Sir James Ramsay Gibson Maitland, 4th Baronet (1848-1897)

Just found a portrait of Sir James Ramsay Gibson Maitland, 4th Bt, while trying to find out more about Charles William William Ramsay in a PHD paper by Stephen Anthony Hill on ‘Sir James Maitland and the Howietoun Fishery, Hill’. He was the nephew of my great great great grandfather George Ramsay Maitland:

Sir James Ramsay Gibson Maitland, 4th Bt
Sir James Ramsay Gibson Maitland, 4th Bt

The paper quotes Burke’s Peerage (1936) and explains how the Maitland baronetcy had been founded in 1818 when the title was awarded to General Alexander Maitland (1728-1820). Alexander was succeeded by his son, Alexander Charles (1755-1848), who, in turn, was succeeded by Sir James Maitlands father, his grandson, also Alexander Charles. Sir James Maitland had two female children, Mary (1871-1944), and Sybile who died at only 4 months of age in 1873. On his death in 1897, Sir James was succeeded by his cousin, John Nisbet Maitland (1850-1936), the only child of his father’s brother, George Ramsay (1821-1866). This is only partially correct as my great great grandfather George Keith Maitland was also a son of George Ramsay (Maitland).

The paper goes into a some detail about the various estates and explains how the Sauchie Estate had been acquired in 1786 by Sir James’ great-great-grandfather,
William Ramsay (of Barnton), a merchant banker who already owned the Barnton and Bannockburn Estates. On Willam’s death in 1807, the three estates passed to his only surviving son, George, also a banker. George died in 1810 and was succeeded by his son of six months, William. William went on to become Liberal Member of Parliament for Midlothian and, on his death in 1850, the estates passed to his only child, Charles William Ramsay. Charles died without issue at only twenty-one years of age in 1865. By deed of entail the estates then passed to Maitlands father, Sir Alexander Charles Gibson Maitland of Clifton Hall and Kersie (1820-1876), a grandson of George Ramsay, distantly related to the Earls of Lauderdale and Liberal Member of Parliament for Midlothian between 1868 and 1874. On succeeding to the estates, Alexander added the name Ramsay to the family surname. According to J. Bateman’s The Great Landowners of Great Britain and Ireland (1883), the three estates covered a total of 10,228 acres and had an annual value of £20,328.

According to Dr Hill’s thesis, no evidence survives to document Maitland’s early life, nor is there much covering his adult life before he succeeded to the baronetcy in 1876. So apparently nothing is known about his schooling
except that, in 1863, at the age of 15, he went to the University of St Andrews, where he studied English Literature, Greek, Latin, Mathematics and Logic before leaving, without graduating, in 1865.9 He then received military training at Sandhurst and entered the army with a commission as Cornet in the Fourth Dragoon Guards. In May 1869, Maitland left the army to marry Fanny Luce White, the youngest daughter of Sir Thomas Wollaston White. Fanny was distantly related to Sir James, through her mother Mary Euphemia Ramsay, daughter of William Ramsay (nephew of William Ramsay of Barnton) and Bethia Hamilton, in 1827. Mary Euphemia Ramsay was the second wife of Sir Thomas Woollaston White. He previous married Georgina Ramsay, daughter of George Ramsay (son of William Ramsay of Barnton) and Hon. Jean Hamilton (sister of Bethia Hamilton).

Dr Hill explains that not known what the couple did in the four years immediately after the wedding but in 1873 they took up residence at Craigend House, on the Sauchie Estate, where Maitland immediately began experimenting in pisciculture. As well as this and time spent enjoying his favourite sport of angling upon Loch Leven, Maitland worked in local government and served as a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for Stirlingshire and as a Captain in the local militia, the Highland Borderers.” Between 1882 and 1892, he was also a member of the Fishery Board for Scotland. In 1885, he fought, and lost, a peerage case in the House of Lords when he tried to prove himself as the rightful heir to the Earldom of Lauderdale but was pipped at the post by by Major Frederick Maitland who became thirteenth Earl of Lauderdale (see more here).

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