Memoirs of James Robert Hope-Scott, Volume 2
Robert Ornsby

Part 2 out of 5

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

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

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

June 23, 1853.

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

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

Yours very sincerely,


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

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

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

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

Ever yrs affectly,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

J. R. Hope, Esq.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On December 22 he gives his impressions of Newman's 'Essay on Development,'
so eagerly expected:--

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ever y'rs affectionately, John H. Newman.

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

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

Abbotsford: Nov. 4, '50.

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

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

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

Yours ever aff'tly,

James R. Hope.

The Rev. S. Bathurst.

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

Oratory, Birmingham: Nov. 20, 1850.

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

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

Ever yours affectionately,

John H. Newman.

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

Abbotsford: Nov. 27, '50.

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

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

Ever, dear Newman,

Yours affectionately


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

Oratory, Birmingham: November 29, 1850.

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

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

Ever yours affectionately,


Congr. Orat.



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

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

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

Yours affectionately,

W. E. G.

The following letter is deeply interesting:--

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

35 Charles Street, Mayfair:

December 5, 1845.

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

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

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

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

Yours affectionately,


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

13 C. H. Terrace:

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

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

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

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

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

Ever your affectionate friend,


J. R. Hope, Esq.

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

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

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

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

Bishopstowe: 16 Feb., 1846.

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

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

_Hactenus haec._

Yours most faithfully,


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

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

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

35 Charles Street:

Wednesday evening, March 18, '46.

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

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

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

Yours ever truly,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yrs. ever affectionately,


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

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

Lavington: Nov. 23, 1850.

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

Ever affectionately yours,

H. E. M.

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

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

_Private_. 44 Cadogan Place: December 11, 1850.

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

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

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

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

Believe me always affectionately yours,


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

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

J. R. H.

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

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

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

14 Queen Street: April 7, 1851.

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

Believe me, my dear Hope,

Always affectionately yours,

H. E. M.

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

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

H. E. M.

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

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

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

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

14 Curzon Street: June 18, '51.

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

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

Yours as ever most affectionately,


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

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

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

6 Carlton Gardens: June 22, 1851.

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

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

Ever yours with unaltered affection,


J. R. Hope, Esq.

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

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

Munich: April 22, 1851.

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

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

Yours entirely and unalterably,


Mr. James R. Hope, Queen's Counsel.

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

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

Abbotsford: Oct. 25, '51.

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


Abbotsford: July 16, 1852.

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

E. Badeley, Esq.

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



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

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

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

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

Believe me ever yours affectly,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24 Great George Street: 2 Feb. 1855.

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

Yours faithfully,


James Hope-Scott, Esq.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

* * * * *

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

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

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


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