A portrait of Sir John Maxwell of Nether Pollok, 1st Baron Pollok (1648-1732) by an unknown artist.
Sir John was the son of Sir George Maxwell (1622-1677). Like his father he was a staunch Presbyterian and was fined for his Covenanting activities. For many years he was the Commissioner for Renfrewshire in the Scottish Parliament and in 1691 he was elected Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow, a post he held for 26 years. Sir John trained as a lawyer and in 1699 he was appointed Lord Justice Clerk.
In 1682 Sir John petitioned Charles II (1630-1685) to restore to him the baronetcy lost when Sir John Maxwell (d 1647), the first baronet to hold the position, died without a son to inherit the title. The King agreed, but limited the succession to Sir John's sons. Confusingly, Sir John now became known as the 1st baronet although another had preceded him.
Although married, Sir John was childless and in 1707 he successfully petitioned Queen Anne (1665-1714) to allow the title to be inherited by his heir, a cousin also called John Maxwell (1686-1752).
Reference: PC 168
Reproduced with the permission of John Maxwell Macdonald
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