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Updated 03/24/2020


Sir Alexander Gibson-Maitland Bart.

The Maitland, later Gibson-Maitland, later Ramsay-Gibson-Maitland, later Maitland Baronetcy, of Clifton in the County of Midlothian, was created in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom on November 30, 1818 for General the Hon. Alexander Maitland. He was the fifth son of Charles Maitland, 6th Earl of Lauderdale. The second Baronet  - the subject of this tune Ė assumed the additional surname of Gibson.


Sir A.C. Maitland Gibson was born on the 21st November 1755, and was consequently in his ninety-third year, and probably the most aged baronet in the United Kingdom. He was the eldest son of General the Hon. Sir Alexander Maitland, a younger son of the sixth Earl of Lauderdale, by Lady Elizabeth Ogilvie, daughter of the Earl of Findlater and Seafield.. His mother was a grand niece of Lord Chancellor Cowper, cousin-german of the poet, and sister of the eminent Bishop of Peterborough, and of Spencer Madan, his still more celebrated brother. He succeeded to his father in 1820. By the annual army lists it appears he entered the army on the 17th December 1772, and became Ensign in the 49th regiment of foot on the 22nd November 1775, and Lieutenant in the same regiment on the 4th October 1776, and Captain in the same regiment on the 6th August 1778. In that regiment he served in the American war, and was present at the battles of Bunkerís Hill in 1775, and Long Island in 1776, and Brandywine in 1777, etc. etc. His more intimate friends may have heard him relate an incident connected with this portion of his life, which even the long intervening time has not deprived of its interest. Amongst the distinguished characters who joined the American ranks, none was more marked for chivalry and daring than the Marquis de la Fayette. On frequent occasions this gallant officer carried his reconnoisances to so hardy an extent as brought him fairly within the range of the English musketry, and in one instance he approached so closely to the line of the 49th regiment that he was specially admonished by signal to retire, unless he choose to stand the risk incident to his position. La Fayette was not insensible to the courtesy of the warning so conveyed to him, and he had very shortly after a fitting opportunity to manifest the feeling with which it inspired him. Sir Alexander, towards the close of the war, on his passage home with dispatches, was captured by a French privateer, and conveyed to Tours, where he was detained about a year. In the meantime, the Marquis de la Fayette having returned to France, lost no time in extending his countenances to the imprisoned Captain of the 49th, and did not rest satisfied till he had provided for his comfort, and obtained his liberation. A letter from the gallant Marquis, still in the possession of Sir Alexanderís family, is couched in terms which do equal honour to both of the parties.

On his return to this country, he was married in 1786, to Helen, daughter and heiress of Alexander Gibson Wright of Clifton Hall and Kersie, Esq. Lady Maitland Gibson, who died in 1834, was the cousin-german of Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael, Bart. and Sir James Gibson Craig, Bart. Sir A.C. Maitland Gibson had long taken the most active interest in the public matters of this country, in which he was appointed one of the Turnpike Road Trustees on Corstorphine district in 1788, and on the death of Sir John Inglis of Cramond, Bart. then convener, he was unanimously elected convener of that district in 1799, and in that office his exertions for the public have been most assiduous, useful, and unceasing, during the long period of 49 years. He was appointed one of the ordinary directors of the bank of Scotland in 1798, and at his death was Deputy Governor of that bank. It may perhaps be considered somewhat remarkable, that while the deceased had been engaged in the hard fought battles above referred to in the war with America, that his father in 1744, served under Field Marshal Wade in Flanders, and in 1745 served in Flanders under Field Marshal the Duke of Cumberland, and was engaged at the battle of Fontenoy in April 1745, and with the rebels in Scotland and Culloden 1746, and thereafter personally took some prisoners of rank, who were executed on Tower Hill and Hyde Park, London; whose father, Charles. sixth Earl of Lauderdale, who was born in 1688, served under the Duke of Argyll at the battle of Sheriffmuir, in Nov. 1715, while another ancestor, the Secretary of State and Lord High Commissioner, was taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester in 1651, while others fell on the fatal field of Flodden in 1513; and others perished at the equally disastrous battle of Nevilleís Cross, near Durham, in 1346. The deceased baronet was formally Captain in the 49th regiment of foot on leaving the army. He was brother of General Frederick Maitland whose death was lately announced, and many of his relatives have greatly distinguished themselves as generals and admirals of the army and navy. The late Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland, who died at sea off Bombay in 1839, while in command of the squadron in the war against China, was first cousin of the deceased, and it will be remembered, that Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered to Admiral Maitland., while he commanded the Bellerophon, in July 1815. In regard to the late General Frederick Maitland, a biographical sketch of whose life has lately appeared in the United Service Gazette, he left Grenada, of which he was governor, after a service of 28 years in the West Indies, and was ordered to Sicily in 1811, and became second in command to Lord William Bentinck. It was at this period also, when left in command by Lord William Bentinckís temporary absence in England, that an intimacy commenced between General Frederick Maitland and the present King of the French, which continues with repeated acknowledgments for the protection rendered to him against the intrigues of his enemies, up to the latest period of the generalís life, who at his death lately, in the 86th year of his age, had been 69 years in the army, and was the fifth general on the list. It may perhaps, therefore, be considered a curious coincidence, that two Frederick Maitlands, first cousins, an admiral and a general, should have afforded protection in time of danger to two such remarkable characters of the age as Napoleon Bonaparte and Louis Phillippe. For above 60 years, the deceased baronet had taken the deepest personal interest in the pursuits of agriculture, and the most improved modes of the cultivation of the soil, and was always alive to every improvement from time to time introduced from all quarters, and which he ever promoted to the utmost in his power, and had long been a member of the Highland Society of Scotland. During his unusually long and active life he was always a consistent Whig in his politics, and temperate and moderate in his Liberal principles, from which he never deviated.