During our recent walk from Blythswood Square to George Square I had to admit ignorance on the origin of the name Hope Street. All I could offer on the subject was that the name had been changed at some point from Copenhagen Street.

That original name was, I believe, given in honour of the Battle of Copenhagen (2 April 1801), when the British navy defeated a Danish-Norwegian force, and Nelson famously held his telescope to his blind eye. But why would that be changed?

It remains unclear, but I can speculate on the possible origin of the name Hope.

The street was opened around the turn of the century from 18th to 19th and the Glasgow Directory seems to ignore Copenhagen Street. Perhaps it bore the name only very briefly. We find Hope Street first included in the Glasgow Directory of 1803. The Napoleonic Wars were kicking off in 1803, with the Battle of Trafalgar taking place in October 1805. One of the leading naval officers serving throughout his time, including action at Trafalgar was Rear-Admiral Sir George Johnstone Hope. See his wikipedia page for details:


Hope joined Nelson's forces in 1798, and was involved in the British invasion of Egypt in 1801. Given the timing, Glasgow's enthusiasm for naming streets after Armed Forces' leaders and their victories and the fact that this naval hero was a Scotsman, it seems likely that the street is name for this Hope, rather than Pandora's

I will be pleased if anyone can definitively confirm or refute this.