Name: Herbert Maxwell
Suffix: Of Caerlaverlock
Change Date: 17 AUG 2005
Eldest son. His descendant in the 6th generation was Sir Herbert who married an Herries. I think I have got the number of generations right in this file.
In the year 1300, Sir Herbert Maxwell, grandson of Sir John, held the strong castle of Carlaverock for the patriotic cause, and was besieged by a powerful English army under Edward I., accompanied by his son, afterwards Edward II., then a youth of seventeen years. Eighty-seven of the most illustrious barons of England were in this host, including knights of Bretagne and Lorraine. 'Carlaverock was so strong a castle,' says a contemporary chronicler, 'that it did not fear a siege; therefore the King came himself because it would not consent to surrender. But it was always furnished for its defence whenever it was required with men, engines, and provisions. Its shape was like that of a shield, for it had only three sides all round, with a tower in each angle, but one of them was a double one, so high, so long, and so large, that under it was the gate, with a drawbridge, well-made and strong, and a sufficiency of other defences. It had good walls, and good ditches filled to the edge with water; and I believe there never was seen a castle so beautifully situated, for at once could be seen the Irish Sea towards the west, and to the north a fine country, surrounded by an arm of the sea, so that no creature born could approach it on two sides without putting himself in danger of the sea. Towards the south it was not easy, because there were numerous dangerous defiles of wood and marshes, and ditches where the sea is on each side of it, and where the river reaches it; and therefore it was necessary for the host to approach towards the east, where the hill slopes.'
The Maxwells, under their gallant chief, made a vigorous defence, showering upon their assailants such 'huge stones, quarrels, and arrows, and with wounds and bruises they were so hurt and exhausted that it was with very great difficulty they were able to retire.' But though the operations of the siege proceeded slowly, the besieged - were at length compelled to surrender, when it was found that the garrison which had thus defied the whole English army amounted to only sixty men, 'who were beheld,' says the chronicler, 'with much astonishment.'
Father: Aymer De Maxwell
Mother: Mary McGeachan
- Herbert Maxwell
- Type: Book
Periodical: The Great Historic Families of Scotland
Author: James Taylor, M.A., D.D., F.S.A