John Maitland Earl Lauderdale

John Maitland, 2nd Earl of Lauderdale

  • Name  : Maitland, 2nd Earl of Lauderdale
  • Born  : 1616
  • Died  : 1682
  • Category  : Famous Historical Figures
  • Finest Moment : Secretary for Scotland for 20 years.

Descended from the Maitland family who came across on a one-way ticket with William the Conqueror. The family later moved north, as did so many others, after David I had inherited the crown of the Scots in 1124. A man of political interests, he signed the Covenant for career reasons and was a Commissioner for the Solemn League and Covenant.

By 1647 he was a royalist, assisting in getting Charles I to assent to the Engagement, and in 1650 persuading Charles II come to Scotland for his coronation. He then spent some time in the Tower of London, before being released on the Restoration of Charles II in 1660.

His loyalty to Charles II led to him being alternately Secretary for Scotland, and the King's Commissioner in Scotland. He was thus an early expert in shuttle diplomacy, before shuttles were invented. He was raised to a dukedom in 1672 by Charles II, when he married he Countess of Dysart.

His good side showed in his conciliatory Indulgences of 1669, but his bad side came out when he presided over a period of repression, ending in the Battles of Drumclog and Bothwell Bridge (1679). Following the battles, in which casualties were relatively few, many were killed or executed. These events led to his disgrace. He was dismissed the following year and his dukedom died with him two years later.

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