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The Marquess of Linlithgow

Lord Hopetoun 1902.jpg
1st Governor-General of Australia
In office
1 January 1901 – 17 July 1902
Monarch Victoria
Edward VII
Prime Minister Edmund Barton
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by Lord Tennyson
8th Governor of Victoria
In office
28 November 1889 – 12 July 1895
Monarch Victoria
Premier Duncan Gillies
James Munro
William Shiels
James Patterson
George Turner
Preceded by Lord Loch
Succeeded by Lord Brassey
Secretary for Scotland
In office
2 February 1905 – 4 December 1905
Prime Minister Arthur Balfour
Preceded by Andrew Murray
Succeeded by John Sinclair
Personal details
Born (1860-09-25)25 September 1860
South Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland
Died 29 February 1908(1908-02-29) (aged 47)
Pau, France
Spouse(s) Hersey Eveleigh-de Moleyns
Children 4

John Adrian Louis Hope, 1st Marquess of Linlithgow, 7th Earl of Hopetoun, KT, GCMG, GCVO, PC (25 September 1860 – 29 February 1908) was a British aristocrat and statesman who served as the first Governor-General of Australia, in office from 1901 to 1902. He was previously Governor of Victoria from 1889 to 1895.

Career

Linlithgow
Statue of the Marquess of Linlithgow, Linlithgow Avenue, Melbourne

Hopetoun was born into the Scottish nobility, and succeeded his father as Earl of Hopetoun at the age of 12. He attended Eton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, but opted not to pursue a full-time military career. Hopetoun sat with the Conservative Party in the House of Lords, and became a Lord-in-Waiting in 1885 and Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1887. He was appointed Governor of Victoria at the age of 29, and had a successful tenure in a time of political and economic instability.

In 1883, Hopetoun served as a Lord in Waiting to Queen Victoria from June 1885 to January 1886 and August 1886 to August 1889. From 1887 to 1889 he was also appointed Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

After returning to England in 1895, Hopetoun served in Lord Salisbury's cabinet as Paymaster General and Lord Chamberlain. The announcement of his appointment to the new governor-generalship in July 1900 was met with praise. However, he arrived in Australia ill-informed about the political aspects of federation, and his decision to call on William Lyne to form a caretaker government became known as the "Hopetoun Blunder".

Lyne, who had campaigned against federation, had little support from the political establishment, and Hopetoun was forced to turn to Edmund Barton to serve as Australia's first prime minister. His relationship with Barton once in office was civil, although his interferences in political matters were not well-received.

Hopetoun was popular with the general public, but developed a reputation for flamboyance. His desire for a large expenses allowance was rebuffed by parliament, and he consequently relinquished office in July 1902. He was granted a marquessate upon his return to England, and thereafter withdrew from public life, except for a brief term as Secretary of State for Scotland in 1905. Hopetoun's term as governor-general is generally regarded as a failure, and his successors generally avoided copying his extravagance.

Only Lord Denman held the position at a younger age.

Marriage and children

On 18 October 1886 he married Hersey Everleigh-de-Moleyns, daughter of the fourth Baron Ventry. They had four children;

  • Victor Alexander John (24 September 1887–5 January 1952)
  • Charles (20 February 1892–?)
  • Jacqueline Alice (16 June 1896–21 June 1896)
  • Mary Dorothea; married the 16th Earl of Pembroke

His son Victor, the 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow became the longest-serving Viceroy of India 1936-43, a job he had always wanted. His grandson Lord Glendevon married the daughter of the English novelist W. Somerset Maugham.

Later life

St Kilda Rd - The Statue of John Hope
St Kilda Rd, Melbourne - The Statue of John Hope

Though he greatly desired appointment to the Viceroyalty of India, Linlithgow was prevented from attaining the position by poor health and adverse political developments, though his son Victor, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow, would eventually assume this role (after rejecting the post of Australian Governor-General in 1935) from 1936 to 1943. His grandson Lord Glendevon married the daughter of the English novelist W. Somerset Maugham.

His final political appointment was to that of Secretary for Scotland during the last months of the ministry of Arthur Balfour in 1905. However his political career failed to advance, and still plagued by poor health, he died suddenly of pernicious anaemia at Pau, France, on 29 February 1908.

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