A family with roots that stretch back to the twelfth century, the Maxwells accrued distinction and high honours that include two earldoms.
Their name derives from ‘Maccus’, a Saxon nobleman who found refuge in Scotland in the wake of the Norman Conquest of Anglo-Saxon England in 1066.
Granted lands in the Borders on the banks of the River Tweed, near Kelso, a son of Maccus was appointed Sheriff of Teviotdale, while ‘Maxwell’ was adopted as the family name.
Intermarriage with other noble Scottish families such as the Hamiltons and the Setons brought them even greater power, riches, lands and titles that include the earldoms of both Nithsdale and Morton.
Many imposing edifices that the family came to hold include Maxwell’s Castle, in Dumfries, Hoddom Castle, east of the town, and Caerlaverock Castle between Annan and Dumfries.
Chronicled here is the colourful and inspiring tale of the Maxwells.