Works of Sir Richard Maitland, Lord Lethington (1496-1586)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-404
  • Dates of Creation
      16th century
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 volume miscellaneous microform material.
  • Location
      Mic.M.50; De.3.71

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of: microfilm copy of poems, Reidpeth MS; and, manuscript volume of The selected poems of Sr. Richard Metellan of Lydington.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Richard Maitland, Lord Lethington, was born in 1496. He was educated at St. Andrews University and then studied law in Paris. Subsequently he was in the service of King James V and then in the service of his Queen, Mary of Guise. On the return to Scotland of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1561, Maitland - now blind - was admitted as a Lord of Session, a member of the Privy Council, and Keeper of the Great Seal. His son William Lethington (c. 1528-1573) was Secretary to Mary. In addition to being a lawyer, Maitland was a poet and collector of early Scottish poetry. His poems provide insight to the events and customs of the period and include Satire on town ladies. He also published Cronicle and historie of the house of and surname of Seaton. Sir Richard Maitland, Lord Lethington, died on 20 March 1586.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


Note that the material in microform was unseen at the time of the creation of this record.

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 12. Llwyd-Mason. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1909.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes also show references to material relating to Sir Richard Maitland in the Laing Collection (check the Indexes for more details): Latin epitaphs on Maitland by George Byres of Blans, one dated 1586, at La.II.69, ff.18v-20; and, letters from Joseph Bain to David Laing concerning the publication of Maitland's poems, in the Laing Correspondence (La.IV.17).