Richard Maitland

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Richard Maitland
Known forSenator of the College of Justice

Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington and Thirlstane (1496 – 1 August 1586) was a Senator of the College of Justice, an Ordinary Lord of Session from 1561 until 1584, and notable Scottish poet. He was served heir to his father, Sir William Maitland of Lethington, East Lothian, and Thirlestane, Berwickshire, on 15 October 1515, his father being one of the casualties at the Battle of Flodden. He held the political office of Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland and was also the Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland, from 1563 to 1567, and was succeeded in this post by his son Sir John Maitland, 1st Lord Maitland of Thirlestane.


He married Mariotta (or Margaret) (d. March 1586), daughter of Sir Thomas Cranstoun of Corsbie, in Berwickshire. They had three sons and four daughters, including

The Maitland Manuscripts

Pages from The Maitland Quarto Manuscript held by the Pepys Library. Maitland's signature is prominent. Maitland Quarto Manuscript.jpg
Pages from The Maitland Quarto Manuscript held by the Pepys Library. Maitland's signature is prominent.

Two of Maitland's manuscript works survive; both are compilations of the Scots literature of his era. They preserve many of the works of the great makars and a large number of anonymous pieces. The manuscripts also record many of Maitland's own compositions. [2] Maitland's daughter Mary transcribed his poems as well as her brother John Maitland's and others. [3]

The Maitland Manuscripts are held by the Pepys Library.

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  1. "Maitland, Richard (1496-1586)"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. The full text of the Maitland Quarto Manuscript at
  3. MacDonald, A.A. (1998). 'Early Modern Scottish Literature and the Parameters of Culture' in Sally Mapstone and Juliette Wood, eds., The Rose and the Thistle: Essays on the Culture of Late Medieval and Renaissance Scotland. Phantassie, East Linton: Tuckwell Press. p. 89. ISBN   1-898410-57-7.

Other sources

Political offices
Preceded by
Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland
unknown – unknown
Succeeded by
Preceded by Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland
Succeeded by