Lauderdale, John Maitland, duke of

Lauderdale, John Maitland, duke of

(lô`dərdāl), 1616–82, Scottish statesman. He entered public life as a staunch Presbyterian and was one of the commissioners who signed the Solemn League and Covenant (1643; see English civil warEnglish civil war,
1642–48, the conflict between King Charles I of England and a large body of his subjects, generally called the "parliamentarians," that culminated in the defeat and execution of the king and the establishment of a republican commonwealth.
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). However, in the course of Scottish dealings with Charles ICharles I,
1600–1649, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1625–49), second son of James I and Anne of Denmark. Early Life

He became heir to the throne on the death of his older brother Henry in 1612 and was made prince of Wales in 1616.
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 that followed the end of the first civil war, he attached himself to the royalists. He gained the confidence of Charles IICharles II,
1630–85, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1660–85), eldest surviving son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria. Early Life

Prince of Wales at the time of the English civil war, Charles was sent (1645) to the W of England with his council,
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, was captured at the battle of Worcester (1650), and was held prisoner until 1660. At the Restoration (1660) Charles II made him secretary of state for Scotland. After 1667 he was a member of the CabalCabal
, inner group of advisers to Charles II of England. Their initials form the word (which is, however, of older origin)—Clifford of Chudleigh, Ashley (Lord Shaftesbury), Buckingham (George Villiers), Arlington (Henry Bennet), and Lauderdale (John Maitland).
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 ministry and became all-powerful in Scotland. Made earl of March and duke of Lauderdale (in the Scottish peerage) in 1672, he was raised to the English peerage as earl of Guilford and made a privy councillor in 1674. His rule in Scotland was arbitrary and harsh, and his use of Highland troops to suppress the CovenantersCovenanters
, in Scottish history, groups of Presbyterians bound by oath to sustain each other in the defense of their religion. The first formal Covenant was signed in 1557, signaling the beginning of the Protestant effort to seize power in Scotland.
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 in the southwest provoked an uprising in 1679. Despite attacks in Parliament, he kept his influence by intrigues until 1680, when his health broke. In 1682 he gave up all his offices. Although able, he was arrogant and unscrupulous and ruthless, and was widely disliked.


See study by M. Paglin (1961).

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