Frederick Colin 14th Earl of Lauderdale. 1868 -1931

Frederick Colin 14th Earl of Lauderdale. 1868 -1931
Frederick Colin 14th Earl of Lauderdale. 1868 -1931

He entered the army in Bengal at the age of 13, and exchanged into the Scots Guards after his father – a Major in the Bengal Staff Corps – won the Lauderdale peerage case in 1885 and became the Earl of Lauderdale. Frederick Colin suddenly found himself Viscount Maitland.

He served in the South African War of 1899 - 1901, then in August 1901, as Lt Colonel Viscount Maitland, raised and trained a regiment of cavalry for service in South Africa - the 1st County of London (Rough Riders) Imperial Yeomanry, with recruits drawn from the City of London. He gained the rank of Honorary Colonel in the service of the City of London (Rough Riders) Yeomanry. He served with several regiments including the Scots Guards and the Royal Scots Greys. He was Assistant Director of Auxiliary Forces, Army HQ Staff between 1903 and 1908.

During the Great War he served as Lt Col 23rd Bttn Royal Fusiliers 1914 -1916, where he was wounded, and finally persuaded to leave the front line to younger officers.  He was then appointed to the 3rd Garrison Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers in 1916. He was invested as a Officer, Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1919. He gained the rank of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in the service of the Scots Guards.

Frederick was the first of our family to wear a kilt!   And was much derided for this. In the 1920's (and until the 1980s) it was considered improper to wear a kilt south of the Highland Line - roughly a line running from Banchory in Aberdeen south east to Dumbarton on the Clyde, and if you were not a Highlander. Since then attitudes have changed.

On April 16, 1890 he married Gwendoline Lucy, daughter of Judge R.Vaughan Williams of Bodlonfa, Flintshire. He became a Brigadier in the Royal Company of Archers He was also a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Berwick and Representative Peer [Scotland].

Ian Colin, 15th Earl of Lauderdale 1891 - 1953

Ian Colin, 15th Earl

He saw active service in the First World War as a Major in the 3rd Reserve Battalion of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders in 1915-1916, and in 1918 was Aide-de-Camp to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
He was also a member of the Royal Company of Archers, the King's Bodyguard for Scotland, and a Deputy Lieutenant for Berwickshire.

He married on November 11,1912 to Ethel Mary (Ivy), the daughter of James Jardine Bell Irvine of Makerstoun, Kelso. His only son, Ivor, Viscount Maitland, was killed in action in Tunisia

Ivor Colin James, Viscount Maitland 1915 - 1943

Ivor Colin, Viscount Maitland (painting by John Saint-Helier Lander, 1869-1944)

Lieutenant Viscount Maitland, 2nd Lothian and Border Horse, Royal Armoured Corps was killed in action in Tunisia on 18th January 1943 during the Battle of Bou Arada, aged 27. He was the only son of the 15th Earl and the Earldom devolved on a cousin.

The Rev. Alfred Sydney 16th Earl of Lauderdale 1904 - 1968

Alfred was a High Church – Anglo Catholic Anglican Priest. His later appointments were Priest in charge, St John's, West Worthing 1939-51; Vicar of St John's, West Worthing 1951-53; Curate, All Saints, Woodham 1953-56; Rector of Catsfield, co. Sussex 1958-60

He first married in 1938 to Nora Mary La Touche and his second marriage was to Irene Alice Mary Shipton in 1940. Irene was the daughter of the Rev. C.P. Shipton. He died by drowning in 1968 and was succeeded by his brother.

Patrick Francis, 17th Earl of Lauderdale 1911 - 2008

Patrick Francis, 17th Earl of Lauderdale 1911 - 2008
Patrick Francis, 17th Earl of Lauderdale 1911 - 2008

Patrick never expected to become the Earl of Lauderdale until his kinsman Ivor, Viscount Maitland was killed in action in 1943, and the Earldom devolved at the 15th Earl’s death to Patrick’s brother Alfred, who had no children and no prospect of any.

The son of a clergyman, Patrick was brought up frugally and on leaving Oxford with a degree in Politics, philosophy and economics had to earn a living, unlike his predecessors.

Interviewed by the Vienna correspondent of the Daily Mail, he assured his prospective employer that he could speak German – it was fortunate that his German was not tested at the interview. He got the job and then set out for Vienna to learn the language.

He claimed to have been employed and also dismissed by every newspaper in Fleet Street.

He gave the Times an eye-witness account of the Italian invasion of Albania in 1938. He was in Poland in September 1939, then moved his base from Berlin to Belgrade and set up a clandestine news service from Germany which provided The Times with authoritative accounts of what was going on in the country. He was in Romania when the Nazis invaded in 1940.

Patrick Francis Maitland
Patrick Francis Maitland

Patrick was a war correspondent during the second world war, serving with the US Navy in the Pacific and briefly as a rear gunner in aircraft seeking the Japanese fleet which was then severely defeated at the Battle of Midway 4 – 7 June 1942. He landed with the US Marines at Guadalcanal in August 1943, armed only with a typewriter, which years later still had on it mud from the island.

In 1943, he was conscrpted by Foreign Office to join the Political Intelligence Department, used until 1946 as a cover for the Political Warfare Executive.  Tam Dayell, a political opponent commented in his obituary Though not in uniform, he was thought to have had "a very good war"

Post war, he established The Fleet Street Letter, which your Chief remembers delivering to offices near Fleet Street in the late 1940s. Concerned with gaining advance diplomatic news, it broke the news that the USSR had successfully tested an H Bomb.

Patrick Francis Maitland
Patrick Francis Maitland

In 1951 he was chosen as the Conservative candidate in the general election of that year to succeed Lord Dunglass (Alec Douglas-Home), who had become the Earl of Home. Always one to poke fun at himself, he observed that there were people among his constituents in Lanarkshire who thought that their candidate was déclassé compared with his predecessor. Tam Dayell commented “I know that Maitland was regarded as an excellent constituency MP" , However, he quarrelled with the administration, and when he lost his seat in Lanark by 810 votes in 1959, the Conservative Party rejoiced rather then help him back into the Commons.

When his brother died in 1968 he succeeded to the Earldom and a seat in the Hosue of Lords. He revelled in becoming a Member of Parliament again, albeit in the House of Lords. He became Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Energy, Transport and Research, and in 1974 Chairman of the European Communities Scrutiny Committee. He was a regular attender of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee He was co-founder and, from 1980 to 1999, vice-chairman of the All-Party Group for Energy Studies.

He married Stanka, the eldest daughter of Professor Milivoye Losanic of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1964 he began to restore the Lauderdale Aisle (built by the Earl of Lauderdale about 1635) to be used as a Chapel by the mainstream churches; it was consecrated by the Anglican Bishop of Edinburgh as the Shrine of Our Lady of Haddington, to be known as the Three Kings Chapel and the Shrine of Our Lady of Haddington. The Shrine is located in St. Mary’s Parish Kirk in Haddington, Scotland.

Ian 18th Earl of Lauderdale 1937 -  

Ian, 18th Earl of Lauderdale
Ian, 18th Earl of Lauderdale

Ian is the present chief. Born in Belgrade in 1937, he was brought up in New York during the second World War, returning to the UK in 1945. He married Ann Paule Clark in 1963 and has two children, Lady Sarah Maitland Parks and John, the The Master of Lauderdale, Viscount Maitland, born in 1965.  Ann died in 2020, and he married Sarah Lindsay Sasse later thatuear. He has homes in England and Scotland.

The Chief worked in marketing, stockbroking and finally banking, where he was the Senior Regional Manager for Africa and the Middle East for National Westminster Bank. In this role he travelled to all the countries in the Middle East and many in Africa.

Following retirement from the bank he established a consultancy advising the London School of Economics on marketing, and also conducted courses in Europe, Africa and Asia on evaluating bank and country risk.

He served in the Royal Naval Reserve, is a member of the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers, and has been active in archery as well as performing ceremonial duties for the Sovereign. He is also a Freeman of the City of London.

Whilst at university he read history, which has formed the basis for much of the recent research on our family, and identified the link between the Maitlands of Scotland and the Mautalent family of Normandy from which we are all descended.


Arthur Balfour – Lord Balfour of Whittingehame   1848 -1930

Arthur Balfour – Lord Balfour of Whittingehame, the great grandson of the VIIIth Earl of Lauderdale was not a great prime minister, but he was a great statesman, trusted by allies and opponents alike. He was also the only Prime Minister our family can claim.

Although he was overshadowed by his predecessor, Lord Salisbury, and outshone in flashiness by his successor Lloyd George, Arthur Balfour was a great statesman, trusted by allies and opponents alike, and still active in public affairs 25 years after his party’s spectacular defeat in the 1906 general election – as disastrous as John Major’s defeat in 1997. Despite his ferocious opposition as a Conservative and Unionist leader to the Liberal Prime Ministers Asquith and Lloyd George from 1906 onwards, he was the only Unionist MP invited by Asquith to join the War Council at the outbreak of war in 1914. The Conservative leader of day – Bonar Law was not invited to be a member of the council despite his firm support of the Liberal government to prosecute the war.  

Balfour and Bonar Law remained close colleagues despite this slight to Bonar Law, and the two were in daily and friendly contact throughout the conflict. Arthur Balfour, a former Prime Minister, was willing for the sake of the nation to serve as a minister in a Government led by his opponent.  He succeeded Churchill (a Liberal at that time) at the Admiralty in 1915 and in 1917 became Foreign Minister.  In this appointment he was the first British cabinet minister to visit the USA, taking a leading part in the negotiations to secure American entry on our side in the Great War against Germany.

These senior and critical appointments, in a time of crisis, made by his opponents, are a testimony to his qualities as a gentleman and a statesman, and above all, his wisdom.

R.J.Q. Adams, in his recent (2007) biography of Arthur Balfour, covers his career in great, and to those uninstructed or uninterested in the politics of the late 19thand early 20thcentury, tedious detail, and makes a strong case for maintaining the respect which his contemporaries had for him.  We commend the book to enthusiasts,  and suggest to others that they await our forthcoming studies of this great statesman in future issues of the Newsletter.

               Arthur Balfour, son of Arthur James Maitland Balfour, grandson of the VIIIth Earl of Lauderdale, would have been instantly admitted to Clan Maitland Society had it existed in his lifetime. 

            His grandfather, James Balfour after dismissal by the East India Company in 1800 for corruption, returned to England, secured the victualling contract for the Royal Navy in India and returned to India to make his fortune.  James was the ultimate in upward mobility. Back in Scotland, now known as a Nabob, he married Lady Eleanor Maitland, daughter of the VIIIth Earl, acquired a house in Grosvenor Square, and then Balgonie in Fife. Eleanor did not like the ferry across the Forth, so James bought the estate at Whittinghame between Haddington and Dunbar and built a massive house, no longer, alas in the family.

            His son, born 1820 was christened James Maitland Balfour, who continued the upward mobility by marrying Lady Blanche Gascoigne Cecil, daughter of the 2ndMarquess of Salisbury. This alliance assured the careers of her children, including her first son Arthur, and showed that the Balfours of Whittinghame had arrived.

            After his father’s early death, Arthur was an exceptionally wealthy young man about town, and was launched on his political career by his uncle Robert – hence the phrase “Bob’s your Uncle”, with a parliamentary seat at Hertford, by the gates of the Salisbury’s Hatfield House, where he was elected unopposed.

            Yes, Arthur had started life with a silver spoon in his mouth, but swiftly earned Salisbury’s respect for his judgment and became his confidential councilor. 

            There is more….much more… to follow. We shall learn how Balfour was given some very disagreeable posts by his uncle, performed them well, became leader of the conservative party, and retained this position despite the catastrophic defeat of 1906.


Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland Bt. 1876 - 1935

Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland Bt.
Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland Bt.

He was first Chairman of the Conservative Party (whose task is to manage party membership and election campaigns) from 1911 to1916, held office from 1915 to 1919 in Lloyd George’s coalition administration and was Minister of Labour in the Baldwin government at the time of the general strike in Britain during 1926.

Born Arthur Steel, he married Mary Ramsay Gibson Maitland, and changed his name on becoming a Baronet.




Air Commodore Edward Eric Maitland CMG 1880 - 1921

A very early aviator, after service in the Essex Regiment in the Boer War he served in the Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers, the Royal Flying Corps, the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Air Force.

He kept the log of the Airship R34 when crossing the Atlantic in 1919 from which a crew member descended by parachute to become the first man to arrive in the United States by air.

Field Marshal Sir Henry Maitland-Wilson, 1st Baron Wilson 1881 -1964

Jumbo Leaving Aircraft.
Jumbo Leaving Aircraft.

His career began in the Boer War and finished as a Chief of the British Joint Staff Mission,Washington D.C. from January 1945, responsible with the US Government for the decision to use nuclear weapons on Japan.

Known as Jumbo, for his girth, He commanded in the Middle East and then succeeded General Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean in January 1944. He commanded the successful 1944 campaign against the German armies in Italy. He was an excellent strategist and tactician, and also well known for keeping the best Mess in North Africa and for his saying "Any damn fool can be uncomfortable".

Diana Rowden, Croix de Guerre, Special Operations Executive 1915 - 1944

Diana Rowden, Croix de Guerre (in civvies)
Diana Rowden, Croix de Guerre (in civvies)

Diana Rowden, born 1915, was the daughter of Muriel Christian Maitland-Makgill-Crichton. She was brought up in France by her mother, where she enjoyed the outdoor life of southern France. Sent to school in England as a teenager in the 1920s, she returned to France in 1933 to study at the Sorbonne university in Paris.

When Germany invaded France in 1940 she volunteered to serve with the Red Cross, and she remained there until the summer of 1941 when she escaped to England via Spain and Portugal.

Diana Rowden, Croix de Guerre
Diana Rowden, Croix de Guerre

In September 1941, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force,(WAAF) working at the Department of the Chief of the Air Staff as Assistant Section Officer for Intelligence duties, before being posted in July 1942 to Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire where she was promoted to Section officer. In March 1943 she was seconded to the SOE, Special Operations Executive. The SOE was a British sabotage organisation devoted to organising and promoting resistance to German occupation of mainland Europe, which came into its own during the Battle of Normandy as Allied armies invaded France. The operations were highly successful in obstructing the German counter attacks.

On 16th June 1943 she was sent to France, landing from a small Lysander transport aircraft near Angers, in western France.

She travelled to the Jura area, south east of Dijon, near Switzerland and to her operations area at St. Amour, close to Lons-Le-Saunier, and only 30 miles from the Swiss border. She lived in a small room at the back of the Hôtel du Commerce, run by a member of the resistance, with access to a roof if she had to leave in a hurry without being seen.


She was a courier and travelled mostly by bicycle but went as far as Marseille, Lyon and even Paris. She got to know the local Maquis who described her as fearless.

In addition to courier activities, she also accompanied the local Maquis to receive arms and explosives dropped from aircraft. She assisted in the successful attack on the Peugot factory at Socheaux, near the Swiss border, which made tank turrets.

In November 1943 a double agent led German forces to her base, where she and her wireless operator were arrested.

Diana was taken to Gestapo Headquarters Paris. In May 1944 she was sent to Karlsruhe. On 6 July 1944 with three other captured agents she was sent 60 miles to the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in France, arriving there in the afternoon. Natzweiler was regularly used for killing prisoners.

That evening, the four prisoners were killed by lethal injections.

The doctor involved was hanged for his part in these events, the crematorium operator was hanged on the same day for another offence and the camp commandant died in prison prior to his own execution on other charges.

Sir Donald Maitland, K.C.M.G, 1922 - 2010

A leading diplomat, he served as press secretary to Prime Minister Edward Heath and then as U.K. Permanent Representative to the European Communities in Brussels, Belgium. An Arabist in the Foreign Office, he was Director of the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies, Lebanon Between 1956 and 1960 and also Ambassador to Libya.


Wilhelmina Barns Graham   1912 - 2004

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

Wilhelmina is regarded by many as one of the outstanding Britis buy it – Barns-Graham was one of the leading British artists of the last century and good libraries should hold a copy of the book.

h abstract artists of the 20th century. She was also a Maitland.

Abstract art is a turn-off for many people, and undoubtedly has its poseurs, incompetents and frauds producing works (we can scarcely call them pictures), which sell for extraordinary prices in the salerooms. Many practitioners seem devoid of any skill, apart from marketing. When we learn that a Rothko, in uniform black, or perhaps in three colours has sold for $75m, we reasonably wonder if bidders have lost their senses.

 Wilhelmina’s pictures can look dull on a printed page, but the real thing – the original – is a revelation. We have published several of her pictures in the Yearbook, and readers may well wonder why we bother, and what all the fuss is about. This is a fair question, which deserves an answer.

Abstract art is not for everybody, but pictures, like her Glacier series, painted in the 1940’s, which look dull and incomprehensible on paper become objects of fascination when seen on her original canvas with extraordinary subtleties of colour which bring the glacier to life and reveal the intricacy of its colouring. Others, like her painting of a rock on the Scilly Isles have a much more immediate appeal. Some paintings look as though they are back-lit, so vivid are the colours, whilst her late prints, many produced within weeks of her death can best be appreciated when examined close up so that the extraordinary colour variations can be experienced. (The same might be said of Rothko, though the Editor remains to be convinced). 

But Wilhelmina was not just an abstract artist – she became one, after a long apprenticeship as a figurative artist – in drawing and painting. Recently, at an exhibition in London, a student work of hers was praised as a classic Colourist work. She did train under Peploe.

Who was Wilhelmina, why do we write about her?

Why is there so much about her this year – why have we devoted three gatherings to her work?

What was her life story?  

Wilhemlina was a Maitland

Start with Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland of Rankeillour.  Henry Maitland of Balmungo – was his great - grandson - the only son of Charles Maitland-Makgill not to have a double-barreled name – see the article on A Pair of Pistols in this issue.

Henry made a fortune as an early investor in American oil fields and retired to buy Balmungo in Fife.   Wilhelmina was his great-great-grand-daughter.   Willy, as everyone knew her, was fully conscious of her Maitland heritage, and used to call regularly on the editor’s father, the late Chief, for tea. Your Editor was often also present, but understood very little of what was going on, with this interesting old lady, who lived in St Ives and also has a house in Fife. At the time, I had little interest in art, and even less in abstract art. 

Why was there so much about her in 2012?

This year marked the centenary of her birth. There are few artists in our background, and even fewer who are widely regarded as in the first rank.  Willy was born in Fife in 1912, and died there in 2004.

Her centenary was marked by a series of exhibitions of her work, starting with one in the Fleming Gallery in London, established by the Fleming –Wyfold Foundation, itself founded by shareholders of the Scots merchant bank, Robert Fleming and Co, originally of Dundee to take care of the extra-ordinary collection of Scots works of art created by the bank starting with a small budget of £5,000 in 1968, and valued at £25,000,000 in 2000, when the Fleming family bought the collection to preserve it intact.

In addition to that there was a exhibition of her drawing at Art First, another London gallery, and touring exhibitions of her work in Devon, Harrogate, Aberfeldy, Inverness, Perth, Wick, St Andrews, Kingussie, Edinburgh, St Ives, Dumfries, Sussex and finally at the City Art Centre Edinburgh, which owns several of her works.  She had a large output, so the exhibitions concentrated on aspects of her work – figurative painting, abstract work, prints and drawings.

 So, we’ve made three pilgrimages or gatherings to see her work. The first, early this year was a reception at the Fleming Gallery in London, followed by a tapas supper nearby. There we were treated to an excellent exposition of her work by Lynne Green, her biographer, who has written a splendid book – A Studio Life – with an extensive and detailed biography, and beautifully illustrated, from which we shall shamelessly and gratefully cull for this article. It costs about £25 (and a bit less at Amazon) so if you don’t feel like buying a copy, do ask your local library to borrow a copy for you. You’ll be doing them a favour if they

The Fleming exhibition combined drawings, prints and paintings, including one of her student works, in the window, which prompted a passer by to pop into the gallery to observe that he had not realized there was a Colourist show on display. Willie had studied under Peploe, and her use of colour is the most striking aspect of her work. She was especially sensitive to colour and would under paint endlessly to get the effect she wanted. Colour straight from the tube was emphatically not her way of working. 

To understand under painting, you have to realise that paint is not opaque. Think about painting a green door white – you need many layers of undercoat to obliterate the green. With under painting the artists uses the transparency of the paint to secure the exact shade required.

The impact of her oil painting comes from the extraordinary and interesting colours she creates. In some cases, on an abstract, patches of yellow or red on a deep blue/black background look as though there is a light behind the canvas.

Our second visit was to Aberfeldy. Sadly only four people came, including the chief. Aberfeldy is about an hour from Perth, one and a half hours from Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is three hours from Aberdeen, which is a long way to go for lunch! We met at the Watermill Gallery, which is a “Must Visit” if you are in the area, with books, paintings, pottery and textiles on sale – all interesting and lovely.  

Here we saw mainly prints, including a number of her late – indeed last – works. An extraordinary feature of her last weeks of life was the intensity with which she worked. Many prints were made, and she refused to sign her last prints, saying there was not enough time – she had to make more prints. As a result, the final prints of her career are certified by the Barns Graham Trust, but not signed. The Chief feels himself fortunate to have secured one of these works from the final burst of creativity.

From Aberfeldy, we went on to lunch at the Ardeonaig Hotel on Loch Tay. As we drove along the narrow hill roads, the sky was clear, and there was snow on the hilltops. But when we arrived at Ardeonaig, it was so warm by the loch that we lunched outside on the veranda.  Our final Barns-Graham gathering of the year was in Dumfries – see separate article. 

Willy’s life and work

Wilhelmina Barns Graham was born in St Andrews in 1912 to a respectable, but not wealthy family, but one that did have four servants – this was an era without the machines, which have now replaced servants - clothes washer, dishwasher, food processor, refrigerator, motorcar, and central heating. Coal was carried up two flights of stairs to a bunker by the children’s nursery. Tasks which today are carried out by altering the central heating thermostat then required carrying coal up several floors from the cellar.  From now on we will call her Willie – as did all her family.  

Willie’s first entry to the world of art came at the age of eight when she admired her teacher’s chalk drawings on the blackboard. “I remember her doing a daffodil and I thought ‘I want to be an artist.’ And the children had pictures put on the wall and I thought if only I could get one up.”

She copied a small figure (a golliwog – very un-pc) from a jam jar onto a larger sheet of paper. “I copied it but…made him have a blue jacket and red trousers – I reversed the colours….And to my amazement that got on the wall…..I’ve still got it”

This was the beginning of her career, and she received great encouragement from her teacher, Miss Hebblethwaite, with whom she kept in touch throughout her life – we have a postcard from ‘Hebby” to Willie in 1976 – 56 years later – thanking Willie for a picture.

At a very early stage Willie had been experimenting with abstracts – on a train in 1924 a fellow passenger commented on her abstract drawing – Willie was 12, and the passenger an instructor from the Glasgow School of Art (noted for the Glasgow Boys – a circle of artists active in Glasgow in the 1870s).

She developed her skills essentially untaught, but the real battle had yet to come. Her father, Allan Barns-Graham, whilst in many ways a man with good intentions, and indeed, actions, also had a domineering attitude towards his family and rigid ideas on women’s education. Art school was not a part of this. 

To be able to draw and to paint was an acceptable attainment and pastime for a girl of Willie’s background – country bred, income from land, socially conservative, but becoming an artist was an entirely different proposition, and essentially unacceptable in that circle, which regarded association with families “in trade” as social death. 

In 1930 Willie visited Rouen and Paris with her Aunt Mary and her husband John Neish and experienced the joy of seeing works by Cezanne and Monet – his huge painting of waterlilies especially caught her imagination

            The next spring she applied for a place at the Edinburgh College of Art in the course for ‘specialist art teachers’ – her father would contemplate teaching as a career, but not painting. The application was rejected because she had not completed an approved course of art training. However, she was rapidly offered a place on the Diploma Painting Course, probably on the basis of the quality of the work she submitted. 

            Her father refused to pay the college fees.


Aunt Mary came to her rescue by paying the first year’s fees. This put Willie under some pressure, because she would need a scholarship at the end of the year to continue her studies.

Edinburgh College of Art

Scotland in the 19th and 20th centuries produced more than its fair share of good painters compared with England – the Glasgow Boys of the 19th century and the Scottish Colourists of the 20th outshined their English colleagues. A large part of this can be attributed to the exceptionally high quality of the Scottish art schools at Edinburgh and Glasgow with their emphasis on high quality technique to underpin the creative instinct and make images which are both imaginative and supremely well executed. The Colourists, in particular, had, as the name suggests, a strong colour sense. They typically did their initial training in Scotland before travelling to Paris to complete their education. Many worked for years in France before returning to Scotland.

The training was academic and technical, with the object of  “training the eye and hand to work in perfect unison” The intention was to train the students to really see, and to appreciate the beautiful in nature. Classes covered preparation of canvases and there was heavy emphasis on drawing. Students drew from plaster casts of great sculptures and from life. The regime would have been familiar to an apprentice in a fifteenth century Renaissance studio.

In 1935, Willie won a full time scholarship worth £80 a year. She had started at the ECA in 1931, but was obliged to take a year off for sick leave in 1933 (she suffered all her life from weakness of the lungs), and had not won any scholarships in that period. Her father continued to refuse support, so it seems likely that her aunt Mary was sufficiently impressed by her progress to continue to finance her course. These scholarships were only awarded to students in their first or third years, and there were only six such scholarships, which shows the high regard the College had for her work.   

In 1936 she showed her first work at a public exhibition, the Society of Scottish Artists, and was to exhibit there again in 1937, 1938 and 1943.

During her time at college, she regularly visited friends for short stays, and was able to return the hospitality at Balmungo, her grandparents’ house, because her father was still implacably opposed to her chosen career and her friends.   This became a home from home and when she inherited it in 1960 from her Aunt Mary, she was returning to a house she knew and loved and where she had been strongly supported by her grandparents.

Willie celebrated her graduation in 1937 with a trip to Paris and the south of France. For any new graduate a holiday is a break from the studies, and Willie made good use of it, but also spent much time on her new profession visiting many galleries and then in the south of France following in the footsteps of her heroes, though naked bathing by moonlight was also involved, though Willie was reticent abut the full circumstances. In St. Tropez the writer Colette took an interest in her work, and Willie returned after several more weeks in Paris to London to spend ten days attending Student Days at the National Gallery copying the great masters. This is one of the classical methods of learning how the masters achieved their effects, and many of the greatest also practiced copying masterpieces. Van Dyke, for example, did some splendid copies of earlier painters, and in his home displayed his copies of Titian portraits.

She continued her studies, securing in 1938 a travelling scholarship of £100 to enable her to spend six months in London and the Continent and in 1939 was awarded  a further post graduate scholarship in unusual circumstances. Mr. Andrew Burn Murdoch, who with his wife Aline, had looked after Willie’s interests offered the ECA a single postgraduate scholarship with a very strong suggestion that it be awarded to Willie. This was to supplement the travelling scholarship, and it appears from correspondence that the purpose was to enable Willie to escape Scotland and her father’s influence. However, before she could travel, war broke out in September 1939.

St Ives

Willie’s friends and supporters were determined to ensure she could develop her career, and eventually with their advice she went to St Ives, Andrew Burn Murdoch having extended the scholarship. St Ives, then and now was and is a hive of outstanding artists, drawn there by the light and the ambience. In many respects the landscape resembles the Fife coast with its tiny fishing villages such as Pittenweem, Elie and Anstruther.   Turner, Whistler and Sickert had visited St Ives to paint and the sudden decline of the fishing  industry following a change in the migration habits of pilchards meant that there was plenty of accommodation available at reasonable rents.   

At that time it was home to Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, leaders of the modernist schools of painting and sculpture, and an active artists colony. She rapidly became known and respected for her portraits, receiving a number of local commissions. Funded from Edinburgh, and still technically a post graduate student, she lost no time in finding a studio.

The War

Conscription of women began in 1941, with all women aged between 19 and 40 required to register for assignment to suitable war work. Willie’s health – her weak lungs – and her status as a scholarship student exempted her from direction of labour, but she took up work in a factory, making camouflage netting. This had a dramatic effect on her standing in the local community, where she shared the work with fisherwomen. Payment was by piece-work – a fixed payment for each completed net, but the real reward was acceptance by the Cornish community as ‘one of them’, in contrast to the artists who did not generally mix locally.  Dermatitis contracted from the materials used for the netting finally put an end to her work there.

            Outdoor painting was forbidden by war regulations (regarded as spying) so Willie worked in her studio, mainly living by sales of portraits to the many servicemen posted to the area. Sadly, none appear to have survived or been identified, for Lynn Green’s great work shows us none of them.

            One great advance at this period was reconciliation with her father, who bought many of the paintings she exhibited. She started exhibiting in Cornwall, and usually submitted three paintings- two figurative and one abstract.



Sara Maitland 1950 -

A noted author, she has written several novels, received the Somerset Maugham Award for her "Daughter of Jerusalem" and has been a contributor to the Clan Year Book.

Lady Olga Maitland, 1944 -

Lady Olga Maitland
Lady Olga Maitland

The Chief’s sister, represented Sutton and Cheam, Surrey in the House of Commons from 1992 to 1997. She was secretary of the Back Bench Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs and obtained office as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State for Northern Ireland. She currently runs the Defence and Security Forum which is a foreign and defence affairs think tank. She launched the Algeria British Business Council in 2005 and regularly travels to that country.

Captain The Hon Gerald Maitland-Carew CVO DL

Captain The Hon Gerald Maitland-Carew CVO DL
Captain The Hon Gerald Maitland-Carew CVO DL

Lord Lieutenant of Roxburgh Ettrick & Lauderdale 2007-2016. (HM The Queen’s representative in the Borders of Scotland).

He has been involved with horses all his life being Chairman of World Horse Welfare 2000-2007 and Vice President of it to The Princess Royal 2007-2017.    He has been a Member of the Jockey Club from 1987

He inherited Thirlestane Castle, Lauder, from his Grandmother the Countess of Lauderdale (widow of the 15th Earl) in 1970 when he was a young officer in the army.

He has been indefatigable in the restoration and conservation of the Castle; opening it to visitors and for corporate events in 1982. In 1984 he gifted the main part of the historical Castle to Thirlestane Castle Trust. In return the National Heritage Memorial Fund endowed the Trust for the future upkeep of the Castle. This was the first Trust of it’s kind in the UK to be established for a Historic House.

In 2012 he gifted the Family wing of the Castle to his son Edward who lives there and continues to run the Castle for the Public benefit.    Visit



Ann, Countess of Lauderdale.  1938 - 2020



 Ann, taken 2015, aged 77

The 18th Earl writes:           

            As a friend commented, "it was a bad year for Countesses" -  Ann Lauderdale,  Siobhan Dundee (wife of Alex Dundee, a kinsman and descendant of Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland of Rankeillour) and Isabelle Errol, all friends who died within twelve. months of each other.

            Ann died on the 1st April from a variety of causes - two falls, general frailty, and the corona virus. Cheerful until she lost consciousness, and with no complaints, she received and participated in the Last Rites a few hours before she lost the power of speech. I spent two nights by her side, dressed in full protective gear and was then told firmly by her close friend, a consultant, and by her former head of department, a professor at University College Hospital to stay away. Early in the morning of the 1st  April I asked the nurse on her ward to give her a message – “Ian, Sarah and John love you”– half an hour later the hospital called to say she had stopped breathing, so we hope that this last message of love enabled her to go in peace to her rest. 

Her death was typical of her life – kind and cheerful, even in adversity. We’d been married 57 years, lived in three houses and two flats in that time, so it was a stable and happy existence. 

She remained a beauty to the last few weeks of her life – the photo above was taken by the Earl only  a few years ago, when she was  77

Ann was a loving wife and mother, and was also an excellent cook. Inspired by her French mother, she knew how food should taste, and was able to achieve the results expected from such a background. 

She was an artist of life – decorator, a collector of furniture and pictures from her teens, a fine cook, and much enjoyed music and the visual arts. With her French background, and time at the Sorbonne, her command of the language was outstanding, though she always complained she was not as fluent as she desired to be.  Arriving one evening at the Jockey Club in Paris, we joined at short notice a dinner party in the Club, where she participated fully without any ‘warm up’. This ability was a great asset in socialising with our Mautalent kinsfolk in Normandy.  

A kind hostess, she presided over many Maitland meetings, and made people thoroughly at home, even when we’d never seen them before.  Our kinsfolk came from the USA, Australia and New Zealand and were always welcome.  She was at much at home in Scotland as in London and Paris.

She was fascinated by all things medical, and worked for about twenty years as Research Secretary to the Professor of Rheumatology ay University College Hospital

We met when our parents introduced us around 1957. Ann was off to a deb dance, and needed a suitable partner, whilst my parents reckoned it was time I met some nice girls. Our respective parents had known each other for 20 years, so we were introduced. We married six years later in 1963. Our first home was a flat in Lancashire, our second a wee cottage which cost £1,650, with an earth closet and we installed the first indoor wc in the road, then a house in a Birmingham.  I got fed up with house moves and determined to get a house in central London. We bought one a few hundred yards from the flat where Ann grew up for a price which would make you weep – and I am still living there  50 years later.  There we brought up Sarah and John, now in their 50s. 

Despite the grandeur of the premises, life was hard – we ate mince, and let off rooms in the house to finance ourselves and our children’s education.  Foreign holidays were in Scotland. I lost two jobs in that period, one of them very well paid, to become a bank clerk. Finally, aged 50,  I was appointed a manager in National Westminster Bank, with the power to commit the Bank to anything. Life changed – there was money left at the end of the month, instead of the other way  around.  Holidays were taken in sunny places, we travelled to Clan conventions in Australia and North America, visited our kinsfolk in France and Italy, even got on planes…    

Ann at Holyrood

I took over ceremonial duties from my father, so we were guests at Holyrood Palace and at Royal Garden Parties. Ann invested in some truly splendid clothes, fit to be worn in a palace. When I retired in 1995 I had time to devote to Clan affairs, and Ann took an active part here, regularly welcoming the Clan Council to our home and entertaining visiting clansfolk in London and at our home in Dumfries.  

I’ve received nearly 150 tributes, which refer to all these qualities and also to her sharp wit, which our guests and friends much enjoyed.  To summarise the comments, I finish with a few extracts from the letters I’ve received:

A faithful, wise and gentle person, loved and respected by everyone ...

She was always very sweet to me, and Miranda, and it was always good fun when she came to Isle Tower, trying to persuade you to buy everything! And lunch at Newlands was a very happy day, thank you.

We shall all really miss Ann - she was such a part of our coffee shop party, and such a beautiful woman, - in every sense.

We always remember how loving and kind and generous Ann was, greeting us not as strangers from the other side of the world but as long lost relatives. She had the nicest demeanour of anyone I know. This world needs more Ann's in it.

She was a loving wife and mother to you and the children. 

Our lunch and discussions at your summer home will be remembered as the highlight of our trip to Scotland.

She was a remarkable lady of great charm and intelligence, always so interested in everything around her and a wonderful sense of humour. I shall remember her with much affection and pleasure

Her charming and friendly manner with associates  at your meetings.

Nous gardons un très bon souvenir et sommes très honorés d'avoir pu partager quelques rares mais bons moments avec Ann.

She was a wonderful lady and so friendly - to me and my friends.

Ann  est partie très entourée et soutenue par l’amour de sa famille et de toi en particulier.

Anne, a wonderful wife, mother and friend to so many in yours and our lives.  

She was such a lovely, gracious person, always smiling.

So Gentle and Beautiful and you looked after her so much and so devoted.

Anne was a great Lady, dignified and always displaying charm and true generosity of spirit; she will be sorely missed.

She always had a kind and, often, generous word after Mass on those Sundays when I was at St. Mary's, particularly during the Interregnum when I was there more often. It was always a pleasure to speak to her.