Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Drawings


Harley Street, number 1 (now 2) and Cavendish Square number 16, London, designs for exterior and interior alterations for James Hope-Johnstone, 3rd Earl of Hopetoun, ND (9)

Number 1 Harley Street (now 2), alternatively know as 16 Cavendish Square, is an early eighteenth-century building constructed by Edward Shepherd. The Adam office’s undated designs for the property form part of a scheme for minor alterations to the building’s exterior, alongside additions forming new internal plans. The inscription for SM Adam volume 29/83 records the addition of a Tuscan porte cochère for the west façade as executed, although this does not survive. King notes an undated letter from Adam to the 3rd Earl of Hopetoun which suggests that some form of internal alteration was also undertaken, but the extent of the work is unknown.

The Adam family had previously worked for the Hopes in the remodelling of Hopetoun House in Linlithgowshire. As a young architect William Adam Snr was employed by Charles 1st Earl of Hopetoun, to oversee the extensive alterations and additions to the house, beginning in January 1721. With alterations continuing until 1767, the death of the 1st Earl in 1742 and William Adam’s own death in 1748 meant that the project passed to their sons, with John Adam principally executing the interiors for John, 2nd Earl of Hopetoun.

Within the Adam collection, SM Adam volume 3/85 records preliminary designs for interior elements for Hopetown House in Robert Adam’s hand. This includes two designs for chimneypieces with elaborate baroque mantels, a wrought-iron stair balustrade, and a patera design for a ceiling.

The drawings for this scheme are undated, although Robert Adam’s letter to the third Earl regarding the alterations would suggest a date post 1781.

James Hope-Johnstone, 3rd Earl of Hopetoun was born on 23 August 1741 at the family’s estate in Linlithgowshire. The second son to John Hope, 2nd Earl of Hopetoun (d. 1781) and his wife Anne (nee Ogilvy), he was educated at home by tutors, before travelling with his eldest brother Charles from 1762-1766. Upon the death of his brother in 1766, James was made Lord Hope. He married Lady Elizabeth Carnegie in the August of that same year, with whom he would go on to have a family of six daughters.

As his father’s heir, Hope took on the management of the family estates, which included the lucrative lead mines in Leadhills and Lanarkshire. Upon his father’s death in 1781 he succeeded to the title, becoming 3rd Earl of Hopetoun.
In 1784 he embarked upon a political career, standing as a Scottish representative peer until 1790. Hope was known to be an independent voter, successfully introducing a motion for the reaffirmation of the 1709 Scottish Peerage Bill in 1787, and opposing the Regency Bill of 1788.

In 1793, following the outbreak of the French revolutionary wars, Hope played an instrumental role as part of a Royal commission for the raising of seven Scottish regiments, forming the Hopetoun fencibles in response. The following year he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Linlithgowshire, and in 1803 his military efforts were acknowledged with the new title, Baron Hopetoun.

Further to his political and military careers, Hope was involved in the foundation of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
On 29 May 1816, Hope died at the family estate, Hopetoun House, and was succeeded by his younger brother, John Hope.

A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 18, 40, 75; A. Rowan, ‘The Building of Hopetoun’, Architectural History, Vol. 27 (1984) pp 183-209; Katharine Eustace, ‘Robert Adam, Charles-Louis Clerisseau, Michael Rysback and the Hopetoun Chimneypiece’, The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 139 (Nov. 1997) pp. 743-752; D. King, The complete works of Robert James Adam & unbuilt Adam , 2001, Volume I p. 296, Volume II, p. 121; ‘Johnstone, James-Hope, third earl of Hopetoun (1741-1816)’, oxforddnb.com; ‘James Hope, 3rd Earl of Hopetoun’, www.npg.org.uk; hopetoun.co.uk/about/history; '16 Cavendish Square W1’, www.historicengland.org.uk (accessed November 2019)

Anna McAlaney, 2019