MAITLAND, Hon. Sir Anthony (1785-1863), of Thirlstane Castle, Berwick

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



16 July 1813 - 1818
1826 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 10 June 1785, 2nd s. of James Maitland†, 8th earl of Lauderdale [S] and 1st Bar. Lauderdale [UK] (d. 1839), and Eleanor, da. and h. of Anthony Todd, sec. to the GPO, of Walthamstow, Essex; bro. of James Maitland, Visct. Maitland*. unm. CB 19 Sept. 1816; KCMG 26 Feb. 1820; KCB 6 Apr. 1832; GCB 10 Nov. 1862. suc. bro. James as 10th earl of Lauderdale [S] and 3rd Bar. Lauderdale [UK] 22 Aug. 1860. d. 22 Mar. 1863.

Offices Held

Entered RN 1795, midshipman 1798, lt. 1805, cdr. 1806, capt. 1806, half-pay 1821, r.-adm. 1841, v.-adm. 1862; naval a.d.c. to the sovereign 1830-41.


Maitland, a naval captain whose father Lord Lauderdale was the acknowledged leader of the Scottish Whigs until he veered to Toryism early in the Parliament of 1820, had been brought in for Haddington Burghs on the family interest in 1813 as the replacement for his uncle Sir Thomas Maitland†, the governor of Malta and (from 1816) the Ionian Isles. Toeing the family line, he had joined Brooks’s, divided silently against Lord Liverpool’s administration and for Catholic relief and stood down at the 1818 dissolution to facilitate the return for Richmond of his elder brother James, on the interest of Lord Dundas. The Glasgow, which he had commanded with distinction at Algiers in 1816, was recommissioned and he captained her in the Mediterranean under Sir Thomas’s command, 1818-21, liaising also with the envoy to Naples Sir William A’Court† during Lauderdale’s abortive mission to Leghorn in April 1820 to negotiate with Queen Caroline. (He later approved her prosecution.) He paid off his crew and went on half-pay in June 1821.[footnote] Returning to the family home in Dunbar, where Lauderdale notoriously confined his wife and children, Maitland established a soap factory and took an interest in agricultural improvements and mining enterprises on their Berwickshire and Haddingtonshire estates.[footnote] With the support of Lord Melville and the government for his candidature for Berwickshire assured, he came in there unopposed at the general election of 1826, when Lord Lonsdale returned James for Appleby.[footnote] Professions by Lauderdale ‘preparatory to ... [his] appearance in Parliament as a government vote’, that he had ‘no influence over his son Anthony’s politics’, were naturally ignored.[footnote]

Though privately less retiring than James and their brother-in-law James Balfour, with whom he generally voted, Maitland made no significant speech in the House before 1831.[footnote] He divided for Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, the award to the duke of Clarence, 16 Mar., and the spring guns bill, 23 Mar., but against the corn bill, 2 Apr. (the subject of a hostile Berwickshire petition he had presented, 26 Feb.), and for information on chancery delays, 5 Apr.[footnote] He was in Hume’s minority of ten for repeal of the Blasphemous and Seditious Libels Acts, 31 May 1827. Lauderdale, a contender for office, opposed the short-lived ministries of Canning and Lord Goderich and failed in 1828 to persuade the duke of Wellington, whose appointment as premier he had urged, to endorse the future candidature for Stirling Burghs of his son John, an army officer.[footnote] Maitland, according to Lady Holland, was ‘blackballed’ at the Travellers’ Club that season.[footnote] He presented petitions for agricultural protection, 28 Apr., and the Scottish gaols bill, 2 May 1828. He divided for Catholic relief, 12 May, and against the pension proposed for Canning’s family, 13 May 1828. In November his reputation and devotion to his father and brothers were tested by scurrilous and politically motivated allegations of improper homosexual advances by John to fellow officers.[footnote] Lauderdale welcomed Wellington’s decision to concede Catholic emancipation in 1829 and sent Maitland from Dunbar to vote for it, 6, 30 Mar.[footnote] He presented a petition against the Berwick-Roxburgh road bill, 23 Mar. 1829. He divided against Lord Blandford’s reform scheme, 18 Feb., and enfranchising Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb. He was in the minority against the Galway franchise bill at its third reading, 25 May, and voted against reducing the grant for South American missions, 7 June 1830. He presented petitions from Haddington for abolition of the Scottish commissary courts, 26 Apr., and repeal of the additional duty on corn spirits, 3 May. His appointment as a naval aide to William IV was gazetted, 22 July 1830, and his return at t