Admiral Sir James Hope

1808 - 1881

Naval commander. Born at Carriden House, by Bo'ness, the son of Admiral Sir George Hope (1767 - 1818), Hope joined the navy at the age of fifteen and rose to the rank of Captain by 1838. He commanded the navy in China during the Second Opium War and shelled forts at the mouth of the Peiho River in 1859 as a precursor to the attack on Peking (Beijing) the following year. Between 1864-7, he was commander of the North American and West Indies Station, based in Bermuda. He attempted to get a special uniform for Scottish men serving in the navy, but after a brief trial it was found to be unsuitable.

On his retirement, as Admiral-of-the-Fleet, Hope returned to Scotland and became involved in religious and philanthropic works. He built the model village at Muirhouses on the Carriden Estate.

He married Frederica Kinnaird, the daughter of Charles, 8th Lord Kinnaird in 1838 but she died in 1856. Just four years before his death, he married Elizabeth Cotton, the supposed Lady Hope who is said to have visited Charles Darwin just before his death in 1882 and reported that he had recanted his theory of evolution and accepted biblical creationism.

He died in Carriden House and is buried in the Carriden churchyard, with a cable from one of his former ships surrounding his grave.

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