Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Inverkeithing, Richard

INVERKEITHING, RICHARD (d. 1272), bishop of Dunkeld, was in earlier life a prebendary of that see (Keith, Scottish Bishops, p. 80), and, according to some authorities, chamberlain of the king (Chron. de Lanercost, p. 56; Mylne, Vit. Dunkeld. Eccl. Episcop.) By favour of the crown he succeeded David, bishop-elect of Dunkeld, in the bishopric in 1250. In the contests for supreme power which filled the minority of Alexander III [q. v.] Inverkeithing was a prominent leader of the English party (Rymer, Fœdera, orig. ed. i. 565–7). In 1255 his party secured possession of the king and, after interviews with Henry III at Wark Castle and Kelso (August), deprived the rival party of the Comyns of office. Thereupon Inverkeithing displaced Gameline [q. v.], bishop of St. Andrews, as chancellor of Scotland, and was among the fifteen regents appointed for seven years (ib.) But in the counter-revolution of 1257 the party of the Comyns took the great seal from his vice-chancellor, Robert Stutewill, dean of Dunkeld, and he seems to have been superseded in his office by Wishart, bishop of Glasgow. The compromise of 1258 between the two parties does not appear to have restored the seal to him. According to Keith he declined to continue in the office.

About Easter 1268 Inverkeithing was with the other bishops summoned to a council by the legate Ottobon. The bishops deputed Inverkeithing and Robert, bishop of Dunblane, to watch over their interests. When the council met the legate ordained some new statutes, chiefly concerning the secular and regular priests of Scotland, which the bishops declined to accept (Fordun, i. 303). Inverkeithing died on St. Magnus day 1272, at a great age; his body was buried at Dunkeld, and his heart in the choir of the church of Inchcolm, which he himself had built (Mylne, u.s.) Reports, which rest on no ascertained authority, are said to have been circulated that Inverkeithing and Margaret, queen of Alexander III, who died shortly after, were both poisoned (Chron. de Lanercost, p. 97). The Lanercost chronicler also states that Inverkeithing, in order to prevent the customary confiscation by the crown of the possessions of deceased prelates, disposed of his property in his lifetime.

[Fordun, Chronica Gentis Scotorum, i. 297–8, 303, ed. Skene, 1871; Chron. de Lanercost, pp. 56, 97, ed. J. Stevenson for Bannatyne Club, 1835; Mylne, Vitæ Dunkeldensis Ecclesiæ Episcoporum, p. 11 (Bannatyne Club), 1823; Wyntoun, lib. vii. c. x.; Keith's Scottish Bishops, pp. 80–1, 1824; Burton's Hist. of Scotland, ii. 25–6; Tytler's Hist. of Scotland, i. 59, ed. Alison.]

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