Maitland Family Summary

Issue Date: 20/03/2020.

Maitland Family Summary 1

Introduction 1

The Jamaica Maitland Family – Research Evolution 3

Summary of the Maitlands: 4

The Settlement of Jamaica 6

Clan Maitland History 7

Jamaican Bibliography: 10



      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 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. There is a DNA indication that we are connected with the Maitland family just west of Aberdeen, at Fyvie.
    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; he appears from conveyances disposing of the Jamaican property that Francis and “uncle JAM” were retaining an interest on the island as late as 1869, when Francis sold his 1/8th remaining share – JAM at that point still held a share. It is therefore likely that Francis 3’s sons knew of the Caribbean connection: the youngest, my grand father, Nathanial George Maitland, always known as NG or NGM, 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 married there.
    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, and his mother was a freed slave. 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 story splits into 4 parts:

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.

Capt Richard Maitland, our earliest known Maitland ancestor, 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. One reference calls him a native of Ireland, but that seems unlikely; there is a DNA lead suggesting that our branch came from near Aberdeen. 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.

Wrights of Vere & St Elizabeth: Rebecca Wright  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. Rebecca’s father was most probably Francis Wright.

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 sugar growers. The Burtons certainly, and the Booths almost certainly, came to Jamaica from Barbados.

Francis Maitland of Jamaica and his descendants, the "1st", (1784-1824),
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 surviving 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? Additionally, Francis, as a man of colour, was not permitted to marry a white at this time in Jamaica. In the end, Ann and Francis were married in London soon after Andrew's death, before returning to Jamaica.

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 "3rd" (1836-1901),
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 Maitland

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 two 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 surname.


    I made a number of trips to 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 17th to 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 Charleston.

    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.

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 (Andrew was the first foreign manager of the newly formed Imperial Bank of China, and appeared as signatory on some bank notes: his son Hugh, followed him the Far East) 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 gold prospector.
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 Maroons 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 streets.
     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 Parts 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.

Maitland Wills 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.

Maitland Extracts contains original text of document extracts found.
Included in this file are:

Computer Entries from OPR's:
Charnock: FL Maitland

O'BRYNE'S Naval Biographies.

FLM's Battle in "Lively".


Clan Maitland History

Clan Maitland Link

From Clan Maitland 1995

John Matalant of Tibbers m Agnes, dau of Sir Patrick Dunbar 1395
Sir Robert Maitland m Marion Abernethy
of Thirlestane, Lethington & Tibbers

Somewhere around 1150 A.D. the first Sir Richard Maitland is recorded. He married Avicia, daughter and heiress of Thomas 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 married 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 Inverness, 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 1940.

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 CABAL.

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 constitutional lawyers.

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 incorrect.

    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.
    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 here:
Scottish Maitlands

Scrymgeour-Wedderburn 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.

Jamaican Bibliography:

Copies held of these books:

Annals of Jamaica Vol 1, George Wilson Bridges, 1827


Annals of Jamaica Vol 2, George Wilson Bridges, 1827

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 Jamaica.

Blagrove of Jamaica, a Curious Inheritance

This is of interest because of our connection with a house on the Estate, Unity.

Cultural Heritage Technical Report final - 1998


Historic Jamaica, Cundall, 1915



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 general
by Thomas Roughley, nearly twenty years a sugar planter in Jamaica.


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 Inscriptions of the British West Indies - 1875

Chiefly Collected on the spot by Captain JH Lawrence-Archer

Monumental Inscriptions Barbados – 1915



St. Dunstan's House

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, Penny, 1807

on the Climate, Scenery, Trade, productions, Negroes, Slave Trade, Diseases of Europeans, Customs, Manners & Dispositions of the Inhabitants.
Robert Penny esq, 1807.

Includes descriptions of agriculture.

Jamaica Plantership – 1839

Benjamin McMahon
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.

Horror stories!

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; - 1874



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.
Printers, Publishers, Bookbinders, Booksellers, Stationers, etc 16 King Street, Kingston. 1909.

Two Reports from the Committee (re Slaves) 1789

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.
21/6/2008: edited

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.
23/3/2019: editing & text
20/3/2020: layout & small changes to links etc