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John Adrian Louis Hope KT GCMG GCVO PC

James Peter Quinn (1869-1951), John Adrian Louis Hope (detail), Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection. View full image

1st Marquess of Linlithgow, 7th Earl of Hopetoun
Governor-General, 1 January 1901 to 9 January 1903

At the Commonwealth of Australia’s inauguration ceremony on 1 January 1901, over 100,000 spectators cheered as Governor-General Lord Hopetoun (1860–1908) took the oath of office and appointed the first federal government. While his term was cut short, Hopetoun largely won the goodwill and respect of the new nation.1

Hopetoun was born in Queensferry, Scotland, and educated at Eton and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Appointed Conservative Whip in the House of Lords in 1883, he became Queen Victoria’s Lord-in-Waiting in 1885 and represented her as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from 1887 to 1889. In 1886 Hopetoun married Hersey Alice Eveleigh-de-Moleyns, the daughter of the 4th Baron Ventry, and they had two sons and two daughters, one of whom died in infancy.

As Governor of Victoria from 1889 to 1895, Hopetoun’s enthusiasm and charm made him a popular figure even beyond the colony. His term coincided with a key decade for the Federation movement, and Hopetoun was an enthusiastic supporter of the cause. Upon his return to England, he was appointed Paymaster-General in the Salisbury Government and, in 1898, became Lord Chamberlain.

In July 1900, the Queen appointed Hopetoun as the first Governor-General of Australia. Today he is most remembered for the ‘Hopetoun Blunder’, his misstep in asking NSW Premier William Lyne to form the initial government, rather than Federation’s acknowledged leader, Edmund Barton. So unexpected was this choice that Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain cabled: ‘Great surprise expressed at choice of Lyne instead of Barton. Please give reasons’.2 When Lyne failed to form a ministry, Hopetoun duly commissioned Barton.

Hopetoun was received by many Australians as an ‘old friend’ and formed a strong relationship with Barton. However, his time as Governor-General was not without strain or controversy. In May 1902, disappointed by the Parliament’s refusal to supplement his salary to meet the costs of his role (which he had subsidised from his private income), Hopetoun asked to be recalled. He left Australia in July 1902.

Hopetoun served as Secretary for Scotland in the Balfour Government for a short period in 1905 but suffered from increasing ill-health. He died on 29 February 1908 and was succeeded by his eldest son Victor Alexander John Hope, who later became
Viceroy of India.

James Peter Quinn
James Quinn (1869-1951) was born and educated in Melbourne. Apprenticed to an engraver, he studied part-time at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School (1887-93). Quinn was awarded several of the School’s awards, including the prestigious travelling scholarship. He studied at the Académie Julian and the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and in 1902 moved to London, establishing himself as a successful portraitist and exhibiting with the Royal Academy of Arts. Quinn served as an official war artist with the AIF in France in 1918 and 1919, and became an official artist to the Canadian War Records Office in 1919. A council member of the London Portrait Society, and a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Quinn was a regular exhibitor with the Royal Academy, London, and at the Old and New Salons in Paris. Returning to Australia in 1935, Quinn exhibited in Melbourne and Adelaide, and won the Crouch Prize from the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery in 1941. He became president of the Victorian Artists’ Society (1937–50) and taught briefly in the 1940s at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School. His portraits are held in many public collections throughout Australia and internationally.3

John Adrian Louis Hope
by James Peter Quinn
Oil on canvas
273.3 x 148 cm
Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House Art Collection

1. Information in this biography has been taken from: C Cunneen, ‘Hopetoun, seventh Earl of (1860–1908)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1983, accessed 13 April 2021; C Cunneen, King’s Men: Australia’s Governors-General from Hopetoun to Isaacs, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1983; B Carroll, Australia’s Governors-General: From Hopetoun to Jeffery, Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd, Kenthurst, NSW, 2004.
2.‘Telegram from Secretary of State for the Colonies requesting reasons for choice of WJ Lyne instead of Edmund Barton’, National Archives of Australia (NAA-A6661-1055; 421675), 1900, accessed 12 October 2021.
3. Information in this biography has been taken from: A Fraser, ‘Quinn, James Peter (1869–1951)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1988; A Gray, ‘James Quinn’, Design & Art Australia Online, 2011; ‘Quinn, James Peter’, A McCulloch, S McCulloch and E McCulloch Childs, eds, The New McCulloch’s Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Aus Art Editions in association with The Miegunyah Press, 2006, p. 807. Websites accessed 25 May 2021.

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