Maitland, William(Maitland of Lethington), 1528?–1573, Scottish statesman. In 1559 he deserted the regent Mary of GuiseMary of Guise
, 1515–60, queen consort of James V of Scotland and regent for her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots. The daughter of Claude de Lorraine, duc de Guise, she was also known as Mary of Lorraine.
..... Click the link for more information. and joined the revolt of the Protestant nobles. When Mary Queen of ScotsMary Queen of Scots
(Mary Stuart), 1542–87, only child of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise. Through her grandmother Margaret Tudor, Mary had the strongest claim to the throne of England after the children of Henry VIII.
..... Click the link for more information. returned to Scotland two years later, he became her secretary and close adviser. A skilled diplomat, Maitland refused to be swayed by religious passions, which led to suspicion from both Catholics and Protestants. His chief desire was to effect a union of Scotland and England based on Mary's right of succession to the English throne after the death of Elizabeth I. After Mary's marriage to Bothwell, Maitland joined the opposition, but he later worked for her restoration. In the civil war following the murder (1570) of the earl of MurrayMurray or Moray, James Stuart, 1st earl of
, 1531?–1570, Scottish nobleman.
..... Click the link for more information. , Maitland led the queen's party and held out in Edinburgh Castle from 1571 to 1573, but died soon after. He is the probable forger of portions of the so-called Casket Letters.
See E. Russell, Maitland of Lethington, the Minister of Mary Stuart (1912).