Sir John Maxwell, 4th Lord Herries of Terregles, Master of Maxwell

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Sir John Maxwell, 4th Lord Herries of Terregles, Master of Maxwell

Birthplace: Terregles, Dumfries-shire, Scotland
Death: January 20, 1583 (66-74)
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Maxwell, 5th Lord Maxwell and Janet Douglas of Drumlanrig
Husband of Agnes de Herries - Maxwell
Father of Agnes Maxwell; Margaret Maxwell, Countess of Lothian; Grizell Maxwell; William Maxwell, 5th Lord Herries of Terregles; Mary Maxwell and 11 others
Brother of Mary Maxwell; George Maxwell; Robert Maxwell, 5th / 6th Lord Maxwell and Margaret Maxwell, Countess of Lennox

Occupation: 4th Baron Herries of Terregles, 4th Lord Herris, Abbot of Dundrennan
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir John Maxwell, 4th Lord Herries of Terregles, Master of Maxwell


The Scots Peerage IV: pp. 409-13

In 1547 he married Agnes Herries, eldest daughter and co-heiress with her two sisters of William, third Lord Herries of Terregles. To win the hand of this 14 year old heiress, John entered into complicated intrigues with her guardian the Earl of Arran. When Sir John Maxwell, second son of Robert Maxwell, 5th Lord Maxwell, married Agnes Herries, daughter of William Herries, 3rd Lord Herries of Terregles, in 1550 the superiority of the lordship of Kirkgunzeon passed from the Herries family to the Maxwells. In 1561 the young catholic Queen Mary returned from France, He was appointed Warden of the Western Marches. Maxwell had become the men who rallied round Mary queen of Scots, earlier part of his public life he had been a supporting religion reform. The Lord Herries of the time commanded Queen Mary's horse at the battle of Langside [1568], and after the defeat conducted her to his own house at Terregles, and he earnestly entreated her not to throw herself on the protection of Queen Elizabeth. He rode Queen Mary Stuart into England in May 1568, and he and John Lesley, bishop of Ross, were her chief commissioners at the conferences at York. He continued to labour in Mary's cause after returning to Scotland, and was imprisoned by the regent Murray. John 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 his death, His son William, 5th Lord Herries (d. 1604), was, like his father, warden of the west marches.

Sir John Maxwell was born circa 1512. He died on 20 January 1582/83.1

He was the son of Robert Maxwell, 4th Lord Maxwell and Janet Douglas. He married Agnes Herries, Lady Herries of Terregles, daughter of William Herries, 3rd Lord Herries of Terregles and Catherine Kennedy, before 18 December 1547.1

On 8 May 1566 he obtained a new charter of the territorial Baronies of Terregles and Kirkgunzean to him, his wife and heirs male whatsoever.1 As a result of his marriage, Sir John Maxwell was styled as Lord Herries of Terregles on 14 April 1567, suo uxoris.1 In 1568 he suffered confiscation for spporting Mary, Queen of Scots.1 He fought in the Battle of Langside in 1568.1 In 1569 he suffered incarceration.

biographical notes

From Sir John Maxwell of Terregles, Lord Herries. 1512-1583 by the Maxwell Society

In 1561 the young catholic Queen Mary returned from France after the tragic end to her marriage to the Dauphin and John was again appointed Warden of the Western Marches. Henceforth his attitude towards the reform party was uncertain, for while he continued normally as a Protestant, his political sympathies where with the new Queen. When the Queen decided to marry Darnley, Moray and the other reform lords were outraged and marched on Edinburgh, but John was able to meditate with them and sent them to his own house in Dumfries to wait for word from him. His success with the rebellious lords was not shared in his approach to the Queen who still did not trust him as he had not broken with Moray. Finally, Maxwell sent Moray into England out of range of Mary who sought revenge on her rebel lords. In 1566 Mary absolved John of the treasonable charges brought against him for his association with the rebels and henceforth he may be reckoned to have been one of Mary's staunchest supporters. He was created Lord Herries on 17th December 1566 at the baptism of the infant Prince James. Earlier that year he had obtained from his wife's sisters their shares of their father's estate and on 8th May 1566 obtained a charter to the Barony of Terregles


John MAXWELL . He married Agnes HERRIES, daughter of William HERRIES and Catherine KENNEDY. She died 14/3/1593-4.

Children of John MAXWELL and Agnes HERRIES are:

  • + 2 i. Wiliam MAXWELL died 10 OCT 1604. He married Catherine KERR, daughter of Mark KERR. She died MAR 1600.
  • + 3 ii. Robert MAXWELL died BEF 1615. He married Elizabeth GORDON, daughter of John GORDON. He married Sara JOHNSTONE, daughter of John JOHNSTONE and Margaret SCOTT.
  • 4 iii. 3 sons MAXWELL.
  • + 5 iv. Elizabeth MAXWELLShe married John GORDON contr. 1583, son of James GORDON and Margaret CRICHTON. He died 23 AUG 1604. She married Alexander FRASER contr. 1606, son of Alexander FRASER and Beatrix KEITH. He died JUL 1623. .
  • + 6 v. Margaret MAXWELL died 8 JAN 1617. She married Mark KERR, son of Mark KERR
  • 7 vi. Agnes MAXWELL. She married John CHARTERIS.
  • + 8 vii. Mary MAXWELL.She married William HAY, son of William HAY and Margaret KERR. He died BEF 29 MAY 1591.
  • + 9 viii. Sarah MAXWELL.She married James JOHNSTONE 1588, son of John JOHNSTONE and Margaret SCOTT. He was born ABT 1567, and died 6 APR 1608 in murdered by 8th Lord Maxwell. She married John. She married Hugh.
  • + 10 ix. Grissel MAXWELL.She married Thomas MCLELLAN, son of Thomas MCLELLAN. He died 13 JUL 1597. She married William GRIERSON 9 MAY 1593, son of Roger GRIERSON and Helen DOUGLAS.
  • + 11 x. Nicola MAXWELL.She married William GRIERSON 9 MAY 1593, son of Roger GRIERSON and Helen DOUGLAS.

Biographical Summary

"Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, who succeeded his father. He lived in the reign of king James II. and acquired the lands of Glanderston, from John Lord Darnly, anno 1477...

...He died soon thereafter, leaving issue three sons. He was succeeded by his eldest son."

SOURCE: The Baronage of Scotland, Robert Douglas, 1798, page 421


John Maxwell, 4th Baron Herries, also called (until 1566) Sir John Maxwell Of Terregles, Master Of Maxwell (born c. 1512—died Jan. 20, 1583, Edinburgh, Scot.) a leading supporter of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, respected for his loyalty to the Scottish crown.

Herries was known as Maxwell of Terregles until he acquired his title in 1566. By that time he was a staunch adherent of the Roman Catholic queen, although he had previously supported Protestantism for political reasons. He led Mary’s cavalry against the Scottish rebels in the Battle of Langside (May 13, 1568) and, after her defeat, gave her temporary refuge. Herries is sometimes considered a dupe of Mary’s English enemies for his part in persuading her to submit her case (in the matter of the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley) to the judgment of Elizabeth I of England. The inability to reach agreement with her half-brother, James Stewart, Earl of Moray, over a political settlement led to Mary’s detention in England for the rest of her life. In 1578 Herries helped to force the resignation of James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, regent of Scotland during Mary’s captivity.

Sir John Maxwell, Lord Herries1,2 M, #41022, b. circa 1512, d. 20 January 1583

Father Robert Maxwell, 4th Lord Maxwell, Admiral of Scotland1 b. c 1493, d. 9 Jul 1546 Mother Janet Douglas1 d. b 1520

    Sir John Maxwell, Lord Herries was born circa 1512.1,2 He married Agnes Herries, daughter of William Herries, 3rd Lord Herries and Katharine Kennedy, before 18 March 1548.2 Sir John Maxwell, Lord Herries died on 20 January 1583 at Edinburgh, Scotland; Buried at Terregles.1,2

Family Agnes Herries b. c 1534, d. 14 Mar 1594 Children Edward Maxwell+1,2 d. 29 Sep 1598 Margaret Maxwell+3 d. 8 Jan 1617 Citations [S11585] The Scots Peerage, Vol. VI, edited by Sir James Balfour Paul, p. 481. [S11566] The Scots Peerage, Vol. IV, edited by Sir James Balfour Paul, p. 409-413. [S11584] The Scots Peerage, Vol. V, edited by Sir James Balfour Paul, p. 457.

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Sir John Maxwell, 4th Lord Herries of Terregles, Master of Maxwell's Timeline

Terregles, Dumfries-shire, Scotland
Terregales, Co Dumfrieshire, Scotland
Terregles, Dumfries-shire, Scotland
Terregles, Dumfries-shire, Scotland
Terregles, Dumfries-shire, Scotland
Bliurdrummond, Perthshire, Scotland