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George Granville Hope-Johnstone, Imperial Yeomanry 5 days 15 hours ago #76227

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Born 1880, served in the Staffordshire Yeomanry during the ABW, and was invalided home. Presumably related to Captain J. A. Hope-Johnstone, of the Dublin Fusiliers, and C. S. Hope-Johnstone,of the Royal Artillery, and perhaps to G. F. Hope Johnstone, of the Rhodesian Regiment.

The report of the 1913 court case is a bit long-winded, but interesting to compare it to that of ten years later.



....A settlement was arrived at yesterday during the resumed hearing in the King's Bench of the action for slander brought by the Princess Di Formosa against Mr. George Granville Hope- Johnstcne, of Ryder-street, St. James's, London. Plaintiff claimed damages for alleged slander and for false imprisonment. The defendant denied any liability.
....Announcing the terms of settlement, Mr. Marshall-Hall said there were three actions —two of which were brought by Princess Di Formosa against Mr. Hope-Johnstone and one by Mr. Hope-Johnstone against the Princess. One of these was brought by the Princess to recover £340, the amount of a cheque, and also for the recovery of the value of certain other things. The terms of settlement applied to all three actions and were as follow:
........All further proceedings therein were to be finally stayed
........(a) Mr. Hope-Johnstone wholly and unreservedly withdraws all charges and imputations (which are the subject matter of tnis action) made by him against Princess Di Formosa, and admits that the same were and are entirely without foundation, and makes a full and ample apoiogy for having made them.
........(b) Mr. Hope-Johnstone is forthwith to pay the Princess Di Formosa £500 in full satisfaction and discharge of all her claims against him, including her costs in this action, and releases her from all claims and demands whatever on his part (this referred to the claim of £340).
........(c) Subject to the payment of the said £500 the Princess Di Formosa releases Mr. Hope-Johnstone from all other claims and demands whatsoever, and no further or other actions or proceedings are to be taken by either party against the other in respect of any past act or anything known or unknown.
........(d) All sums paid into court by the Prmcess Di Formosa as security for Mr. Hope-Johnstone's costs are to be paid out to the Princess Di Formosa's solicitor. All letters and telegrams or other documents respectively written by Mr. Hope-Johnstone to the Princess and by the Princess to Mr. Hope-Johnstone are to be returned to the writers, and the record in the first action is to be withdrawn. Neither party is in future to communicate in any way or annoy or molest the other in any manner whatever.
....Mr. Schwabe said the plaintiff agreed to the terms suggested.
....Mr Justice Darling said he was glad for the sake of the court that the action had been settled as it was one with which the court ought never to have been troubled. His lordship refused to certify for a special jury, remarking that the case was a disgrace to the court from the moment it was brought.
....During the earlier part of the day's proceedings Mr Hope-Johnstone was cross-examined by Mr. M'Cardle. Witness, referring to the incident at the Paris flat, explained that he struck one of the gentlemen who arrived for dinner but denied assaulting the Princess. Later witness and plaintiff came to London and they lived together at an hotel and also at St. James's-street as Mr. and Mrs. Chevine.
....Mr. M'Cardie: Have you ever borrowed mcney from the plaintiff?
....Witness: When I have been in Paris and could not change a cheque I borrowed two or three hundred francs from her which I paid back. While living at St. James's-street I gave her £1,000. I was rather well off at the time.
....Counsel: Did you give the Princess money?—l gave her over £3,000 last year. At one time I gave her £25 per week, and this was increased to £50 per week. The Princess was generally overdrawn. Witness said the Princess was always worrying him for money. "This was the cause of all our quarrels," he said. During Ascot week last year he gave the Princess £150. In the enclosure at Goodwood the Princess, he said, went up to his mother asking her certain questions about Scotland Yard, and his mother had the Princess turned out of the enclosure.
Manchester Courier, Wednesday 25th June 1913



....A case, which had aroused considerable interest owing to the sad physical appearance of the accused when first brought before the magistrate, reached a further stage at Marlborough-street Police-court to-day, when George Hope Johnstone, 43, Julian Pinder, 31, and Marjorie Hatton, 29, were charged with being unauthorised persons in possession of morphia tablets at Jermyn-street.
....Prisoners to-day entered the dock practically without assistance, but they looked very ill.
....Opening the case for the Commissioner of Police counsel said the case was a very serious one, and the magistrate would see for himself by the appearance of defendants that day that they were all clearly saturated with drugs and in a hopeless state, he should think, of moral and physical decay.
Nottingham Evening Post, Friday 1st June 1923

....George Granville Hope Johnstone, described at Marlborough-street Police Court on Friday as "a chronic morphomaniac," was sentenced to five months' imprisonment for forging doctors' prescriptions for drugs.
The Gloucester Citizen, Saturday 27th March 1926



....The adventurous life of a Nottingham herbalist, who was found dead with a gas mask over his head on Thursday, was revealed at the inquest at Leenside yesterday on George Granville Hope-Johnstone, 58, of 30, Broad-street, Nottingham.
....Det-Supt. Ellington said he had known the deceased well for two years. In June, 1937, he was charged in Nottingham with a serious offence at the assizes—using an instrument with intent to procure an abortion, and was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment. Hope-Johnstone, he said, was born on November 28th, 1880, in London. He was educated at Winchester and Cambridge. The day after completing his education he joined the Staffordshire Yeomanry and served in the Boer War. Eventually he was invalided home. For many years after that he led an independent life in South Africa and the South of France.
....From 1923 to 1930 he lived in the Metropolitan area, and during that period he was in trouble with the police three times for offences relating to the illegal possession of dangerous drugs and running a betting house. For two offences he received a term of imprisonment. He came to Nottingham in 1930, and began to sell herbs in and around the market-places of Nottingham until he opened a small herbalist's shop. Later he went to his last address in Broad-street. There he carried on a considerable business in the sale of herbs, medicines and pills.
...."His conduct attracted our attention," added Det.-supt. Ellington, "and it was as the result of making protracted inquiries that I had to arrest him.
...." After proceedings began, it came to witness's knowledge that Johnstone attempted suicide by severing an artery in his left arm. He was released from prison in February 1938. ....On December 21st witness saw Johnstone in the evening, and took him to the Guildhall, where he cautioned him and confronted him with someone else. He was released.
....The Coroner: Did you leave any impression in his mind that a charge might a preferred against him?— Yes.
....He was well aware that a charge might be preferred?—Yes.
....Would that have been a serious offence? A grave offence.
....How did he react to that knowledge in your presence?—lt shattered him. He was obviously in great fear when he left.
....Det.-supt. Ellington also stated that the deceased had been taking drugs extensively for 30 years.
....Would he be described as a drug addict? —Yes, a morphia addict.
....On Saturday witness received his clothing, and in his waistcoat pocket found labels similar to those with which the gas mask was sealed and another article.
....Julian T. Pinder, of 30, Broad-street, Nottingham, said he was the deceased's business partner, and had known him for some years. He had been unusual since leaving Lincoln prison. ...."He took no interest in anything," witness added, "except crossword puzzles. He used to get up at 5 p.m.—if I could get him up. He took no interest in his business. He was a broken man, depressed, nervous and worried.
....One day last week Johnstone got up earlier than usual. He told witness that his nerves had gone to pieces. Witness told him to pull himself together, and Johnstone replied that he wanted to see his doctor.
....The Coroner: Did you know he was addicted to morphia?—Yes, I have known for years.
....Have you ever heard him threaten to take his life?—l think he tried once before, and I have heard him say, "I wish I were dead."
....Dr. A. Moffat Pyle, of 201, llkeston-road, Nottingham, said he first saw Hope-Johnstone on February 16th,1938. He had seen him very frequently since, more so towards the end of the year, when he was coming every second day, and the last few days before death every day. Witness prescribed for him at the beginning and the dose of morphine sulphate was regularly increased and was lately 24 grains every day.
....Witness said tnat he knew of an incident concerning his patient which happened on the night of December 21st. He came to see witness after an interview with the police. He was in a state of great nervous prostration and collapse and was shouting.
....The Coroner: Did you gather that he was afraid of a charge being preferred against him?—The police did not detain him that night, but he was afraid there might be one preferred against him.
....Witness saw him on subsequent days and he seemed to have recovered.
....On December 27th Hope-Johnstone came to his (witness's) house before noon and asked permission to stay. He said he was unhappy in his own home, but gave no other reason.
....Witness allowed him to stay the night. He stayed downstairs. Next morning he told witness he had not slept. He was melancholy, but witness did not think he would commit suicide and allowed him to sleep there again that night.
....Witness went downstairs about a quarter to eight next morning, and found Hope-Johnstone lying in the pantry very near a gas jet from a copper boiler. He had a civilian gas mask over his head and a length of tubing led from the tap somewhere underneath the gas mask. Witness tore off the mask and turned the gas off. It was obvious he was dead.
....Mrs. Annie Perkins, housekeeper to the last witness, said she missed her gas mask from the dining-room drawer.
....The jury returned a verdict of "Suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed."
Nottingham Evening Post, Tuesday 3rd January 1939

And now the odd bit. The Peerage website lists a George Granville Hope Johnstone as being born on the 28th November 1880 (as mentioned during the inquest above), but dying in Africa, circa 1955. Were there two George Granville Hope-Johnstones?
Some online searches bring up the death date of 29th December 1938.

The General Register Office has recorded the death of George Granville Hope Johnstone in Nottingham, it being registered in the first quarter of 1939, and aged 58.

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