John Maitland

(Lord Maitland of Thirlestane)

c.1545 - 1595

Statesman. Younger brother of William Maitland of Lethington (c.1525 - 1573), Mary Queen of Scots 'Secretary Lethington'. Maitland was educated in France and was loyal to Mary. He was imprisoned (1573) after Edinburgh Castle, which had been held by Mary's supporters, fell to the siege of James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton (c.1516-81). Later, he returned to favour, becoming Secretary of State (1584) and Lord Chancellor (1587). Maitland's benevolent influence on King James VI (1566 - 1625) helped to defuse many of the tensions in Scotland at the time. Created Lord Maitland of Thirlestane (1590), he built Thirlestane Castle shortly thereafter.

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