Hope, John (1739-1785) (DNB00)

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HOPE, JOHN (1739–1785), miscellaneous writer, second son of Charles Hope (afterwards Hope-Vere) and grandson of Charles Hope, first earl of Hopetoun [q. v.], was born 7 April 1739. He was educated at the Rev. Andrew Kinross's academy at Enfield; engaged in mercantile pursuits in London, apparently with no great success; and in 1768 was chosen by the influence of his uncle, John Hope, second earl of Hopetoun [q. v.], M.P. for Linlithgowshire, in succession to his father. The earl allowed him an annuity of 400l. to defray his expenses (Letter to John Wilkes, Addit. MS. 30871, f. 132). In 1770 he was unseated on the petition of his opponent, James Dundas. He had lost favour, both with his patron and with the majority of the House of Commons, by voting for Wilkes on the question of the Middlesex election, and to this he attributed the loss of his seat. ‘It was chiefly in your cause I suffered,’ he wrote to Wilkes (manuscript letter, supra; see also Hope, Letters, 1772). Hope died at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 21 May 1785 (Gent. Mag. 1785, ii. 665). He married, 2 June 1762, Mary, only daughter of Eliab Breton of Forty Hill, Middlesex. She committed suicide at Brockhall, Northamptonshire, 25 June 1767, and was buried at Norton. Her husband erected a monument with a rhyming epitaph to her memory in the south transept of Westminster Abbey (Neale, Westminster Abbey, ii. 257). The three sons of this marriage, Charles (1763–1851); John, afterwards knighted (1765–1836); and William Johnstone, also afterwards knighted, are separately noticed.

Hope's writings were:

  1. ‘Occasional Attempts at Sentimental Poetry by a Man of Business,’ 1769.
  2. ‘The New Brighthelmston Guide, a sketch in miniature of the British Shore,’ 1770.
  3. ‘Letters on certain Proceedings in Parliament during the Sessions of the years 1769 and 1770,’ 1772.
  4. ‘Thoughts in Prose and Verse started in his walks,’ Stockton, 1780; published the same year at London and Edinburgh.
  5. ‘Letters on Credit,’ second edition, with a postscript and a short account of the bank at Amsterdam, 1784; originally contributed to the ‘Public Advertiser,’ ‘of very little value,’ observes M'Culloch (Literature of Political Economy, p. 354).

In the ‘Public Advertiser,’ 16 Oct. 1771, there is a letter by Hope (one of a series of four) to Junius on the subject of pressing seamen. It is signed ‘An Advocate in the Cause of the People,’ and was answered by ‘Philo-Junius’ in letter lxii. of the collection. The ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ (supra) also credits Hope with the authorship of the ‘New Margate Guide’ (1780?).

[Works referred to; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. v. 138, vi. 18, 39, xii. 42; Foster's Peerage for 1882 and Members of Parliament (Scotland); Halkett and Laing's Dict. of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Literature, iii. 1793; Woodfall's Junius, revised edition, 1875.]

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