Origins of the Surname of Hope - Section 3

3.   Edinburgh Hopes.       

 Until late in the twentieth century it was recognised that the ancestor of the Hope family of Edinburgh was Jean des Houblon who in 1537 came to Scotland in the train of Magdalen of France the young Queen of James V. King of Scots.  However, diligent research by the Late Ann Hope and others has shown that a much more likely candidate as ancestor of the family is John Hope (c1472-1554) a merchant and Burgess of Edinburgh.  This origin is confirmed by the 2003, 107th edition of Burkes Peerage Baronetage & Knightage Vol II p1958 that suggests that John Hope was born in Leith. This origin also conforms to that put forward by the Hope family of Hopetoun House.   It also conforms to the Scottish Historical Novel - Hope Endures - written by Nigel Tranter and published in 2005 by Hodder & Stoughton.   It should be noted that in Hope Endures that James Hope the ancestor of the Amsterdam Hopes is depicted as the brother of Sir Thomas and not the nephew as shown on my family tree below.

I think that it is probable that his surname of Hope was imported from Holland/Flanders  and that the name was derived from Van der Hoop - Esperance.   More about this on the  Hope Origins page and Hope Heraldry page.  The Queen Magdalen story still persists – thanks mainly to the Court of the Lord Lyon – presumably as this was the story given by Thomas Hope (1573-1646) when he matriculated his arms when he became a Baronet in 1628.  A simple genealogical DNA test should indicate whether the Edinburgh Hope families have Flemish ancestors or not.   The following is based on Ann Hope's research ie that the ancestor of the Hope family of Edinburgh was John Hope a Burgess of Edinburgh and a Royal Trumpeter.  However John Hope was not the first of the surname of Hope in Edinburgh as this was a Thomas Hope who owned property in Leith in 1470-1490.   Thomas was probably an ancestor of John as it recorded that in 1522 John had lands near Leith, lands that John must have inherited.



The red numbers on the above chart correspond to the annotated section 3.1. Edinburgh Burgess Rolls Extract.    It should be noted that all the Hopes recorded on the Burgess Rolls are on the above chart or are related to those on the chart except possibly for one other family headed by Alexander Hope and his three sons David, Robert and George Hope , all were tailors except for David who was a Minister in Galloway.  It is thought that Robert and George headed for London and were succesful tailors there.  It is possible that Alexander Hope the tailor was son of Alexander Hope of Greenbraes - what puts doubt on this is that Alexander Hope the tailor became a Burgess nominated by a David Fairlie, a tailor, who was presumably his employer.   One would have thought that if Alexander Hope the tailor was a son of Alexander of Greenbraes then Alexander would have been nominated as a Burgess by one of his kinsmen? 

The Edinburgh Hopes of the above chart were basically of merchant stock and appear before but mainly in the Edinburgh Burgess Rolls of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and probably had their origins in northern Europe, namely France, Flanders or Holland.  The first to appear in the rolls was John Hope (c 1472-1554) who was originally a royal trumpeter but he eventually owned property in Leith and the High Street and owned shops and appeared to be involved in trading.   John Hope also built himself a fine house, with a private chapel, in the High Street. It is recorded later that on the lintel of the house was the name of Johnne Hope with a defaced coat of arms; on the lowest crowstep there was another armorial shield with his initials.   This building was demolished in the 1800s. 

John Hope married twice, firstly to Janet Kirkpatrick with whom he had two surviving children namely Edward (married Katherine Paterson) and Alexander (married Janet Douglas).  John married secondly  Elizabeth Eumont(d) and had two more surviving children - Janet (married Adam Scott - Burgess and Guild Brother of Edinburgh) and Henry.  This Henry married Jacqueline de Tott who was French and according to the novel by Nigel Tranter mentioned above her family came from Dieppe but she could also have had Swedish origins.  For Jacqueline's heraldry see page Hope Family Heraldry.  Henry and Jacqueline had least four surviving children - see family tree above.  Henry died before 1591 and was buried in the Greyfriars burial ground in Edinburgh - he must have been one of the earliest burials there.   His wife Jacqueline died c1624 and was buried beside her husband.   It is noted that the records of the English Royal College of Arms in London indicate that John Hope (Trumpeter) had two additional surviving daughters namely Elizabeth who married Patrick Rigg and Christian who married James Nicholson.  Both Rigg and Nicholson were Burgesses and Guild Brothers of Edinburgh.

Hope and Co was founded by the Amsterdam Hopes and a branch in Edinburgh High Street appears on the Apprentice Rolls records of the 18th century as John Hope & Co.   There is a surprisingly large number of Hopes appearing on the Edinburgh Apprentice Rolls of the 17th and 18th centuries indicating an increase of that surname in the Capital but nobody from the Highlands.   Extracts from the rolls appear as section 3.2. on the Hope Origins page.   A grandson of John Hope was Thomas Hope (1573-1646) a self made lawyer and was Advocate to Charles I.  He was the legal brains behind the National Covenant of 1638 ensuring that it was not treasonous. Thomas Hope became a baronet in 1628 and took the title of Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall Bt. Craighall was the name of his family home in Fife. see section 3.3 .Craighall Castle.   Apart from Craighall Sir Thomas owned a mansion house in the Cowgate - a doorway from this house, dated 1616,  is incorporated into the Central Library building on Goerge IV Bridge that is built on the site of the cowgate house.  Sir Thomas also acquired Granton Castle, see section 3.4. Granton Castle

Sir Thomas married Elizabeth Bennet and they had three surviving sons. The eldest John the 2nd Bt married Margaret Murray and is the ancestor of the senior line the Hopes of Craighall.  A daughter of John and Margaret was Anne Hope b1634.   Ann (Anna) married her second cousin Henry Hope - No 10 on the above chart and they are the ancestors of the Amsterdam Hopes.   The second son of Thomas and Elizabeth was Thomas Lord Kerse - however the Kerse Baronetcy was sold by his great grandson to Sir Lawrence Dundas. The third son Alexander Hope (1637-1673) took the title of Hope of Granton.  The youngest son James Hope (1614-1661) is the ancestor of the Hopes of Hopetoun represented today by the Marquis of Linlithgow.

The surname Hope pervades the legal records of Edinburgh - the families were "bred to the bar".  The name and associated names are well represented in the street names of Edinburgh -  Hope Street, Hope Lane, Hope Terrace, Hopepark Crescent, Houptoun Crescent, Craighall Road, Craighall Crescent, Craighall Gardens and Craighall Terrace - the Craighalls are all in the Granton area, Newcraighall, Newcraighall Railway Station, Annandale Street, Rankeilour Street and also several monuments.  Also the new John Hope Gateway - see below.

Lord Rankeilour was a son of Sir Thomas Hope 2nd Bt. and his descendants include James Hope WS (1769-1842) a noted philanthropist.  Another descendant was John Hope (1725-1786) Professor of Medicine and Botany at Edinburgh University, and President  of the Edinburgh Royal College of Physician. He was responsible for moving the Botanic Garden from the site of the Royal Physic Garden, now occupied by Waverley Railway Station, to a site on the west side of Leith Walk.    John is remembered by a stunning new entrance building  to the Royal Botanical Gardens that houses biodiversity and information centres.   This was opened by HM Elizabeth Queen of Scots in July 2010 and is known as the John Hope Gateway. 


 John Hope Gateway at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.

One of the sons of John was Thomas Charles Hope MD (1766-1842) a noted professor of Chemistry.   One of his more notable students was Charles Darwin who was not impressed with the University of Edinburgh but he did admire Thomas Charles Hope.   One lady who did attend the chemistry classes of Thomas Charles Hope was Elizabeth Grant of Memoirs of a Highland Lady.

The Hopes of Hopetoun have Hopetoun House a magnificent Adam mansion a few miles west of Edinburgh which is well worth a visit and their website has more family history.


View from roof terrace of Hopetoun House showing the Forth rail bridge with the suspension road bridge in front.  The construction of a second road bridge, which will be a cable-stayed bridge, in front of that shown commenced in 2011 and opened on 30th of August 2017 thus changing this view.

James Hope became Master of the Mint and a Lord of Session.  He married the heiress Anne Foulis and through this marriage  he came into possession of valuable lead mines at Leadhills in South Lanarkshire.   The old name for Leadhills was Hopetoun and he, rather confusingly, took this name as his title ie James Hope of Hopetoun - he also appears in the records as Laird Hopton.     The Hopes of Hopetoun enhanced  their wealth and prestige during the time of the agricultural revolution in Scotland with the 2nd and 3rd Earls of Hopetoun who owned large tracts of land in East and West Lothian as well as elsewhere.  This was also the time of rebellion - 1745 - Prince Charles Edward Stewart - Culloden.  The Hopetouns appear in Robert Burns' ballad of about 1880 titled When First I Saw " The following from the fourth verse - "Had I Dundas's whole estate, or Hopetoun's wealth to shine in".   The bracketing of the Hopetouns with the illustrious Dundas Family indicates how far the Hopetouns had come - some astute marriages between the two families helped! 

The name of Hopetoun associated with lead mines is interesting.  It is possible that the prefix here of hope refers to a lead mine and the suffix of toun (ton in England) as the cluster of workers dwelling around the workings.   It is of note that the parish of Crawford/Leadhills that included the Hopetoun mines was a hot-spot for the surname of Hope.  This connection between the word hope and lead mines is probably much more significant in England and could be a source of the origin of the surname there.  See Section 5 English Hopes page.

The senior line of Craighall is the claimant to the chiefship of the name of Hope.

 Craighal - Burkes..jpg


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Contine to Section 4 - Amsterdam/Rotterdam Hopes