Origins of the Surname of Hope - Section 2.2


2.2.The Scottish Border Hopes - Part 2 - after 1296. AD.

A  Johan de Hope signed the Ragman Roll in 1296 at Berwick - this is the first record of the surname in Scotland. This roll, redolent in Scottish history, lists the Scots who swore fealty to King Edward I of England, for more about this see the Ragman Roll page.   Some writers give a second Hope namely Adam de Hepe from Roxburghshire but as stated earlier this is a different family and was from the area of Hepe (Heip) near Hawick. In earlier times it is possible that there was some crossover of the two names. It is a great loss that John Hope's seal on the roll has vanished. The date of 1296 predates the first Hope recorded in Edinburgh by 200 years.

In addition to Johan de Hope the Ragman Roll lists several Border names that include Hope, either as a prefix or suffix, usually the latter.  These combination names had been around for some time - see page 2.1.1 Liber Melrose, Liber kelso & Other Sources.  I have suggested elsewhere that the hopes with hope as a suffix were named by people who normally communicated in Latin or French ie put the noun first.  The names in the Ragman Roll include Johan le Squeir (Squire) of Whyhope (Whitehope?), Rauf de Egerhope (Edgarhope), Constance de Kyphope (Kirkhope ? or Kershope?), Robert de Waghope (Wauchope ?), Thomas Walghope, (Walhope? - see below), Elys de Obrinkel (Hopringle, later Hop-Pringle - see below), William de Birhope (Bowerhope), William of Hop Kello (Hopekeilze) etc.

In The Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland it is mentioned that a Scotsman named William of Bolhope, on 23rd November 1296, was executed by King Edward Ist's men for refusing to submit to the King.  It is a pity that William was so impeutous as he could have joined like other like minded Scots the growing band led by William Wallace.  He is perhaps the first recorded fatality of the First War of Independence! 

Also in in The Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland in the period around 1303 the above William de HopkeliouI (Hopkelzie) along with Westhopkeliou and Esterhopkeliou are listed, as is a William de Walhope and lands of Rughope.  Also in 1321 Robert de Swynhope and in 1346 a Richard Swynhope are listed. 

"It will be a bloody night in Gemshope this" said Walter of Chapelhope...   This is the opening line to James Hoggs, The Ettrick Shepherd's, tale of The Brownie of Bodsbeck set in the Covenanting era around 1685, published in 1816.   I have included this snippet as it highlights how many place names including the word hope to be found in Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire the location of Hogg's tale.   The Gemshope mentioned is the present day Gameshope.  

One interesting name is William's Hope in Yarrow Parish adjacent to Traquair Parish - this commemorates William Douglas - Flower of Chivalry - who was killed here in 1365 by a Kinsman.

There are also interesting examples to be found in Northumbria one near Haltwhistle and this is Blenkinsopp (Blenkin's hope) - both Blenkinsopp and Blenkins survive as north of England names.  Another example is the surname of Kershope with many variations ie Kirsoppe, Kirsop etc. etc - the name Kershope survives today as an area straddling the Cumbrian/Roxburghshire boundary and first appeared in the Scottish annals in Liddesdale in the reign of David Ist.   There is another Kershope - Kershope Castle in Keilder Parish in Northumbria which is sometimes confused with the Liddesdale Kershope.  There are further example from Northumberland namely Trollope (valley of the Trolls - Nordic?), Hyslop (valley of the hazel trees) and Wannop - the latter being a corruption of Wainhope (valley of the carts) which is in the Keilder valley.

These combined names had been around for some time in the Borders and over a fairly short period of time say during the first decades of the fourteenth century some of these names were shortened.  This was accomplished where Hope was a prefix by dropping the Hope and where Hope was a suffix by dropping the first part and leaving the name of Hope.  A very important example of this is Hopringle mentioned above showing the complete separation of the name is a Mariota De Hope Pringle who was born 1425 in Hoppringill Lauderdale and died at Borthwick Castle in 1473.   She was the daughter of Thomas de Hope Pringle c1400. The place name of Hopringle survives today in Lauderdale and is the spiritual seat of the Clan Pringle.  For more about the Clan Pringle see link in the family history section on the Links page   Credance is given to this name splitting theory in as much that the heartlands of the Border Hopes are the counties of Peeblesshire, Selkirkshire, parts of Berwickshire and Roxburghshire which is also the area where most of the valley names that contain Hope are located.  Perusal of present day 1:50,000 maps reveal more than thirty or so valley names in Peeblesshire, thirty or so in Selkirkshire with about fifteen in Roxburghshire and ten or so in Berwickshire with only a couple in Dumfriesshire.   There also quite a few in Northumbria close to the border with Roxburghshire.   Examination of larger scale maps would considerably increase these figures.

Many of the longer names have survived such as Hopkirk (Hobkirk)  - Hopkirk is in Teviotdale close to the border with England while Kirkhope is in the Ettrick valley.  Also Bowerhope, Wauchope  etc and in Northumbria/Cumbria Blenkinsopp, Kirsoppe and Gresshope (This latter name was around in the seventeenth century but seems to have died out) and also Trollope, Hislop, Wannop and Hopewell (hamlet in Derbyshire England).  The common Borders name of of Waugh is an abreviation of Wauchope.   Wauchope, I think, can be considered as a special case as this is the only name that includes hope included in the document "The Families of Scotland" written about 1672.  Some names have survived in a form that was how the name was locally prounced - an example being Fawhope in the Teviot valley near Hawick which was pronouned Phaup and this has survived as a surname to the present day.  Fawhope is one of the earliest examples of a name including Hope to be found in the records - this is a charter of the reign of Malcolm IV King of Scots who reigned 1153-1165 - see Liber Melrose page. 

The names of Obpringle of the Ragman Roll and Hobkirk are held by some as contentious and that they have no connection with Hope at all.   I believe that the names Hob and Hope were interchangeable as demonstrated by the area of Hope (Yr Hob) in Flintshire, bearing in mind the Cymric heritage of the area - see Hope of North Wales page.  On the other hand they could be Nordic from Hop the word for a haven.

Apart from shortening of the name many were subject to being corrupted.   George Black in his introduction to The Surnames of Scotland states that the "ingenious perversity of Lowland charter scribes, local pecularities of pronunciation were a fruitful source of corruption in the spelling of place names and surnames, e.g. Bauk for Bauchope, Marno for Marnock, Phaup for Fawhope, Pook for Pollock, Rook for Rollok, Wahaub for Wauchope, etc."   One will note that of the six examples of corruption given by Black three include hope. 

It is just possible that Johan de Hope came from the lands of Hope in Flintshire in North Wales.  (See next Section 4 - North Wales) - but he was more likely to have been of Border stock..   There were several Hopes recorded in England prior to the said Johan.   The castle and lands of Hope in Flintshire at this time were extensive and apart from the parish of Hope (Yr Hob in Welsh) the lordship extended from the outskirts of Hawarden to the north of Wrexham.   The Lordship was held at this time by Eleanor, beloved Queen of Edward I.  It is recorded in 1297 that Edward ordered levies of men to be raised in Wales for the expedition in Scotland and one of the locations was Hope and adjoining lands of Inglefield and the Monte Alto valley - copy of extract from the records below.

Hope-Wales 01.jpg

Another intriguing connection with North Wales can be found on the Ragman Roll where one of the seals is for S'Rogeri de Monte Alto assigned to Rogier de Mohaut of Peeblesshire.  the seal depicts " a bird on a twig".    More about the Mohauts in  Section 5 North Wales below. 

Reverting to the Ragman Roll and later records mentioned above.  The Bolhope of William of Bolhope mentioned above must surely be the Boldhope in Traquair Parish in Peeblesshire  - shown on maps of 1773 and where the Hope family of Bold emerged in the records c1700 - Bold Hope is shown on current Ordance Survey maps close to the route of the  Minchmuir Road now part of Southern Upland Way footpath.   Black states that the Scottish Surname of Bold has its origins in the area of Bold in Peeblesshire - so here we have an example of a 13th century name of Bolhope splitting to form two distinct Scottish Surnames of Hope and Bold - similar to Hopringle dealt with above.   Apart from the Hopringle mentioned earlier is Hopkelzie when losing the prefix Hop would become Kelzie.  In Scotland the letter z is silent hence the name would become Kellie.  This is a surname that Black and others would lump together with Kelly. I think however that Kellie (Kello) is a Scottish Borders name in its own right.   The lands of Hopkelzie are marked today by Kailzie Gardens the former grounds of Kailzie House - now demolished - just to the east of Peebles.

For more about Robert Swynhope go to the Swynhope-Soonhope page.

So far the origin of the Hope name in Scotland has been centred on what was called the Central March of the Borders but there were Hopes in the  Eastern and Western Marches in the later records of the fifteenth/sixteenth centuries.  A selection of examples follow :-In the records of Berwick there are frequent mentions of a messenger in 1571 variously known as Tom Hope, Thome Hope or Thomas Houip who carried important messages, including royal messages between Berwick and Edinburgh.  There was also a William Hope in 1594 who was a messenger on the Berwick-Edinburgh route. - son of Tom?   In 1567 there was a John Hope who was a tenant farmer in the lands of Kelso Abbey.   A selection of Western March records follow:- in Eskdale in 1459 an Alexandri de le Hop  and in Dumfriesshire in 1465 a Stephano Hop appear in the Exchequer Rolls. In 1541 an Adam and William Hope were witnesses in Parton and in 1593 there was another Thomas Houppe who was robbed of eight horses at Burnmouth near Drumlanrig - the felon was a Reiver known as Jock of the Peartree.   The name Hope here could have drifted across the Borders from the Central March area but the proximity of Dumfriesshire to the English Border and a main entry point in to Scotland would suggest that the name possibly came in direct from England particularly as the valley names of the Central March are not found in this area.   Edward Is army did pass this way on occasions particularly when Caerlaverock Castle was being beseiged during 1300 hence there is the possibility of a second or even further levies from North Wales named Hope coming this way and staying in the country.  In fact Edward in July 1307- known to his own people as "Longshanks" because of his commanding height, but more familiarly to us Scots as "Hammer of the Scots" - breathed his last at Burgh-le-Sands beside the salt marsh of the Solway estuary in Cumbria, a few miles short of the Scottish border, preparing yet again for another incursion into Scotland. 

The surname Hope is fairly common in the English Border Counties, particularly Northumberland and their origin must be interwoven with that of the Scottish Border Hopes.   The Border Hopes on both sides must have been involved in the "Reiving Times" of the Fourteenth-Sixteenth centuries and hence at times sadly must have been  in conflict with each other. 

To summarise - there were separate Edinburgh Hopes and Border Hopes that merged into one Scottish family.   This family is recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon as being an armigerous family and have the right to have a chief.   The chiefly line, the Hopes of Craighall, are descended from the Edinburgh Hopes.   There is no known main line of Border Hopes -  as discussed above most have their names derived from numerous valley locations across the Borders. 


TOP & Navigation Bar


Back to Contents Page


Continue to 3. Edinburgh Hopes.