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Arms of the Earls of Lauderdale as shown in Brown's The Peerage of Scotland, 1834

Earl of Lauderdale is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. The current holder of the title is Ian Maitland, 18th Earl of Lauderdale.

The title was created in 1624 for John Maitland, 2nd Lord Maitland of Thirlestane, Berwickshire. The second Earl was created Duke of Lauderdale and by popular naming represented the "L" in the Cabal ministry an acronym which amounted to the first major, perennial delegation of power from the monarch to a cabinet. He died without male issue when the dukedom became extinct. The earldom passed to his brother Charles, 3rd Earl. Charles married, in 1652, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Lauder of Haltoun and by this marriage came into that family's great estates.

Other titles associated with the earldom are: Viscount of Lauderdale (created 1616), Viscount of Maitland (1624), Lord Maitland of Thirlestane (1590) and Lord Thirlestane and Boulton (1624). All of these titles are in the Peerage of Scotland. The Earl of Lauderdale is the hereditary chief of Clan Maitland. The eldest son is the Master of Lauderdale. The title Viscount Maitland is sometimes used as a courtesy title for the Earl's eldest son and heir.

The Earl of Lauderdale, as The Bearer for the Sovereign of the Sovereign's National Flag for Scotland, one of the Officers of the Royal Household in Scotland, has the right to bear the saltire for the Sovereign.

The historical family seat is Thirlestane Castle, near Lauder, in Scotland home of Captain the Hon. Gerald Maitland-Carew and his family. He is the eldest son of Lady Sylvia Maitland – who became wife to the 6th Baron Carew – she was the eldest of two children of the 15th Earl of Lauderdale; her brother was killed in action in North Africa, aged 27 and left three daughters. Therefore the earldom passed to a cadet branch and the castle passed down the more direct female line.

Notable wives and Maitland descendants
  • Elizabeth Tollemache, [ Countess of Dysart in her own right]] was (the second wife of the Duke) saw her titles and her estate of Ham House, Petersham, London (then in Surrey) pass to her son from her own previous marriage. The house is claimed by the National Trust to be "unique in Europe as the most complete survival of 17th century fashion and power."
  • Lady Olga Maitland (1944-) is the first daughter of the seventeenth Earl and was the MP for Sutton and Cheam for one term of five years from 1992 and is a journalist.


Lords Maitland of Thirlestane (May 1590)Edit

Arms of the Earl of Lauderdale, Chief of Clan Maitland — a mutilated lion, forming a pun on the name.

Earl of Lauderdale (14 March 1624)Edit

Duke of Lauderdale (1672)Edit

also created Earl of Guilford and Baron Petersham in the Peerage of England in 1674

  • John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale (same person as above)

All three titles created for him became extinct upon his death.

Earl of Lauderdale (1624 - reverted)Edit

The heir apparent is the present holder's son John Douglas Maitland, Master of Lauderdale, Viscount Maitland (born 1965)
The heir apparent's heir presumptive is Rev. Hon. Sydney Milivoje Maitland (born 1951), brother of the 18th Earl
Next in line is the present holder's sixth cousin twice removed Charles Alexander Maitland, the presumed 10th Baronet (born 1986)