Diaries of Sir John Maxwell

Scope and Content

Diaries of Sir John Maxwell, relating to his career as a Colonial Administrator in the Gold Coast.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir John Maxwell, CMG (1921) Kt (1930), was born on the 6 September 1875 at Maxwelltown, Kirkcudbright, Scotland and educated at Dumfries Academy. He served articles as a solicitor with Walker & Sharpe, Maxwelltown, Dumfries, studied law at Glasgow University (1896-1898) and qualified as a Solicitor in 1899.

On entering the Colonial Administrative Service, Maxwell was posted to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) where he served as: Assistant District Commissioner (1902); Travelling Commissioner (1905); Provincial Commissioner (1907); Commissioner for the Eastern Province (1909); Commissioner for the Western Province (1911); Colonial Secretary and Governor's Deputy (1916); Deputy Chief Commissioner (1921); Secretary for Native Affairs (1923); Acting Governor (twice); Acting Colonial Secretary; Attorney-General and Solicitor-General.

Maxwell retired in 1930 and died on the 31 March 1946.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Administrative/Biographical History compiled with reference to Who Was Who (volume IV).

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.