘Well,’ he said, ‘Mrs. Bellasis, I think you must leave this with me.’ I did so, and learnt afterwards that on my leaving the room he crushed the painting with his heel, put it on the fire, and sent me a cheque for my friend for 30_l._

His faculty for languages was very great, and when in the south of France, rambling daily over the pretty property he possessed at Hyeres, I used to be amazed at the fluent way in which he talked with the workmen; whether it was the carpenter, the plasterer, mason, or gardener, he talked with each in the terms of their respective occupations and trades, quite unhesitatingly. Provencal talk is certainly puzzling, but he seemed as if born to it; and the French gentlemen told me he spoke exactly all the niceties of their language, whether in repartee or in illustration.

How profoundly Catholic he was those near and dear to him must know far better than outsiders. No consideration ever closed the purse or the lips where the interests or the honour of Holy Church were concerned. There was no parade of piety in him; and yet, if he thought he could say the word in season, he spoke _unreservedly_. I recollect on one occasion a very distinguished member of the Parliamentary bar, who was, in common parlance, a man of the world–long gone to his rest–met my husband and your father walking together in Piccadilly. Mr. X. stopped them, exclaiming, ‘Well, you two black Papists, how are you?’ ‘Come, come,’ replied Mr. Hope-Scott, ‘don’t you think it is time _you_ should be looking into your accounts?’ ‘Oh, I’m all right _now_,’ was the reply, half jocularly. ‘Well,’ said Mr. Hope-Scott, ‘but how about those _past_ pages–eh?’ Mr. X., taking no offence, drew himself up and said, with great gravity, ‘I tell you what it is, Hope: I am thoroughly, intellectually convinced; but’ (he added, striking his breast) ‘my heart is not touched!’ and thereupon the three parted. Had he been a Catholic, he would have used, I suppose, the term ‘will’ for ‘heart.’ [Footnote: This courage in giving religious admonition where he saw it was needed, is a trait which I have occasionally observed appearing in his correspondence, and quite in keeping with his favourite expression, _’Liberavi animam meam.’_–R. O.]

All that Mr. Hope-Scott did in religious observances was done so naturally, so simply–whether it was in going down to the committees with my husband, he would pull out his rosary in the cab, and so occupy his thoughts through the busy streets; or when, in mounting the stairs at Westminster to reach the committee-rooms, he would repeat, _sotto voce_, with my husband, some slight invocatory prayers, or verse of a Psalm–such things were only known to the extreme intimacy of long friendship. Such was the hidden, deeply pious life of one who, for many years at least, though certainly in the world, was yet not of it. I might say he was _above_ it; for who, more than our dear friend, saw through, and so thoroughly despised its shams, its allurements, its ambition, and modes of thought? There is one other remembrance which is a very bright one: I allude to his ever-ready wit. When he was in good health, and well, before he was threatened with the coming malady, how amusing he was–such a cheery companion! I have often thought, when we left his company, that I would put down his clever, witty rejoinders–they were legion! and never a spark of ill-nature. I never remember his saying an unkind word of any one.

E. J. B.

The services rendered by Mr. Hope-Scott to the cause of Catholicity may be grouped in three great divisions:–1. The giving advice, at no small cost of time and trouble, either on great questions affecting the interests of the Church, or on those of a more local and personal description. 2. Pecuniary charities. 3. The foundation of churches and missions. I will endeavour to give some idea of each of these, though of course the very nature of charity, but still more that of counsel, involves so much of secrecy, that particulars which remain on record, and can be given to the world, we may safely assume to be only specimens of many more which must remain untold.

1. The first division includes, as we shall see, many of the great questions affecting the Catholic Church in these countries during his active career as a Catholic. But his services were chiefly those of a wise and trusted adviser behind the scenes, for he never entered Parliament, and rarely took part in public meetings. That he thus kept at a distance from a sphere of action for which his powers so eminently fitted him, was a subject of regret even outside of Catholic society, as will appear from a letter of Lord Blachford’s to Mr. E. S. Hope, already cited, in which his lordship remarks:–

I have sometimes been disappointed that in joining the Church of Rome [Mr. Hope-Scott] was not led by circumstances to adopt in England the task so brilliantly, but so differently performed in France by M. de Montalembert– that of asserting for English R. Catholics that political and Parliamentary status to which their education and importance entitle them. It would have been an advantage for all parties.

And, earlier in the same letter:–

Given a constituency, he united almost every qualification for public life. He seized instantly the point of a matter in hand, and was equally capable of giving it words at a moment’s notice, or of working it out thoroughly and at leisure, and that either by himself or, what is as important, through others. He would have made no enemies, and multitudes of friends; and his quiet tact and flexible persuasiveness, grafted on a clear grasp of leading principles, would have made him invaluable in council.

It would be useless to speculate on the motives of this abstinence, or on the part which he might have played in Parliamentary life in the years when the too brief career of Mr. Lucas was drawing to its close, and a great opportunity seemed to offer itself for a leader to step forward who should unite, in a degree equal to his, faith and devotedness with eloquence, and a rare talent for the conduct and marshalling of affairs. However, among the transactions affecting Catholic interests in which Mr. Hope-Scott’s knowledge and experience were turned to account, may be named the following:–

(1) _The Catholic University of Ireland_, which has since shown such struggling yet persistent vitality, had been in contemplation as far back as 1847. Serious steps were being taken towards its foundation in 1851, when Mr. Hope’s advice was immediately sought by Archbishop (afterwards Cardinal) Cullen: he said, ‘Get Newman for your Rector;’ and from him the Archbishop came straight to Birmingham. There is a letter of Archbishop Cullen’s to Mr. Hope (dated Drogheda, October 28, 1851), in which, after thanking him for valuable advice regarding the University, his Grace says: ‘I think we shall be guided by what you have suggested. For my part, I adopt your views altogether…. If we once had Dr. Newman engaged as President, I would fear for nothing; and I trust that this point will soon be gained. After that, every thing else will be easy.’ From a letter of Mr. Allies to Mr. Hope (August 19, 1851) it appears that Dr. Newman regarded it as of the highest importance for those charged with the construction of the new University to obtain information from Mr. Hope as to the course of studies pursued in the Catholic universities abroad; and in another letter (August 30) Mr. Allies proposes to Mr. Hope a long string of questions as to university legislation. What Mr. Hope looked upon as of the most consequence may be gathered from a postscript to that letter, marked ‘private:’ ‘J. H. N. showed me your letter, with which he entirely agrees; and I need not say that I feel myself all the force of what you say. All paper rules and constitutions are nothing in comparison to there being a good selection of men, and a perfect unity and subordination in the governing and teaching body. If this is to succeed, my belief is that the only way is to appoint J. H. N. head, with the _fullest powers_, both for the selection of coadjutors and the working into shape.’ Mr. Allies (with the Very Rev. Dr. Leahy, afterwards Archbishop of Cashel, and Mr. Myles O’Reilly) was, at the time, engaged with Dr. Newman in drawing up a report on the organisation of the University, after consulting a certain number of persons, among whom was Mr. Hope.

In 1855 Mr. Hope-Scott presented to the new institution one of his splendid gifts–a library of books on civil and canon law. ‘Your books’ (writes Dr. Newman to him, August 1) ‘will be the cream of our library.’ In the difficulties of later years, when Dr. Newman felt his duty as Rector of the University and that as Father-Superior of the Oratory pulling him in different directions, the congregation, not from any one’s fault, but from the nature of the case, being unable to get on without him, it was to the same faithful counsellor he turned. I may here mention that Mr. Hope-Scott warmly took up the idea of founding an oratory at Oxford (January 1867), and gave 1,000_l_. towards this object, which he refused to take back when the design was laid aside. In a conversation on the subject of this memoir, which Cardinal Newman condescended to hold with me, his Eminence said, ‘Hope-Scott was a truly good friend–no more effectual friend–from his character and power of advice.’ He had stood by him all through as a good friend and adviser in the difficulties of the Oratory connected with his rectorship, and so in another critical moment relating to other affairs. I venture to transcribe the eloquent words in which the Cardinal has placed on record the value he had for his friendship, in the dedication to his ‘University Sketches:’–

‘To James R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C., &c. &c., a name ever to be had in honour when universities are mentioned, for the zeal of his early researches, and the munificence of his later deeds, this volume is inscribed, a tardy and unworthy memorial, on the part of its author, of the love and admiration of many eventful years.–Dublin, October 28, 1856.’

(2) The assistance rendered by Mr. Hope-Scott to Dr. Newman under the anxieties of the _Achilli Trial_ has already been briefly alluded to (p.141). The first meeting of Dr. Newman’s friends to hold consultation in the affair was a scene, as I have heard it described, which brought out in a striking manner Mr. Hope-Scott’s talents for ruling and advising those in perplexity. At first all was confusion, but order began to appear the moment that he entered the room; he seemed to have a just claim to take the lead, and placed everything in the right point of view. I find him writing to Mr. Badeley (from Abbotsford, November 15, 1852), to ask whether it would be _professionally_ correct for him to appear at Dr. Newman’s side on the day of sentence, adding: ‘I need hardly say that I should much like to show him any signs of respect and affection. There are, indeed, few towards whom I feel more warmly.’ This, it seems, would not have been etiquette if he had appeared in wig and gown; and Mr. Badeley (who was one of Dr. Newman’s counsel) suggested his sitting with Sir A. Cockburn, to assist, if not to speak. However, a motion for a new trial was made, and on January 31, 1853, judgment was given, discharging the rule on technical grounds, and imposing a nominal fine. There is a very interesting account of this in the Badeley correspondence, part of which I am tempted to subjoin. So important an event affecting Newman can scarcely be considered foreign to Hope-Scott, and it affords also a specimen of Mr. Badeley’s familiar letters to his friend, which entered into the daily life I have endeavoured to describe.

_Edward Badeley, Esq., Q.C. to J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C._

Temple: Feb. 1, 1853.

My dear Hope,–… Newman has been here, and seems well satisfied with the result, and I think he has reason to be so. The judges paid him great respect, and though Coleridge preached him an immensely long Puseyite sermon, much of which he might as well have spared, full credit was given for Newman’s belief of the truth of his charges, and for proper motives. You will see a tolerably correct report of it in the ‘Times,’ but the best report of _the judgment_ is in the ‘Morning Post.’ The speeches of counsel are _execrably_ given both in that and in the other papers. My speech is _very incorrect_, but I have been gratified by very kind expressions about it, particularly from my legal brethren: it was not long, but it seemed to produce some sensation, particularly as I started by avowing my friendship for Newman. My conclusion, as well as I remember it, was as follows:–

‘There may be some, my Lords, who seek in Dr. Newman’s conviction a malignant triumph, and who would gladly avail themselves of the sentence of this Court, to crush the man whose writings have been their dread, as his life has been their shame. The cry of party prejudice and of religious bigotry may be raised in other places, and its echo may perhaps be heard even within these walls; but your Lordships, I am confident, will disregard it, and in the exercise of your sacred functions you will be guided only by the dictates of wisdom and of justice; you will respect the high character of Dr. Newman, his genius, his learning, his piety, his zeal, the purity of his motives, the sanctity of his life; you will remember the anxiety he has undergone, the expense which he has incurred, _the facts which he has proved_; and bearing these in mind, you cannot pass upon him any sentence of severity, you can but inflict a nominal punishment. ‘Vestrum est hoc, Judices, vestrae dignitatis, vestrae dementias: recte hoc repetitur a vobis, ut virum optimum atque innocentissimum, plurimisque mortalibus carum atque jucundissimum, his aliquando calamitatibus liberetis, ut omnes intelligant in concionibus esse invidiae locum, in judiciis veritati.’ [Footnote: Cic. ‘Pro Cluent. ’71.]

There was some applause when I sat down, and all seemed highly delighted with my quotation…. The small amount of the fine is regarded by the _Myrmidons_ (Achilli’s followers) as a heavy blow to them, and all regard it as a triumph for us. One of the most satisfactory things, however, is the declaration of the Court that they are not satisfied with the finding of the jury upon the facts, and that if the question as to a new trial had rested solely on that finding, they would have felt themselves bound to send the case to another jury. And so ends this important case. I think we may congratulate ourselves. Newman is gone home to-day, and means to write to you tomorrow or next day. He was very tired yesterday, but seems quite alive again now, and in excellent spirits. The crowd in and about the Court was immense;… Newman was well attended by a numerous party of friends, and cheered as he left the Court.

Ever believe me

Yours most affectionately,


(3) _Charitable Bequests_, &c.–In a letter of the Very Rev. Dr. (since Cardinal) Manning to Mr. Hope-Scott, dated ‘Rome, March 3, 1854,’ and marked ‘private and confidential,’ occurs the following passage: ‘I am rejoiced to hear that you have been invited to communicate with the Government on the charitable bequests. And I think you will be glad to know that this fact has given, as I hear, great satisfaction to the Cardinal. In conversation he has often named you to me, and I feel sure that he would have selected you on his own part for such a purpose.’

I quote the following lines from a long and interesting letter of Dr. Manning’s to Mr. Hope-Scott, dated ’78 S[outh] A[udley] St., January 28, 1856:’ ‘Do you remember a conversation, the summer of 1854, one Sunday evening, at 22 Charles St., on the good which might be done by four or five men living together and preaching statedly at different places, on courses of solid subjects? The thought has long been in my mind both before and since our conversation, and it has been coming to a point under an increased sense of the need.’

Correspondence of this kind, which I can merely notice, would, of course, illustrate Mr. Hope-Scott’s position as a leading Catholic layman of his time, in the confidence of the heads of the Church.

(4) _The Repeal of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act_ is an event too familiar in recent Church history to require much comment. The Government in 1851, having, in compliance with popular clamour, passed a bill by which Catholic prelates were prohibited, under many penalties, from assuming territorial titles of sees, found itself, from the very first, obliged to treat this enactment as a dead letter, in consequence of the legal difficulties and complications which arose from it. Common sense suggested its removal from the statute-book. This was not effected without considerable effort to escape from that necessity by some less humiliating alternative. Mr. Hope-Scott gave evidence, lasting for two days (July 9 and 16), before the Select Committee appointed in 1867 to report on the operation of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act; and to that evidence, showing all the luminous clearness and completeness which was so characteristic of him, but especially to an admirable _Statement_ on the whole case which he submitted to the committee [see _infra_, p. 208], there can, I think, be no doubt that the final adoption (in 1871) of the only satisfactory remedy–a total repeal of the Act–was mainly due.

A letter of the London correspondent of a Dublin newspaper of the day, relating to Mr. Hope-Scott’s examination before the Select Committee above mentioned, contains, in the lively manner of a journalist, some particulars worth preserving:–

It used to be said of Mr. Hope-Scott in the great days of railway committees, ere the London, Chatham, and Dover had made its _scandalum magnatum_, that his briefs were worth 15,000_l_. a year; but that if he could forget some slight knowledge of the common law that he had acquired in his youth, there was no reason why they might not mount up to 25,000_l_. The story is only worth relating as an instance of the professional lawyer’s ingrained contempt for such a tribunal as a committee composed of five or more ordinary members of the House of Commons. But to- day [July 16, 1867] it so happened that when Mr. Hope-Scott for the first time in his life had to sit in a chair and be examined and cross-examined before such a committee, his Common Law stood him in good stead. There is something extremely impressive in the complete simplicity of this eminent lawyer’s appearance. A great natural superiority of intellect, an apt and complete study of his subject, ample readiness and subtlety of statement, these you expect; but not a certain direct and cogent candour, which appears to be, and which indeed is, utterly unaffected. The success of Mr. Hope-Scott with Parliamentary committees is, I have always thought, due to the fact that he unites the qualities of a great lawyer with the qualities that make a man a great member of Parliament…. His evidence was limited to the substantiation and illustration of the legal positions laid down in the document drawn up by him [see page 208], and of the whole case he was evidently master to its most minute points. Mr. Walpole and Mr. Chatterton both essayed what we may call cross-examination–it cannot be said successfully.[Footnote: _Irish Times_, July 18, 1867.]

The following letters on this subject appear to merit preservation; it will be seen that not all Catholic politicians of the day had so clear a view of the case as Mr. Hope-Scott:–

_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C. to the Right Hon. Spencer H. Walpole, M.P._

[Draft Copy.] Norfolk House, St. James’s Square: _Confidential._ June 15, ’67.

Dear Walpole,–I wrote to Mr. M’Evoy from Arundel to request that he would make an appointment with you on the subject of the Eccl. Titles Act, but, as I have received no reply, I presume that he is still out of town.

My object, however, may be as well, perhaps better, attained if you will read the memorandum which I enclose, and in which I have endeavoured to state the case against the Act, in the manner in which it _must_ be stated to the Commons’ committee, should the proposed inquiry take place.

You will gather from the memorandum that R. Catholics owe a great deal to the forbearance of the Government and the judges, and I can assure you that they are far from desirous to requite such treatment by pointing out the infractions of the law by which it has been accompanied.

Moreover, in the event of the Act not being repealed, it is evident that they would greatly endanger their present immunity by showing how easily it might be destroyed.

Under these circumstances, if I had to choose between acquiescence in the retention of this Act, and a Parliamentary inquiry of certain inconvenience and of doubtful result, I should naturally prefer the former; but the question has apparently advanced too far to be now set aside, and I therefore venture to suggest to you, and through you to the Government, that the most just, and to all concerned the most convenient course, would be, that the Ministry should supersede further inquiry by an avowal that the action of the Public Departments is impeded by the Act, and should introduce a Government bill to repeal it.

I have marked this letter and the memorandum ‘Confidential’ for reasons which you will understand; but I do not mean to limit the use of them in any case where you think they may assist the consideration of my suggestion.

Believe me, &c. &c., J. R. H.-S.

The Right Honorable Spencer H. Walpole, &c. &c. &c.

_His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, E.M. to J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C._

House of Lords: July 28, 1870.

My dear Mr. Hope,–Monsell, into whose hands I put the affair of the Ecc. Titles Bill, and to whom I gave your papers on the subject, says that both O’Hagan and Sherlock see no objection in the bill. He says that he will try and get some one to protest against the language of the preamble, but he does not feel sure that anybody will even do that. I believe O’Hagan now says that, though Papal instruments are declared void, in a court of law such instruments are not called for to prove such facts as divisions of dioceses, &c. What had we better do?

Yours affectionately,


_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C. to his Grace the Duke of Norfolk, E.M._

Bedford Hotel, Brighton: March 6, ’71.

Dear Henry,–[After mentioning the enclosure of a rough draft of memorandum made in 1870, and of the clause he had proposed to Mr. Gladstone (Footnote: In 1870 Mr. Hope-Scott had proposed to Mr. Gladstone the following _clause_ with reference to the Ecclesiastical Titles Act:–

‘Before all courts, in all questions affecting the rights or property of any religious body not established by law, or of the members of the same as such, it shall be sufficient to prove the existence ‘de facto’ of any ecclesiastical arrangement material to the inquiry, and no evidence shall be required of the manner in which, or of the persons by whom, such arrangement may have been originally made.’) with reference to the Eccl. Titles Bill:–]

These I now send you, and, with them, a letter which you wrote to me last July showing how the matter then stood. In connection with this letter, I send you likewise a print of my statement made and circulated before the committee met in 1867, and given in evidence by me before that committee. A reference to it will show that the view which your letter attributes to Lord O’Hagan is certainly not correct as regards England, though there are some circumstances in Ireland which make it more applicable there. As the bill is now to go to a Select Committee of the Commons, there seems a fair chance of getting a favourable alteration, and it is certainly well worth the attempt. As I wrote to you last summer, the _clause_ I proposed would be of the greatest practical value, and might save some amount of feeling among Protestants by letting them fire away at the Papal authority; but if it cannot be got, the words ‘and all assumption, &c., is wholly void’ should either go out, or the whole of that recital be qualified so as to mean _legal and coercive_, not merely spiritual, jurisdiction, &c.

I am sorry to add to the number of your labours for the Church, but at present I am not able to take the field myself; and as you are at any rate to be in London this week, you may take the opportunity of moving in the matter.

Yrs affly,

James R. Hope-Scott

Remember J. V. Harting in case of need.

His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, E.M.

The whole subject has belonged to the domain of history since the Repeal passed under Mr. Gladstone’s administration in 1871. Still, I am unwilling to dismiss it without quoting the wise and powerful words with which Mr. Hope-Scott concludes the ‘Statement’ of 1867, several times referred to:–

No Act of Parliament can cause direct hardship to the subject while the Ministers of the Crown, the judges, the magistrates, and the public concur in disregarding it; but it is one thing to be secure by the law, and another to be secure only by a general contempt of the law. In the latter case a gust of popular excitement, such as occurred in 1850-1, or the interest or prejudice of an individual, or the scruples of a single official, or of a single judge, might at any time turn this dormant Act into a real instrument of oppression; and therefore the grievance of the Roman Catholics is this, and it is essentially a practical one, that, whatever their present immunity may be, they are not, and, as the law stands, they never can be, secure of its continuance. From this it follows, that in all matters to which the Act may be applied, Roman Catholics find it necessary to take the same precautions, and resort to the same expedients, as if its application were certain. In short, they are under the constant sense that a penal statute is at the door, and that it depends upon little more than accident whether it shall come in or not: and thus, if the apprehension of evil be, as it certainly is, an evil in itself, the mere existence of the Act is a practical hardship, and there can be no remedy short of its repeal. [Footnote: _Minutes of Evidence_ (J. R Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.O.), p. 26.]

(5) It appears from Mr. Hope-Scott’s papers that, in May 1869, he was giving his weight to the opposition against the _Scottish Education Bill_, as a measure, in its original form, based on the principle of Presbyterian ascendency, and was advocating a denominational system in the interests of Catholicity.

(6) The Parliamentary committee on _Conventual and Monastic Institutions_ (originally designed by its mover, Mr. Newdegate, to inquire into the ‘_existence, characters, and increase_’ of those institutions, but restricted, on a motion of Mr. Gladstone’s, to inquire into ‘_the state of the law_’ respecting them) held its sittings May 17 to July 25, 1870, and Mr. Hope-Scott’s attention seems to have been much occupied with the subject. During the earlier stages of the affair he was at Hyeres, but his correspondence shows how carefully he was kept informed of what passed. A letter to him from the Duke of Norfolk (dated Norfolk House, April 21, 1870) gives an idea of the line Mr. Hope-Scott had taken: ‘I was very glad to receive your letter’ (the Duke writes). ‘It had great weight with our committee to-day, and we decided to ask Government for nothing, but to resist inquiry in any form.’

(7) To services like these, in which he was the trusted counsellor of those who were acting for Catholicity in general, might be added illustrations of the many instances in which Mr. Hope-Scott’s legal knowledge and experience were applied to the business affairs of priests on the missions, or of convents, if such cases were not, from their own nature, uninteresting except to those immediately concerned, and implying also the same confidence that belongs to other privileged communications. The words of a valuable letter, from which I have more than once quoted, are here in point: [Footnote: Lady Georgiana Fullerton to Lady H. K.] ‘What I always admired in him was his patient charity–not so much the alms he gave, considerable as they were, but the manner in which, busy as he was, and often exhausted by his professional labours, he gave time and attention to all sorts of cases of distress and perplexity, or of importance to religion. “Consult Mr. Hope,” was the advice given to numberless persons who had no claim whatever upon him but that of needing what no one else could so well give. One of the titles of our Blessed Lady, “Auxilium Christianorum,” might in one sense have been applied to him.’ Under this head of charity may well be included his undertaking, at the cost of time so precious to himself, the guardianships of bereaved families, of which a list has been given in a former chapter (p. 130).

2. Of Mr. Hope-Scott’s pecuniary charities in England (in the Catholic part of his life) I am not able to give a special account; but I may mention one characteristic trait, that he felt it his duty to do more for Westminster than other places, because it was there that he earned his money; following the excellent principle of helping, in the first instance, the locality in which Almighty God has placed one. Accordingly, at Westminster he gave ground for Catholic _Poor Schools_, with property endowment of 50_l_. per annum; and gave great assistance to the _Filles de Marie_, a community of religious ladies so employed in the Horseferry Road, in the same district.

A large proportion of his private benefactions seem to have been of a description especially in keeping with his tender and thoughtful mind, such as giving a mother the means of going to visit a daughter whom she had reluctantly allowed to enter a convent; enabling sick priests to go abroad for their health; setting up a poor schoolmistress with the means of purchasing a school; paying the expenses of a funeral; and so on.

Like all men either wealthy or reputed to be so, he was continually importuned with petitions for pecuniary aid, sometimes asked for by way of gift, sometimes as loans. To particularise such in any recognisable manner would of course be impossible, for fear of wounding the feelings of persons who were the objects of his kindness; but, avoiding this as well as I can, I may say that there were instances in which Mr. Hope-Scott cleared people out of overwhelming difficulties by gifts of lavish generosity–hundreds of pounds, and in some cases as much as 1,000_l_. I could produce an example of the former in which the prompt liberality shown was only equalled by the delicacy and forbearance; for it may easily be supposed that the difficulties thus relieved were not always free from blame on the part of those involved in them. Seldom, perhaps, can it be otherwise; but what would happen if all charity were measured by the deserts of the recipient?

What may have been the actual amount of Mr. Hope-Scott’s charities during his life it would be very hard to conjecture; but this much I can state, on the testimony of one who knew the fact from his own personal knowledge, that in twelve or thirteen years (from 1859 or thereabouts) he gave away, in charity of some form or other, not less than 40,000_l_. It is right to observe that, quite towards the close, as he was retiring from his profession, there was a great diminution in his charitable expenditure; for, instead of the ample, though merely professional, income he had enjoyed for a great part of his life, he had become, relatively speaking, a person with very limited means. Believing it still to be his duty to provide for his ‘son and heir,’ and for his other children, of course he had no longer the power of doing all that he had done under circumstances altogether different.

Missions on the Border; Galashiels, Kelso, &c.

Mr. Hope-Scott’s zeal for the support of Catholicity was naturally felt most by places near him in the Highlands or on the Border, where he built churches and schools, and aided struggling missions. Of those on the Border, the most important was the Church of Our Lady and St. Andrew at _Galashiels_, which, as a manufacturing town, has a large Catholic population. True to his organising genius, he intended it should be a centre for smaller out-missions around it, as _Selkirk, Jedburgh, Kelso, &c._ It was completed gradually, and the following extract from a letter of his to Father Newman (dated Abbotsford, December 30, 1857) shows, in a pleasing and simple manner, the heart which Mr. Hope-Scott threw into the work he was offering to Almighty God:–

I hope that ten days or so will render [the church] fit for use in a rough way; and I hope it will be so used, and that I shall not be hurried in the decorative part, which I cannot afford to do handsomely at present, and which I think will be done better when we have become used to the interior, and have observed what is to be brought out and what concealed. The shell I am well pleased with. It is massive and lofty, no side aisles, but chapels between buttresses–and no altar-screen–more like a good college chapel than a parish church. The whole plan, however, has not been carried out, so the proportions cannot be fairly judged of. Some day perhaps I may finish it, or some one else instead; and to keep us in mind that more is to do, we have a rough temporary work at the west end (not really west), with square sash windows of a repulsive aspect.[Footnote: There are readers who will be glad of the preservation of the following dates connected with Galashiels Church. The plans were completed July 1, 1856; first payment, November 1856; last account rendered, February 1858; the church was opened on Candlemas Day, February 2, 1858, by Bishop Gillis; finished finally in 1872, and opened in August 1873.]

Mr. Hope-Scott lived to finish it, and the work, I have heard, can hardly have cost him less than 10,000_l_. He also gave to the Jesuit Fathers at Galashiels a library of books, chiefly on civil and canon law, in value about 500_l_. The last cheque he signed with his failing hand was one for 900_l_. in discharge of the last debt on Galashiels Church. The mission at Galashiels was held at first by the Oblate Fathers, but from the end of July 1863 by the Jesuits.[Footnote: There is a letter of Father Jos. Johnson, Provincial S. J., to Mr, Hope-Scott, dated February 24, 1859, from which it appears that the Society, in consequence of the many demands upon them, were unable to accept the mission of Galashiels at that time.] The following letter (worthy of preservation also because of the writer) will show that Mr. Hope-Scott had wished, almost immediately on finding himself a Catholic, to have a Jesuit Father at _Abbotsford_:–_The Pere de Ravignan, S.J. to J. R. Hope, Esq., Q.G._

Voici, Monsieur, ce que le T. R. P. General, m’ecrit de sa maison de Rome le 10 Juin:

‘Je desire bien que M. Hope sache combien j’ai ete console a la bonne nouvelle.–Jamais je ne l’avois oublie–il m’avoit inspire tant d’interet!’

Pour ne point oublier non plus, je vous demande la permission de vous dire ici que le R. P. Provincial d’Angleterre a accueilli, avec le plus grand desir de vous satisfaire, la priere que vous avez bien voulu me communiquer, d’etablir un de nos Peres chez vous en Ecosse. Le P. Etheridge, provincial actuel, doit arriver demain a Londres.

Ce matin nous etions tous heureux pres de cet autel. Benissons le Seigneur de tant de graces.

Veuillez agreer toutes mes tendres et profondes sympathies in Xto Jesu.


Londres: 16 Juin 1851.

The chapel at _Selkirk_, dedicated to Our Lady and St. Joseph, was a purchase of Mr. Hope-Scott’s.

The mission of _Kelso_, where he built the Church of the Immaculate Conception, would furnish many instructive pages for a history of the re- settlement of the Catholic Church in those very desolate regions. A letter of the Rev. Patrick Taggart,[Footnote: Compare page 193 of this volume.] to Mr. Hope-Scott, dated Hawick, September 3, 1853, contains some details which, in connection with later events at Kelso, are full of interest. They show how deeply felt is the spiritual isolation of such localities, and how unexpectedly great is the number of Catholics often to be found in them, left to themselves. Father Taggart first speaks of the great kindness which he had received from Sir George and Lady Douglas, of Springwood Park, near Kelso, and then goes on to say:–

Lady Douglas is a genuine Catholic, just as a daughter of old Catholic Spain should be. Her sister is staying with her just now…. I think they do not like the idea of attending Divine service in a public hall. I told them that Father Cooke would be delighted to afford them any assistance in his power under present circumstances. I also told them that I thought that, if possible, a small church would be built at Kelso in the meantime; and that the time was not far distant when perhaps the Bishop would be able to give to Kelso a resident priest. This news so delighted them that they could not find words to express their joy…. I do not know of any part of this district that is at present more destitute of the ministrations of a priest than Kelso and its environs. The mission extends twenty miles north- east of Kelso–that is, forty miles from Galashiels and from Hawick; and there is not a village in that, I might almost say, immense tract of country that does not contain its ten and twenty poor Irish Catholics. I attended Kelso, once in the month, for nearly five years, and I am the first priest who offered up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Kelso since the days of the so-called Reformation. I therefore know its geography and its wants….


Accordingly, a church was built for Kelso at the expense of Mr. Hope-Scott. It could hardly have been finished more than a year or two, when, on the night of August 6-7, 1856, it was attacked by a Protestant mob, set fire to, and burned to the ground, with the schoolhouse and dwelling-house adjoining, including books, vestments, and furniture, the property of Mr. Hope-Scott. Four of the ringleaders were put on their trial on November 10. In charging the jury, otherwise fairly enough, ‘the Lord Justice-Clerk remarked that, as to whether it were necessary that Mr. Hope-Scott should build the Roman Catholic chapel at Kelso or not, the jury might have very considerable doubts, as it appeared that the priest did not live there, but some miles distant at Jedburgh; but that was a matter which the prisoners had nothing to do with, as every one was at liberty to build such a place of worship if he chose; neither did it matter whether the attack upon the chapel was made in consequence of any attempts to proselytise Protestants to the Catholic faith. In going over the evidence, his lordship said he could have wished that Mrs. Byrne, the schoolmistress, had given timely notice to the police of what she had heard as to the resolution to fire the chapel, as that would have been a better course than quitting the chapel. However, they could not blame the poor woman; and _perhaps, being a Catholic, she might not like to make an appeal to the police_.’ (Quoted from the report in the ‘Scottish Press,’ November 11, 1856. [Footnote: I italicise the last sentence, which at first sight gives a curious idea of the practical equality of legal protection existing for Catholics at the time; though probably all that was intended to be conveyed is the strange impression that Catholics might entertain a scruple about appealing to the police.–R. O.])

The jury’s verdict would surprise any unprejudiced reader who studies the evidence. They found the charge of wilful fire-raising not proven against the prisoners, but found three of them guilty of mobbing and rioting, but, in respect of their previous good conduct, recommended them to mercy. The three got off with eighteen months’ imprisonment and hard labour. I quote the following remarks on the affair generally, and on the Lord Justice- Clerk’s charge, from an article in the ‘Scotsman,’ republished by the ‘Northern Times’ of November 15, 1856: [Footnote: I have not met with any _letter_ of Mr. Hope-Scott’s to the _Scotsman_, but this article is probably from his pen.–R. O.]–

In the town of Kelso there is, it seems, a more or less considerable colony of Irish; and it needs scarcely be said that the mixture of that element with the border material does not work together for the promotion of harmony and good order. At St. James’s Fair, held at Kelso on 5th August last, a Scotch butcher-boy quarrelled and fought with an Irish mugger. Scotch and Irish rallied round these champions of the two countries, and in the melee which ensued, a young Scotchman was unhappily and barbarously killed. The Kelso crowd, in very natural rage, burned the muggers’ camp, threw their carts into the Tweed, and drove them from the neighbourhood of the town. But there remained the resident Irish of the town, and it seems to have been deemed fitting to hold them guilty as art and part. It is not clear that any of them were in the fight–at least, no person among them was charged with the murder; but there is a short cut through all these difficulties. Most Irishmen are Roman Catholics–Kelso has a Roman Catholic chapel–let it be burned. Accordingly, after considerable talk and preparation (which seems to have included getting drunk), a mob assembled the next evening, and did burn the chapel with perfect ease and effect….

Some mystery may dwell in readers’ minds as to how such an affair could be arranged and completed without any one but the rioters themselves having any voice thereanent. And the mystery is not quite cleared away by the evidence. The woman that lived under the chapel heard, on the day of the fair and the fight (i.e. the day before the incendiarism), that the chapel was to be burned, and slept out of her house, so as not to be in the way; coming back the next day she heard the same rumour, and left again at night–when it happened as she had been foretold. But though other witnesses, some of whom had witnessed the burning, testified that the design had been talked about all day, the chief magistrate mentions in his evidence that he ‘had not had the slightest expectation of a disturbance;’ the superintendent of police was in the same state of information, and the police constable ‘had not taken any alarm.’ All this, however, is of little consequence, seeing that when the alarm was taken, there was no result but that of disturbing two or three people who might as well have gone to bed. The guardianship of the town is confided to one county policeman, who must be a tumultuous sort of person himself, since he seems to require a ‘superintendent’ to keep him in order. The said superintendent, when he did know what was going on, first tried a little moral suasion, with the result usual in such cases: ‘I cautioned them against proceedings of that kind, and advised them to go to their homes–they disregarded me.’ His disposable force, condensed in the person of the ‘police constable,’ took the same course. ‘_We_ warned them’–the answer was a volley of stones. ‘We retired, and went to all the magistrates.’ ‘By the time we got back the chapel was completely destroyed.’ It would be unreasonable to blame the superintendent and his ‘force’ for not successfully fighting several hundred men, although we do think they might have done more as to identifying the ringleaders: the real blame lies with the authorities, who appear to have failed to provide decently adequate means for preserving the public peace. The use of a local police force must be measured, not by what it detects and punishes, but by what it prevents, or may reasonably be supposed to prevent….

So wide-spread is [the feeling that Roman Catholic chapels are somehow an intrusion and an offence] that it would almost appear as if the very bench were not placed above its influence. The Lord Justice-Clerk made some very sound and strong remarks on the nature of the outrage; but he added: ‘Whether it was necessary on the part of Mr. Hope-Scott to build this chapel–which it scarcely seemed to be, seeing the priest did not live there, but at Jedburgh–or whether it was a prudent proceeding to attempt, by the erection of this chapel, to win converts to the Roman Catholic faith–was of no importance here.’ Since it was of no importance, the expressed doubt and the implied censure had, we very humbly think, have been better avoided…. Though there had not been a single Roman Catholic in or near Jedburgh, Mr. Hope-Scott had a perfect moral as well as legal right to spend his money in building a chapel, without either having it burned down by a mob, or himself pointed at from the bench. As a matter of fact, however, there does appear to have been a congregation as well as a chapel. The Lord Justice-Clerk was pleased to add that the Roman Catholic school attached to the chapel ‘could not but have been of the utmost use;’ and we could thence infer that, Roman Catholic children having parents, there must have been use also for the chapel. The fact relied on, of the priest ‘living at Jedburgh,’ is evidence, we should think, not of a want of hearers, but of a want of funds to pay two priests. But look where we should be landed, on this hand or on that, if others than those that choose to provide the money are to decide where church-building is ‘necessary’ or is ‘prudent.’ The extreme chapel-attendance of Episcopalians in the county of Roxburgh was shown by the census to be 454; and for the accommodation of that number the county contains five chapels. Four of them might be pronounced not ‘necessary,’ and all of them not ‘prudent.’ Or, to go from the country of the rioters to that of the rioted upon. In our humble opinion, seven-eighths of the churches belonging to the Establishment in Ireland are utterly unnecessary, and every one of them very imprudent. Such, too, is notoriously the opinion of all but a fraction of the population among whom, and out of whose funds, these churches are built and maintained. The late lamented Roman Catholic chapel at Kelso was immeasurably less unnecessary and offensive than these; for not only had it a congregation, but was paid for only by those that used it or approved of it. Of course, the Lord Justice-Clerk did not mean that his opinion or that of any other man as to the chapel being unnecessary was any justification of the outrage–his lordship said the contrary very impressively; but his remark, though not what is called a fortunate one, is useful as indicating, in however faint and refined shape and degree, the feeling which on such topics is apt to lead us all more or less astray.


The purchase by Mr. Hope-Scott of the estate at Lochshiel, in the wilds of Moidart, his ‘Highland Paraguay,’ as Cardinal Manning calls it, in an old letter to him (January 28, 1856), was attended, as I have already hinted (p. 150), by some noteworthy circumstances. In the first place, the condition of the Catholic remnant in the Highlands is, perhaps, little known even to Catholic readers. An interesting letter to Mr. Hope-Scott, dated October 12, 1854, from the Rev. D. Macdonald, in charge of the mission of Fortwilliam, furnishes a statistical table, from which it appears that in 1851, in the Highlands and insular districts within the range of his knowledge, there was but one single school, where, to do justice, considering the scattered population, there ought to have been twenty-six. The people were so miserably poor, that out of thirteen missions, only one could afford their priest 50_l_. per annum; one, 35_l_.; three, 30_l_.; and the rest, ranging from 25_l_. down to as low as 12_l_. per annum. Of course the priests could not subsist on these incomes without some other aid, and this was obtained by taking small farms, from which they endeavoured to eke out a living.

‘In Moidart’ (I here copy from another well-informed correspondent) ‘a severe crisis had just passed over the people. The cruel treatment which has depopulated the greater portion of the Highlands, and converted large tracts of country into sheep-farms and deer-forests, had overtaken them. Dozens of unfortunate families occupying the more fertile portions of the estate were ruthlessly torn from their homes, and shipped away to Australia and America. Their good old priest, the Rev. Ranald Rankin, broken-hearted at the desolation which had come over his flock, accompanied the larger portion of these wanderers to the shores of Australia. His impression at the time was, that the whole of the country, sooner or later, would share the same unhappy fate; for in bidding farewell to his Bishop, the late Dr. Murdoch, Vicar-Apostolic of the Western District, he assured his lordship, who felt at a loss how to supply his place, that it was a matter of little or no consequence, as the mission was practically ruined already. The Bishop’s reply was characteristic: “Moidart has always been a Catholic district; and so long as there remains one Catholic family in it, for the sake of its old steadfastness, I shall not leave it unprovided.”‘

In the meantime, Mr. Hope-Scott, having already become a landed proprietor in Ireland, in the county Mayo, much wished to possess also a Highland property. Lochshiel was offered to him; but, after consideration, he decided against taking it. In 1855 the estate was again in the market, but Mr. Hope-Scott had not heard of it. The owner, Macdonald of Lochshiel, was a Catholic, and, it may be presumed, a devout one, since he had the Blessed Sacrament and a priest in his house. He had been obliged to sell, and the property had been bought by a brother-in-law of his, named Macdonell, who added to the house. He, too, found himself obliged to sell, and this time the estate was on the point of passing into the hands of people from London who would have rooted out the Catholic population from the land. Hearing that it had been actually sold to Protestants, two old ladies of the same family, living at Portobello, went to the lawyer, and asked him, if possible, to postpone the signature of the deeds for nine or ten days, to give another purchaser a chance. He agreed to do so. They then commenced a novena that a Catholic might buy it. (I ought perhaps to explain, for the benefit of some of my readers, that Catholics have great faith in the efficacy of prayer persevered in for nine days when there is some important object to be gained.) The ninth day came, and Mr. Hope-Scott purchased the property, for the sum of 24,000_l_., without even having seen it. His attention had been drawn to it by the late Mrs. Colonel Hutchison, of Edinburgh, a lady well known among Scotch Catholics for her shrewd good sense and innumerable good works. He certainly was induced to purchase by the fact that Lochshiel had never been out of Catholic hands, and that all the population were Catholic, with the personal motive, however, of providing his wife with a quiet and pleasant change of residence.

‘On his arrival, the character of the people, and the wild and glorious scenery of the place, made a favourable and lasting impression on his mind; [Footnote: How deeply the Highland scenery impressed his imagination may be seen from the beautiful verses, ‘Low Tide at Sunset on the Highland Coast, which will be found in Appendix IV.] but the state of the country might have appeared to him as little more advanced than under the earlier Clanranald chiefs three or four centuries ago. The peasants generally were in a state of great poverty. Their cottages were miserable turf cabins, black and smoky; agriculture was imperfectly understood among them, and the small patches of moorland upon which they tried to raise crops of oats and potatoes were inadequate to the maintenance of themselves and their families. There was no demand or employment of labour. There was no school upon the estate. The principal building assigned to religious worship, and which served as the central chapel for Moidart, was a miserable thatched edifice, destitute of everything befitting the service of religion. The want of good roads was severely felt. It was difficult to get into “the _Rough Bounds_” as this part of the Highlands was aptly styled by the more favoured districts, and, once in, it was more difficult still to get out.

‘Mr. Hope-Scott lost no time in trying to improve matters. It was a fundamental maxim with him that, in a neglected estate like this, no improvement was more sensible, or paid better, than the construction of good roads. These occupied his attention for several years, and gave most beneficial employment to the tenants. The cost in some instances was very great; for, in constructing the present beautiful carriage drive from Sheil Brude to Dorlin House, hundreds of yards of solid rock had to be blasted; part of the river Sheil had to be embanked; huge boulders between the cliffs and the sea-shore had to be cleared away, while a considerable line of breastwork had to be erected as a protection against the waves of the Atlantic, which, in a southwest gale, beat with great fury against the coast. The other roads were carried to those parts of the estate where the tenants were principally clustered, and were a great boon.

[These road-making operations in the Highlands were evidently in Mr. Hope- Scott’s mind in one of his last letters to his dear friend Dr. Newman. The great Oratorian, then busy with the ‘Grammar of Assent,’ writes to him on January 2, 1870: ‘My dear Hope-Scott,–A happy new year to you and all yours–and to Bellasis and all his…. I am engaged, as Bellasis knows, in cutting across the Isthmus of Suez; and though I have got so far as to let the water into the canal, there is an awkward rock in mid-channel near the mouth which takes a great deal of picking and blasting, and no man-of-war will be able to pass through till I get rid of it. Thus I can’t name a day for the opening. Ever yours affectionately,–JOHN H. NEWMAN.’

Mr. Hope-Scott’s reply is–‘Hotel d’Orient, Hyeres (Var), France, January 12, 1870.–Dear F. Newman,–(After giving an account of Serjeant Bellasis’s health, then seriously ill, and anxiously asking for masses and prayers for him,) That rocky point in your enterprise is a nuisance–more especially as rocks lie in beds, and this may be but the “crop” of some large stratum. As a road-maker, I know what it is to have to come back upon my work, and to strike a new level to get rid of some seemingly small but hard obstacle…. Yours ever affectionately,–JAMES E. HOPE-SCOTT.’]

‘The improvement of the tenants’ own condition was a subject of anxious consideration. It was impossible to build new houses for every one; but great facilities were offered by the proprietor to such as were willing to build for themselves. Wood and lime were placed at their disposal free of charge, and a sum of 10_l_. or 12_l_. was added to help in defraying the expenses of the mason-work. A few cottages of a superior kind were built at the entire expense of the proprietor; but the cost was out of all proportion with the rental of the estate, and this attempt had to be abandoned for a time. Mr. Hope-Scott’s kindness towards the smaller tenants was very marked. Besides helping them to better houses, he frequently assisted them with considerable sums of money towards increasing their stock of cattle, or towards repairing losses from accidents and disease. In some cases his generosity extended to the poorer tenants on neighbouring estates, when, for instance, they felt themselves at a loss for means to purchase a new boat or to provide themselves with fishing-nets. [Footnote: Mr. Hope-Scott had formed schemes for the employment of the people in working the salmon fisheries, and, when the salmon was out of season, the deep-sea fishing, and enabling them to dispose of their fish.] To encourage a spirit of independence among them, he used to grant sums of money on _loan_; but when, at the end of a successful season, the borrowers came back with the money, he invariably refused to accept it, or he would give instructions to have it passed to some other poor person in difficulties.’ His efforts to induce them to extend cultivation have been elsewhere noticed. ‘He never left the country towards the end of autumn without leaving a few pounds for distribution among the poorer classes. The clergyman of the district had always strict injunctions to report any case of hardship, or illness, or distress, and to draw upon his purse for what was required. The habits of the people soon showed signs of real improvement. A more orderly or respectable class of tenants are not to be found in any other part of the Highlands. From the day of his coming among them until now the rents have remained the same, greatly to the prosperity of the tenants. With the rest of the proprietors residing in and near Moidart he was very popular. His relations with them were invariably pleasant and happy.

‘In 1859, Mr. Hope-Scott commenced the erection of a school at Mingarry, with ample accommodation for scholars and teacher. It was completed in 1860. This was an improvement very acceptable to the tenants. Hitherto the Catholic children had to cross over to a neighbouring estate, where the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge had established a school-house and teacher, or they had to frequent another school, often very irregularly, in Ardnamurchan. The secular teaching in both of these schools was excellent of its kind. But, although the most cordial relations have, for generations past, existed between the Catholics on the north and the Presbyterians on the south side of the river Sheil, it was always a subject of regret among the former that they had no means of educating their children nearer home, and under Catholic teachers. After the school was successfully opened, Mr. Hope-Scott supplied funds to defray the teacher’s salary.

‘In 1862, he erected, at a cost of about 2,600_l_., the present church and presbytery at Mingarry, within a few hundred yards of the school; but, to his grief, this was the least satisfactory of all his undertakings from one cause or another, neither church nor presbytery coming up to his expectations; and the former was for years a continual source of trouble and expenditure.’ He built also another, at Glenuig, mentioned already.

To complete the history of Dorlin, so far as it is connected with Mr. Hope- Scott: when, towards the close of his life, he had completely given up practice, he made up his mind to part with it, great as he acknowledged the wrench was–but to a Catholic purchaser–and sold it to Lord Howard of Glossop, the present proprietor, who worthily carries out the admirable example bequeathed him by his predecessor. [Footnote: Lord Howard of Glossop died as these sheets were passing through the press, December 1, 1883. R. I. P.]

The missions of _Oban_, and, on the other side of Scotland, _St. Andrews_, [Footnote: He had been otherwise interested in St. Andrews, during the years 1846-51, when associated with Sir John Gladstone (father of the Premier) in a scheme for developing that town as a bathing-place, building houses, &c. This, however, was a speculation on which it would he needless to enlarge, even if I had the details. In a letter to Miss Hope- Scott (May 25, 1867) he observes, ‘St. Andrews is the best sea quarter in Scotland, I believe (and you know I have property there, which proves it).’] must also be named as either created or largely assisted by Mr. Hope-Scott; and, among Scottish religious houses, lastly, but not least, St. Margaret’s convent at _Edinburgh_ (the Ursulines of Jesus), as a cherished object of his benefactions, and kind counsel and help.


Of Mr. Hope-Scott’s dealings, as a Catholic proprietor, with his Irish estates (co. Mayo), what has appeared in a former chapter gives a pleasing idea, quite borne out by other letters that have come before me. The Rev. James Browne, writing to him on June 12, 1856, to acknowledge a donation for the chapel and school of _Killavalla_, says of his tenantry there: ‘They all look upon it as a blessing from God that they have got a Catholic landlord, who has the same religious sympathies that they have themselves.’ Thirteen years later (May 9, 1869) the same priest writes: ‘I have been holding stations of confession among your people at Balliburke, Gortbane, and Killadier. I was glad to find them happy and contented, the houses neat, and the people most comfortable.’


At Hyeres I can say from my own knowledge that Mr. Hope-Scott’s support of a chaplain is to be numbered among his charitable and fruitful deeds. The arrangement was made with all his usual thoughtfulness; it enabled a most excellent priest, who was in a slow decline, but could still hear confessions and do much good, to spend a few winters in a warm climate. The Rev. Edward Dunne acted also as confessor to the little English colony at Hyeres, as well as to the family of Mr. Hope-Scott. It often happens that, in such a watering-place, strangers whose case is hopeless come for a last chance of life. Sometimes they are Catholics, or needing instruction, and willing to receive it; sometimes they are in distressed circumstances. Father Dunne’s great prudence and charity well fitted him for these ministrations, and he was equally beloved by Catholics and Protestants. The good which such a priest does is shared by the benefactor who places him in the position where he has the means of doing it. The following passage from a letter of Father Dunne’s to Mr. Hope-Scott (May 26, 1869), which must have been one of his last, will interest the reader as an example:–

You will be glad to know that my being at Hyeres was a great blessing to a poor young man who died there towards the end of April. He had been at sea, and was for years without receiving the sacraments. His poor mother, a very pious woman, was in the greatest anxiety about him. He could not speak French, and it would have been impossible for him to make his confession if I, or some other English-speaking priest, was not there. I mention this, as I know it will be a consolation to you to know that your charity and benevolence were, under God, the means of saving a poor soul, and will secure for you the prayers of a bereaved mother, and three holy nuns, aunts of the poor young man.



Mr. Hope-Scott’s Speech on Termination of Guardianship to the Duke of Norfolk–Failure in Mr. Hope-Scott’s Health–Exhaustion after a Day’s Pleading–His Neglect of Exercise–Death of Mr. Badeley–Letter of Dr. Newman–Last Correspondence of Mr. Hope and the Bishop of Salisbury (Hamilton)–Dr. Newman’s Friendship for Mr. Hope-Scott and Serjeant Bellasis–Mr. Hope-Scott proposes to retire–Birth of James Fitzalan Hope– Death of Lady Victoria Hope-Scott–Mr. Hope-Scott retires from his Profession–Edits Abridgment of Lockhart, which he dedicates to Mr. Gladstone–Dr. Newman on Sir Walter Scott–Visit of Dr. Newman to Abbotsford in 1872–Mr. Hope-Scott’s Last Illness–His Faith and Resignation–His Death–Benediction of the Holy Father–Requiem Mass for Mr. Hope-Scott at the Jesuit Church, Farm Street–Funeral Ceremonies at St. Margaret’s, Edinburgh–Cardinal Newman and Mr, Gladstone on Mr. Hope-Scott.

Mr. Hope-Scott’s duties as trustee and guardian of the Duke of Norfolk had lasted altogether eight years, when they terminated of course on the Duke’s attaining his majority, on December 27, 1868. The speech made by Mr. Hope- Scott, at the banquet given by the Duke in the Baron’s Hall at Arundel Castle, to the Mayor and Corporation of Arundel, on the following day, was a striking and beautiful one. I copy a few lines of it from the summary given in the ‘Tablet’ of January 16, 1869:–

Mr. Hope-Scott paid a well-merited tribute to the virtues of the Duchess when he said that if they observed in the Duke earnestness and yet gentleness, strict justice and yet most liberal and charitable feelings, neglect of himself and attention to the wants of all around him, let them remember that his mother brought him up. The guardianship being now over, the ward must go forward on the battle-field of life, depending not upon his rank or property, but upon his own prudence, his own courage, but above all, his fidelity to God. It was true that his path was strewn with the broken weapons and defaced armour of many who had gone forth amidst acclamations as loud and promises as bright, but the groundworks of hope in his case were the nobility of his father’s character, the prayers of his mother, the strong domestic affections which belong to pure and single- minded youths, great powers of observation, great vigour of will, and the daily and habitual influence under which he knew that he lived, of well- reasoned and well-regulated religion.

The celebrations at Arundel were, I believe, the last occasion, unconnected with his profession, at which Mr. Hope-Scott ever spoke in public. He had already, for some years, showed signs of failing health. It used to be supposed, as has been previously mentioned, from the facility of his manner in pleading, that he got through his work with little trouble. People little knew what commonly happened when he reached home, after the day’s pleading was over. Such was his state of lassitude, that he would drop, like a load, upon the first chair he found, and instantly fall into a profound sleep: sometimes he was half carried, thus unconscious, to bed, or sometimes placed at table, and made to swallow a little food. Even when the prostration was not so overpowering, the chances were that he would fall fast asleep, at dinner or at dessert, in the middle of a sentence. All this resembles very closely what Thiers related of himself to Mr. Senior. The French statesman, after a day of Parliamentary battle, had often to be carried to his bed by his servants, as motionless and helpless as a corpse. This strange torpor, after extreme intellectual exertion, seems to have been observed in Mr. Hope-Scott from a very early stage in his career, during the great railway excitement of 1845. It was probably connected with the shock given to his constitution, in his infancy, by the fever at Florence. There was always a kind of struggle going on in his system. Unfortunately, throughout his professional life he never took proper exercise. It was, however, in vain to advise him on this point. He said he could not _both_ work hard and take exercise also, or would playfully insist that he had sufficient exercise in pleading. ‘Why don’t you go out?’ asked a friend. ‘Don’t you think,’ replied Mr. Hope-Scott, ‘that the work in committee gives a man sufficient exercise? Cicero considered making a speech was exercise.’ This great mistake was the more to be wondered at in Mr. Hope-Scott, as he had had the advantage of an early initiation into field sports.

He never, indeed, seems to have liked riding. He used to say he had _once_ been out on a steeplechase at Arundel, and sometimes he went out shooting there, but these were exceptional occasions. His chief active amusements, gardening and architecture, were insufficient to compensate the depression caused by the tremendous strain of half the year at Westminster.

In the year 1856 he was exceedingly unwell, and the failure in his health became very appreciable, his physician telling him that he had ‘the heart of an overworked brain.’ Within two years after this, the violence of his grief at Mrs. Hope-Scott’s death further disordered him. He had an illness in 1865, and again a serious one in 1867, which, however, he got over, and went on as usual, but became more unwieldy, and suffered much from impeded circulation.

It happened also, soon after this, that the breaking up of some very dear associations, or sure signs of it, began to give warning that the end of all things was at hand. On March 29, 1868, rather suddenly, died Mr. Badeley, the most affectionate and faithful friend of so many years. On hearing of his illness Mr. Hope-Scott had hastened home from Hyeres to assist him, and was with him each day till the last. Dr. Newman wrote the following letter on this occasion:–

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

Rednall: March 31, 1868.

My dear Hope-Scott,–What a heavy, sudden, unexpected blow! I shall not see him now till I cross the stream which he has crossed. How dense is our ignorance of the future! a darkness which can be felt, and the keenest consequence and token of the Fall. Till we remind ourselves of what we are–in a state of punishment–such surprises make us impatient, and almost angry, alas!

But my blow is nothing to yours, though you had the great consolation of sitting by his side and being with him to the last. What a fulness of affection he poured out on you and yours! and how he must have rejoiced to have your faithful presence with him while he was going! This is your joy and your pain.

Now he has the recompense for that steady, well-ordered, perpetual course of devotion and obedience which I ever admired in him, and felt to be so much above anything that I could reach. All or most of us have said mass for him, I am sure, this morning; certainly we two have who are here.

I did not write to you during the past fortnight, thinking it would only bother you, and knowing I should hear if there was anything to tell. But you have been as much surprised as any one at his sudden summons. I knew it was the beginning of the end, but thought it was only the beginning. How was it his medical men did not know better?

I suppose the funeral is on Saturday. God bless and keep and sustain you.

Ever yours most affectionately,


The year had not yet come round when the last correspondence passed between Mr. Hope-Scott and another dear friend, Dr. Hamilton, Bishop of Salisbury, his brother-Fellow at Merton so many years before.

_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C. to the Eight Rev. Dr. Hamilton (Bishop of Salisbury)_.

Hyeres: March 10, 1869.

My dear Friend,–I have watched the papers with anxiety, and learnt all I could from home about your health, but have been unwilling to trouble you with a letter. However, Manning has just been here, and we naturally spoke with our old affection of you, and joined in hopes for your welfare; and I thought you might like to know that two of your oldest friends have been so engaged. Hence these few lines. May GOD keep you!

Yours ever affectionately,


_The Right Rev. Dr. Hamilton (Bishop of Salisbury) to J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C._

33 Grosvenor Street: March 13, 1869.

My dearly loved Friend,–I have received your note, _non sine multis lachrymis_, and though I am too weak to write or answer myself, I must dictate a few words of thankfulness to it. Few trials of my life I have felt with such keenness as my separation from two such friends, from whom I have learnt so much, and whom I have loved and love so dearly as Manning and yourself. Perhaps this feeling for you both has helped to prevent my doing that which it has been my daily aim not to do, namely, to hinder either by word or deed that object which I venture to say is as dear to me as to you–the reunion of Christendom. May GOD forgive me anything which has led me to lose sight of this in all my ministrations! Nothing, however, would tend more to forward this than a just and charitable estimate of the claims of the Church of England on the part of the authorities of your communion. I have dictated these few words, and my chaplain, Liddon, has written them exactly as I have dictated them, and I beg you to receive them as a legacy of affection and deep respect from your old brother-Fellow.


_J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q. C. to the Rev. Canon Liddon_.

Villa Favart, Hyeres: March 17, 1869.

My dear Sir,–Accept my grateful thanks for the letter which you added to that of my very dear friend the Bishop. To him I do not write, for it is plain that he should make no exertion that can be avoided; but I trust to your kindness to assure him that I was indeed deeply moved–more than I can well say–both by his love for me and by his sufferings, and that my prayers, and those of others far more worthy than myself, are offered to GOD for him.

Yours very truly,


And another twelvemonth had not been completed before Mr. Hope-Scott’s attached friend and familiar neighbour of many years (both in London and at Hyeres), Serjeant Bellasis, was visibly nearing his departure. [Footnote: He lingered till January 24, 1873.] The following letters witness, in a most touching manner, to their mutual affection, and to that of Dr. Newman for them both:–

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

The Oratory: March 3, ’70.

My dear Hope-Scott,–After writing a conversational letter to Bellasis yesterday, I heard at night so sad an account, which I had not anticipated, of his pain and his weakness and want of sleep, that I not only was distressed that it had gone, and felt that it would harass him to receive a second letter so soon, and, as he would anticipate, as unseasonable as the former. Therefore I enclose with this a few lines to him, which you can let him have when you think right.

I do not undervalue the seriousness of your first letter about him, and have had him constantly in my mind; but I did not contemplate his pain, or his sudden decline. I thought it would be a long business, but now I find that the complaint is making its way.

What a severe blow it must be to you! but to me, in my own way, it is very great too, though in a different way; for, though I am not in his constant society as you are, he has long been _pars magna_ of this place, and he has, by his various acts of friendship through a succession of years, created for himself a presence in my thoughts, so that the thought of being without him carries with it the sense of a void, to which it is difficult to assign a limit. Three aequales I shall have lost–Badeley, H. Bowden, and Bellasis; and such losses seem to say that I have no business here myself. It is the penalty of living to lose the great props of life. What a melancholy prospect for his poor boys! When you have an opportunity, say everything kind from me to Mrs. Bellasis. I shall, I trust, say two masses a week for him. He is on our prayer lists. What a vanity is life! how it crumbles under one’s touch!

I hope you are getting strong, and that this does not weigh too heavily on you….

Ever yours affectionately,


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

Hotel d’Orient, Hyeres, Var, France:

March 6, ’70.

Dear F. Newman,–I received yours yesterday evening, but withhold the enclosure for Bellasis, as I think it might do him harm. [After giving a somewhat better account of his friend’s health:]

Masses and prayers I am sure he has many, and I know how grateful he is for your deep interest in him…. Should he be able to get out, I hope for more progress: but, with slight exceptions, he has now been confined to the house for weeks. However, his patience helps his greatly, and when, as lately he has often been, free from pain, his cheerfulness revives, and with it his interest in the works he has undertaken, and the subjects which have long interested him.

I am sure that the dedication of your new work [the ‘Grammar of Assent’] to him affects him, as that of your poems did Badeley, in a very soothing way. Few have such extensive means of testifying to their friendships as you have.

Yours affectionately,


Repeated griefs of this kind would not be without their effect on Mr. Hope- Scott’s own already failing health. By 1870 the physicians pronounced that there was functional, though not organic, disease of the heart, the valve losing its power to close. He spoke of this himself to a near relative at the time, adding that he had immediately asked whether he might expect the end to come suddenly; but had been told that in all probability it would not, and that he would have warning of its approach. He now began to talk of retiring, and did take the first step, by giving up a certain number of causes. But he said to a professional friend: ‘I own I dread giving up; it is almost like the excitement of racing, and the reaction would be so strong, life so flat, when such an interest is lost, and the stimulus over.’ Before this happened, meeting another friend in the street, who had wisely retreated in time, Mr. Hope-Scott asked him how he got on? ‘Oh, very well; I fall back on my old classics–don’t you do the same?’ ‘Oh no,’ replied Mr. Hope-Scott; ‘when I go to the country, I find it indispensable to allow my mind to lie entirely fallow. I live in the open air, go on planting, and do no mental work whatever.’

This was the state of things when he had suddenly to meet a new sorrow, and the last. A son, indeed (James Fitzalan), was born to him on December 18, 1870, thus replacing the long wished-for blessing which had been given and withdrawn; but Lady Victoria’s health had for years been enfeebled, a fever came on, and, after lingering for a time between life and death, she expired at Norfolk House on December 20, aged only thirty, leaving three little girls, besides the newly born babe. It happened on this occasion, as so often in Mr. Hope-Scott’s life, that he had persuaded himself that things would be as he wished they should. He never believed that Lady Victoria was dying, though she was in her agony, and had been senseless for ten days; nay, he could hardly be made to think it, even at the last moment; and this time he never recovered the shock. The morning after the funeral [Footnote: Lady Victoria Hope-Scott was laid beside her father and her two infant children in the vault at Arundel Castle.] he said that he considered he had had a warning that night–the disease had made a stride. He had never contemplated surviving his wife, and had made all arrangements on the supposition that he was to die before her. On the very night that followed he altered his will. He sent for his confidential clerk, destroyed quantities of papers, and, in short, evidently considered himself a dying man. He now definitively retired from his profession, and, though he survived for more than two years, what remains to be told is little more than the story of a last illness.

The years 1871 and 1872, indeed, passed tranquilly enough, as if there was a lull and a silence after the storm. Mr. Hope-Scott resided chiefly at Abbotsford, and devoted part of his leisure in the first year to preparing an edition (the Centenary) of the Abridgment of Lockhart’s ‘Life of Scott.’ [Footnote: _The Life of Sir Walter Scott, Earl., abridged from the larger work_, by J. C. Lockhart, with a Prefatory Letter by James R. Hope- Scott, Esq., Q.C. Edinburgh: Adam & Charles Black, 1871.] He also thought that it was time for the larger ‘Life’ to be revised, and the extracts from letters to be compared with the originals, &c., and actually began the task after the republication of the Abridgment, but, I believe, very soon gave it up. He dedicated the Abridgment to Mr. Gladstone, whose letter in reply to his proposal to do so is subjoined:–

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

11 Carlton House Terrace, S.W.

March 25, ’71.

My dear Hope-Scott,–…I learn with pleasure that you now find yourself able to make the effort necessary for applying yourself to what I trust you will find a healthful and genial employment.

You offer me a double temptation, to which I yield with but too much readiness. I am glad of anything which associates my name with yours; and I feel it a great honour to be marked out in the public view by your selection of me as a loyal admirer of Scott, towards whom, both as writer and as man, I cannot help entertaining feelings, perhaps (though this is saying much) even bordering upon excess.

Honesty binds me to wish you would do better for your purpose, but if you do not think any other plan desirable, I accept your proposal with thanks. Believe me

Affectionately yours,


J. R. Hope-Scott, Esq., Q.C.

From the letter of dedication, which I should have been glad, if space had permitted, to give as a whole, I subjoin the opening and closing paragraphs, with notices (inclusive of some critical remarks) of the deeply interesting pages which intervene:–

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

Arundel Castle: April 10, 1871.

My dear Gladstone,–Although our friendship has endured for many years, and has survived great changes, it is not on account of my affection for you that I have desired to connect these pages with your name. It is because from you, more than from any one else who is now alive, I have received assurances of that strong and deep admiration of Walter Scott, both as an author and as a man, which I have long felt myself, and which I heartily agree with you in wishing to extend and perpetuate. On my part, such a desire might on other grounds be natural; on yours it can only spring from the conviction, which I know you to entertain, that both the writings and the personal history of that extraordinary man, while affording entertainment of the purest kind, and supplying stores of information which can nowhere else be so pleasantly acquired, have in them a great deal which no student of human nature ought to neglect, and much also which those who engage in the struggle of life with high purposes–men who are prepared to work earnestly and endure nobly–cannot pass without loss.

[After quoting passages from Mr. Gladstone’s letters to himself, showing the hold which Walter Scott had over his friend’s mind, Mr. Hope-Scott states his reasons for abandoning his original idea of having a new Life written, and for preferring to publish an Abridgment of it, and the Abridgment by Lockhart himself:–]

A work of art in writing is subject to the same rules as one in painting or in architecture. Those who seek to represent it in a reduced form must, above all things, study its proportions, and make their reduction equal over all its parts. But, in the case of written compositions, there are no mechanical appliances as there are in painting and architecture, for varying the scale; and there is, moreover, a greater difficulty in catching the leading principle of the design, and thus establishing the starting- point for the process which is to follow. Hence, an abridgment by the author himself must necessarily be the best–indeed, the only true abridgment of what he has intended in his larger work; and I deem it very fortunate that Cadell’s influence overcame Lockhart’s repugnance to the task….

There is [however] an abiding reason why Scott’s personal history should not be too freely generalised, and an abstract notion be substituted for the real man…. In Scott, if in any man, what was remarkable was the sustained and continuous power of his character. It is to be traced in the smallest things as well as in the greatest; in his daily habits as much as in his public actions; in his fancies and follies as well as in his best and wisest doings. Everywhere we find the same power of imagination, and the same energy of will; and, though it has been said that no man is a hero to his _valet-de-chambre_, I am satisfied that Scott’s most familiar attendants never doubted his greatness, or looked upon him with less respect than those who judged him as he stood forth amidst the homage of the world. In dealing with such a character, it is hardly necessary to say that the omission of details becomes, after a certain point, a serious injury to the truth of the whole portrait; and if any man should object that this volume is not short enough, I should be tempted to answer, that if he reads by foot-rule, he had better not think of studying, in any shape, the life of Walter Scott.

[In what follows, Mr. Hope-Scott speaks of ‘the depth and tenderness of feeling which Lockhart, in daily life, so often hid under an almost fierce reserve,’ and regards it as matter of thankfulness that he was spared the suffering he would have felt in the death of his only daughter, ‘whose singular likeness to her mother must have continually recalled to him both the features and the character of her of whom he wrote’ those touching words in the original Life which Mr. Hope-Scott quotes, with evident application to his own bereavement, to which he makes a short and sad reference. He concludes:–]

And now, my dear Gladstone, _vive valeque_. You have already earned a noble place in the history of your country, and though there is one great subject on which we differ, I am able heartily to desire that your future career may be as distinguished as your past. But since it is only too certain that the highest honours of statesmanship can neither be won nor held without exertions which are full of danger to those who make them, I will add the further wish, that you may long retain, as safeguards to your health, your happiness, and your usefulness, that fresh and versatile spirit, and that strong sense of the true and beautiful, which have caused you to be addressed on this occasion by Your affectionate friend,


The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Dr. Newman’s letter, on receiving from Mr. Hope-Scott a copy of the Abridgment, is full of interest:–

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

The Oratory: May 14, 1871.

My dear Hope-Scott,–Thank you for your book. In one sense I deserve it; I have ever had such a devotion, I may call it, to Walter Scott. As a boy, in the early summer mornings I read ‘Waverley’ and ‘Guy Mannering’ in bed, when they first came out, before it was time to get up; and long before that, I think, when I was eight years old, I listened eagerly to the ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel,’ which my mother and aunt were reading aloud. When he was dying I was continually thinking of him, with Keble’s words–‘If ever floating from faint earthly lyre,’ &c. (Sixth after Trin.). [Footnote: Compare a letter of Dr. Newman’s to J. R. Hope in 1852. See _ante_, p. 143.]

It has been a trouble to me that his works seemed to be so forgotten now. Our boys know very little about them. I think F. Ambrose had to give a prize for getting up ‘Kenilworth.’ Your letter to Gladstone sadly confirms it. I wonder whether there will ever be a crisis and correction of the evil? It arises from the facilities of publication. Every season bears its own crop of books, and every fresh season ousts the foregoing. Books are all annuals; and, to revive Scott, you must annihilate the existing generation of writers, which is legion. If it so fares with Scott, still more does it so fare with Johnson, Addison, Pope, and Shakespeare. Perhaps the competitive examinations may come to the aid. You should get Gladstone to bring about a list of classics, and force them upon candidates. I do not see any other way of mending matters. I wish I heard a better account of you.

Ever yours affectionately,


During all this time Mr. Hope-Scott’s health continued steadily to fail; yet he suffered rather from malaise than from any acute symptoms. Now and then there were gleams in which he seemed better for a space, but they were but as the flickerings of the flame in the socket. In March 1872 Bournemouth was tried. In the summer of that year he was in Scotland, and in July had the great happiness of receiving a visit of about a fortnight from Dr. Newman at Abbotsford, which revived the memories of twenty years– for so long was the interval since his former visit. This, I suppose, was the last occasion of Mr. Hope-Scott’s entertaining guests. He was able to move about quietly; old times were gently talked over, and there was nothing to show that the great separation was very imminent. It was even possible, the doctors had told him when the disease was first apparent, to linger under it for twenty years. Thus the last days at Abbotsford looked as if lit up by the setting sun. He fell off, however, a day or two after Dr. Newman left; went first to Luffness, and in October, whilst staying in Edinburgh, the heart affection becoming worse, he seemed, for a time, in immediate danger; yet rallied, and removed to London by easy stages, halting first at Newcastle and then at Peterborough. Owing to the thoughtful kindness of Mr. H. Hope, of Luffness, he was accompanied by Dr. Howden, the family physician at Luffness. It was, however, a most anxious journey, and it often seemed doubtful whether he would reach his destination alive. Soon after his arrival in London he had a dangerous attack, and received the last sacraments, with the Holy Father’s blessing. This was at No. 7 Hyde Park Place, a house which he had taken conjointly with his widowed sister-in-law, the Hon. Mrs. G. W. Hope; and here, under her affectionate care, and that of his daughter, Mary Monica, Mr. Hope- Scott spent the few months that remained to him.

Miss Hope-Scott (now the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell Scott), during those months, kept a diary, commencing March 13, 1873, of all that passed, which she has kindly placed in my hands. At first the entries were usually of ‘a good night,’ and ‘tired,’ or ‘very tired,’ during the day, though he is occasionally able to go into the library, to talk a little with his infant children in their turns, and to see near relatives from time to time. Soon the nights get less good, the days more languid, and he is seldom able to leave his room. For about a fortnight (April 4-17) there seemed a slight improvement, but this did not last, and on April 28 there was a great change for the worse. Sir W. Jenner, Sir W. Gull, and Mr. Sims held a consultation, and pronounced very unfavourably. Father Clare, S. J., brought the Blessed Sacrament, and spent the night in the house. The following morning, Tuesday, April 29, he heard his confession, and gave him Holy Communion. It was the morning on which he usually received. The two physicians hesitated about Extreme Unction being administered, for fear of causing excitement. But, on the priest’s asking him what he wished, the reply at once was, ‘Dear Father, give me all you can, and all the helps which Holy Church can bestow.’ During the administration of the sacrament he answered all the prayers himself; and the physicians, on leaving the room, said there had not been the least excitement. I take these particulars from a letter of Father Clare’s to the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell Scott, in which he also says: ‘During the whole of his illness I never knew him to show the slightest impatience, I never heard one murmur; but in all our conversation there was _invariably_ a cheerful resignation to the holy will of our good God. His lively faith and wonderful fervour in receiving Holy Communion, which was at least twice a week, I have never seen surpassed.’

The Duke of Norfolk was telegraphed for from Arundel. He arrived about 2 P.M. Mr. Hope-Scott was able to see him, spoke of the blessing which his church would bring on him (the splendid church of St. Philip’s, Arundel, just completed by the Duke), and promised to pray for him the next day, when it was to be opened. Sir William Gull now left hardly any hope. The ceremony of the opening of the church was deferred, and all the Arundel party arrived that night. The following is the last paragraph in the diary:–

‘In the afternoon, dear papa, after taking something, said out loud his favourite prayer, “_Fiat, laudetur_.” [Footnote: This prayer is as follows: _Fiat, laudetur, atque in aeternum superexultetur, justissima, altissima, et amabilissima voluntas Dei in omnibus. Amen._] Then, looking at me, he said, “God’s will be done,” and asked me to say some prayers. I said the _Angelus_, in which he joined, and the “Offering.” Father Clare comes about five, and goes out, to return about seven, meaning to spend the night again. A little before seven I was in the library with Aunt Lucy and Uncle Henry. Aunt Car. suddenly called me, and we all went in. I gave dearest papa the crucifix to kiss, and Uncle Henry read the prayers. Edward [Footnote: The persons mentioned by their Christian names in this paragraph of the diary are–Lady Henry Kerr, Lord Henry Kerr, the Hon. Mrs. G. W. Hope, and her son, Mr. Edward Stanley Hope, nephew to Mr. Hope-Scott, and now (1883) one of the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales.] was there too, Mr. Dunn, &c.

‘He died very peacefully and calmly, about seven.’

To this is only to be added that there was conveyed to Mr. Hope-Scott on his death-bed the special blessing of his Holiness Pope Pius IX.

Shortly after death, the body having been laid out, according to Catholic custom, with lights round the bed and flowers upon it, a sudden change was observed to have come over the face of the deceased, which assumed a totally different expression. All signs of sickness or pain seemed to vanish, and in one minute he had become like what he used to be in very early years. Readers who may perhaps have witnessed a change of the kind, which is not unfrequent, will understand the striking remark made by a friend on this occasion: ‘It is sometimes given to the dead to reveal their blessedness to the living.’

The following particulars of the Requiem Mass for Mr. Hope-Scott, and of the funeral, are taken, with alterations and omissions, from newspapers of the day (the ‘Tablet’ of May 10; ‘Scotsman,’ May 6 and 8; and ‘Edinburgh Courant,’ May 8, 1873).

The Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the late Mr. Hope-Scott, Q.C., took place at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, on Monday, May 5, at eleven o’clock. The coffin was removed, on the previous evening, from Hyde Park Place, and laid on a splendid catafalque in the church. The mass was celebrated by the Very Rev. Fr. Whitty, Provincial of the Jesuits, _coram Archiepiscopo_; and the sermon was preached by the Very Rev. Father (now his Eminence Cardinal) Newman (by whose kind permission it is placed in the Appendix to this volume). Cherubini’s Second Requiem in D minor, for male voices only, was used. Weak with old age and sorrow, Father Newman had almost to be led to the pulpit, but the simple vigour of language and the lucidity of style so peculiarly his own remained what they had ever been. When, towards the conclusion of his discourse, he came to speak of the last hours of the deceased, Father Newman almost broke down, and for a moment it seemed that his feelings would prevent him from finishing. The solemnity of the occasion–the church draped in black, the old man come so far purposely to pay the last offices to his friend–produced such an impression on those who witnessed it as they are not likely to forget.

Among the clergy and laity present were–Mgr. Weld, the Hon. and Rev. Dr. Talbot, Revs. E. G. Macmullen, C. B. Garside, Father Fitzsimon, S. J., Father Clare, and the Fathers, S. J., of Mount Street; Father Coleridge, S. J., Father Amherst, S. J., Father Christie, S. J., Father Dalgairns, of the Oratory, the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, the Marquis and Marchioness of Lothian, Cecil, Marchioness Dowager of Lothian, the Marchioness of Bute, Lord and Lady Howard of Glossop, Lord Henry Kerr, Mr. Hope of Luffness, Mr. Edward S. Hope, Mr. Herbert Hope, Field-marshal Sir William Gomm and Lady Gomm, Lord Edmund Howard, the Earl of Denbigh, Lady Herbert of Lea, Lady Georgiana Fullerton, Mr. Allies, Mr. Langdale, &c.

The Dowager Duchess of Norfolk and the Ladies Howard, Mr. Hope-Scott’s daughters, the Hon. Mrs. George W. Hope and Misses Hope, and Lady Henry Kerr, occupied a separate tribune.

On Wednesday, May 7, the remains of Mr. Hope-Scott, Q.C., were interred in the vaults of St. Margaret’s Convent, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. The coffin had been conveyed from London on Tuesday, and was placed on a catafalque within the choir of the chapel, where several sisters of the community (Ursulines of Jesus) watched until the morning. The catafalque was draped in black, surrounded by massive silver candlesticks hung with crape, and lit up with numerous wax candles. The altar, sanctuary, organ, and choir gallery were hung with black cloth. The east aisle of the chapel was occupied by the relatives and friends of the deceased; the west aisle by the young ladies of the convent school, about fifty in number, dressed in white, and with white veils, and the household servants from Abbotsford; whilst at the south were persons who had received special invitations. In the stalls of the choir were the clergy, and the sisters of the convent in their accustomed places.

The ceremonies commenced at eleven o’clock, when a procession, consisting of the cross-bearer and acolytes, the clergy in attendance, and the Right Rev. Dr. Strain, Bishop of Abila, V.A. of the Eastern District of Scotland, entered the chapel at the great south door, and marched slowly up the centre of the choir to the sanctuary, the organ sounding whilst the bell was heard tolling in the distance. The Bishop was attended by the Rev. George Rigg, St. Mary’s, and the Rev. Mr. Clapperton. The Rev. W. Turner acted as master of the ceremonies; the Rev. Father Foxwell, S. J., said the Mass, which, by the express desire of the deceased, was a Low Mass, although accompanied by music (Father Foxwell, stationed at Galashiels, frequently said Mass at Abbotsford). During the Mass, among other exquisite music sung by the choir, was the _Dies Irae_. The Rev. W. J. Amherst, S. J., Norwich, a great personal friend of Mr. Hope-Scott’s, preached the sermon (which, by his kind permission, is placed in the Appendix to this volume).

Bishop Strain then read the Burial Service in front of the bier, and concluded by giving the absolution. The procession was then formed, and during the singing of the _Dies Irae_ emerged from the church, and walked to the vault, in the following order:–cross-bearer and acolytes, the young ladies of the convent school, the _religieuses_ of the community of St. Margaret’s, the clergy and Bishop, then the coffin, borne shoulder-high, and attended by the pall-bearers, the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Henry Kerr, Mr. H. W. Hope of Luffness, and Dr. Lockhart of Milton Lockhart. The ladies who followed the coffin were Miss Hope-Scott, the Hon. Mrs. G. W. Hope, Lady Henry Kerr, and Mrs. Francis Kerr. Then followed the relatives and friends, servants, and tenant-farmers of Abbotsford.

The procession marched slowly from the quadrangle in front of the chapel northwards to the entrance to the vaults, the sisters of the community chanting the psalm _Miserere_. It opened up at the mortuary door, and the coffin was borne into the vault, and placed in the recess assigned to it beside the coffin of his first wife, and under those of his two children. A short service here took place, the _Benedictus_ was sung, and the funeral service terminated.

The outer coffin, which was of richly polished oak, bound with brass ornaments, had a beautiful crucifix on the lid, and beneath, a shield, bearing the following inscription:–


I have now placed before the reader the materials from which he will be enabled in some measure to judge what Mr. Hope-Scott was, and how he appeared to those around him. But to all beauty of character there belongs a lustre, outside of and beyond it, which genius alone can portray. This task has fortunately been performed by two of his most intimate friends, of whose genius it is needless to say a word–Cardinal Newman and Mr. Gladstone–by whose kind permission their respective papers on his life will be appended to this volume. With reference to certain expressions on religious subjects in Mr. Gladstone’s Letter, it will be remembered that it here appears as a biographical and historical document, and therefore without omissions–a remark which I feel assured that the illustrious writer will not misinterpret, and that both will accept the gratitude and admiration due from all surviving friends of Mr. Hope-Scott, for the splendid tribute which each of them has given to a memory so dear.


_Funeral Sermon by his Eminence Cardinal Newman, preached at the Requiem Mass for Mr. Hope-Scott, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, May_ 5, 1873.

I have been asked by those whose wish at such a moment is a command, to say a few words on the subject of the sorrowful, the joyful solemnity which has this morning brought us together. A few words are all that is necessary, all that is possible; just so many as are sufficient to unite the separate thoughts, the separate memories, the separate stirrings of affection, which are awakened in us by the presence in our midst of what remains on earth of the dear friend, of the great soul, whom we have lost,–sufficient to open a communication and create a sympathy between mind and mind, and to be a sort of testimony of one to another in behalf of feelings which each of us has in common with all.

Yet how am I the fit person even for as much as this? I can do no more than touch upon some of those many points which the thought of him suggests to me; and, whatever I may know of him and say of him, how can this be taken as the measure of one whose mind had so many aspects, and who must, in consequence, have made such distinct impressions, and exercised such various claims, on the hearts of those who came near him?

It is plain, without my saying it, that there are those who knew him far better than I could know him. How can I be the interpreter of their knowledge or their feelings? How can I hope by any words of mine to do a service to those who knew so well the depths of his rare excellence by a continuous daily intercourse with him, and by the recurring special opportunities given to them of its manifestation?

I only know what he was to me. I only know what his loss is to me. I only know that he is one of those whose departure hence has made the heavens dark to me. But I have never lived with him, or travelled with him; I have seen him from time to time; I have visited him; I have corresponded with him; I have had mutual confidences with him. Our lines of duty have lain in very different directions. I have known him as a friend knows friend in the tumult and the hurry of life. I have known him well enough to know how much more there was to know in him; and to look forward, alas! in vain, to a time when, in the evening and towards the close of life, I might know him more. I have known him enough to love him very much, and to sorrow very much that here I shall not see him again. But then I reflect, if I, who did not know him as he might be known, suffer as I do, what must be their suffering who knew him so well?

1. I knew him first, I suppose, in 1837 or 1838, thirty-five or six years ago, a few years after he had become Fellow of Merton College. He expressed a wish to know me. How our friendship grew I cannot tell; I must soon have been intimate with him, from the recollection I have of letters which passed between us; and by 1841 I had recourse to him, as a sort of natural adviser, when I was in difficulty. From that time I ever had recourse to him, when I needed advice, down to his last illness. On my first intimacy with him he had not reached the age of thirty. I was many years older; yet he had that about him, even when a young man, which invited and inspired confidence. It was difficult to resist his very presence. True, indeed, I can fancy those who saw him but once and at a distance, surprised and perplexed by that lofty fastidiousness and keen wit which were natural to him; but such a misapprehension of him would vanish forthwith when they