How should we number the Lords Maxwell?

+6 votes
93 views

There is currently much confusion on WikiTree about how the Lords Maxwell should be numbered and there are profiles that are matched that shouldn't be and others that should be merged and aren't.

The problem comes from John Maxwell, who was son and heir of Robert Maxwell, 2nd Lord Maxwell, and was granted the Barony of Maxwell by his father during Robert Maxwell's life time, and consequently both of them are named as Lord Maxwell in some documents. However John died before his father so never actually succeeded his father, but in some sources, for instance The Book of Carlaverock, p. 152 and The Scots Peerage, vol. 6, p. 477, he is still titled 3rd Lord Maxwell, but in others, noticeably The Complete Peerage, vol. 8, p. 591, he is Master of Maxwell, and it is his son, another John Maxwell, who is 3rd Lord Maxwell.

This then affects the numbering of all the successive Lords Maxwell, and why the numbering of these profiles on WikiTree is pretty confusing because we have Robert Maxwell as 5th Lord Maxwell and as 4th Lord Maxwell (disregard the different wives, he was married twice).

What to do?  We could just ignore the numbering and make them all Lord Maxwell?  Or choose one or the other of the numbering styles and document in Research Notes which one we are using?

I would favour using the style from The Complete Peerage, because in this time period, I think they were Barons/Lords because they served in parliament and it appears as if John Maxwell, Master/3rd Lord was never titled Lord Maxwell in Parliamentary records, but happy to go with whatever is decided.

WikiTree profile: John Maxwell
in Policy and Style by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (386k points)

2 Answers

+6 votes
Hi John,   many thanks for taking this on.

Not an expert - just a Maxwell !!   Agree using the Complete Peerage and explain with a research note seems a good solution.    Suggest we ppp the "confusing" profiles and add Scottish Clans Project as manager as well.
by Maria Maxwell G2G6 Pilot (159k points)
+4 votes
I would go with the Complete Peerage since he pre-deceased his father.
by Thom Anderson G2G6 Mach 3 (38.4k points)

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