Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Maitland, Charles (1815-1866)

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1446006Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 35 — Maitland, Charles (1815-1866)1893William Alexander Greenhill ‎

MAITLAND, CHARLES (1815–1866), author, born at Woolwich in Kent, 6 Jan. 1815, was nephew of General Sir Peregrine Maitland [q. v.], and eldest son of Charles David Maitland. The father was at one time a captain of the royal artillery, who served with some distinction at the end of the great European war, but for the last forty years of his life was minister of St. James's Chapel at Brighton. Charles was educated first at a large private school at Brighton, and afterwards, when he chose medicine for his profession, in the house of a general practitioner in London. He studied in Edinburgh for three years, and graduated M.D. in 1838, the subject of his inaugural essay being ‘Continued Fever.’ After visiting with a patient Malta, Italy, Greece, and Egypt, he returned to England and was admitted an extra-licentiate of the London College of Physicians, July 1842. He practised for a few years at Windsor with success. But his tastes drew him more towards theology, and he matriculated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, 1848, graduated B.A. (with a second class in classics) 1852, and was ordained deacon in the same year, and priest in the year following. He was at first curate at Southampton, then at Lyndhurst, Hampshire, and afterwards in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. But his mind gave way; and after being for some years separated from his family, he died in London, 26 July 1866, and was buried in the Brompton cemetery.

While at Rome Maitland was attracted by the catacombs, and, being a good amateur artist, made numerous drawings, which still exist. In 1846 he published ‘The Church in the Catacombs: a Description of the Primitive Church of Rome, illustrated by its Sepulchral Remains,’ London, 8vo. This was the first popular book on the subject, was generally accurate, and abounded in information. While still an undergraduate at Oxford he published ‘The Apostles' School of Prophetic Interpretation: with its History down to the Present Time,’ London, 1849, 8vo—an attack on the current protestant school of interpretation of prophecy, then mainly represented by Edward B. Elliott [q.v.] in his ‘Horæ Apocalypticæ.’

In November 1842 he married Julia Charlotte, widow of James Thomas, an Indian judge in the Madras presidency. Her maiden name was Barrett, and her mother was a niece of Fanny Burney, Madame d'Arblay [see Arblay]. She was the authoress of some clever ‘Letters from Madras during the Years 1836 to 1839,’ published anonymously, 1843, and reprinted in Murray's ‘Home and Colonial Library,’ 1846. She also wrote some bright little books for children, which passed through several editions: ‘Historical Charades,’ 1847, new edit. 1858; ‘Cat and Dog,’ 5th edit. 1858; ‘The Doll and her Friends,’ 5th edit. 1868. She died at Stowe Provost, near Shaftesbury, 29 Jan. 1864.

[Information from the family and personal knowledge.]

W. A. G.