Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/193

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WILLIAM MAITLAND. SIR JOHN MALCOLM. 563

MAITLAND, WILLIAM, an antiquarian writer of some note, is generally re- presented as having been born at Brechin in the year 1693, though there is reason to suppose the date of his birth to have been somewhat earlier. He does not appear in his writings to have been a man of liberal education. His first employment was that of a hair merchant ; in the prosecution of which business, he travelled into Sweden and Denmark, to Hamburg, and other places, and appears to have realized considerable wealth. At length he settled in London, and applied himself to the study of English and Scottish antiquities. In 1733, he was elected a member of the Royal, and in 1735, a fellow of the Antiquarian Society, which latter honour he resigned in 1740, on going to re- side in the country. His first publication was his History of London, which appeared in 1739, and was chiefly valuable for a reason little creditable to the author, namely, its being in a great measure a reduction of the ancient and scarce work of Stow^ In 1740, he retired to Scotland; and in 1753, pub- lished his " History of Edinburgh," which is by far the most useful and credit- able of all his works. He was not here assisted to any considerable degree by preceding authorities : the volume is chiefly compiled from original documents, and must have been accordingly a work of very great labour. In point of com- position, it is very deficient. The style is mean, and the whole tone of the work that of a plain, dull old man. It also bears in some parts the traces of credulity and narrowness of understanding on the part of the author. As a compilation of facts, it is, nevertheless, very valuable. In 1757, Maitland published a " History of Scotland," in two volumes folio, a work absolutely des- titute of reputation. He died at Montrose, July 16, 1757, " at an advanced age," say the obituary notices, and possessed of above 10,000.

MALCOLM, (Sir) JOHN, a distinguished soldier and diplomatist, was born on the farm of Burnfoot, near Langholm, on the 2nd of May, 1769. This farm was granted to the paternal grandfather of Sir John, at a low rent, by the earl of Dalkeith, in 1707 ; it subsequently became the residence of George Malcolm, the father of Sir John, who married Miss Pasley, daughter of James Pasley, Esq. of Craig and Burn, by whom he had seventeen children, fifteen surviving to maturity. Of these children, three attained to a high station and title ; namely, Sir Pulteney, vice-admiral, R. N. ; Sir James, lieutenant^colonel of marines ; both of whom are Knight Companions of the Bath ; and the subject of this memoir. The farm is still in possession of the family.

Sir John Malcolm entered life in 1782, as a cadet in the service of the East India Company ; and a part of his success is to be ascribed to the zeal with which he applied himself at first to study the manners and languages of the east. Having distinguished himself at the siege of Seringapatam in 1792, he was ap- pointed by lord Cornwallis to the situation of Persian interpreter to an English force serving with a native prince. In 1795, on his return from a short visit to his native country, on account of his health, he performed some useful services in general Clarke's expedition at the Cape of Good Hope, for which he re- ceived the thanks of the Madras government, and was appointed secretary to the commander-in-cluef. In 1797, he was made captain ; and from that time to 1799, he was engaged in a variety of important services, terminating at the fall of Seringapatam, where he highly distinguished himself. He was then ap- pointed joint secretary with captain (afterwards Sir Thomas) Munro, to the commissioners for settling the new government of Mysore. In the same year, he was selected by Lord Wellesley to proceed on a diplomatic mission to Persia, where he concluded two treaties of great importance, one political, and the other commercial ; returning to Bombay in May, 1801. His services were ac- knowledged by his being appointed private secretary to the governor-general. In