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Sir William Stirling Maxwell

Mitchell Library, The Bailie

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Sir William Stirling Maxwell

According to the Dictionary of National Biography, Sir William Stirling Maxwell (1818-1878) was a "baronet, Spanish scholar, historian and virtuoso."

The son of a West Indies planter, William Stirling travelled widely in Spain and the Middle East before inheriting the family estates Scotland and the West Indies in 1847. He wrote a vast array of learned works, the best known being on the history of Spanish art, and was an enthusiastic collector of works of art.

On the death of his uncle Sir John Maxwell, William succeeded to the baronetcy and adopted the additional surname Maxwell. He was Conservative MP for Perth 1852-1868 and 1874-1878, Rector of the Universities of St Andrews (1862), Aberdeen (1870) and Edinburgh (1872). In 1876 he became Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, inspiring this caricature in The Bailie. He was nominated a Knight of the Thistle in 1876.

Stirling Maxwell took a keen interest in the management of his estate at Keir near Stirling and was a prominent member of the Highland Agricultural Society. He died of a fever in Venice.

Reference: Mitchell Library, 920.04BAI

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

art collectors, baronets, book collectors, Chancellors, Conservative Party, Highland Agricultural Society, historians, Knights of the Thistle, Members of Parliament, MPs, planters, Rectors, University of Glasgow

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