Maitland Family Summary
Issue Date: 18/04/2018.
Jamaica Maitland Family – Research Evolution
Jamaica Vol 1, George Wilson Bridges, 1827
Jamaica Vol 2, George Wilson Bridges, 1827
Jamaicensis, Cundall, 1902
of Jamaica, a Curious Inheritance
Heritage Technical Report final - 1998
Jamaica, Cundall, 1915
PLACE-NAMES – Cundall 1909
Planter’s Guide - 1823
DEMOGRAPHIC STRUCTURE OF AMERICAN SLAVERY: JAMAICA VERSUS VIRGINIA
Tracts relating to the Island of Jamaica - 1800
Insrcptions of the British West Indies - 1875
Inscriptions Barbados – 1915
JAMAICA HISTORY BY FRANK CUNDALL, F.S.A. 1900
The history of Jamaica Or general survey V 1 - 1877
The history of Jamaica Or general survey V 2
The history of Jamaica Or general survey V 3
Introduction to the Plantation Journals of the Prospect Sugar Estate
of Jamaica with Observations, Penny, 1807
Plantership – 1839
William Beckford of Fonthill Vol 1 1859
William Beckford of Fonthill Vol 2 1859
Original Lists of Persons of Quality; - 1874
PEDIGREES OF SOME OF THE EARLY SETTLERS IN JAMAICA. - 1909
Reports from the Committee (re Slaves) 1789
to the Plantation Journals of the Prospect Sugar Estate - 2004
Our branch of the Maitlands have been a roving lot, my children being
the first in 8 generations in the direct Maitland line not to have been born
or lived outside the UK, in areas stretching from the Caribbean to the China
Sea, see below for a résumé of our saga. Even my son is “non-standard” in
that he is married to a Russian! The other maternal lines in Jamaica go back
a further 5 generations with some of the earliest settlers in the Island
coming from Barbados. At the moment, there is no proven link to the Clan
Maitland as we have not yet found the origin of our first Maitland, Richard,
a mariner sailing out of London, and whose son, John died in Jamaica 1786. A
short history of the Scottish family is given below.
The trail of this part of our family started with a hand-written family
tree with a Francis Maitland (the first of three), born 1784, at the top and
continuing down his family to my father’s generation. Later members had been
added in different hands as they arrived. The main part of the tree looks as
though it was drawn up at a family gathering, perhaps a Christmas around the
turn of the 20thC when many of the family were based in the Far East. No
locations are given.
The marriage of the first Francis Maitland & Ann Wright appeared on
the Mormon’s IGI database (then on microfiche) at St Clement Danes in London,
which I found early on. A visit to the London Record Office to see the
original came up with the suggestion of looking to see if he was buried there
– he was. At this stage, there was no indication of anything other than an
English/Scottish family. As he died in England, his will was proved at
Canterbury. It was this will and the associated death duty register which
mentioned St Elizabeth in Jamaica, the first my side of the family then
living knew of our connection with the Island.
The next stroke of luck was that the Mormon family history centre in London
held microfilm copies of the Jamaica Parish Records of the period. After some
searching I found the record of Francis Maitland’s baptism in St Elizabeth
Jamaica under non white: somewhat a surprise! I subsequently found many of
the family in these records. Much of the earlier generations have been wholly
or partly completed from wills and other documents held in Jamaica. These
include at least 2 lines of mixed race.
Our ignorance of our Jamaican heritage could be partly explained by the
early death of our GG grandfather, Francis Maitland the 2nd at sea
in 1842. His wife remarried in London and had further children by her second
husband, and her Maitland children were even called Halahan in the 1851
census, although her younger Maitland son, John Andrew (“uncle JAM”) was
quoted as born in Jamaica. Our G grandfather, Francis 3rd must
therefore have been to Jamaica, and it is likely that his sons knew of the
Caribbean connection: the youngest, my grand father, Nathanial George
Maitland, always known as NG or NMG, on arrival into the US West Coast in
1919 & 1922 quoted his origins as Scottish. Other than the name, we have
no demonstrated connection with the Scottish family. A slightly fanciful idea
is that NGM, having married a girl from the Northern US born 15 years after
the civil war, may not have been keen to acknowledge any mixed race
connections! NG and his elder brother Edward William, EW, were (jokingly)
said in Shanghai to be No Good and Even Worse!
Of interest is that the family of Peter Rushbrook which also appears on
the original tree descending from Andrew Wright Maitland, another son of
Francis 1st, knew all about the Jamaican connections as a younger
1st cousin of our G grandfather married rather late in life a much
younger woman who did not die until 1978. Thus 2 individuals ostensibly
contemporary generations on the tree were born 42 years apart and died 77
years apart. Peter had a good collection of family papers, which I scanned at
his house before he died.
Our family is an example of how a mixed race family evolved in Jamaica
and took steps to lose their African background and integrate into 19th
Century England. My Great-great-great grandfather, Francis Maitland and his
mother, Rebecca Wright, were born of women of colour by white men: this was a
common occurrence in a society like Jamaica where there were about 20 white
men for one white woman. He married Ann Wright, “reputed white” whose father
stipulated that when she went to England, she did not return to Jamaica
unmarried. She and Francis got round this by both going to London and being
Many of our 18thC ancestors were not married in any conventional way to
the coloured mothers of their children. This was at least partly because
whites and people of colour were forbidden to marry in Jamaica (but not in
England) and also the men were often promiscuous. For the women in these
relationships, I use the term concubine as being the most correct according
to the dictionary: partner is a term I dislike and is too modern and common
law wife is incorrect. The relationships were often long term and produced
several children, who were acknowledged in wills and so on.
When the subject of our Jamaican family comes up, and a common comment is
“they were slave traders I suppose” or that they were sugar planters
exploiting the slaves. I have some satisfaction in saying that some were
slaves and that my great-great-great grandfather was a man of colour. The
popular misconception is that all white families of the time were making
fortunes out of growing sugar by the forced labour of slaves. Some families
did indeed do this and laid the foundations of some of the richest families
in England, but there were many others who lead a lower profile life,
providing the agricultural support for the sugar industry, raising livestock,
harvesting spices, producing coffee and cotton. As all farmers in Jamaica
did, ours owned slaves, which was an integral part of the economic system of
the time and which were part of the owners’ capital wealth. Slaves had no
freedom to move about as they wished; however, the English farm worker in
reality had little more real freedom – parishes were most unwilling to allow
incomers without resources to settle within their boundaries. There were laws
in Jamaica covering the treatment of slave, their clothing etc. Owners
normally provided them with their own area and shelter. A paper in 1796
comparing the life of a European peasant and the African slave comes up with
a conclusion: “the peasant possess liberty without the means of enjoyment:
the slave enjoys the sweets of liberty, without actual possession.”
The earliest of the other, maternal, lines originated in Barbados and were
amongst the early planters; a member of the Booth family was granted land in
the 1660’s, within 5 years of the final departure of the Spanish, and Francis
Burton is in the Barbados records selling his land before going to Jamaica in
1682. The first settlers seemed to have been married to white women, but
succeeding generations often had mixed race children by women of colour. In
many cases there were a number of children by the same woman, indicating a
fairly settled relationship, but in other instances, the men were more
promiscuous. Detailed reading of the parish records can give a clue of the
level of acknowledgement by the man. This varied from the child being
baptised by the mother’s surname, with no father, through the use of the
father’s surname, but no actual father to the use of the phrase “reputed
child of (man) by (woman)”; this can be taken to mean that there was no doubt
about the father, but the parents were not actually married (nor were
permitted to be between coloured and whites). Wills and in one case, a
manumission, clarify and extend the relationships.
The Maitland family splits into 4 groups:
Captain Richard Maitland
of London, who died in New York in 1778, and his son
Captain John who died 1786 in Jamaica and his associated family.
The The descendants of
Francis Maitland of Jamaica, containing our Jamaica Maitland
family between the late 18thC and mid 19thC with some branches into the
Francis Maitland 3rd, with
our more recent immediate family.
The Wright Family of
Jamaica: The forebears of Rebecca Wright, concubine of
John Maitland and Ann Wright, wife of Francis Maitland, John’s son, include Wright, Sinclair, Hayle & Burton ancestors.
These families were early settlers in Jamaica (the Burtons, Booths and Hayles
and probably the Wrights were there by the 1680’s), and have left much
documentary evidence. They became numerous, and at times wealthy. Some
started off as indigo growers before moving on to sugar. Many of the later branches
became pen keepers (stock and general farmers), the support industry for the
Additional property and other background information can be found under Jamaica General.
The Jamaica Maitland Family – Research Evolution
The Maitland family of St Elizabeth Parish in SW
Jamaica descend from John Maitland who had a couple of sons in the 1780’s by
Rebecca Dunston Wright, daughter of Patty Penford, both of whom were born in
slavery, but died in freedom. My family descend from Francis, the elder son. His
planter descendants are probably responsible for many of the Maitlands in
Jamaica, either "directly" or by freed slaves taking the employer's
I have spent time in Jamaica, and visited several
properties associated with our family; I have spent many days in the Archives
and Registrar General’s Department to try and find out a bit more of the
Maitland family of Jamaica. The records of the 18th and early 19th
centuries, the period I am concerned with, are extensive and generally in
good condition. Most of those who died in Jamaica left wills and inventories
of their personal property were made, the majority of which have survived.
These documents reveal much of a person’s position at death although the inventories
do not include real estate. All significant commercial transactions were
recorded as deeds. The content of these deeds ranges from the sale of a slave
to a complete estate. All these documents are indexed by the name of the
parties concerned. Most are available as originals. They are a potential
goldmine of historical and genealogical information. The Archives also hold
Land Grant documents, including some directly granted to our ancestors. There
is a lifetime’s work to be done – good excuse for returning to Jamaica.
For some years, early in my life as an amateur genealogist for my branch
of the Maitlands, I had thought that John Maitland was descended from Captain
Frederick Lewis Maitland, 4th son of the 6th Earl of
Lauderdale. The Captain’s son, John, born of a mulatto woman, Mary Arnot, was
the only John Maitland born in Jamaica at about the right time that I had
found. I basked in the reflected glory of an ancestor who had had an
interesting naval career. After some years, John Maitland’s will turned up
with a mother named Sarah – back to square one! As it turned out, John’s
father, Richard had a very interesting and sometimes exciting life: much of
his life can be found from newspapers and the papers of Henry Laurens of
I have found and visited several properties that were in our family. The
house where my GG Grandfather and his siblings were born, Giddy Hall, has
been reduced to a few piles of masonry, much overgrown, but I have a couple
of photographs of it in its prime. It was a typical Jamaican “Great House”,
with an associated farm (a pen) of about 1500 acres, producing livestock,
pimento and timber. Another of Francis 1’s sons, Andrew Wright acquired the
next door pen of Mount Charles. This house is still standing, and has
recently been excellently restored by its new owner from Kingston. It stands
on the edge of an escarpment overlooking the Black River flood plain with the
eponymous town and the sea in the distance.
Patty Penford, her children and grandchildren were classed as free
persons of colour; this placed significant restrictions on them, in
particular the amount of property they were allowed to own (£2000 Jamaican).
This family (Patty, her 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren) was the subject of
an Act of Privilege in 1784. These Acts were passed by the Jamaica Assembly,
giving suitable persons of colour the Rights and Privileges of Whites (with
certain reservations). About 630 of these Acts were passed over about 75
years and were granted to free persons of colour who usually had significant
property and met other desirable criteria such as being baptised. The Act
stated that children of Patty’s grandchildren begotten of a white man or
woman would be as white.
One of the fascinations of searching old records is how odd connections
turn up. While looking at the Admiralty Records of Richard Maitland’s convoy,
I read the letters that covered the list. There is a note in there of Mr
Shumer being appointed Captain of HMS Wager in 1757. Frederick Lewis Maitland
took commands of this ship after Captain Shumer.
Summary of the Maitlands:
was a merchant mariner whose first appearance was the drafting of his will in
1740, as he went to sea, perhaps soon after his marriage. From 1744 onwards
until his death in New York in 1778, there are numerous reports relating to
his voyages, latterly between London and the Americas. He would have had a
financial interest in many of these trips. His son:
John (1745-1786), by Sarah, was also a mariner, at one time as a co-owner in
ships with his father and, latterly, as a merchant and planter, he bought
land in 1786 in St Elizabeth, in the SW of Jamaica where he died. He fathered
by Rebecca Wright, a quadroon, 2 sons, Francis and Richard.
Rebecca Wright was descended from the Wrights of Vere & St Elizabeth, prominent families in St Elizabeth and Vere. She
was born in slavery but very soon manumitted and became a woman of some
substance, leaving significant property in her will. Her tombstone is still
visible in Black River Churchyard. His planter descendants are probably
responsible for most of the Maitlands in Jamaica, either "directly"
or by freed slaves taking the employer's surname. Rebecca was the daughter of
Patty Penford, a mulatto freed slave, who was subject, with her daughters and
grand children, of an Act of Privilege Bill in 1784 giving them (most) of the
rights of whites, significantly the right to own unlimited assets; Patty
owned several properties in St Elizabeth and Westmoreland.
Francis Maitland, the
John and Rebecca’s surviving son, was born as a person of colour in St
Elizabeth, Jamaica. He was married and died in London, but resided at Giddy
Hall pen in Jamaica in the intervening years. He inherited his mother's
residual estate, including some property. He bought Giddy Hall pen (the term
for a stock farm) in 1809, which grew to about 2000 acres by 1840, with a
substantial Great House, sadly demolished in the 1950's. He also acquired an
interest in Mitcham and Silver Grove pens on the St Elizabeth/Manchester
border as a result of the death of his father-in-law. He married Ann Wright,
the daughter of Ruth Sinclair, a "free mestice" (octoroon) and
Andrew Wright, a white planter of the Vere family of Wrights and of Mitcham
pen in St Elizabeth. Ruth Sinclair descended from Planters of that name from
Caithness in NE Scotland. Andrew Wright had only two known daughters, both by
his mixed race concubine, but took them back to England: he stipulated in his
will that they would forfeit their inheritance if they returned to Jamaica
unmarried. Was this to try to prevent Ann marrying Francis Maitland? Ann and
Francis were married in London soon after Andrew's death, before returning to
The known family come from his 9 offspring, of whom Andrew Wright, John,
Francis 2nd, Emma Rebecca (who married Samuel Sherman of St Elizabeth Parish
and inherited Mitcham and are still in the area), George and Septimus
survived to adulthood.
All produced children (except John, who inherited Giddy Hall and George,
about whom little is known and died relatively young), most of whom moved to
England in the mid 19th Century. The seventh son, Septimus, was a London tea
merchant and probably encouraged the sons and grandsons of his brothers
Francis 2nd & Andrew Wright to seek their fortunes in the Far East in the
late 19th and early 20th Centuries as described later.
At August 2011, descendants of Andrew, Francis 2 and Emma are known.
A short chapter about Francis’s brother in law, George Roberts who married
Rebecca Wright; they remained at Silver Grove Pen, and were in London in the
mid 19thC with Ann Wright is to be found with the Jamaica Maitlands.
Francis Maitland, the "2nd" (1809-42),
was born at Giddy Hall in 1811 and died at sea in November 1842 when the ship
of which he was master disappeared, probably in a very bad storm in the North
Sea, a board with the name of the ship was washed up on the shore of Southern
Norway the following summer. (a ".... Maitland (lady) and child were
listed arriving in Jamaica on the "Conservative" in November, 1842:
who was this?). He was as a listed merchant seaman, but retained interests in
the Jamaican properties. He married Harriet Carpenter from a family of
farmers and masons near Exeter, Devon, England: after his death, Harriet
married Peter Halahan, an Irishman in London and had further children by him.
His proven children were Francis "3" and John Andrew (1839). His
and Carpenter details 1765-1840 are given in Jamaica Maitlands.
Francis Maitland, the
a London grocer, tea merchant and, reputedly, gold prospector. He was said to
be a bit of a ner-do-well: his brother left about 2000 times as much in his
will! He married Ann Jane Chapman from Newcastle (her mother was a Cleugh)
and had 5 children, John Andrew (1863), Francis (1865), Edward William
(1867), Harriet Matilda and Nathaniel George (1875), my grand-father. This
part includes details of this most recent part of the family in the UK and
Far East, including Chapmans and Cleughs of Newcastle.
All Francis’s children except Harriet (Aunt Daisy) produced children.
My Grand-father, Nathaniel George Maitland (1875-1951), was born in London,
but went out to Shanghai early in his career, where he was a banker and
bullion broker, remaining there until the mid 1920's when he retired to
England. He married an American Eleanor
Poole, whose family was in the
tea trade in Japan. They had 4 boys, Francis, Jack, Otis and Donald (my
father). All except Otis were born in the Far East.
Life of my father Donald
In these files, each of my direct ancestors has a serial number:
ff/gg/nn. (ff = family, gg = generation of my children being 1, nn = serial
number in generation).
Our Family's Travels
Francis 1 was born and raised in St Elizabeth Parish.
After Francis 1's death in 1824, Francis 2 and Septimus both moved to
England, although Francis 2's 2nd son was born in Jamaica. Septimus became a
tea broker in London, having been in Shanghai for a short period in the late
1840’s. He was only 15 years older than Francis 2's younger son, John Andrew
must have been close to him as Septimus made John Andrew an executor of his
will. It is known that this John Andrew was a successful trader in China,
probably as a result of Septimus's tea business. Francis 3 also later entered
the tea business. This was the start of a long connection with the Far East.
By the turn of the 19thC, in Shanghai there were: two sons of Septimus,
trading under their own names, Andrew Wright, son of Andrew Wright and
grandson of Francis 1, as a banker (and followed by his son Hugh) and at
least 2 sons of Francis 3. A Frank Maitland, probably Septimus' son, appears
in a photograph album with NG Maitland, my grandfather. Francis 2's younger
son, John Andrew was probably still in the area. There were therefore
gathered in the small European community in Shanghai in about 1900,
Septimus's nephews by his brothers Francis and Andrew, two of his sons and at
least 2 of his great-nephews by Francis 3. I believe that the hand written
tree with which I started this research was probably composed at this time
when the cousins were all gathered in Shanghai.
The roving line back from my English born children is thus:
1. Antony Maitland, born Cairo, Egypt.
2. Donald Maitland, born Shanghai.
3. NG Maitland, resident China for at least 30 years.
4. Francis Maitland, born Liverpool, early life in Jamaica and reputedly a
5. Francis Maitland, born Jamaica, a mariner with English wife.
6. Francis Maitland, born Jamaica, married and died London, Jamaica planter.
7. John Maitland, Jamaican mariner.
8. Richard Maitland, John's father, born about 1710, died New York in 1778.
The Settlement of Jamaica
The Maitlands of Jamaica were relatively recent arrivals with John
Maitland appearing in about 1780. However, they interbred with descendants of
some of the earliest families, in particular the Booths and Burtons, both of
whom came from Barbados in the latter part of the 17thC, soon after the
taking of the Island by the British in 1655 from the Spanish.
Jamaica in the late 17th & early 18th Centuries
was a young settlement. Originally a Spanish possession, it was taken by
Cromwell’s expedition led by Penn & Venables in 1655. Jamaica was in fact
their second choice having been beaten off Hispaniola, the original target,
by the Spanish. I like the idea of them having been defeated there thinking
that they could not waste the journey and heard of Jamaica and thought they
might as well try there! In hindsight, this was a better choice, with Jamaica
becoming the jewel in the British Caribbean colonies.
In 1655, the Island was held by a small Spanish population, mostly around
St Jago de la Vega, now Spanish Town, with a few settlements round the
coasts. As there was no gold or silver to be found, the Spanish had largely
lost interest in the place and it became a convenient a provisioning place
for the ships. Opinions vary about the fate of the original indigenous
populations. There seems no doubt that they had completely disappeared, or
almost so. It is probable that in fact the remainder had become assimilated
with the African slave population imported by the Spanish, many of whom had
escaped and became the Marroons living in the remote parts of the Island.
By the time the last Spanish had left in about 1660, Jamaica was a green
field site, open to all comers. The system of settling the Island was similar
to that which had been used in North America and in the “Plantations” of
Ulster. Suitable individuals were granted land by the Crown, initially as
tenants with a small acreage rent payable and no mineral rights. Records of
most of these grants exist for Jamaica, as Letters Patents, which often
included plats (maps), or as Plats on their own. The early planters were slow
in paying their rents, and had a stroke of luck when all the records of
monies owing were lost in the Port Royal earthquake in 1692; the Government
had to write off all rents owing to that point!
Many of the early grantees were members of Penn & Venables forces,
and some (if they survived death by disease or violence) became big land
holders. Some were entrepreneurs and younger sons from home, while others
came up from the other islands such as Barbados to take some of the rich
pickings perceived in Jamaica. Our Booth and Burton ancestors were some of
these Bajuns/Barbadians. It is quite possible that the Booths had fled
England during the chaos of the Commonwealth period. The early planters
bought and sold land frequently, the successful ones accumulating large
holdings of many thousands of acres. The majority of land grants were for
country land, but there were also a few for “foot land” along the town
Our families settled in the southern part of the Island, the early ones
mainly in Clarendon and what soon became Vere. Later grants were made to our
ancestors further west in St Elizabeth. The Burton family settled in St
Thomas in the Vale, where there seems to be a substantial Great House visible
on Google Earth in the correct position.
Early agricultural crops were tobacco, indigo, cotton and sugar. At the
beginning, indigo dye was widely grown and was very profitable, a living
could be made from a few acres. When successfully grown, it required
comparatively little labour and capital investment for a good return. In the
late 17thC the home government decided that indigo should be grown in
America, mainly in the Carolinas, while Jamaica should concentrate on sugar:
the government modified the taxes accordingly. That and the unreliability of
the crop and its processing led to its replacement by sugar. Pimento
(allspice) was another early crop, again replaced by sugar in the suitable
areas; however as an indigenous tree, it remained a cash crop for the Pens
(stock farms) into the 19thC.
Other Files relating to Maitlands are:
Jamaica General File
Contains general notes and descriptions of Jamaica.
Links to house pictures and map JPG files.
Contains a description of A Maitland's visit to the properties.
contains the original text of all Maitland and other family Wills found.
Nicol Family a history of the Nicol and Wright families of
Kincardinshire, connected with descendants of Francis 2 Maitland.
contains original text of document extracts found.
Included in this file are:
PEERAGE OF SCOTLAND extracts.
Computer Entries from OPR's:
Charnock: FL Maitland
O'BRYNE'S Naval Biographies.
FLM's Battle in "Lively"
SHIPS ASSCOIATED WITH MAITLANDS:
Clan Maitland History
From Clan Maitland 1995
John Matalant of Tibbers m Agnes, dau of Sir Patrick Dunbard 1395
Sir Robert Maitland m Marion Abernethy
of Thirlstane, Lethington & Tibbers
Somewhere around 1150 A.D. the first Sir Richard Maitland is recorded. He
married Avicia, daughter and heiress of Thormas de Thirlestane in what has
long been known as Lauderdale, a valley running South East of Soutra Hill,
South of Edinburgh. In those days the name was spelled MAUDULAND or MAWTALAND
Sir Richard's grandson, Sir Robert, born around 1300, was killed at the
Battle of Neville's Cross, near Durham, when in 1346 the Scottish King
David's troops were driven back by those of the English King Edward III.
Later, approaching Edinburgh up the southern shore of the Firth of Forth
through the Lothians, they ravaged Whitekirk and Haddington in the Burnt
Candlemass of 1356. This was on the very doorsteps of Lethington (now
Lennoxlove) which, like Thirlestane, was a Maitland stronghold.
This Sir Robert had two sons. The elder, John Mautallent, died in 1395. He
and his younger brother Robert begat the two earliest. Maitland lines as
these are now known. The Aberdeenshire Maitlands and the Pelham Maitlands
stem from Robert, known as Robert Mathilland, who tarried the heiress of
Schivas, near Aberdeen.
The head of this line today is William Maitland of Balhargy, near Inverurie.
a house built on the site of the Battle of Harlaw (1410). Maitlands have
farmed there since that Battle in which their leader, a provost of Aberdeen
named Maitland, rallied the Aberdeen defenders. They defeated an invasion of
the Celtic Highlanders from the north west who were searching for better land
to the south and east.
The elder brother John had a son Sir Robert. He was linked both with
Thirlestane and with Lethington. His elder son William, who died around 1470,
set going the recognizable main Lauderdale line as we know it today. His
younger son James started off the Eccles and Dundrennan lines begetting,
later on, the Fuller-Maitlands and the Maitlands of Loughton in Essex. Some
fifteen generations later the head of this line is Adam Maitland of Cumstoun,
Kirkcudbrightshire in South-west Scotland.
William's grandson was killed alongside his King, James IV of Scotland, and twelve
Scottish Earls, when they were defeated by the forces of King Henry VIII at
Flodden, near the Tweed in 1513. But he left a famous son, Sir Richard (died
1586) both a collector of Scots poetry and a noted poet himself. He in turn
had two notable sons. One was William of Lethington, known as Secretary
Lethington because he was Secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots. The other, John,
became Lord Chancellor of Scotland to King James VI (of Scotland) and King
James I (of England). In 1616 he was made Viscount Maitland.
By marrying Jean, the daughter and heiress of James Lord Fleming, he allied
the line of his descendants with royal blood. Jean was descended from King
James II of Scotland.
The later history of the Clan is well attested. In 1624 the first Baron's son
became an Earl for his Service to the state. He died in 1645. Six years later
his son and successor, John the 2nd Earl, loyal to King Charles I and his son
King Charles II was taken prisoner at the Battle of Worcester, and spent many
years as Cromwell`s prisoner until the Restoration of King Charles II. He
became the King's Principal lieutenant in Scotland as Secretary of State and
was also mighty in England - as a Member of the Cabal Government. He was at
the head of affairs for some twenty years. He was raised to the Dukedom but
died without male issue in 1682.
The story from that day to this is scattered with names of distinction. The
8th Earl, Charles, fought against the Jacobites at Sheriffmuir in 1745. The
same year another Maitland, the Episcopalian Parish Minister of Crieff,
celebrated the Holy Communion for the Jacobite forces on the Battlefield of
Culloden Moor near Irverness, by repute using oatcake and Whisky for lack of
bread and wine. One of the 6th Earl's sons, Richard, commanded the British
Garrison in New York, was married by the Curate of Holy Trinity Church, Wall
Street, and died in 1772. The Present Chief descends from him.
Another son, Richard's younger brother, Captain The Hon. John Maitland,
raised the seige of Savannah in the War with the American Colonies in 1779.
Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland, commanding H.M.S "Bellerophon"
who captured the fugitive Napoleon in 1815, was the grandson of another of
those sons Captain The Hon. Frederick Lewis.
James Maitland, the 8th Earl who died in 1839, was one of the early
economists. He was a doughty pamphleteer and originated the line of economic
thinking finally systematized by John Maynard Keynes in the 1920's. In this
period two other Maitland were noted Pro-consuls. Sir Thomas Maitland (died
1824) known as King Tom, who was successively appointed Governor General of
Ceylon, the Ionian Islands, and Malta, originated the idea to create the
British Chevalric Order of St. Michael and St George (now reserved for
members of the Diplomatic Service who attain high rank).
Another was Sir Peregrine Maitland who died in 1854. He commanded the Guards
at Waterloo and is famous for Wellington's words: "Maitland, now's your
chance". At that, Maitland gave his order. "Up Guards and at
`em". Afterwards, he became Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.
In the world of scholarship Samuel Roffey Maitland, of the Eccles and
Dundrennan line, was Librarian to Lambeth Palace and a writer of history. He
died in 1866. His son, Frederick William Maitland became Downing Professor of
Laws at Cambridge, one of the most famous writers on Constitutional Law and
History of the English speaking world. Another Maitland, Agnes Catherine, was
the first Principal of Somerville College, Oxford (died 1906). Sir Herbert
Lethington-Maitland (died 1923) was a noted surgeon in Australia. Mr. John
Alexander Fuller-Maitland (died 1936) was for many Music Correspondent of the
London Times. Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland (died 1935) was Minister of Labour in
the Baldwin Government at the time of the General Strike in Britain in 1936.
Air Commodore Edward Eric Maitland CMG (died 1921) kept the log of the
Airship R.34 crossing the Atlantic in 1919 from which a crew member descended
by parachute to become the first man to arrive in the United States by air.
During the last War, two clansfolk were famous - Sir Henry Maitland Wilson
who commanded in the Middle East and Miss Diana Rowden, whose mother was a
Maitland Makgill-Crichton. She served in the Maquis in France, was captured,
and was executed by being thrown into a furnace at the Nazweiler
Concentration Camp. The last Viscount Maitland was killed in North Africa.
The future 17th Earl, then Patrick Maitland, covered the outbreak of the
Second World War for The Times in Poland in 1939. John Pelham Maitland was
personally decorated by King George VI on the platform of Victoria Station
for his part as Traffic Manager of the Southern Railway in organising the
merry-go-round trains which took men off who had been evacuated from Dunkirk
In our own day, one of Britain's leading Diplomatists was Sir Donald
Maitland, GCMG, U.K. Permanent Representative to the European Communities in
Brussels, and later Principal Under Secretary (Chief) of the Department of
Energy in Whitehall.
The common ancestor appears to have been one Robert Matalent (spelled in
various ways). Maitlands came from Normandy with or after William the
Conqueror. Robert Matalent was invited to the Northumberland/Scottish Borders
by the Scottish King David around AD 1130. About 120 years later his
grandson, Sir Richard Maitland, married Avicia de Thirlestane in the
Berwickshire area known as Lauderdale. That name survives in the Ordnance
Survey today. The leading place is Lauder; the leading house there is
Thirlestane Castle, a Maitland/Lauderdale property until it recently came
under a public trust - though still occupied by a Maitland kinsman. Maitlands
spread through Scotland but mainly to Aberdeenshire, Galloway and the
Borders. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries many spread to Ireland
and thence overseas.
We have made our mark in history. Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington, Lord
Privy Seal of Scotland and known as the "Blind Poet", published the
first collection of Scottish ballads and poems in 1586. His son William was
Secretary to Mary Queen of Scots. His other son John was Lord Chancellor to
King James VI (of Scotland) who became James I of England. The Chief's title
goes back to John in 1590 - as Lord Maitland. The Earldom was granted in
1624. John, the 2nd Earl, became Duke of Lauderdale and Charles II's Scottish
Secretary of State, giving the "L" to the King's inner cabinet the
In the 19th Century General Sir Peregrine Maitland commanded the foot guards
at Waterloo in 1815 and is remembered for his order; "Up Guards and at
`em" which led to victory. Napoleon later surrendered to Captain
Frederick Lewis Maitland RN, commanding HMS Bellerophon.
Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Maitland (died 1824) known as "King
Tom" was in turn Governor of Ceylon, the Ionian Islands, and Malta,
secured the Egyptian obelisk `Cleopatra's Needle' for London's Embankment,
inspired the creation of the British Order of Knights of St Michael and St
George, and originated the strategic plan by which San Martin began the
liberation of Latin America after his Buenos Aires coup in 1812. James, 8th
Earl (died 1839) was Britain's Ambassador to the French Revolutionaries
styling himself `Citizen Maitland' and founded what was later known as the
Keynes school of economic theory. Frederick William Maitland, Professor of
Law at Cambridge later in the century, became one of the world's most famous
Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland
We were thought to be descendants of the 4th son of the 6th Earl of Lauderdale, Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland
(FLM) of Rankeillour (Scotland), RN,(1730-86), but that has since proved
FLM was a naval officer of who spent much of his career before and during
the 7 Years War in the West Indies, where he was involved in a couple of
major actions and many small ones; the naval records of the period make it
possible to trace his entire seagoing career. While on the Jamaica station,
he fathered a family by a Jamaican mulatto partner (Mary Arnott) in the
1750's and 60's: there is now no trace of where this family went to. Mixed
race relationships like this were common then: there were few European women
in the Islands, and the offspring were acknowledged and often became wealthy.
At the end of the War, FLM returned to Scotland, and is only recorded
visiting Jamaica once more, for a short stay in 1780 as Captain of the
Battleship Elizabeth. The Jamaican connection did not finish there however,
as his Scottish daughter, Mary, married, in 1793, Henry Scrymgeour (later
-Wedderburn, and influential family in Western Jamaica). Henry had been in
Westmoreland, Jamaica, as had his Wedderburn cousins. It is interesting to
speculate if this connection helped the Jamaica Maitlands to rise in society
to owning significant property.
In 1767, FLM married Margaret Dick and had 6 children, from whom descend
several Maitland lines, including Maitland-Makgill-Chrichtons,
Maitland-Heriot and Maitland Dougal. Details of him and those of his Scottish
descendants continue in the part on Capt Frederick Lewis Maitland, RN 1730-86.
As background information, the ancestors of FLM are shown on the following
prior to 1750
prior to 1370
prior to 1290
prior to 1150
for the connections with this family (via FLM's daughter, Mary).
Sir FL Maitland, FLM's son,
Admiral Frederick Lewis Maitland, was an eminent naval character in the early
part of the 19thC: information on his life is given.
Copies held of these books:
Annals of Jamaica Vol 1, George Wilson
Annals of Jamaica Vol 2, George Wilson
Bibliographia Jamaicensis, Cundall, 1902
A list of Jamaica Books & Pamphlets, magazine articles
newspapers and maps, most of which are in the Library of the Institute of
Blagrove of Jamaica, a Curious
This is of interest because of our connection with a house
on the Estate, Unity.
Cultural Heritage Technical Report final
Historic Jamaica, Cundall, 1915
JAMAICA PLACE-NAMES – Cundall 1909
Jamaica Planter’s Guide - 1823
Or a system for the planting and managing a Sugar Estate
or other plantation in that Island and throughout the British West Indies in
by Thomas Roughley, nearly twenty years a sugar planter in Jamaica.
THE DEMOGRAPHIC STRUCTURE OF AMERICAN
SLAVERY: JAMAICA VERSUS VIRGINIA
By Richard S. Dunn
American Philosophical Society
Interesting Tracts relating to the Island
of Jamaica - 1800
Consisting of Curious State-papers, councils of war,
letters, petitions, narratives etc
Which throw great light on the history of that Island from its conquest, down
to the year 1762
St Jago de la Vega, 1800
Monumental Insrcptions of the British
West Indies - 1875
Chiefly Collected on the spot by Captain JH
Monumental Inscriptions Barbados – 1915
THE MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS IN THE CHURCHES AND CHURCHYARDS OF THE ISLAND OF
BARBADOS, BRITISH WEST INDIES.
EDITED BY VEEE LANGFOED OLIVER, M.R.C.S., &c.
MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY.
CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE NEW ENGLAND HISTORIC GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY.
LONDON :MITCHELL HUGHES AND CLARKE, 140 WARDOUR STREET, W.
STUDIES IN JAMAICA HISTORY BY FRANK
CUNDALL, F.S.A. 1900
PUBLISHED FOR THE INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON AND COMPANY, Limited
St. Dunstan's House
FETTER LANE, LONDON, E.G.
Long - The history of Jamaica Or general
survey V 1 - 1877
Long - The history of Jamaica Or general
survey V 2
Long - The history of Jamaica Or general
survey V 3
An Introduction to the Plantation
Journals of the Prospect Sugar Estate
By Simon D. Smith
An History of Jamaica with Observations,
on the Climate, Scenery, Trade, productions, Negroes,
Slave Trade, Diseases of Europeans, Customs, Manners & Dispositions of
Robert Penny esq, 1807.
Includes descriptions of agriculture.
Jamaica Plantership – 1839
Eighteen years employed in the planting line of that island
Description of Jamaica Planters
Viz: Attorneys, overseers and book-keepers
with several interesting anecdotes compiled by the author during residence of
eighteen years on twenty four properties, in the above capacity, situated in
different parts of the island.
Memoirs of William Beckford of Fonthill
Vol 1 1859
Memoirs of William Beckford of Fonthill
Vol 2 1859
The Original Lists of Persons of Quality;
EMIGRANTS; RELIGIOUS EXILES.; POLITICAL REBELS;
SERVING MEN SOLD FOR A TERM OF YEARS; APPRENTICES;
AND OTHERS WHO WENT FROM GREAT BRITAIN TO THE AMERICAN PLANTATIONS
WITH THEIR AGES, THE LOCALITIES WHERE THEY FORMERLY LIVED IN THE MOTHER
COUNTRY, THE NAMES OF THE SHIPS IN WHICH THEY EMBARKED, AND OTHER INTERESTING
FROM MSS. PRESERVED IN THE STATE PAPER DEPARTMENT OF HER MAJESTY'S PUBLIC
RECORD OFFICE, ENGLAND.
EDITED BY JOHN CAMDEN HOTTEN.
SKETCH PEDIGREES OF SOME OF THE EARLY
SETTLERS IN JAMAICA. - 1909
Compiled from the Records of the Court of Chancery of the
Island with a list of the Inhabitants in 1670 and other matter relative to
the early History of the same.
BY NOEL B. LIVINGSTON,
PRICE: FIVE SHILLINGS.
JAMAICA: THE EDUCATIONAL SUPPLY COMPANY,
Printers, Publishers, Bookbinders, Booksellers, Stationers, etc 16 King
Street, Kingston. 1909.
Two Reports from the Committee (re
To examine into and to report to the House the Allegations
and Charges contained in several Petitions which have been presented to the
British House of Commons, on the Subject of the Slave Trade, and the
Treatment of Negores &c.&c.&c.
Introduction to the Plantation Journals
of the Prospect Sugar Estate - 2004
By Simon D. Smith University of York 2004
Indigo in World History
David G Sweet. No date but about 2000.
7/11/00: references to Wright01.
11/3/2001: Expanded details.
14/6/2001: resaved HTML from Word
21/2/2002: added detail.
15/3/2002: changed link addresses.
23/7/2002: expanded and edited
6/5/2003: Jam Visit ref changed
24/3/2004: edited links
29/11/2006: John Maitland/FLM
23/3/2008: extra Jamaican Information.
14/8/2010: edited & expanded slightly.
14/8/2011: edited again
6/1/2015: expanded with Richard Maitland.
15/10/2015: edited & tabled for web layout.