Maitland, Thomas (1792-1851) (DNB00)

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MAITLAND, THOMAS, Lord Dundrennan (1792–1851), Scottish judge, eldest son of Adam Maitland, was born at his father's seat, Dundrennan Abbey, Kirkcudbrightshire, on 9 Oct. 1792. He studied at Edinburgh, and was called to the Scottish bar in December 1813. After practising successfully for a quarter of a century, he was on 9 May 1840 appointed solicitor-general in Lord Melbourne's administration. He vacated the office in September 1841 on the accession of the tories under Peel to power. On the death of his father in July 1843 he succeeded to the family estates, and sat in parliament for Kirkcudbrightshire from 1845 to 1850. Lord John Russell reappointed him solicitor-general on 6 July 1846, and he remained in office till January 1850. Maitland was a sound lawyer, unready, but far-sighted and perspicuous. After Jeffrey's death he was on 6 Feb. 1850 named a lord of the court of session, and took the title of Lord Dundrennan. While his own residence was being repaired, he went to stay with his brother, E. F. Maitland (see below), in 31 Melville Street, Edinburgh, and died there of paralysis on 10 June 1851. On 3 July 1815 he married Isabella Graham, fourth daughter of James McDowall of Garthland, Renfrewshire. By her he had four sons and two daughters. The Scottish judges, Henry Thomas Cockburn [q. v.] and John, lord Fullerton, were his brothers-in-law, being married to sisters of his wife.

Dundrennan was devoted to antiquarian literature, and possessed a magnificent library—‘a monument,’ according to Cockburn, ‘honourable to his taste and judgment.’ The collection was dispersed by sale on 10 Nov. 1851 and eight following days. Lord Jeffrey was an intimate friend, and in 1843 Dundrennan selected and arranged the volume of Jeffrey's contributions to the ‘Edinburgh Review,’ which was published in November of that year. Dundrennan also issued in limited editions reprints of works by Geoffrey Mynshull, John Bellenden, Marlowe, Bishop Hall, and Thomas Carew, and prepared for publication ‘The Works of Robert Herrick, with a Biographical Notice,’ 1823, 2 vols., and for the Maitland Club, ‘The Poems of William Drummond of Hawthornden,’ 1832, ‘The Works of Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, Knight,’ 1834, and ‘The Works of George Dalgarno of Aberdeen,’ 1834.

His brother, Maitland, Edward Francis, Lord Barcaple (1803–1870), was born in Edinburgh on 16 April 1803, educated at the university, where he graduated LL.D. and became an advocate in 1831. He served as sheriff of Argyllshire 9 July 1851, and as solicitor-general for Scotland under Lord Palmerston from 14 Feb. 1855 to 17 March 1858, and from 27 June 1859 to 10 Nov. 1862. As a lord of the court of session, with the title of Lord Barcaple, he sat on the bench from 10 Nov. 1862 till his death. He was curator and assessor of the university of Edinburgh in 1859, and rector of the university of Aberdeen in 1860. He died at 3 Ainslie Place, Edinburgh, 23 Feb. 1870, having married in 1840 a daughter of William Roberts of Glasgow, banker.

[For Thomas Maitland: B. W. Crombie's Modern Athenians, 1882, pp. 111–12, with portrait; Henry Cockburn's Journal, 1831–54, Edinburgh, 1874; Cockburn's Life of Francis Jeffrey (1872), p. 384; Gent. 1851, pt. ii. pp. 196–7; Illustr. London News, 1851, xviii. 588; Times, 13 June 1851, p. 6; information from Miss Agnes C. Maitland, Somerville Hall, Oxford, and from Mr. T. G. Stevenson of Edinburgh. For Edward Francis Maitland: Law Magazine and Law Review, 1870, xxix. 273–4; Law Times, 1870, xlviii. 405; Solicitors' Journal, 1870, xiv. 365; Illustrated London News, 1870, lvi. 283; Proc. of Roy. Soc. of Edinb. 1872, vii. 242.]

G. C. B.