Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, 9th Baronet

Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, c. 1870, photograph by Thomas Annan

Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, 9th Baronet, of Pollok (8 March 1818 – 15 January 1878), was a Scottish historical writer and art historian, politician and virtuoso.

Early life

He was born at Kenmure, the son of Sir Archibald Stirling, Esq., of Keir and Cawder, and Elizabeth Maxwell, sister of Sir John Maxwell, 8th Baronet and Harriet Maxwell (d. 1812) and daughter of Sir John Maxwell, 7th Baronet and Hannah or Anne Gardiner, daughter of Richard Gardiner, of Aldborough, Suffolk, and studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating a BA degree in 1839 and a MA degree in 1843.[1] He travelled in Spain and the Levant and contributed to Fraser's Magazine and the Examiner. In 1848 he published his pioneering Annals of the Artists of Spain. He succeeded to the Keir estates in 1847.


He served as Member of Parliament for Perthshire from 1852 to 1868 and again from 1874 to 1878. He was appointed a Member of the Universities Commission in 1859 and of the Historical Manuscripts Commission from 1872 to 1878, as well as of the Scottish Education Board (a forerunner to the Scottish Office). He was Rector of the University of St Andrews in 1862 and of the University of Edinburgh in 1872.

He succeeded to the Maxwell Baronetcy (in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia) in 1865, assuming the additional name of Maxwell.

He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Glasgow in 1865 and was awarded an Honorary DCL from the University of Oxford in the same year. He was a member of the University of London Senate and a Trustee of the British Museum and the National Gallery.

He was a breeder of shorthorns and Clydesdale horses, an ardent bibliographer and collector of works of art.

Marriages and issue

He married firstly Lady Anna Maria Leslie-Melville (d. 8 December 1874), daughter of David Leslie-Melville, 8th Earl of Leven and Elizabeth Anne Campbell, and had, at least:

In March 1877 he married secondly noted author and society figure Caroline Norton, a granddaughter of the famous Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan. She died three months later.


  1. "Stirling (post Stirling-Maxwell), William (STRN835W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.



External links

Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
Henry Home-Drummond
Member of Parliament for Perthshire
Succeeded by
Charles Stuart Parker
Preceded by
Charles Stuart Parker
Member of Parliament for Perthshire
Succeeded by
Henry Home-Drummond-Moray
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Lord Moncreiff
Rector of the University of Edinburgh
Succeeded by
The Earl of Derby
Preceded by
Ralph Anstruther
Rector of the University of St Andrews
Succeeded by
John Stuart Mill
Preceded by
The Duke of Montrose
Chancellor of the University of Glasgow
Succeeded by
The Duke of Buccleuch
Baronetage of Nova Scotia
Preceded by
John Maxwell
(of Pollok)
Succeeded by
John Stirling Maxwell
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