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MACCUS to MAXTONE


Thanks to Ron for the followin information...

Rob Maxtone Graham, 18th of Cultoquhey,
West Wing,
Auchindinny House,
Penicuik,
Midlothian
EH26 8PE
Scotland
tel/fax +44 (0)1968 676251

Migration of a name, 1100-1700

Part 1:-  Roxburgh Roots, c. 1100-1300

The earliest mention of the name “Maccus” is in 973  when he, as “King of very many Islands”, along with seven other regional Kings including Kenneth II of Scotland,  swore fealty to the English King Edgar at Chester. (Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers, p.76, citing other chronicles). It has been suggested (ibid, index) that Magnus may be the same name, re-occurring  in 1066/7 as another Norse King Magnus II, 2nd cousin to the Scots King Duncan II.

 The name reappears two generations later, when “Maccus, son of Undewyn” witnessed several charters, including the founding of  Selkirk Abbey c. 1120, the ‘Inquisito’ of 1124,  Melrose Abbey 1136, 1143/4 (Melrose, Lawrie ESC, RSS i). In Melrose # 88 Maccus is ‘Prepositus’ i.e. Provost, witnessing  a grant of ploughgate of land in Lessudwyn (Lessudden) by Richard/Robert of London to Melrose Abbey.  Lessudwyn, just NW of  Maxton, bears an uncanny resemblance to Undwyn, and may have been (a minor, i.e. Less) part of his lands in the generation before Maccus. The family certainly held some Lessudden lands just after Maccus’ time (see below).

Early witness lists to these charters contain many other Norse or Saxon sounding first names, usually described as ‘A’ son of ‘B’ (Uchtred, Liulf, Osolf, Sioth, Cospatrick, Orm, Eilas), with Norman surnames becoming more numerous later, after the ascent of David I, (de Brus, de Lindesay, de Umfraville, Olifard, Corbet?, Ridel, de Sumerville, de Morevile). It would appear therefore, that Maccus was associated with other Norse or Saxon Lords, all of whom had some importance under Alexander I and that he continued to enjoy royal favour after 1124. The de Moreville family, in particular, would appear to have been early overlords of the St Boswells/Mertoun/Dryburgh area, in addition to Lauderdale.

Maxton, Lindsay and Oliphant all continued to associate, before and after migration to Perthshire in early 14th cent.

Other Norman families known to have migrated north with David I, generally from his “Honour of Huntingdon”, include Herries, Graham and Lockhart, who although not mentioned in Roxburgh, occur later in Maxtone history, usually in Perthshire, together with Haldane and Roger/Rodgie.  (see AAM Duncan, Ed. Hist. Scot, Vol 1, pp 134-149 for general Norman/Feudal influence)

Maccus died c. 1150, after which charters were then witnessed by “Liolf, son of Maccus” (c. 1153-1170s), and/or Robert his brother, (c. 1160-1200) (Melrose, pp56/7, 75-81). He seemingly left his name to the Barony and village of Maccus’toun, or Maxton, and to a pool on the Tweed below the present Kelso Bridge, Maccus’weil, or Maxwheel, around which grew the village of Maxwellheugh.  An Edmund de Macheswel is recorded c.1147x 1152 (Lawrie ESC 196), Herbert de Macchuswel in 1159 (RRS i, #131), and  the lands + church of Maxton are named in a charter of 1189x93 (RSS ii,#342), so it would seem that the placenames were established during Maccus’ lifetime, and he was condidered important enough  for them to be retained after his death. His heirs, however, used the terminolgy “son of Maccus”, rather than “of” Maxton or Maxwell. In the founding Charter of Kelso Abbey in 1159, (RRS i, #131, above) witnesses include Ughtred of Mow, Liulf son of Maccus, Ferteth Earl of Strathearn, David Olifard and Herbert of Maxwell.  It is surely likely that Herbert would also be styled ‘son of Maccus’ if he was Liulf’s brother.

It is also possible that both placenames were established generations before this time. There may well have been an earlier Maccus after whom the lands and pool were named, but no new evidence is likely to come to light of such links.

It is interesting to note that Edmund de Machuswel is using that name around the time of Maccus’ death, and possibly before (1147), whilst Maccus’ sons Liulf  (+ his dau. Cecily) and Robert continue to use ‘son of’ nomenclature for another 50 years. The inference is that Edmund took his name from the place he was born, or lived/owned, but that he was unlikely to be Maccus’ son, especially considering that he wasn’t mentioned subsequently and was possibly dead soon after; by 1159,  Herbert  (his son?) was ‘de’ Maxwell, and there are no known references to Edmund or Herbert as sons/descendants of Maccus.

 No evidence has been seen that Maccus ever owned the lands near the pool, although he must have had a successful fishery there, for it and the surrounding lands/toun to have taken his name so permanently. 

Whilst holding lands so close to a Royal Castle (Roxburgh) was often considered an advantage, in terms of prestige and sanctuary, this could be outweighed in this case by the adverse geography of  these lands:-

1/ The safety of the Castle could only be reached after a river crossing, or two.  It is not known when the first Tweed and/or Teviot bridges were built at Kelso or old Roxburgh. (RCAHMS & PSAS)

2/ The lands were ideally placed as a battleground for armies beseiging Roxburgh Castle across the Teviot, as the presently named Floors lands were used for seige across the Tweed (OS).

3/ Agriculture could be at serious risk from flooding, especially just at  the confluence of  two spate rivers.

Similarly, any change in the political climate could jeopardise the holding of lands quite so close to the seat of power.

Another hint that Maccus only named the pool is that there is a much better pool a few hundred yards upstream, now known world-wide as ‘The Junction Pool’ (where Teviot meets Tweed), and also on the lands of ‘Springwood’, as the estate is now called. If Maccus had owned both these lands and the riparian rights, his BEST pool would surely have been named by/after himself. It wasn’t, so the inference is that someone else had those fishing rights. Both pools are highly productive of  Salmon (+ eels in the past), and the fishing rights will always have been keenly protected, whether the surrounding land was owned, or not.  The separate ownership or leasing of such important fisheries probably predates written records.

It is known, however, that Maccus’ heir owned an extensive barony at Maxton, a few miles to the west, without any of the geographical problems of Maxwheel, the bonus of Tweed frontage for a few miles and which was inherited by his son Liolf.

This Liolf was presumably the eldest son of Maccus, as he makes the earliest and most numerous appearances in Malcolm IV/William the Lion and Religious charters, and the lands of Maxton obviously passed through him to his daughter and heiress, Cecily. In the charter mentioned above (RRS ii, #342, signed in Forfar), Cecilydau. of Liolf, son of Maccus” & her husband, Robert de Berkeley (brother of Walter, William the Lion’s Chamberlain) are granting a ‘ploughgate’ (104 acres) in Maxton (at Muirhouselaw) and other rights to Melrose Abbey, particularly the right to quarry stone for the building of the Abbey. Liulf was presumably dead by the time of the charter (c.1189), leaving no son.

Liulf’s co-signatories continued to include Huctreds, Osolfs etc, Lindsay, Moreville, Summerville, Earl Cospatrick, Olifard,  plus  de Berkeley, Cumin, de Soulis,  Earl Duncan, Earl Ferteth of Strathearn, Hay, Mortimer, Gifford, (inc. some more mainly Norman familes later associated with Maxton in Parthshire) and many more clerics. These charters (RRS i, #s120, 128, 131, 184, 222, RRS ii, #s 43, 79), were sealed in Roxburgh, Jedburgh, Perth, Edinburgh, Northumberland, so Liulf obviously travelled extensively with the royal court.

Liulf’s daughter Cecily and her husband Robert de Berkeley (who continues to appear in many charters up to c. 1199) are said to have had a daughter and heiress, Alicia, who married Hugo de Normanville, who first appears amongst charter witnesses in c. 1193 and granted rights to Rutherford in Maxton to Melrose Abbey (Melrose, # 92). The witnesses to this undated charter included Adam, parsona de Maxton, Philip de Maxton, Robert, ‘tictore’ of Roxburgh and William, canon of Glasgow; William became Bishop of Glasgow c. 1202, so likely c. 1200, but definitely before 1214.

Certainly during the time of Alexander II (1214-1249), John de Normanville de Maxtoun is in charge of the lands (Melros, p.219, witnesses including Lindsay, Ross, Baliol, John de Maxwell (d. 1241), Walter Olifard (d. 1242), + Alex. Swinton, Melville) with his descendants also holding them. Thay are later in the hands of the de Soulis family, until forfeit after their conspiracy against Robert the Bruce in 1320. (RMS I, app 2, #221) A later (c. 1341) Perthshire Maxtoun appeared in a (lost) roll of charters relating mainly to the de Soulis Conspiracy. See below, Perthshire.

It is interesting to note that both Maxtone and Barclay arms include a chevron and three crosses.  Such similarities are generally considered to have some likely common root, whether geographical or genealogical; in this case both might play a part. The family of Rutherford also has its origin in Maxton parish, a branch later settling in Perthshire and associating with/marrying the Maxton family.

Liulf, son of Maccus is not to be confused as in the past with Liulf, son of Ughtred (or Ughtred, son of Liulf-- see Fraser, Maxwells of Pollok), or the lines containing Osolf, Thomas and others. (many refs, CDS, Lawrie, RRS, Abbeys.) They appear in the same period, and in the borders, but their lands were further east, at Swinton and Molle (Mow). Mow was later partially owned by the Norman Lovel family, through marriage to the Liulf/Uchtred line; the Lovel of Ballumbie arms are said to survive as the “Three piles Sable” in the Graham quarters of the Maxtone Graham arms, via Graham of Fintry.

Considering the reciprocal appearances of these names in charters and their similar position as Royally favoured landowners, however, it is not unlikely that these Liulfs were related in the past. A further link is provided by the marriage of Eschina of London,  heiress of Mow, to Walter (William I’s Steward), son of Alan.(RRS ii, #184).  A Robert of London had land in Lessudden, just next to Maxton (as witnessed by Maccus, above). A ploughgate in Lessudden was later given to Robert son of Maccus in 1199, by Herbert Maxwell and Geoffrey the clerk, on the King’s command. (RRS ii, #422).

Just as we see Thomas of London (RRS ii, #62) and Thomas,  son of Liolf in the Swinton/Mow branches, it is possible that Robert of London and Robert, son of Maccus may be one and the same (but probably not the separate ‘Robert of London’, bastard son of William I). In RRS ii, #172, (1173x82) King William grants Newton (St Boswells/Lessudden) to his chamberlain, Walter of Berclay.   Robert of London is also cited as granting a ploughgate in Lessudden to Walter of Berkeley, ‘HIS KINSMAN’.

Now Robert, son of Maccus, was certainly Walter’s kinsman, through his brother Robert de Berkeley’s marriage to Cecily, Robert (son of Maccus)’s niece. Walter the Steward might similarly claim kinship with Robert of London, through his marriage to Eschina of London & heiress of Mow through Uchtred/Liolf.

Lessudden being only a mile or so NW of Maxton, it is quite likely that the younger son Robert got these smaller lands as his inheritance, only to see the main barony pass out of the male line. Maybe the Mow, Swinton, Maxton and Lessudden owners had a common relation in London, where offspring spent some time, or maybe were even born, before returning with a second  ‘surname'  -- of London, and presumably having learnt merchant or culture skills. In Robert’s case, time spent in London may (as often happens) have led to some losses of his land, especially after the death of his brother Liulf, c. 1180s.  In the 1199 charter (RSS ii, #422) the king orders Herbert Maxwell (his Sheriff) and Geoffrey the clerk to hand over land (of which there is no record of their legal acquisition) in Lessudden to Robert, for all services save ploughing and reaping. -- Robert was probably c. 70 by this time.  Alexander de Swinton is a witness.

No records survive of Robert’s offspring, but the name Robert de Maxtoun is constantly repeated in Roxburgh, then Perth and Edinburgh over the next four centuries and on to the present day.

The first record of Maxton as a surname is c. 1200, in Hugo de Normanville’s charter mentioned above, with Adam, parson of Maxton, and Philip de Maxton. Adam of Macston again appears near the end of William’s reign (1214).

 John de Maxtoun witnesses a charter (Melrose, p.220) alongside familiar names, dating it to pre 1241. p. 223 has Adam de Maxton, p. 226 has Robert Maxtone and Gilbert de Lessudden alongside John de Maxtone, described in the next entry as “John, son of Philip de Maxton”, giving the monks of Melrose pasture rights in his territory. All these date to Alexander II, and it can inferred that Philip de Maxton died by 1241, whilst John de Maxton obviously retains land in the barony . The Mow barony has also been shown to have had multiple owners around this time (RRS)

Adam de Maxton is elected Abbot of Newbattle in 1259, then of Melrose 1261, until his deposition in 1267, for illegally deposing his own son as abbot of Holm Cultram Abbey. The son, in turn, had deposed Henry, the serving abbot of Holm Cultram, which resulted in his father Adam’s wrath and deposition in favour of Henry again. The son’s name is not recorded, so his tenure was obviously brief,  but Alexander de Maxton is Constable of Roxburgh Castle, 1285 ( Kelso, p.219) and renders homage in the Ragman Roll in 1296 (Bain, p.209)

In Robertson’s Index to Charters, p. 5, #s 15,16, Robert the Bruce grants parts of  Rutherford and Maxton to John de Lindsay ‘que fuerunt’ (feued by) John de Westoun & Ed. Gourlay, whilst William Maceoun gets land in Mertoun ‘que fuerunt’ Ingerami Cnonut & John de Westoun, again.  (c. 1321) Given the proximity of Mertoun, Maxton, Newton and Lessudden lands (OS), it is thought that Maceoun is yet another spelling variation on Maxtoun, especially considering the frequent use of William as a Maxtone christian name in later generations. Mcsoun and M‘soun spellings are also seen.  It is not known if Maxson/Maxon families spring from this root.

Later in Robert I’s reign, after the 1320 de Soulis conspiracy, (Robertson, p.10)  and after the marriage of the King’s daughter Marjory to Walter the Steward, we find Maxton lands forfeit by Soulis going to Walter’s son Robert (b. 1316), who also gets the lordship of Methven (Perthshire), forfeit by Roger Mowbray, another main conspirator.

This Robert Stewart was heir apparent until 1324, later became Earl of Athole,  Earl of Strathearn (Nov 1357) and then King Robert II, after the death of his uncle David II in 1371, who was 8 years his junior. He had an extensive land and power base, enjoyed two periods as guardian of  Scotland in place of the minor or captive David II, 1330s-41 and 1346-57, and seems to have been one of the many catalysts in several families’ migration from Roxburgh to Perth/Angus during the Second Wars of Independence (1332-63). Many families will have lost their Roxburgh lands when the area was under English control during much of this period (probably including Robert Stewart himself), so a powerful kindred spirit holding extensive comital lands in a safer part of the country would have had no problems in gaining ‘knights’ in exchange for grants of land, given the correct royal allegiance, of course. Robert Stewart also had two legitimate families to provide lands for, as well as a string of illegitimate offspring, mostly by Mariota de Cardney, grand-daughter of Robert I’s sister.

This William Maceoun is almost the last recorded example of the name in Roxburgh before its reappearance in Perth/Angus twenty-odd years later.  In ER I, p80, William Maceoun of Berwick receives payment in 1327, as does John of London. In 1357, Richard de Maxton, amongst others, is acquitted of assorted murders and larcenies in an inquisition before Robert de Tughale, Chamberlain of Berwick. (CDS).

Part 2:- Wars and Migrations, c. 1300-1400

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