John Maitland, 1st Earl of Lauderdale

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John Maitland, 1st Earl of Lauderdale, Viscount of Lauderdale, Viscount Maitland, and Lord Thirlestane and Boltoun, (died January 1645) was President of the Parliament of Scotland as well as the Privy Council, a lawyer and a judge, who sided with the Parliamentarian cause during the Civil War.

Early life[edit]

The son of Sir John Maitland, 1st Lord Thirlestane by his spouse Jean, only daughter and heiress of the Fourth Lord Fleming (subsequently Countess of Cassillis), he was admitted a member of the Privy Council of Scotland on 20 July 1615.

Own Peerage[edit]

On 2 April 1616 he was created Viscount of Lauderdale, by Letters Patent, to him and his heirs male and successors in the lordship of Thirlestane.

He was subsequently made President of the Privy Council, and was appointed an Ordinary Lord of Session on 5 June 1618. He was at that time one of the Commissioners for the Plantation of Kirks.

On 14 March 1624, at Whitehall, London, he was created, by patent, Earl of Lauderdale, Viscount Maitland, and Lord Thirlestane and Boltoun.

Later life[edit]

Lord Lauderdale was removed from his place on the bench, on 14 February 1626, in consequence of a resolution by King Charles I that no nobleman should hold the seat of an ordinary Lord, and instead was on 1 June following appointed one of the Extraordinary Lords of Session, usually reserved by the Crown for either noblemen or dignitaries of The Church. He remained an Extraordinary Lord until 8 November 1628, and in the following year was appointed one of the Lords of the Articles.

Regardless of the honours generously bestowed upon him by his monarch, upon the breaking out of the English Civil War, he joined the side of the parliament and was employed in a great variety of commissions of importance.

On 4 June 1644 he was elected President of the parliament, and reappointed on 7 January following. He died before the 20th of the same month, and was interred in the Maitland family burial vault within St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Haddington.

A poetical epitaph on him by Drummond of Hawthornden, as also the one by King James VI on his father, the Chancellor, can be found in George Crawfurd's Peerage.

Marriage and Issue[edit]

He married Lady Isabel Seton (d. November 1638), daughter of Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Dunfermline, celebrated by Arthur Johnston in his poems. They had a large family of whom only three sons and one daughter survived their parents.

Comment :- Latter Day Saints has Isobel Seton b.03 Nov 1593 daughter of Robert Seton :- 1st Earl of Winton, 8th Lord Seton by his wife Margaret Montgomerie as the wife of John Maitland, this is also the younger sister of Robert Seton 2nd Earl of Winton who had married Ann Maitland the sister of this John Maitland.

Offices and Titles[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Hay, 2nd Earl of Tweeddale
Lord President of the Privy Council
Succeeded by
George Gordon, 1st Earl of Aberdeen
Peerage of Scotland
New creation Earl of Lauderdale
Succeeded by
John Maitland
Preceded by
John Maitland
Lord Maitland of Thirlestane
Succeeded by
John Maitland
New creation Viscount of Lauderdale
Succeeded by
John Maitland


  • Anderson, William, The Scottish Nation, Edinburgh, 1867,, pps:633-634.