Clan Maxwell Badge
Clan Maxwell is a Lowland Scottish clan and is recognized as such by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. However, as the clan does not currently have a chief, it is considered an armigerous clan. The claimed origin of the name Maxwell is that it comes from Maccus Well, a pool in the River Tweed near Kelso, Scottish Borders. Maccus was believed to be a Norse chief who lived during the reign of David I of Scotland.
Sir John Maxwell was Chamberlain of Scotland but he died without issue and was succeeded by his younger brother, Aymer. From Aymer's sons sprang many branches of the family throughout south-west Scotland.
Sir Herbert Maxwell appears on the Ragman Rolls of 1296, swearing fealty to Edward I of England. Herbert's son, Eustace Maxwell held Caerlaverock Castle as a vassal of the English, however he later followed Robert the Bruce to the Battle of Bannockburn.
John Maxwell, the seventh Lord Maxwell was a devout Catholic throughout the Scottish Reformation and he was linked to a number of plots to restore Mary, Queen of Scots to the throne. After Mary was executed in 1587 and after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Lord Maxwell continued to correspond with Philip II of Spain trying to gain support for a Catholic revolution. However, Maxwell was killed in 1593 in a feud with the Clan Johnstone of Lockerbie. The feud continued and the next Lord Maxwell shot Sir James Johnstone. Maxwell's brother, Robert, succeeded to the Maxwell title and was created Earl of Nithsdale in 1620.
Caerlaverock Castle was the seat of the chief of Clan Maxwell.
Pollok House, the seat of the Maxwell Baronets of Pollok, is now of international importance, as it houses the world-famous Burrell Collection in its grounds.