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Herries, John Maxwell

HERRIES, JOHN MAXWELL, 4 TH LORD (c. 1512-1583), Scottish politician, was the second son of Robert Maxwell, 4th Lord Maxwell (d. 1546). In 1547 he married Agnes (d. 1594), daughter of William Herries, 3rd Lord Herries (d. 1543), a grandson of Herbert Herries (d. c. 1500) of Terregles, Kirkcudbrightshire, who was created a lord of the Scottish parliament about 1490, and in 1567 he obtained the title of Lord Herries. But before this event Maxwell had become prominent among the men who rallied round Mary queen of Scots, although during the earlier part of his public life he had been associated with the religious reformers and had been imprisoned by the regent, Mary of Lorraine. He was, moreover at least until 1563 very friendly with John Knox, who calls him " a man zealous and stout in God's cause." But the transition from one party to the other was gradually accomplished, and from March 1566, when Maxwell joined Mary at Dunbar after the murder of David Rizzio and her escape from Holyrood, he remained one of her staunches! friends, although he disliked her marriage with Bothwell. He led her cavalry at Langside, and after this battle she committed herself to his care. Herries rode with the queer into England in May 1568, and he and John Lesley, bishop of Ross, were her chief commissioners at the conferences at York. He continued to labour in Mary's cause after returning to Scotland, and was imprisoned by the regent Murray; he also incurred Elizabeth's displeasure by harbouring the rebel Leonard Dacres, but he soon made his peace with the English queen. He showed himself in general hostile to the regent Morton, but he was among the supporters of the regent Lennox until his death on the 20th of January 1583. His son William, 5th Lord Herries (d. 1604), was, like his father, warden of the west marches.

William's grandson John, 7th Lord Herries (d. 1677), became 3rd earl of Nithsdale in succession to his cousin Robert Maxwell, the 2nd earl, in 1667. John's grandson was William, 5th earl of Nithsdale, the Jacobite (see NITHSDALE). William was deprived of his honours in 1716, but in 1858 the House of Lords decided that his descendant William Constable-Maxwell (1804-1876) was rightly Lord Herries of Terregles. In 1876 William's son Marmaduke Constable-Maxwell (b. 1837) became 12th Lord Herries, and in 1884 he was created a baron of the United Kingdom.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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