Maxse, Frederick Augustus (DNB01)
MAXSE, FREDERICK AUGUSTUS (1833–1900), admiral and political writer, second son of James Maxse (d. 1864) of Arnos Vale, Bristol, by Lady Caroline Fitzhardinge (1803–1886), daughter of Frederick Augustus, fifth earl of Berkeley, was born in 1833. Sir Henry Berkeley Fitzhardinge Maxse [q. v.] was his elder brother. He entered the navy, obtained his lieutenancy in 1852, and as naval aide-de-camp to Lord Raglan after the battle of the Alma, displayed a conspicuous gallantry in carrying despatches, which caused his promotion to the rank of commander in December 1855. He retired from the service with the rank of admiral in 1867, and unsuccessfully contested the borough of Southampton in the radical interest at the general election of November 1868. He was also beaten in a subsequent contest for Middlesex in February 1874; nor did he ever succeed in entering parliament. Indeed the curious idiosyncrasies which made his character an interesting study to his friend Mr. George Meredith (see Beauchamp's Career) unfitted him for modern political life. His liberalism was of no school, and on certain questions, e.g. woman's suffrage and home rule, he was as tenaciously conservative as the highest of tories. He was an occasional contributor to periodical literature, and his articles on the conduct of certain of the operations in the Crimea, which appeared in the ‘National Review’ under the titles ‘Admiral Lord Lyons,’ ‘My Two Chiefs in the Crimea,’ ‘Lord Raglan's Traducers,’ and ‘The War Correspondent at Bay,’ during the first quarter of 1899, constitute a valuable accession to the materials at the disposal of the future historian.
Maxse died on 25 June 1900. He married, in 1862, Cecilia, daughter of Colonel Steele, by whom he left issue two sons—Major Frederick Ivor Maxse of the Coldstream guards, and Mr. L. J. Maxse, editor of the ‘National Review’—and two daughters, the younger of whom, Violet, married Lord Edward Cecil.
His separate publications are the following:
- ‘The Education of the Agricultural Poor, being an Address at a Meeting of the Botley and South Hants Farmers Club,’ London, 1868, 8vo.
- ‘Our Political Duty: a Lecture,’ London, 1870, 8vo.
- ‘A Plea for Intervention,’ London, 1871, 8vo.
- ‘The Causes of Social Revolt: a Lecture,’ London, 1872, 8vo.
- ‘Objections to Woman Suffrage: a Speech … at the Electoral Reform Conference held at the Freemasons' Tavern, 17 Nov. 1874.’
- ‘Whether the Minority of Electors should be represented by a Majority in the House of Commons? A Lecture upon Electoral Reform,’ London, 1875, 8vo.
- ‘Woman Suffrage: the Counterfeit and the True. Reasons for opposing both,’ London, 1877, 8vo; new edit. 1884.
- ‘National Education and its Opponents: a Lecture,’ London, 1877, 8vo.
- ‘The French Press and Ireland: two Letters on the Irish Question addressed to “La Justice,”’ London, 1888, 8vo.
- ‘Home Rule: an Expostulation,’ London, 1889, 8vo.
- ‘Judas! a Political Tract, dedicated to the Intelligent Parliamentary Elector,’ London, 1894, 8vo.
For uncollected articles see ‘National Review,’ August 1895, September 1896, May 1897, January, February, March, April, July 1899, June 1900.
[Walford's County Families; Gent. Mag. 1854 ii. 497, 1869 i. 671; Ann. Reg. 1855, ii. 356; Times, 27 June 1900; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea, 6th edit. iv. 23.]