HEAD of the family of Stirling of Keir, which has played a notable part in Scottish history for many centuries, the late popular member of Parliament for the College Division represents also the ancient house of Maxwell of Pollok, famous for its adherence to the falling fortunes of Queen Mary, and its support of the "outed" ministers of Covenanting times. Sir John's father, the fine poet and learned Spanish historian, William Stirling of Keir, inherited the Maxwell name, lands and baronetcy from his mother's brother, last of the direct male line. On Sir William's death in 1878, his elder son, the present baronet, inherited the great Maxwell estate of Pollok, while his brother came into possession of Keir, the ancient seat of his father's family, near Dunblane.
Sir John Stirling-Maxwell, whose mother was Anna, second daughter of the 10th Earl of Leven and Melville, was born in London in 1866, and was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge. His introduction to political life was made as private secretary to Lord Knutsford, Colonial Secretary in Lord Salisbury's Government from 1887 till 1892. At the General Election of 1895 he attacked the College Division of Glasgow, previously considered a secure Liberal seat, and defeated the former member, Sir Charles Cameron, Bart., and he continued in possession at the General Election of 1900, but was defeated in 1906.
Sir John and Lady Stirling-Maxwell take a cordial interest in the charitable and other undertakings, not only of the College Division and of the great estate of Pollok, but of Glasgow in general, where there is no more popular name in conjure with.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)