Clan Maitland Newsletter - November 1999
Waterloo to Waterloo
We left from Waterloo Station, drove via Bruges to Brussels and then Waterloo, and returned through Calais to Waterloo. We had some great meals and saw some lovely places. We met old friends and made new ones, and learned a good deal about the Battle of Waterloo from our companions, the 9th/12th Lancers Old Comrades.
Our 1999 AGM was rather more adventurous than usual as we mounted an expedition to the battlefield of Waterloo where Sir Peregrine Maitland, then a Major-General, commanded the First Infantry Brigade, comprising the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 1st Foot Guards.
From the south the field of Waterloo looks boring and featureless. Many visitors to the battlefield have complained that there is nothing to see. This is how it was supposed to look.
The Duke of Wellington had identified Waterloo as a potential battlefield during the autumn of 1814 (nearly a year before the battle) because of the possibilities which it offered to exploit his particular tactics and style of giving battle. In particular, Wellington was especially fond of hiding troops behind a hill top both to protect them from enemy fire and to enable him to surprise the enemy. He also moved his troops rapidly across the field in order to counter enemy initiatives. Several farm houses protected the British lines and acted as small fortresses to threaten the flanks of the attackers.
The particular attraction of the field of Waterloo was the way in which it met these objectives, and also concealed from the enemy these important features of the ground.
The battle was marked by very high casualties in a small area, and was fought in wet conditions after a night of heavy rainfall. Although a depressing and dispiriting eve of a battle, Wellington’s Peninsula veterans hailed this as an excellent omen because nearly every victory won in the Peninsula had been preceded by heavy rain.
We learned a great deal about the battle, and the details will be explained more fully in the next Yearbook, complete with maps.
However, we did see enough of the field to understand the background to the famous order “Now, Maitland, now’s your chance !”
It was Wellington’s practice to ride around the battlefield and to be with the commander of any regiment whose action was likely to be critical in the battle. In particular, Wellington regarded timing of the action as of first importance, and therefore normally supervised this aspect of any action closely. There has been some dispute over whether Wellington gave this command, but there is no doubt that it was consistent with his normal methods. After the Imperial Guard were repelled by the fire from Maitland's First Infantry Brigade, Wellington rode on to the Light Brigade on Maitland's right to give orders and encourage them to complete the destruction of the Imperial Guard.
We have located a copy of the letter written by Sir Peregrine Maitland regarding the battle, which will be quoted in full in the Yearbook, but a short quotation will give the flavour of the crisis of the battle:
“The attacking Columns were alike composed of the Infantry of the Imperial Guard.......The Brigade suffered by the Enemy’s artillery, but it withheld its fire for the nearer approach of the Column. The latter, after advancing steadily up the slope, halted about twenty paces from the front rank of the Brigade........ With what in view the Enemy halted in a situation so perilous, and in a position so comparatively helpless, he was not given time to evince.
The fire of the Brigade opened with terrible effect.”
By his tactics, Wellington had induced Napoleon to attack through a space which looked like a gap in the line, but was in fact a trap. A key feature of this manoeuvre was to withhold fire until the last moment to ensure the maximum effect.
With this volley the tide of the battle turned and the British forces moved from defence to attack. Napoleon’s empire collapsed.
Our trip revealed not just the hidden features of the battle of Waterloo, but also the many attractions of a weekend in northern Europe. We combined forces with the 9th/12th Lancers Old Comrades who had studied the battle in much more detail than ourselves and provided some useful reading as homework before the trip.
Leaving Waterloo Station promptly at 8.00 a.m. we arrived at Dover to find a delay due the mass of people off to see the Le Mans 24 Hours race. One of our party had forgotten to bring her passport, and had to return to London to collect it. However, thanks to Eurostar she was able to greet us as we entered the hotel in Brussels.
Although the shuttle through the tunnel is appreciably faster than the ferry, it does not serve lunch, and as we were not driving, we were able to take full advantage of the bars and restaurants on the boat, safe in the knowledge that we could take a nap on the bus.
Bruges, with its marvellous necklace of canals and lovely medieval buildings is always a splendid place to visit. Some went to the Cathedral to see the magnificent Michelangelo Virgin and Child, whilst others visited the Groeninge Museum with its outstanding collection of 15th century Flemish paintings with their jewel like detail and intense colouring. Some even found time for cups of that dark, rich chocolate for which Belgium is famous.
On then to Brussels. Reading the press in Britain one gains the impression that this is a dull, provincial town. This is probably a libel spread by the French. Brussels is clean, well laid out and has marvellous shops of every sort. These do not just sell Belgian chocolates, but lovely clothes, elegant shoes and accessories; there are excellent shops for the ladies as well !
But Brussels is not just a well laid out 19th century city; it has excellent public transport, both trams and underground railways, but also a charming medieval centre with its gothic municipal buildings and street after street full of attractive cafes and excellent restaurants.
Our restaurant choices had been made for us by a friend who works in NATO, and they proved very successful. 35 people at a time is quite a lot for any restaurant to handle well, so we had to choose our meals in advance, and to some peoples’ disappointment, and others relief we had not ordered mussels or snails. We did not go short.
Much to his relief, the coach driver had run out of driving time. This was just as well, because the task of both navigating and manoeuvring a coach through the narrow streets of the old town would have defeated both driver and navigator.
In the morning we set out for Waterloo where we first took a coffee break at a cafe overlooking the field of battle, and were then taken around the field by an excellent guide. The Wellington Museum in Waterloo is well worth seeing with its clear descriptions of the key features of the engagement. The visit finished with a reception given by the mayor of Waterloo for our party.
Back in Brussels we held the Annual General Meeting. The Chief sent his apologies, explaining that due to his own infirmities, and the illness of the Countess of Lauderdale, he could not join the party. The chair was taken by the Deputy Chief, and 17 members were present. Revenues were marginally above those of 1997, but expenses, especially in printing had risen, partly as a result of introducing colour pages in the Yearbook. Social functions in the U.K. had been successful with a very enjoyable visit to Lauderdale House and a good Burns Night Supper. Clan members were now engaged in preparing a computerised list of known Maitlands, with entries largely complete up to the middle of the 18th century. The web site which had been established in March 1999 was proving to be a success, with regular enquiries to the Deputy Chief from Maitlands not previously known to us. Many of them have subsequently joined the Clan Society, especially in North America where internet use is much wider.
In view of the current financial situation of the Society and the fact that the subscription had remained unchanged for many years, it was decided to raise the subscription to £15 a year with immediate effect for new members and in 2000 for existing members.
We went out for yet another feast, this time in the heart of the old city, close to the Grand Place. After dinner we strolled through the pretty streets in the warmth of a summer evening.
It was time to return, and the rain had set in, but by the time we reached Calais the sun had come out and we found time to visit a wine warehouse (to buy Australian wine in my case) before another convivial lunch.
And so back by ferry to Waterloo.
In The News
Ian Maitland Hume is writing a thesis for his doctorate at Edinburgh University on “The contemporary expression of Scottish identity by Americans through the material culture of tartan and the kilt.”
Angus Maitland's 'The Maitland Consultancy' has been in the news recently. It is a public relations company whose clients include, or have included NatWest, Sainsbury's, Whitbread Brewery.
Stanley Mutch Maitland wrote about a wedding he attended and commented “I was delighted with the belt and wore the outfit with great pride and joy; as is usual with our exclusive tartan, so many people ask about it, not knowing what clan it belongs to.”
Helena, Viscountess Maitland died on 1 September 1999 with the funeral at St. Andrew’s church, Kelso. She was survived by her three daughters, Lady Mary Biddulph, Lady Ann Eyston and Lady Elizabeth Maitland. Helena, Viscountess Maitland was the widow of Ivor Maitland, son of the XVth Earl, who was killed in action in Tunisia, North Africa in January 1943.
Lady Olga Maitland was re-selected to contest the constituency of Sutton and Cheam in the south-west of London at the next General Election. A Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Northern Ireland Office in the last Parliament, she lost the seat by 2,000 votes in 1997 and hopes to return to active politics soon.
Elizabeth Jane Maitland, daughter of James and Joy Maitland, married Gavin Leishman at Brightons Polmont South Church, in May, with the reception at the Lea Park Hotel, Grangemouth, They met on a blind date, and will live in Falkirk. Gavin works as an engineer. The family all wore the Maitland tartan.
Jonathan Maitland, the broadcaster, recently presented a program House of Horrors in which he and his producer feigned marriage and moved into a dilapidated house in south London. A series of cheating builders and other incompetent and dishonest tradesmen were filmed by hidden cameras as they tried to rip him off. The reviewers liked it.
Alison Allman, nee Maitland, daughter of Alex Maitland has just moved to a farm near Dunblane and her children will be attending Dollar Academy, where kilts are mandatory on special occasions. Naturally, the children will wear Maitland tartan.
We hope you like the news items and personalities. To keep them going, send in your news to the Deputy Chief at 150 Tachbrook Street, London SW1V 2NE, with photos if possible.
Email - if you are on the e-mail, do send us an email so that we can get your address and keep you in touch with developments.
Bogus De Mautlents
Some people have emerged calling themselves De Mautlent, claiming to be descendants of the Duke of Lauderdale and to have been born at Thirlestane.
The Duke had only one recorded child, a daughter, who married Lord Tweedale and who herself had no children. There are no known descendants of the Duke of Lauderdale. The present chief is descended from his younger brother.
The use of Mautalent in Scotland had died out by 1450, by which time the spelling had changed to Maitland. The present Thirlestane Castle was built from 1586 onwards. Therefore, no Mautalents have been born at Thirlestane Castle. The old peel tower near Thirlestane Cottages was not much used by the Maitlands once they had acquired Lethington some time in the 14th century.
A real Mautalent
In May, Delphine Mautalent found our web site and established contact. She is studying for a management diploma at the University of Caen, and her home is at Tourlaville near Cherbourg. During a sailing holiday the Deputy Chief met her parents, Georges and Monique Mautalent. Georges designs submarines at the Cherbourg naval dockyard.
The Maitland Variations
Maitland Makgill Crichton Crichton Makgill Maitland Maitland Heriot
Heriot Maitland Maitland Dougall Maitland Titterton Titterton Maitland
Where do these names come from? Why?
As many in the clan will be well aware many direct descendants of the Lauderdale branch of the family carry additional surnames. Most of these seem to be descended from Frederick Lewis Maitland who was born in Edinburgh in 1730 and died on Fife in 1786.
He was the sixth son of Charles, 6th Earl of Lauderdale, and in common with many younger sons went off to join the Royal Navy at a young age. He rose to become a Post Captain and married Margaret Dick in 1767. She not only bore him seven children but she was an heiress of both land and possibly a title as well. Unusually for that period in history all their children survived into adulthood and five of them married. The resulting family tree is enormously complicated, especially as several married their cousins.
As Antony Maitland has explained in the 1999 Yearbook Frederick found life in the Navy based in Jamaica for the best part of ten years wearisome. In need of home comforts he took a mistress; a local girl called Mary Arnot. She bore him three children and that line has survived to this day. Fortunately they did not choose to add to the name of Maitland so they did not give rise to any variations.
Margaret Dick was an obvious catch for the 37-year-old sailor who had no prospects of an inheritance. She brought to the marriage the estates of Rankeilour and Lindores, both substantial properties in Fife. She also subsequently inherited Ramornie, another significant estate in the middle of Fife.
From her Crichton ancestors she also was in line to inherit the title of Viscount Frendraught.
The eldest son of Frederick and Margaret, Charles, was the first to vary his name. He took the name Maitland Makgill Crichton although in later generations one branch changed the order to Makgill Crichton Maitland. Both variations still survive. Makgill was the family name of his mother’s ancestor who had owned Rankeilour whilst Crichton was the origin of the title Frendraught. (Although the title could probably still be claimed today it remains in abeyance many generations later.)
The second son James married a Margaret Dalgleish and he inherited the Heriot property of Ramornie. He thus assumed the additional name of Heriot, which again got switched, in later generations to Heriot Maitland. One of the latter married a Miss Dougall and called himself Heriot Maitland Dougall although the children running out of breath, or ink, later dropped the Heriot.
The Maitland Makgill Crichtons also suffered from the same "name overload" and some of them dropped back to Maitland. One of the daughters however married the Reverend Titterton and their children re-complicated the issue by adding the Titterton after the Maitland.
Why the name changes? The name of Maitland was of course the paternal name in almost every case and its retention was understandable. It also could be said to carry some influence and prestige in times past. The other names were associated with the inherited estates and perhaps the brothers wanted to establish separate identities. Money was also an issue and Miss Dougall’s father, who owned a whaling fleet in Dundee, wished his name to be perpetuated.
The Christian name of Frederick has been used in every generation, sometimes several times over. Again the family no doubt wanted to identify with their naval connections.
Colin Maitland Dougall
News from Lauder
Jenni Crombie Smith The Cornet’s Lass
Dr. Harry Crombie Smith of Lauder and the Town's GP, is one of the longest standing supporters of the Clan Maitland Society and we were delighted to learn that Jenni, his granddaughter was chosen to be the Cornet’s Lass for the 1999 Common Riding.
Jenni wrote in the programme: “This year is going to be one of the very best for me, as I have spent all my life in Lauder, following and riding the Common Riding. I had never imagined being asked to be Cornet’s Lass by Cornet Gilder, one of my best friends since childhood.
Gordon has given me this marvellous opportunity to meet and become friends with many other Borderers, Reivers, Cornets, Braw Lads and of course their partners."
Tragedy at Horse Trials
For many years Thirlestane has been chosen to provide the course for international horse trials which are timed runs over a course of several miles with a series of obstacles, jumps, banks and double fences which the horses must negotiate. The obstacles are formidable, and designed by the authority of the sport for each event.
In August, Polly Phillips, ranked 13th in the world, was killed when her horse fell on her after failing to negotiate a jump. Captain Gerald Maitland Carew, as Chairman of the event organising committee immediately abandoned the competition. There was no criticism of the design or construction of the course.
Maxwelton's Braes are bonny,
Where early fa's the dew'
And it's there that Annie Laurie
Gave me her promise true.....
Have you ever wondered what Maxwelton looked like? The house came on the market in July with 10 bedrooms, all with en suite baths and dressing rooms. There are 1650 acres on the property which has 20 houses, offered at £3m.
Frederick Lewis Maitland and the surrender of Napoleon
The story so far: the battle of Waterloo had been fought on 18 June 1815, whilst Captain Maitland was blockading La Rochelle with his ship, the 74 gun ship of the line, Bellerophon, and two smaller vessels. Napoleon arrived at La Rochelle in July and sought to evade the blockade, but without success. On the 14 July, his officers opened negotiations for his surrender.
At dawn on 14 July (about 0400) a schooner approached under flag of truce, and Maitland invited the officers to join him for breakfast. Breakfast completed, and after some discussions, Maitland explained that he could not permit Napoleon to leave harbour in his own vessel, but could receive Napoleon on the Bellerophon and convey him to England. Maitland stipulated “I cannot make any promise, as to the reception he may meet with, as, even in the case I have mentioned, I shall be acting on my own responsibility, and cannot be sure that it would meet with the approbation of the British Government.”
The officers departed, and returned later that day with a letter from Comte Bertrand, Grand Marshal. This stated “If the Admiral, in consequence of the dispatch you forwarded to him, should send the passport for the United States therein demanded, His Majesty will be happy to repair to America; but should the passport be withheld, he will willingly proceed to England, as a private individual, there to enjoy the protection of the laws of your country”.
A copy of a letter from Napoleon to the Prince Regent was given to Maitland for dispatch to England “I have terminated by political career, and I come, like Themistocles, to throw myself upon the hospitality of the British people. I put myself under the protection of their laws; which I claim from your Royal Highness, as the most powerful, the most constant, and the most generous of my enemies.
Maitland agreed to transmit both the letter and the envoy, whose reception he could not guarantee, and agreed to transport Napoleon and his suite to England, stating firmly “I am not authorised to stipulate as to the reception of Bonaparte in England, but that he must consider himself entirely at the disposal of his Royal Highness, the Prince Regent.”
Next morning, at daybreak, about 0400, a French brig was seen to be approaching from the shore, and at the same time, the Superb, with the admiral, Sir Henry Hotham was seen at sea. However, by 0530 the tide turned towards the land, and with the wind also blowing on-shore, the French brig stopped about a mile away, whilst the Superb was advancing towards Bellerophon with the wind and tide in her favour. “Thus situated, and being most anxious to terminate the affair I had brought so near a conclusion, previous to the Admiral’s arrival, I sent off Mr. Mott, the First Lieutenant, in the barge, who returned soon after six o'clock, bringing Napoleon with him.”
Maitland had thus secured Napoleon’s person. Napoleon came on board in cavalry uniform and was shown to Maitland’s cabin which was placed at his disposal. Napoleon was very interested in the training and skill of the Royal Navy. Sir Henry Hotham arrived at 1030 and Maitland immediately reported to him. The Admiral’s response was “getting hold of him on any terms would have been of the greatest consequence; but as you have entered into no conditions whatever, there cannot be a doubt that you will obtain the approbation of his Majesty’s Government.”
From La Rochelle Maitland made an easy passage to Torbay, leaving on the afternoon of the 16th July and arriving at dawn on the 24th. Napoleon was affable during the trip, and Maitland dined with Napoleon each day at his invitation and discussed naval affairs and Maitland’s family. The conversation was in French and Maitland commented that his French improved substantially during the voyage. Napoleon asked after the Earl of Lauderdale, whom he had met “Milord Lauderdale est un bon garcon". Of the Royal Navy “Wherever there is water to float a ship, we are sure to find you in our way.” He was impressed by the silence with which Bellerophon was worked. Although Maitland says that had Napoleon evaded his blockade he would probably have escaped, he took pains to point out to Napoleon every British ship which they met to impress on him the efficiency of the British controls.
With the squadron’s arrival in Torbay, the political problems began, which inspired Captain Maitland to write his book.
To be continued in the next issue.
Mautalents & Maitlands came originally from Normandy.
To mark a thousand years since our arrival in Normandy, we plan a weekend trip in June 2001 to Les Moitiers d'Allonne, the birthplace of the Mautalents. See Map_of_Normandy
These trips, to Scotland and to Belgium have been a great success. This time we plan go to the starting point - the "berceau" or cradle of the family as the Mautalents say
Departing on a Friday, we would stay in Carteret, where there are many good restaurants in a small town, and visit Les Moitiers d'Allonne very close nearby, with the Mautalent graves, to Bayeux and Caen over two or three days. Travel by coach, or own car as desired.
Please let us know, without any commitment if you are interested. Send back the form in the reply paid envelope