Now we will return to the family of William and Mariota (Hamilton) Muirhead of Lauchope, in order to follow the lineage of their youngest son, Richard.
Richard Muirhead, born circa 1445, followed in the profession of his famous uncle, Andrew, the Bishop of Glasgow, and went into the service of the church. He got into orders and was promoted to the deanry of Glasgow. Richard was listed as a dean of Glasgow on 22 April, 1488. He was the first member of the chapter of the episcopal See of Glasgow, and had the second vote next to the Bishop himself. Richard so impressed those who knew him as being a person of learning, merit and integrity, that, on 21 June, 1489, King James IV appointed him to the position of Lord Clerk-Register of Scotland. In effect, he was the clerk or keeper of his majesty’s council, registers and rolls. With the title of ‘Dr.’, Richard Muirhead held that position until the year 1493, when he resigned in favor of Dr. John Frisle/Fraser. Nisbet noted that the resignation was not in any way unfavorable, nor did it proceed because of any dislike or disregard by the king toward Dr. Muirhead. On the contrary, Richard was engaged, along with Robert, Bishop of Glasgow, Bishop Elphingston of Aberdeen, the Earl of Bothwel, the Earl of Mortoun, the Lord Glamis, William, Prior of St. John of Jerusalem in Scotland, and Lawrence, Lord Oliphant as a delegation to travel to the courts of France, England, Castile, Aragon, Sicily, etc., to search for a consort for the young king. The enterprise resulted in the marriage of King James IV to Margaret, the daughter of Henry VII, the king of England, and the ultimate joining of the two kingdoms. According to Nisbet:(1.76)
“Dr. Muirhead, by his prudent conduct, and juƒt adminiƒtration in his office, while clerk-regiƒter, procured a general eƒteem, and had got ƒo much into the king’s confidence and favour, that he preferred him to be Secretary of ƒtate, in the 1494, in place of Dr. inglis, the arch-deacon of St. Andrews, who was both ƒecretary and clerk of the regiƒter: ‘Secretarius, ac clericus rotulorum et regiƒtri regis Scotiae’, as he is deƒigned.”
The office of King’s Secretary was held by Dr. Richard Muirhead in 1493.
Dr. Richard Muirhead’s name was noted in Rymer’s Foedera Aegliae for the year 1502 as one of the participants at the Glasgow Cathedral for an event in which the king gave his oath to observe the treaty with England before a large audience of nobility and gentry from both Scotland and England: “Ricardus Muirhead, decanus eccleƒiae Glaƒguenƒis, dictique regis Scotorum, conƒilario et ƒecretario”.
Dr. Muirhead served as a witness to the settlement of the queen’s jointure agreement on the 4th of May, 1503. The entry in Rymer’s Foedera Angliae stated that, in addition to Archibald, Earl of Argyle, Andrew, Lord Gray, and Gavino Dunbar there was: “Magiƒter Ricardus Muirhead, decano Glaƒguen.ƒecretario noƒtro...”
Dr. Richard Muirhead was appointed to the position of one of the Lords of Council and Session by King James IV in 1502. He had been appointed Secretary of State in 1494 and he also continued in that position for the next eleven or so years. He was listed as the Secretary in the charters of the great seal for the years 1496, 1497, 1498, 1499, 1500, 1501, 1502, 1503 and 1504.
Richard Muirhead died prior to 04 June, 1504.