Lou Alice Fink of Louisville, KY:Information about William* Maitland
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William* Maitland (b. 1403, d. 1471)
|L E N N O X L O V E|
William* Maitland (son of Robert* Maitland)5, 5, 5 was born 1403 in Lethington Lennoxlove Tower, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland5, 5, and died 1471 in Thirlestane Castle, Lauder, Berwickshire, Scotland5, 5.
Notes for William* Maitland:
L E N N O X L O V E
Home of Frances 'Britannia' Stuart
Set amongst ancient trees and grasslands in the Lammermuir Hills just south of Haddington, Scotland, Lennoxlove stands as a monument to Frances Teresa Stuart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, the famous beauty loved by King Charles II.
A massive 14th century tower, a border fortification in the warfare between England and Scotland, dominates the estate, originally known as Lethington. The walls of the tower, with its well-preserved barrel vaulted ceiling, are ten feet thick. Carved above the main entrance to the tower are the Latin words, "who of the race of Maitland laid the foundations, who raised the Tower, envious antiquity has concealed."
The original owners of the estate were the Gifford family, but it passed to the Maitlands in 1345. Today, the warm pink sand-coloured stone additions, beginning with those of the 17th century, speak of its conversion into a comfortable family home.
The estate became well known when members of the family made their name in the political arena. During the 16th century Sir Richard Maitland, a poet, collector of Scottish ballads, and a judge had two sons destined to become famous. John (1545-1595) became Lord Chancellor of Scotland and was given the title Lord Thirlstane. William (1525-1573) was appointed Secretary of State by Mary, Queen of Scots when she returned from France in 1561. He married Mary Fleming, one of Queen Mary's attendants and ended his life in a Leith prison before the defeat of the Queen.
The Earl of Lauderdale, another John Maitland, enlarged and embellished the house in 1626. His son, John, became one of the most powerful figures in Scotland, virtually a dictator at one time. After the Restoration, he served in London as Secretary of State and Privy Councillor. He restored the house and built the 17th century addition and enclosed the park, separated from the house by a low yew hedge.
It was in 1703 that Frances Stuart bought Lethington. Wishing her name to have some kind of immortality, she changed the name of the estate to Lennoxlove in honour of her title, Duchess of Lennox. Frances never visited the house and, on her death, it passed to her cousin, Walter Stuart.
The estate was sold to the Duke of Hamilton whose family occupies it to this day. The house, as it stands today, includes 19th and early 20th century additions and alterations.
Lennoxlove is filled with fine furniture and portraits by Van Dyck, Raeburn, Lely, Canaletto and others. One of the most interesting collections of china and porcelain in Scotland is found here. A famous silver casket belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots, and her death mask are on show. Holding a place of prominence is a portrait of "La Belle Stuart", the famous beauty of Charles II's Court. Today, just as Frances wished, Lennoxlove stands in tribute to her memory.
Lennoxlove can be found one mile (1.6km) south of Haddington, East Lothian. Tel: +44 (0) 1620 823 720. Open: Easter-end Oct, Wed, Thurs, Sat (check first), Sun from 2-4:30pm; guided tours. Admission fee, Friends of the Historic Houses Association free entry.
©2000 Text Barbara Ballard. ©2000 Images Lennoxlove. Reproduction of this work in whole or in part, including images, and reproduction in electronic media, without documented permission from the author is prohibited.
Originally known as Lethington, Lennoxlove incorporates an altered L-plan tower house,which incorporates work from the 14th century, and probably earlier. A two-storey range projects from the tower, and there is another extension from the 17th century. It was originally a property of the Giffords, but was sold to the Maitlands about 1350, who built or extended a castle here. It was burnt by the English in 1549. William Maitland of Lethington, secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots, lived here. He was involved in the plot to murder Lord Darnley, but supported Mary after she abdicated. He was taken prisoner after Edinburgh Castle was captured in 1573 and died, possibly being poisoned, soon afterwards. The property passed to the Maitland Duke of Lauderdale in 1645, but was sold to the Stewart Lord Blantyre, from whom it passed to the Bairds. In 1947 it passed to the Duke of Hamilton, since when it has been the family seat. Among the items housed here are the death mask of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the casket which may have contained the 'Casket Letters'. Collections of Stewart portraits and mementoes. Disabled access to gardens and WC.
The History of Thirlestane Castle and the Maitland Family
The history of Thirlestane dates back to at least the 13th century, when a large Border fort was built on the site to defend the approach to Edinburgh from the south.
The central part of the present Castle was completed in 1590, remodelled in the 1670s, and then again in the 1840s.
Throughout its long history, Thirlestane belonged to the Maitland family, one of the most able and famous in Scotland. The Maitlands came to Britain from France with William the Conqueror in 1066, and settled in Northumberland. In about 1250, Sir Richard Maitland married Avicia, the daughter and sole heiress of Thomas du Thirlestane. It was this marriage that brought the lands of Thirlestane and others into the ownership of the Maitland family. The ruined remains of one of the family homes at that time can still be seen, two miles from the Castle off the A697.
Through military service and their contributions to law and the arts, the Maitlands gained increasing influence and power. In 1590, John Maitland became Lord Chancellor of Scotland. His son was created 1st Earl of Lauderdale and his brother, William Maitland, was Secretary to Mary Queen of Scots.
John Maitland, 2nd Earl of Lauderdale, was one of the most important and controversial Scottish figures of the late 17th century. As a leading royalist, he was a confidant of King Charles II and spent nine years in the Tower of London under sentence of death. After the Restoration, he was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland. As such, he was virtually the uncrowned King of Scotland, and wielded unrivalled power and influence.
On his second marriage to the Countess of Dysart, he was created Duke of Lauderdale and began transforming Thirlestane Castle into a fitting palace from which to direct the affairs of Scotland. He employed Sir William Bruce to undertake the remodelling of the Castle. Bringing Renaissance influences to the Scottish Baronial style, he introduced the two front towers and the grand staircase and oversaw the transformation of the interior, the most remarkable feature of which is the rich plasterwork of the State Rooms.
The Duke's unscrupulous use of power eventually caused his downfall. Forced by the King to resign, he lost all his offices and was even deprived of his pension. On his death in 1682, leaving no heir, the Dukedom conferred upon him became extinct, while Thirlestane passed to his brother, Charles, 3rd Earl of Lauderdale.
By the 19th century, Thirlestane's role had evolved in more peaceful times to that of a Scottish country mansion for the Earls of Lauderdale. The social use to which the Castle was now put required more space, so in 1840 the Edinburgh architects, David Bryce and William Burn, were employed to design two large wings flanking the central Keep. The south wing, constructed around a central courtyard, housed new kitchens, pantries, laundries and servants' accommodation. The exterior remodelling highlighted the earlier features, with the new towers designed to match the outer towers of the Keep. The interior work also remained sympathetic to the work of Sir William Bruce, introducing the comforts of the Victorian age while retaining the magnificent features of the Baroque.
The Maitland Family Crest
John, 1st Baron Maitland
The Builder of the Keep
John, Duke of Lauderdale
More About William* Maitland:
Date born 2: 1394, Lauder, Scotland.5
Died 2: 1513, Flodden, Scotland.5
Children of William* Maitland are:
- +Margaret* Maitland, b. 1440, Thirlestane Castle, Lauder, Berwickshire, Scotland5, 5, 5.