Hon. Frederick Lewis Maitland

1730-1786. He was born on 19 January 1730 in Edinburgh, the sixth son of Charles Maitland the 1st Earl of Lauderdale, and of his wife, Lady Elizabeth Ogilvie. His younger brother was Colonel Hon. John Maitland, who died shortly after leading British forces at the defence of Savannah in the autumn of 1779. He was a godson of Frederick, the Prince of Wales, and was so christened in his honour.

Maitland joined the Navy in October 1748, seeing early duty aboard the Tavistock 50, Captains Justinian Nutt and Francis Holburne, and going out to Barbados in the following spring. Here in May he transferred to the sloop Speedwell, Commander Sampson Salt, but he then rejoined the Tavistock in January 1750.

Remaining on the Barbados station, Maitland was commissioned lieutenant on 11 June 1750 with an appointment to the sloop Otter 14, Commander Coll Macdonald, prior to being paid off in October 1751 after returning to England. He was next appointed to the Port Mahon 20, Captain John Montagu, at Plymouth in January 1753, going out to Newfoundland in the late summer before returning to England in the early winter and being paid off in April 1754. He then joined the Rochester 50, Captain Robert Duff, in March 1755, spending the next year in the Channel.

Frederick_Lewis_Maitland_(1760)

Hon. Frederick Lewis Maitland

He was promoted commander on 17 January 1757, being ordered to commission the storeship Port Royal at Jamaica in which amongst other captures he took a 12-gun French privateer in the Windward Passage. On 9 March 1759 he was posted captain of the Wager 24, removing in August to the Lively 20 at Jamaica, and in October 1760 his ship was part of a small squadron despatched to seize a convoy out of Cap François which was escorted by a number of French men of war. He took the Valeur 20 on the 18th after a chase off Cuba involving sweeps and a ninety-minute action in which scores of the enemy were killed for the loss of just two men on his command, and a day later he assisted the Hampshire 50, Captain Coningsbury Norbury, in her attack upon the Fleur de Lys 32 at Port au Paix, resulting in the enemy setting fire to their own vessel.

Maitland transferred to the Renown 30 in the spring of 1761, and returning to England he commanded her in home waters, taking troops out to Oporto in 1762, and capturing the privateers Soujour 8 off the Scilly Isles on 6 March, the Count d’Heronville 16 off the Lizard two days later and then the Domerville 8 and Sequier 12 in company with the Adventure 32, Captain Charles Middleton, on 18 March. He returned to Jamaica with the Renown at the end of 1762 and served on that station and in voyages to North America after the peace, returning home to be paid off in September 1764, whereupon he spent the next fourteen years on half-pay.

Eventually returning to employment, Maitland commissioned the Elizabeth 74 at Portsmouth in January 1778, taking many of his fellow Scots aboard after his wealthy wife had raised some fifty men in Fife at her own expense. He commanded the Elizabeth at the Battle of Ushant on 27 July and during the subsequent politically-charged court martial he gave evidence contrary to that of Vice-Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser.

Meanwhile the Elizabeth under the temporary command of Acting-Captain William Truscott had gone out to the Leeward Islands in December 1778 with Rear-Admiral Joshua Rowley’s squadron, and Maitland followed with the Vengeance 74 in the early summer of 1779, arriving at Antigua in July. Immediately exchanging with Truscott, he fought at the Battle of Martinique on 17 April 1780 where the Elizabeth lost nine men killed and fifteen wounded, and he was in the Leeward Islands for the remainder of the May-July campaign, although his command did not suffer any casualties in the fleet skirmishes during the former month. The Elizabeth then sailed to Jamaica for repairs before returning to Europe with the trade in the autumn, although she was so badly damaged in a gale off the Newfoundland Banks that she parted company with the convoy to eventually reach Portsmouth on 15 November.

Having joined the Queen 98 in January 1781, Maitland was with the Channel fleet when it relieved Gibraltar on 12 April, participated in the June-November operations, and was present at Rear-Admiral Richard Kempenfelt’s brilliant action against De Guichen on 12 December 1781.Whilst in the Bay of Biscay on 23 April 1782, and after a brief chase and single broadside, he took the French Actionnaire 64 armed en-flute with stores, provisions, specie and five hundred and fifty troops destined for the East Indies. At the time the Queen was carrying several hundred prisoners from the Pégase 74, which had been captured three days earlier by the Foudroyant 80, Captain John Jervis, and for a short while Maitland found himself with eleven hundred prisoners on his hands. He left the Queen in August when she was sequestered for the flag of Rear-Admiral Alexander Hood and instead joined the Grafton 74, commissioning at Portsmouth in October but never actually taking her to sea.

From 1782-5 Maitland commanded the yacht Princess Augusta, based at Deptford, but his health was in a state of steady decline and he died at Rankeillor, Fife on 16 December 1786, shortly before news was received of his elevation to flag rank.

On 27 August 1767 Maitland married Margaret Dick, a wealthy heiress from Rankeilour, Fife, by whom he had three daughters and four sons, one of whom died at Mugrum, Fife in December 1771. His third son was Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland, and his youngest surviving son, Robert, died as a midshipman at Malta on 2 July 1801. Whilst serving on the Jamaican station in the late 1750’s and early 1760’s Maitland conceived at least three children by a mulatto woman, Mary Arnot, whose sister enjoyed a similar relationship with Captain Hon. William Cornwallis. Sadly one of the girls drowned when the vessel in which she was sailing for England from Jamaica for the benefit of her education sank off Galway in November 1780.