John Clerk Maxwell of Middlebie

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John Clerk Maxwell's house at 14 India Street

John Clerk (later Clerk Maxwell) of Middlebie[1] FRSE (1790–1856) was a Scottish advocate and father of the mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell.

Life[edit]

He was the son of Janet Irving and Captain James Clerk. He studied law and qualified as an advocate in 1811.

He inherited the Middlebie estate near Corsock in Galloway from his grandmother Dorothea Clerk Maxwell upon her death in 1793; his surname changed at this point.[2][3] He built a new house on the estate which he called Glenlair, a name which later became used for the estate itself.[4]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1821, his proposer being Sir George Steuart Mackenzie.[5]

In the 1830s he is recorded as living at 14 India Street in Edinburgh's Second New Town, which is where James Clerk Maxwell was born.[6]

He died on 3 April 1856. He is buried in Parton in Kirkcudbrightshire.[5]

Family[edit]

He was the brother of Sir George Clerk of Penicuik, and brother-in-law of James Wedderburn.

He married Frances Hodshon Cay (d.1839), daughter of Robert Hodshon Cay and Elizabeth Liddell. Their children included the mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell.

His brother-in-law was John Cay.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). II. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Dorothea Clerk-Maxwell". www.thepeerage.com. Retrieved 2018-01-18. 
  4. ^ "The Man Who Changed Everything – the Life of James Clerk Maxwell", pp 186-187, (2007), Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  5. ^ a b Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X. 
  6. ^ "Edinburgh Post Office annual directory, 1832-1833". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 2018-01-18.