Maitland, Thomas (1803-1878) (DNB00)


MAITLAND, THOMAS, eleventh Earl of Lauderdale (1803–1878), admiral of the fleet, born 3 Feb. 1803, was the only son of William Mordaunt Maitland, a general in the army, third son of James, seventh earl of Lauderdale. He entered the navy in 1816, and was promoted to be lieutenant of the Euryalus on 16 May 1823. In December 1825 he was appointed to the Superb, guardship at Portsmouth, and in March 1826 to the Ganges, flagship of Sir Robert Waller Otway [q. v.] on the South American station. On 30 April 1827 he was promoted to the rank of commander. In 1832–3 he commanded the Sparrowhawk on the West Indian station, and brought home a treasure freight of half a million dollars and forty-two bales of cochineal. In 1835–7 he commanded the Tweed on the north coast of Spain during the civil war, and received the cross of Charles III, which he was at the same time officially authorised to wear. He was advanced to post rank on 10 Jan. 1837, and in June was appointed to the command of the Wellesley, flagship, on the East India station, of Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland [q. v.], and after Sir Frederick's death of Sir J. J. Gordon Bremer [q. v.]. He thus had an active share in the operations in the Persian Gulf in 1839, and during the first Chinese war in 1840-1. He was nominated a C.B. on 29 June 1841, knighted in 1843, and promoted to the rank of rear-admiral on 18 June 1857. In 1869 he was examined by the commission appointed 'to consider the Defences of the United Kingdom,' when he spoke strongly against the building of the proposed fortifications at an expenditure of money which 'might be more profitably laid out in building ships; because,' he said, 'if you can secure being masters of the Channel, I do not see any absolute necessity, as far as security goes, for fortifying Spithead.' From 1860 to 1863 he was commander-in-chief in the Pacific. On 22 March 1863, on the death of his cousin, the tenth Earl of Lauderdale, he succeeded to the title, and to the hereditary offices of standard-bearer of Scotland and marshal of the royal household. On 30 Nov. 1863 he was promoted to be vice-admiral. He was nominated a K.C.B., on 28 March 1866, and G.C.B. 24 May 1873. He became an admiral, 8 April 1868, and, by a special promotion, admiral of the fleet on the retired list, 27 Dec. 1877. He died on 1 Sept. 1878. He married in 1828 Amelia, daughter of William Young of Rio de Janeiro, but, leaving no male issue, the title passed to a distant cousin. Mary Jane, his only surviving daughter, married Reginald Brabazon, twelfth earl of Meath.

[O'Byrne's Nav. Biog. Dict.; Navy Lists; Times, Sept. 1878; Foster's Peerage.]

J. K. L.