MAITLAND, John (?1754-1831), of Woodford Hall, Essex.

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



28 Mar. 1803 - 1812
19 June 1817 - 1818

Family and Education

b. ?1754, 4th s. of Robert Maitland, merchant, of Coleman Street, London by Ursula, da. of John Gorham of London. m. 2 Feb. 1790, Mary Anne, da. of Henry Reavely of Gower Street, Mdx., 1s. 1da.

Offices Held


Maitland’s father and uncle Alexander, grandsons of a presbyterian minister in the west of Scotland and nephews of another, were London merchants trading from 13 King’s Arms Yard. They and Maitland’s three elder brothers (Robert, Henry and Ebenezer) were buried in Bunhill Fields, but it would appear that he conformed to the established church. His uncle Alexander’s heiress married Sir John Sinclair*; and he was the uncle of Ebenezer Fuller Maitland*.1 In 1782 he joined the firm of Fludyer, Marsh and Hudson of Basinghall Street, London, wholesale clothiers. He subscribed £5,000 to the loyalty loan for 1797, and his partnership £10,000. His partner George Brydges Brudenell was brother-in-law of George Fludyer, Member for Chippenham. When in 1802 Fludyer was rejected by the corporation, Maitland stood on his interest. He was defeated, but returned on petition. He survived further contests in 1806 and 1807. In addition to leasing Fludyer’s burgages, he bought those of James Dawkins* in 1811; but his object was to sell the whole of his interest there, as Sir Robert Peel discovered when he purchased a seat for his son from Maitland for £4,000 in 1812.2

Maitland did not return himself in 1812 and had made little mark in the House. He is not known to have contributed to debate, though in 1803 he gave evidence to the committee on woollen manufactures in conflict with that of his Chippenham rival Charles Brooke* in that he favoured the introduction of machinery. He was at first listed a supporter of Pitt in September 1804, but his name was scored through without being transferred; in July 1805 he was definitely listed favourable to Pitt. He was a defaulter, 2 Mar. 1807, and considered ‘friendly’ to the abolition of the slave trade. Was it he or his nephew Ebenezer who as ‘G. Maitland’ voted against the convention of Cintra, 21 Feb. 1809? In 1810 he rallied to Perceval’s ministry on the address, 23 Jan., and on the Scheldt inquiry, 26 Jan.; was absent on 23 Feb.; joined the opposition majority on 5 Mar., but sided with ministers on 30 Mar. The Whigs listed him ‘Government’. He was also a ministerial voter on the Regency, 1 Jan. 1811, and on Stuart Wortley’s motion, 21 May 1812.

In 1817 Maitland again returned himself for Chippenham when Robert Peel found another seat. He voted with ministers on their use of informers against radicalism, 5 Mar. 1818, and in favour of the Duke of Clarence’s marriage grant, 15 Apr. He still wished to dispose of his interest, and retired on a plea of ill health at the dissolution; but his nominee was defeated at the ensuing election and in an address of 30 July he complained bitterly of the treachery of his agent there.3

Maitland bought Woodford Hall about 1801 and in 1825 succeeded to Loughton Hall and manor under the will of Miss Ann Whitaker.4 He retired from business in 1828 and died 22 Mar. 1831, aged 77.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 1), ii. 209.
  • 2. Add. 40222, ff. 5, 20, 64; 40223, f. 142; 40280, f. 117.
  • 3. Wilts. RO, Ewell mss, 415/432.
  • 4. Wright, Essex, ii. 509; W. C. Waller, ‘An Extinct County Family’, Trans. Essex Arch. Soc. (n.s.), ix. 14.