CLAN HOPE OF CRAIGHALL HISTORY
By Marty Hope
Fortunately we have an hereditary Chief of Clan, a Marquess, an Earl, a Baron, several knights and several Lord and Lady Hopes still listed in the Peerage today. This does help in verifying the more current history.
All information listed hereafter comes from copyrighted sources found at myclan.com, gathering of the clans.com, and a family tale or two passed on in the oral tradition.
To start with, the name is considered to be of native Scots origin coming from the family of Hop or Hoip. John de Hop of Peebleshire and Adam de Hoip both appear on the Ragman Roll of Scottish nobles submitting to Edward I of England in 1296. The Middle English "hop" means a small valley and as a component part is a common place name. Another derivation may be from the family of de H'oublons of Picardy. The French oublon means "hop" and when translated into English it became Hope.
The immediate ancestor of the principal line, John de Hope, is said to have come to Scotland from France in 1537 as part of the retinue of Magdalen, first wife of James V. He married and settled in Edinburgh where he prospered and had a son, Edward who became a commissioner for Edinburgh to the first General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1560. His grandson, Sir Thomas Hope, was appointed Lord Advocate by Charles I. He acquired the estate of Craighall in the parish of Ceres in Fife, which thereafter was the principal family designation. Sir Thomas Hope was a great lawyer of his time and his work, "Hope Prakticks" is still referred to today. He was made a Baronet of Nova in 1628 and he was one of the drafters of the National Convenant in 1638. He died in 1646 not before seeing two of his sons raised to the Supreme Count Bench. His oldest son succeeded to the Baronetcy and also took the judicial tile of "Lord Craighall". He is credited with advising the exiled Charles II to "tret with Cromwell for the one half of his cloak before he lost the whole".
The Sixth Baronet sold the estate of Craighall in 1729 to his kinsman, the Earl of Hopetoun. The eight Baronet of Craighall, was a noted agricultural improver, and the Edinburgh parklands known as The Meadows, bordered on the street known as Hope Park, were laid out by him. The sixteenth Baronet was Member of Parliament for six years and served with distinction in the Boer War and the First World War.
The Hopetoun branch of the family came from Sir James Hope, younger son of the great Lord Advocate, who acquired lands in West Lothian which became Hopetoun of Craighall. His son, John Hope, of Hopetoun drowned in the wreck of the frigate Gloucester, and it is believed died saving the Duke of York, who later became James VII. This act may have contributed to the meteoric rise of his son, Charles who as soon as he became of age was elected to Parliament for Linlithgow and was quickly appointed to the Privy Council. On April 5th, 1703, he was raised to the peerage as Earle of Hopetoun, Viscount Aithrie, and Lord Hope.
The great mansion "Hopetoun House" which is located on the Firth of Fourth was planned during the first Earl's infancy and is today considered one of William Adam's, the architect's masterpieces. During the eighteenth century the Earl of Hopetoun continued to amass vast estates until he came to own most of West Lothian and large parts of East Lothian, Lanarkshire and vast highland holdings around the area of Loch Hope near Tongue. General Sir John Hope the forth Earl, was a distinguished soldier who was with Sir John Moore in the Peninsular War. He was prominent in the revitalization of the Royal Company of Archers (the bodyguard of the monarch in Scotland) of which he became Captain General. He staged a magnificent reception for George IV at Hopetoun House in 1822 during the kings famous visit to Scotland.
John Adrian Hope, The seventh Earl was Lord Chamberlain to Queen Victoria from 1898 to 1900. He was later appointed Governor General of the newly created Australian Commonwealth in 1900. He was created Marquess of Linlithgow in October, 1902. The second Marquess was Viceroy to India from 1936 to 1943. As an aside…while Viceroy of India, he declared war on Japan on behalf of India without consulting the crown.
The family still lives at Hopetoun today. The Baronets of Craighall are also still in existence today and are the claimants for the Chiefship of the name. Our Clan Chief is Sir John Carl Alexander Hope of Craighall, Chief of Hope, Hope of Hope, 18th BT and Chief of the Name and Arms of Hope.
Having an Hereditary Chief, Earls, Marques's, Lords, Ladies and an occasional knight here and there in the family does add a bit of flavor to the current family history but as with all of us, there is still much more to be learned. As with all of our Clans and ancestors it is hoped that each piece of the genealogical pie will help to fill in the gaps.
Some important places and items to our clan are our Hope Tartan, Clan Badge, Coat of Arms, Hopetoun House, the ancestral home on the Firth of Forth in West Lothian as well as a place rumored to be quite a fishing hole, Loch Hope.