A. J. B. Beresford-Hope
A. J. B. Beresford-Hope was one of the wealthiest members of Mid-Victorian British society and brother-in-law of Lord Robert Cecil, a future three-time Prime Minister.
In spite of his being anti-slavery, during the American Civil War, Beresford-Hope was one of Britain’s strongest supporters of the Confederacy, the Chairman of the London branch of the Southern Independence Association (SIA), and a subscriber of both The Index and Confederate Cotton Loan.
The SIA failed in its attempt to persuade Lord Palmerston’s Government to intervene on behalf of the South, but Beresford-Hope was successful in helping memorialise the Confederacy after the war’s end. Along with Confederate Commercial Agent Henry Hotze, Beresford-Hope launched a campaign to raise funds in Britain to fund the erection of a statue of Confederate General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson in Richmond, Virginia. More money was raised than necessary for this project, so the rest of the funds were given by Beresford-Hope to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where Jackson was a professor in physics, mathematics, and artillery before the war.The statue still currently stands prominently in Capitol Square in Richmond and VMI continues to award the top two cadets in each graduating class with the ‘Jackson-Hope Medal’. Both the Jackson statue and VMI medal have emblazoned on them, ‘The Gift of English Gentlemen’.