General Sir Peregrine Maitland, KCB, GCB

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General Sir Peregrine Maitland, KCB, GCB's Geni Profile

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Peregrine Maitland

Birthplace: Long Parish House, Hurstbourn, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Maitland and Jane Hawker Maitland
Husband of Louisa Crofton and Sarah Maitland
Father of Peregrine Maitland and Emily Sophia Kerr
Brother of Charles David Maitland and Jane Maitland

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:

About General Sir Peregrine Maitland, KCB, GCB

Sir Peregrine Maitland, KCB, GCB (6 July 1777 – 30 May 1854) was a British soldier and colonial administrator. He also was a first-class cricketeer from 1798 to 1808.

Born at Long Parish House, Hurstbourne, Hampshire, the eldest of five sons of Thomas Maitland of Lyndhurst, Hampshire, (d. 1798) by his spouse Jane, daughter of Edward Mathew, General of the Coldstream Guards by his wife Lady Jane (d. 21 August 1793), daughter of Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven. Thomas Maitland possessed plantations in the parish of St. Thomas Middle Island on the island of St. Christopher.

Military career

He joined the Grenadier Guards at the age of 15 as an Ensign. He went on to serve in Flanders in 1794, by which time he achieved his promotion to Lieutenant. In 1798, he took part in the unsuccessful landing at Ostend. In the Peninsular War, he served at both the Battle of Vigo, and at Corunna, at which he won a medal. He took part in the Walcheren in 1809. During the later stages of the Peninsula War was second in command of his regiment at Cadiz, and later at the Battle of Seville.

He served with distinction at Quatre Bras and the Battle of Waterloo. Promoted in early June (3 June 1815) to Major General, he was assigned to the First Corps, under overall command of the so-called "Slender Billy". On the second day of battle, at Waterloo, he commanded two battalions of the First Grenadier Guards, each 1000-men strong; there he led the Guards in repelling the final French assault of the French Old Guard on 18 June. Subsequent to action at Waterloo, he dubbed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, 22 June 1815, the Order of Wilhelm (Dutch), and the Order of Vladimir.

He was appointed lieutenant governor of Upper Canada in 1818 and supported the Family Compact that dominated the province. He attempted to suppress and reform pro-American tendencies in the colony and resisted demands of radicals in the government. His tenure in Upper Canada ended in 1828 when he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia serving there from 1828 until 1834.

Maitland went to India and became commander in chief of the Madras army in 1836 serving for two years. In 1844 he became governor of the Cape of Good Hope, but was removed during the Xhosa War. He is still highly respected in the Kingdom of Lesotho for his judgment on the border issue between the Orange River Afrikaners and the Basotho of King Moshoeshoe, which, had it been implemented, would have secured the economic future of the kingdom. He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 6 April 1852.

Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia

Maitland became the lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia on 29 Nov. 1828, with the added responsibility of commander-in-chief of the forces in the Atlantic region. He was popular. Certainly, his strongly moral conduct had an impact on Halifax’s society. By insisting on walking to church, he effectively ended the garrison parades on Sunday, the city’s major social event, and he publicly denounced the open market that day.

Maitland was responsible for the settlement reached for Pictou Academy. In dealing with immigration and settlement, he had lands laid out in Cape Breton at crown expense so that the 4,000 immigrants expected that year could be legally placed and systematically settled.

In October 1832 Maitland went to England on leave, presumably because of his health, and the government was placed in charge of Thomas Nickleson Jeffery. Though he continued to conduct official correspondence from England, he never returned to North America and he was succeeded in Nova Scotia by Sir Colin Campbell in July 1834.

First-class cricket career

Maitland was an amateur first-class cricketer who made 27 known appearances in major cricket matches from 1798 to 1808.

He was mainly associated with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and he also played for Surrey and Hampshire.


Peregrine Maitland was the eldest of five sons of Thomas Maitland (d 1797) and Jane Mathew (1759-1830), daughter of General Mathew. He had three sisters, and his eldest siser married Jane married in 1800 to a Lt. Colonel Warren of the Third Foot Guards. Maitland's maternal aunt married James Austin, brother of Jane Austen. Maitland married twice: (1) in 8 June 1803, in St. George Hanover Square (Westminster), to Louisa (d. 1805), daughter of Sir Edward Crofton, 2nd Baronet, and (2) at the Duke of Wellington's HQ during the occupation of Paris, 9 October 1815, Lady Sarah Lennox (1792–1873), daughter of the 4th Duke of Richmond. He reportedly eloped with his second wife, due to the opposition of her father. By his first wife, he had one son, Peregrine Maitland b. 1 May 1804. By his second wife he had at least seven children:

Sarah (1817–1900), who married Thomas Bowes Forster (1802–1870), Lieutenant-Colonel in the Madras Army.
Charlotte Caroline Maitland b. 9 Dec 1817 d. 8 Jan 1897 m. 17 Jul 1837
John George Turnbull b. 10 Aug 1790 d. 2 Jan 1872
Charles Lennox Brownlow Maitland, , b. 27 Sep 1823 d. 5 Jan 1891
Jane Bertie Maitland b. abt 1826 d. 27 Apr 1885
Emily Sophia Maitland b. 1827 d. 16 Dec 1891 m. 13 Jan 1846 Frederick Herbert Kerr b. 30 Sep 1818 d. Jan 1896
George Maitland 1830-1831
Eliza Mary Maitland b. 1832 m. 14 Jul 1857 John Desborough b. 24 Jan 1824 d. 14 Jan 1918
Georgina Louisa Maitland b. aft 1832 d. 5 Jan 1852 m. 2 Jan 1844 Thomas Eardley Wilmot Blomefield d. 15 Jan 1896
Horatio Lennox Arthur Maitland b. 13 Mar 1834 d. 29 Mar 1904

Maitland in popular fiction

In his novel Les Misérables Victor Hugo credits Maitland (or Colville) with asking for the surrender of the Imperial Guard and receiving General Cambronne's reply of "Merde". (Chapter XIV. The Last Square)


Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia is named after him. Maitland Street, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is named after him. The Church of St. John the Evangelist Anglican in Niagara Falls, Ontario was constructed in 1825 largely through the efforts of Lieutenant-Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland. The church remained in regular use until 1957.

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General Sir Peregrine Maitland, KCB, GCB's Timeline

July 6, 1777
Hurstbourn, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
June 8, 1803
Age 25
London, England, United Kingdom
May 1, 1804
Age 26
October 9, 1815
Age 38
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Age 49
May 30, 1854
Age 76
London, England, United Kingdom