MAITLAND, alias ARBUTHNOTT, Hon. Alexander (d. 1721), of Pittrichie, Aberdeen.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1707 - 1708

Family and Education

3rd s. of Robert Arbuthnott, 2nd Visct. of Arbuthnott [S], by his 2nd w. Katherine, da. of Robert Gordon of Pitlurg and Straloch, Aberdeen.  educ. adv. 1697.  m. by 1704 Jean (d. 1746) da. and event. h. of Sir Charles Maitland, 3rd Bt., of Pittrichie, 1s. 4da.  suc. brother-in-law to Pittrichie and assumed name of Maitland 1704.1

Offices Held

Provost, Inverbervie by 1702; burgess, Edinburgh 1720.2

MP [S], Inverbervie 1702–7.

Clerk of PC [S] 1705–8; baron of exchequer [S] 1708–d.


Maitland, a successful lawyer, changed his name from Arbuthnott following his wife’s inheritance of the Aberdeenshire estate of Pittrichie in 1704. He represented Inverbervie at the convention of royal burghs in 1697 and, having risen to the provostship, was elected as the burgh’s parliamentary representative in 1702. In the Scottish parliament he was a loyal Court supporter, rewarded in 1705 with the office of clerk to the Scottish privy council. He voted with the Court over the Union and was included among the representatives to the first Parliament of Great Britain. His only known speech at Westminster was on 11 Dec. 1707 in favour of the continuation of the Scottish privy council. Maitland’s ambition was professional advancement, rather than a parliamentary career. In May 1708 he was appointed to the Scottish exchequer court, as a nominee of the Duke of Argyll. He gave his parliamentary interest at Inverbervie to David Erskine, a client of the Earl of Mar. Erskine had been a rival for Maitland’s place at the exchequer, and his claim was revived in 1710, when Mar proposed that Erskine should succeed upon Maitland’s prospective elevation to the court of session. In the event Erskine took the session gown and Maitland remained in place until his death in June 1721. He was succeeded by his only son, Charles, who successfully contested Aberdeen Burghs in 1748.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: David Wilkinson


  • 1. Hist. Scot. Parl. 468; Scots Peerage ed. Paul, i. 309; Scot. Rec. Soc. lxxvi. 143; iii. 180; Services of Heirs (ser. 1), i. 1700–9, p. 16.
  • 2. Hist. Scot. Parl. 468; Scot. Rec. Soc. lxii. 134.
  • 3. Recs. Convention R. Burghs, iv. 247; info. from Dr P. W. J. Riley on members of Scot. parl.; P. W. J. Riley, Union, 331; Roxburghe mss at Floors Castle, bdle. 739, William Bennet* to Countess of Roxburghe, 16 Dec. 1708; SRO, Mar and Kellie mss GD124/15/754/20, Mar to Ld. Grange (Hon. James Erskine†), 24 Apr. 1708; HMC Portland, x. 329–30; SRO, Clerk of Penicuik mss GD18/3140/11, John Clerk* to fa. 24 Apr. 1708; GD18/5269/20, same to same, 16 Sept. 1710; GD18/3142, Mar to Clerk, 7 Sept. 1710; Brunton and Haig, Senators Coll. Justice, 491; Scots Peerage, 309; Services of Heirs, i. 1720–9, p.18; Scot. Rec. Soc. iii. 180.