Sir John Hope

(4th Earl of Hopetoun)

1765 - 1823

Statue of the 4th Earl of Hopetoun, St Andrew's Square
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Statue of the 4th Earl of Hopetoun, St Andrew's Square

Soldier. Born at Hopetoun House near Edinburgh. Hope served at the Battle of Alexandria (1801) and led the First Division in Spain during the Peninsular War (1808 - 14). Under the command of General Sir John Moore (1761 - 1809), the British Army was faced with defeat in 1808 with the French having taken Madrid and advanced towards them. The British executed a winter retreat under terrible conditions across the mountains from Astorga to the coast at Corunna, with the intention of escaping by sea. However, the French attacked with greatly superior numbers and a desperate battle ensured, but the British were eventually triumphant and the French suffered massive casualties. Hope distinguished himself in this battle and, when Moore was killed, Hope heroically took command of the British Army. Sir David Baird of Newbyth (1757 - 1829) was severely injured in the same battle. Hope's successful evacuation of his army earned him a knighthood in his own right from King George III. The Peninsular War ended with the capture and isolation of Napoleon on the Island of Elba.

Hope died in Paris and is remembered by various monuments, including large Hopetoun Monuments in Fife and East Lothian. His statue is to be found in front of Dundas House in Edinburgh's St Andrew's Square, Hope having been a governor of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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