Maitland is an English and Scottish surname. It arrived in Britain after the Norman conquest of 1066. There are two theories about its source. It is either a nickname reference to "bad temper/disposition" (Old French, Maltalent; Anglo Norman French, mautalent; Latin malum talentum), or it may be a locational reference to Mautalant, a place in Pontorson, France. The Brittany connection is less likely than that with Les Moitiers d'Allonne, near Carteret in the Cotentin. Mautalents continue to live in and near Les Moitiers d'Allonne, and the early mediaeval charters link the Maltalents of England and Scotland with the Morville family – originating from Morville, nr. Valonges, nearby, and Roger de Mowbray, whose family came from Aubigny, also nearby. The name gradually mutated to Mautalent and then Maitland, with the latter spelling appearing around 1250 and becoming settled in the late 14th century.

Word/nameOld French
Region of originEngland, Scotland

The earliest public record of the surname in Britain, after the Battle Abbey roll of 1066, dates to 1138 in Northumberland when Robert Maltalent witnessed a charter of Roger de Mowbray in Yorkshire.[1]

The Clan Maitland is a lowland Scottish clan,[2] [3]the chief of which holds the title Earl of Lauderdale. The Earl's coat of arms features a lion rampant with all its joints cut off, forming a pun on the old version of the name (Mautalent sounding like the word 'mutilate'). For more information on Clan Maitland, visit

People with this surname include:

In popular culture:

  • Barbara and Adam Maitland, of the 1988 film Beetlejuice

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Surname: Maitland". Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  2. ^ Clan Maitland
  3. ^ [1]