Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Henry Francis Hope Pelham-Clinton-Hope, 8th Duke (1866-1941)

After assuming the additional surname and arms of Hope by royal licence in 1887, and before inheriting the dukedom from his elder brother in 1928, he became generally known as Lord Francis Hope. This reflected the significant property that had descended to him via the will of his grandmother, Anne Adele Hope. He was educated at Eton and and Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

Lord Francis enjoyed an extravagent lifestyle and it was to settle his debts that the famous family heirloom, the Hope diamond, was sold in 1902. This is the largest deep blue diamond ever known, once part of the French crown jewels, and now on display in the Smithsonian Museum. The diamond was not the only Hope heirloom to be disposed of. Following litigation in Chancery because of the trusts imposed by his grandmother's will, the 8th Duke, as he had by then become, disposed of the vast majority of the Hope properties - notably The Deepdene in Surrey and Castleblayney in County Monaghan, Ireland. The sales included the contents of both houses.

The demolition of Clumber House and the sale of its contents also took place during the 8th Duke's lifetime, though this action was carried out by his son, Lord Lincoln (later the 9th Duke), who had inherited the property from his uncle, the 7th Duke.

A photographic portrait of the Duke, by Bassano, is available on the National Portrait Gallery website


He was married twice:

  • 1. In 1894 to Mary Augusta Yohé (d 1938), an American singer and dancer. They divorced in 1902
  • 2. In 1904 to Olive Muriel Owen née Thompson (d 1912) by whom he had 3 children:
    • Henry later 9th Duke
    • Doria Lois (1908-1942), who m 1stly Major Frederick B. Childe in 1930 (div. 1934) and 2ndly Stefan Neumann in 1936
    • Mary (b 1910), who m 1stly Charles Horne in 1930 (div. 1933), 2ndly Romain A. Stemmer in 1939 (div. 1946) and 3rdly William S. Blaieff in 1947


Archive Collections

  • There are numerous items relating to the 8th Duke's affairs contained within the Newcastle (Clumber) Collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham, particularly the 6th deposit (Ne 6).

Published Sources

  • There are no notable published works concerning the 8th Duke, although there are some biographical details in Fletcher, John, Ornament of Sherwood Forest : from ducal estate to public park (Country Books, 2005) [King’s Meadow Campus East Midlands Collection Not 508.G76 FLE]

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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