MAITLAND, James, Visct. Maitland (1784-1860).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1806 - 1807
1818 - 1820
1826 - 1832

Family and Education

b. 12 Feb. 1784, 1st s. of James Maitland, 8th Earl of Lauderdale [S] and 1st Baron Lauderdale [UK], and bro. of Hon. Anthony Maitland*. educ. Eton 1791; Edinburgh Univ. unm. suc. fa. as 9th Earl of Lauderdale [S] and 2nd Baron [UK] 15 Sept. 1839.

Offices Held

Ld. lt. Berwickshire 1841-60.


Maitland’s father, who prided himself on his radical views, had married an heiress who was ‘a cypher as to intellect’, and ‘was not vain’ of his family, whom he kept ‘living in great retirement at Dunbar’. Elizabeth Grant, recalling this, added, ‘Sons and daughters were alike plain in face and short in person’.1 Lauderdale was nevertheless anxious for his heir to be in Parliament and in 1806 used all his ingenuity to obtain an English borough seat for him. The Duke of Bedford, then viceroy of Ireland, had intended to offer one at Camelford to William Lamb*: Lauderdale commandeered it for his son, arranging for Lamb to be returned on his interest for Haddington Burghs.2

Maitland made no mark in his first Parliament, in which he was expected to support his father’s friends in power. He was listed among the ‘staunch friends’ of the abolition of the slave trade. On 4 Mar. 1807, after serving on the Penryn committee, he took three weeks’ leave, but he returned to vote for Brand’s motion after the dismissal of the ministry, 9 Apr. 1807. He was then out of Parliament until 1818, when he came in on the interest of a distant relative, Lord Dundas. He signed the requisition to Tierney to lead the Whig opposition in the House, but he was not to be counted on for attendance: his only known vote in that Parliament was against the foreign enlistment bill, 21 June 1819, and no speech is known. Indeed he did not share his father’s advanced views and emerged as a Tory. He died 22 Aug. 1860.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: Winifred Stokes / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Mems. of a Highland Lady ed. Lady Strachey, 314.
  • 2. Blair Adam mss, Lady Holland to Adam [Oct.], Bedford to same, 27 Nov.; Devon RO, Bedford mss L1258/18, Lauderdale to Brown, 23 Oct.; Carlisle mss, Lady to Ld. Morpeth, 24 Oct. 1806.