Sir Herbert Maxwell, 7th Baronet

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Photographed on 1 April 1901

Maxwell as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, September 1893
The Monreith Cross from the Mochrum Justice Hill.

Sir Herbert Eustace Maxwell, 7th Baronet, KT, PC, JP, DL, FRS, FRGS (8 January 1845 – 30 October 1937) was a Scottish novelist, essayist, artist, antiquarian, horticulturalist and Conservative politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1880 to 1906.[1][2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

A member of Clan Maxwell descended from the first Lord Maxwell of Caerlaverock Castle, Maxwell was the eldest surviving son of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir William Maxwell, 6th Baronet and his wife, Helenora Shaw-Stewart, daughter of Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, 5th Baronet. He was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was a captain in the 4th battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers and a J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for Wigtownshire.[5]

Political career[edit]

Maxwell was elected Member of Parliament for Wigtownshire in the 1880 general election and held the seat until 1906.[6] He served in the Conservative administration of Lord Salisbury as a Junior Lord of the Treasury from 1886 to 1892 and was admitted to the Privy Council in 1897. He was Lord Lieutenant of Wigtown from 1903 to 1935. He was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1933.

He received an honorary doctorate (LL.D) from the University of Glasgow in June 1901.[7]

Antiquarian interests[edit]

Maxwell was President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (1900-1913), and Chairman of the National Library of Scotland (1925–1932).[8] He was the chairman of Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) from its inception in 1908 until 1934.

Maxwell gave the Rhind Lectures in 1893, on the placenames of Scotland,[9][10] and again in 1912 on the early chronicles relating to Scotland.[11][9]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1898 and was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1917.[4]

Marriage and issue[edit]

Maxwell married Mary Fletcher-Campbell, daughter of Henry Fletcher-Campbell, of Boquhan, Stirling, on 20 January 1869. She predeceased him on 3 September 1910. By her, he had two sons and three daughters:[3]

Sir Herbert died at Monreith House, Wigtownshire, aged 92.[1]



  • Sir Lucian Elphin (1889)
  • The Letter of the Law (1890)
  • A Duke of Britain (1895)
  • Chevalier of the Splendid Crest (1900)

Non Fiction[edit]

  • Meridiana, Noontide Essays (1892)
  • Scottish Land Names (1894)
  • Afternoon Essays (1895)
  • Rainy Days in a Library (1896)
  • Sixty Years a Queen (1897)
  • Salmon and Sea Trout (1898)
  • Bruce and the Struggle for Scottish Independence
  • History of the House of Douglas-from the earliest times down to the legislative union of England and Scotland (1902), introduction by William Lindsay, Windsor Herald
  • Memories of the Months (7 series-1897 through to 1922)
  • British Soldiers in the Field (1902)
  • British Fresh-Water Fishes (1904)
  • Story of the Tweed (1905)
  • Scalacronica; The reigns of Edward I, Edward II and Edward III as Recorded by Sir Thomas Gray (1907)
  • Scottish Gardens (1908)
  • Cronicles of the Houghton Fishing Club 1822-1908 (1908)
  • The Making of Scotland (1911)
  • The Lanercost Chronicle (1913); translated from the Latin, with notes[15]
  • Fishing at Home and Abroad (1913)

Also "Lives" of W. H. Smith, Wellington, Romney, etc.


  1. ^ a b "Sir H. Maxwell, K.T.". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 1 November 1937. p. 19.
  2. ^ "Sitter: Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Eustace Maxwell, 7th Bt. of Monreith (1845-1937)". Lafayette Negative Archive.
  3. ^ a b Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. pp. 2647–2649. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  4. ^ a b Smith, W. W. (1938). "Sir Herbert Eustace Maxwell. 1845-1937". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. 2 (6): 387–393. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1938.0024.
  5. ^ "Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  6. ^ Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Herbert Maxwell
  7. ^ "Glasgow University jubilee". The Times (36481). London. 14 June 1901. p. 10.
  8. ^ Meikle, H. W. (January 2008). "Maxwell, Sir Herbert Eustace, seventh baronet (1845–1937)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b "List of 133 Lecturers". The Rhind Lectures. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  10. ^ Sir Herbert Maxwell (1894). Scottish Land-names: Their Origin and Meaning. The Rhind lectures in archaeology. Blackwood and Sons.
  11. ^ Maxwell, Herbert, Sir (1912). The early chronicles relating to Scotland; being the Rhind lectures in archaeology for 1912 in connection with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) Copy at HathiTrust Digital Library
  12. ^ "Obituaries". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 28 June 1897. p. 12.
  13. ^ "Fort Gibbs and Sgt. William Maxwell's grave". Zimbabwe Field Guide. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Fallen officers". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 14 October 1914. p. 10.
  15. ^ "Review of The Chronicle of Lanercost, 1272–1346 translated, with notes, by Sir Herbert Maxwell". The Athenaeum (4461): 458–459. 26 April 1913.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Robert Vans-Agnew
Member of Parliament for Wigtownshire
Succeeded by
Lord Elcho
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The 10th Earl of Stair
Lord Lieutenant of Wigtown
Succeeded by
The 12th Earl of Stair
Baronetage of Nova Scotia
Preceded by
William Maxwell
(of Monreith)
Succeeded by
Aymer Maxwell