HOPE, Thomas, of Maidstone, Kent.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. Sept. 1734, Mrs. Saunderson, wid., of Hammersmith, Mdx.
Nothing is known of Thomas Hope’s origins except that he was a local man. He is described in 1727 by Lady Hervey, in a list of imaginary portraits, as ‘A gentleman; three quarters’,1 and in 1735 as ‘a butcher, who at his election gave the butchers who voted for him silver handles to their steels’.2 Returned for Maidstone in 1727 with government support, he voted consistently with the Administration, but was defeated in 1734, after which he did not stand again. In October 1734, when he was helping to oppose the Duchess of Marlborough’s interest at New Woodstock, he is called ‘a creature of Sir Robert Walpole’s and is said to have a very great interest in him (as appears from his having helped five or six persons to places in the Government by Sir Robert’s means)’.3