Victor Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow

The Most Honourable
The Marquess of Linlithgow
Viceroy of India
In office
18 April 1936  1 October 1943
Monarch Edward VIII
George VI
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Neville Chamberlain
Winston Churchill
Preceded by The Marquess of Willingdon
Succeeded by The Viscount Wavell
Personal details
Born 24 September 1887
South Queensferry, Linlithgowshire, Scotland
Died 5 January 1952(1952-01-05) (aged 64)
South Queensferry, Linlithgowshire, Scotland
Spouse(s) Doreen Maud Milner
Religion Presbyterian

Victor Alexander John Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow, KG, KT, FRSE, GCSI, GCIE, OBE, TD, PC, DL, LLD (24 September 1887  5 January 1952) was a British statesman who served as Governor-General and Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1943. He was usually referred to simply as Linlithgow.

Early life and family

Hope was born at Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, Linlithgowshire, Scotland, on 24 September 1887.

He was the eldest son of John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun, later 1st Marquess Linlithgow, and Hersey Everleigh-de-Moleyns, Countess of Hopetoun and later Marchioness of Linlithgow, daughter of the fourth Baron Ventry.[1] His godmother was Queen Victoria.[2]

He was educated at Eton College and on 29 February 1908 succeeded his father as 2nd Marquess Linlithgow.

In 1912, aged only 25, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were William Turner, Alexander Crum Brown, Cargill Gilston Knott and James Haig Ferguson. He served as the Society's Vice President from 1934 to 1937.[3]

Early career

Linlithgow served as an officer on the Western Front during the First World War, ending the war with the rank of Colonel. He commanded a battalion of the Royal Scots. He was mentioned in dispatches and appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

He then served in various minor roles in the Conservative governments of the 1920s and '30s. From 1922 till 1924 he served as the civil lord of the Admiralty, becoming chairman of the Unionist Party Organization in 1924 for two years. He also served as president of the Navy League from 1924 until 1931. He was chairman of the Medical Research Council and of the governing body of the Imperial College London. Linlithgow was also chairman of the committee on the distribution and prices of agricultural produce and president of the Edinburgh and East of Scotland College of Agriculture until 1933. In 1926 he was chairman of the Royal Commission on Agriculture in India, which published its findings in 1928.[4] Influenced by submissions to the Royal Commission, "a decade later, when (he) became Viceroy of India he showed a personal interest in nutrition, pushing it to the top of the research agenda".[5] In the 1930s he was also chairman of the select committee on Indian constitutional reform.


Hopetoun House

Having previously declined both the governorship of Madras and the governor-generalship of Australia (his father was the first Governor-General of Australia),[6] he became the Viceroy of India,[1] succeeding Lord Willingdon. Travelling out to India on the P&O liner RMS Strathmore, he arrived in Bombay, with his wife, daughters, and personal staff, on 17 April 1936.[7] Linlithgow implemented the plans for local self-government embodied in the Government of India Act 1935, which led to provincial governments led by the Congress Party in five of the eleven provinces of British India, but the recalcitrance of the princes prevented the establishment of elected governments in most of the princely states.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Linlithgow's appeal for unity led to the resignation of the Congress ministries. On 8 August 1940 Lord Linlithgow made a statement on behalf of the British government. It was known as the August Offer and offered greater rights in the governance of India to the Indian people. The proposal was rejected by most Indian politicians, including the Congress Party and the Muslim League. Disputes between the British administration and Congress ultimately led to massive Indian civil disobedience in the Quit India Movement in 1942. Linlithgow suppressed the disturbances and arrested the Congress leaders. He is partly blamed for the Bengal famine of 1943.[8]


He retired in 1943, his seven-year tenure as viceroy having been the longest in the history of the Raj. He was considered by his British obituarists to have been "one of the most skillful colonial officers to have held the highest office".

Indians were less kind in their assessments of his career. V. P. Menon in The Transfer of Power in India stated, "His 7½ year regime – longer than that of any other Viceroy – was conspicuous by its lack of positive achievement. When he left India, famine stalked portions of the countryside. There was economic distress due to the rising cost of living and the shortage of essential commodities. On the political side, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru expressed the general feeling thus: 'Today, I say, after seven years of Lord Linlithgow's administration the country is much more divided than it was when he came here'."

A sincere Presbyterian, he served as Lord High Commissioner to the Church of Scotland in 1944 and 1945. He died in 1952.



On 19 April 1911 he married Doreen Maud Milner (1886–1965), the younger daughter of Sir Frederick Milner.[9] They had twin sons and three daughters:

In some circles the three girls were known as Faint Hope, Little Hope and No Hope.[10]


  1. 1 2 Viceroy at Bay: Lord Linlithgow in India, 1936-43, by John Glendevon
  2. Dictionary of Australian Artists Online
  3. BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX OF FORMER FELLOWS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH 1783 – 2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  4. Linlithgow (Chairman); et al. (1928), Royal Commission on Agriculture in India. Volume I, Part II, Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publication Branch, retrieved 12 August 2010 (Full text at Internet Archive)
  5. Arnold, David (2000), Science, technology, and medicine in Colonial India, The New Cambridge History of India. Part III, Volume 5, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 201, ISBN 0-521-56319-4, retrieved 12 August 2010
  6. Australian Dictionary of Biography
  7. News and Views (1936), p. 5: "Lord and Lady Linlithgow, together with their three daughters and personal staff, arrived by the new P & O liner S. S. Strathmore on Friday, April 17, in the early morning, and were escorted into Bombay harbor by the ships of the Royal Indian Navy".
  8. Richard Stevenson, Bengal Tiger and British Lion: An Account of the Bengal Famine of 1943
  9. John Glendevon, Viceroy at Bay: Lord Linlithgow in India, 1936-43
  10. "Lt-Col James Allason: War hero who became an MP and formulated the Tory policy of selling council houses to tenants". The Independent. London. 23 June 2011.
Government offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Willingdon
Viceroy of India
Succeeded by
The Viscount Wavell
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Rosebery
Lord Lieutenant of West Lothian
Succeeded by
Henry Moubray Cadell
Academic offices
Preceded by
Baron Tweedsmuir
Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh
Succeeded by
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Hope
Marquess of Linlithgow
Succeeded by
Charles William Frederick Hope
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