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Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, c. 1870, photograph by Thomas Annan

Sir William Stirling-Maxwell of Pollok, 9th Baronet (8 March 1818 – 15 January 1878), was an Scottish historical writer and art historian, politician and virtuoso.

He was born at Kenmure and studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1839 and MA in 1843.[1] He travelled in Spain and the Levant and contributed to Fraser's Magazine and the Examiner. In 1848 he published his pioneering Annals of the Artists of Spain. He succeeded to the Keir estates in 1847.

He served as Member of Parliament for Perthshire from 1852 to 1858 and again from 1874 to 1878. He was appointed a member of the Universities Commission in 1859 and of the Historical Manuscripts Commission from 1872 to 1878, as well as of the Scottish Education Board (a forerunner to the Scottish Office). He was Rector of the University of St Andrews in 1862 and of the University of Edinburgh in 1872. He succeeded to the Maxwell baronetcy (in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia) in 1865, assuming the additional name of Maxwell. He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Glasgow in 1865 and was awarded an honorary DCL from the University of Oxford in the same year. He was a member of the University of London Senate and a trustee of the British Museum and the National Gallery. In March 1877 he married noted author and society figure Caroline Norton, a granddaughter of the famous Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan. She died three months later.

He was a breeder of shorthorns and Clydesdale horses, an ardent bibliographer and collector of works of art.

References

Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
Henry Home-Drummond
Member of Parliament for Perthshire
1852–1868
Succeeded by
Charles Stuart Parker
Preceded by
Charles Stuart Parker
Member of Parliament for Perthshire
1874–1878
Succeeded by
Henry Home-Drummond-Moray
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Lord Moncreiff
Rector of the University of Edinburgh
1871–1874
Succeeded by
The Earl of Derby
Preceded by
Ralph Anstruther
Rector of the University of St Andrews
1862–1865
Succeeded by
John Stuart Mill
Preceded by
The Duke of Montrose
Chancellor of the University of Glasgow
1875–1878
Succeeded by
The Duke of Buccleuch
Baronetage of Nova Scotia
Preceded by
John Maxwell
Baronet
(of Pollock)
1865–1878
Succeeded by
John Stirling Maxwell
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