He was wounded at the Battle of Balaclava and received medals of honour for his service. He was lieutenant-governor of Heligoland in 1863 and appointed as governor the following year. Maxse became governor of Newfoundland in 1881.
Maxse was instrumental in the construction of the Newfoundland Railway. Most of his term as governor was spent in Germany with his wife. A noted German-language scholar, he published an English translation of Bismarck's Letters to his Wife and Sisters.
Maxse died as a result of the injuries he suffered at the Battle of Balaclava. Maxse took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade (Battle of Balaclava) and was an important witness to what happened on that day, 25 October 1854, He did not die, nor was he injured during the battle, He died in England 10 September 1883.