HERON MAXWELL, Sir John Shaw Stewart, 4th Bt. (1772-1830), of Springkell, Dumfries.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1807 - 1812

Family and Education

b. 29 June 1772, 4th but o. surv. s. of Sir William Maxwell, 3rd Bt., of Springkell by Margaret, da. of Sir Michael Stewart, 3rd Bt., of Blackhall, Renfrew. m. 4 Jan. 1802, Mary, o. surv. da. and h. of Patrick Heron*, 7s. 5da. suc. fa.-in-law and took additional name of Heron 1803; fa. as 4th Bt. 4 Mar. 1804.

Offices Held

Ensign 68 Ft. 1788; lt. 7 Ft. 1791; capt. 23 Drag. 1794, maj. 1795, brevet lt.-col. 1797, half-pay 1802-14; col. 1805, maj.-gen. 1811, lt-gen. 1819.


Heron Maxwell, who had recently come into a double inheritance, aspired to the county seat for Dumfries at the by-election of 1804, though he felt bound to support Sir Charles Douglas, if the latter stood. On learning that Sir Charles was ineligible, he expressed his disappointment to his friend Lord Dalkeith that he was not the Duke of Buccleuch’s next choice, but Dalkeith protested that he had known nothing of Heron Maxwell’s ambition. He accepted this explanation and agreed to fall in with Dalkeith’s plans.1

In 1807 he was returned for the burghs by Buccleuch with Lord Melville’s blessing. He was listed ‘against the Opposition’ by the Whigs in 1810 and more specifically a supporter of Lord Melville,2 but no speech or vote is known: although ‘J. Maxwell’ voted for Sheridan’s Irish motion of 13 Aug. 1807, this was most probably a mistake for William Maxwell of Carriden. Heron Maxwell was not re-elected in 1812. He died 29 Jan. 1830.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: D. G. Henry


  • 1. SRO GD224/580, Heron Maxwell to Dalkeith, 12, 18 Sept., reply 15 Sept. 1804.
  • 2. SRO GD51/1/198/29/7.