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Ruthven, Lord (S, 1488 - forfeited 1600)


Creation: let.pat. 29 Jan 1487/8


Forfeited: 15 Nov 1600


Family name: Ruthven




See Earl of Gowrie



William [Ruthven], 1st Lord Ruthven, PC;

1st son and heir of Sir Patrick Ruthven of Ruthven by his wife ..... Cranston, dau. of Sir Thomas Cranston


mar. (1)

bef. Mar 1482/3 Isabel Lindsay (widow of Walter Lindsay of Edzell, 2nd son of David [Lindsay], 3rd Earl of Crawford; d. after Jun 1509), dau. of ..... Levington of Saltcoats

children by first wife

1. Hon Sir William Ruthven, Master of Ruthven, legitimated 1480, knighted betw. 1503 and 1506, killed at the Battle of Flodden (dvp. 9 Sep 1513), mar. (1) Catherine Buttergask, and (2) Jean Hepburne, dau. of Alexander Hepburne of Whitsome and Riccarton by his wife Janet Napier, dau. of Sir Alexander Napier of Merchiston, and had issue by his second wife:

1a. Hon William Ruthven, later 2nd Lord Ruthven

1a. Hon Isobel Ruthven, mar. John Murray of Wallaceton and Tibbermuir, and had issue

2. Hon John Ruthven, legitimated 1480 (d. after Oct 1548), mar. Libra Livingston, and had issue

1. Hon Margaret Ruthven (d. 1548), mar. (1) bef. 1499 as his second wife Alexander [Stewart], 2nd Earl of Buchan, (2) bef. 21 Jun 1508 Sir John Erskine, Yr. of Dun (d. 9 Sep 1513), (3) bef. 23 Dec 1518 James Stewart of Ryland (d. bef. 11 Mar 1524/5), and (4) (annulled 1534) William Wood of Bonnyton, and had issue by her first husband

mar. (2)

Christian Forbes, only dau. of William [Forbes], 3rd Lord Forbes, by his wife Lady Christian Gordon, 3rd dau. by his second wife of Alexander [Seton later Gordon], 1st Earl of Huntly

children by second wife

3. Hon William Ruthven of Ballindean, mar. Agnes Crichton, dau. of Sir John Crichton of Strathurd, and had issue

2. Hon Elizabeth Ruthven (d. bef. 9 Dec 1529), mar. (1) bef. 1520 William [Hay], 5th Earl of Erroll, and (2) after 12 Dec 1523 Ninian [Ross], 2nd Lord Ross of Halkhead, and had issue by her first husband


after 12 Jul 1528


29 Jan 1487/8 Lord Ruthven

suc. by



knighted c. 1483; Hereditary Sheriff of Perth c. 1484; fought at the Battle of Sauchieburn 1488; Privy Councillor [S] 1513; a Lord of the Convention 1527


William [Ruthven], 2nd Lord Ruthven, PC



betw. 28 Nov 1514 and 15 Mar 1519/20 Hon Janet Halyburton, suo jure Lady Dirletoun (d. c. 1560), 1st dau. and cohrss. of Patrick [Halyburton], 5th Lord Dirletoun, by his first wife Margaret Douglas, dau. of James Douglas of Pumphreston and Adeston


1. Hon Patrick Ruthven, later 3rd Lord Ruthven

2. Hon James Ruthven of Forteviot

3. Hon Henry Ruthven (d. after 10 Jun 1540)

4. Hon William Ruthven (d. betw. 10 Jun 1540 and 8 May 1543)

5. Hon Alexander Ruthven of Freeland, charged as one of Rizzio's murderers and outlawed (d. 9 Oct 1599), mar. Elizabeth Moncrieff, dau. of Sir William Moncrieff of that Ilk, and had issue:

1a. William Ruthven of Freeland (d. 20 Oct 1608), mar. Isabella Fotheringham, and had issue:

1b. Thomas Ruthven of Freeland, later 1st Lord Ruthven of Freeland

1b. Maria Ruthven, mar. c. 1612 George Hay of Naughton

2b. Elizabeth Ruthven, mar. 1612 Sir David Macgill of Rankeillour, and had issue

2a. Harry Ruthven, took part in the Gowrie Conspiracy and forfeited by Parliament 1600

3a. Alexander Ruthven, also forfeited on account of the Gowrie Conspiracy

1a. Jean Ruthven, mar. ..... Mercer of Clavedge

2a. Barbara Ruthven, mar. Henry Rattray of that Ilk

3a. Isabel Ruthven, mar. ..... Reid of Strathardle

1. Hon Lilias Ruthven (d. 7 Jul 1579), mar. bef. 7 Dec 1543 as his second wife David [Drummond], 2nd Lord Drummond, and had issue

2. Hon Catherine Ruthven, mar. after 28 Jan 1550/1 as his second wife Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy MP, and had issue

3. Hon Cecilia Ruthven (d. 8 Jul 1589), mar. 1556 David Wemyss of Wemyss (b. c 1535; d. 22 Feb 1596/7), 1st son and heir of Sir John Wemyss of Wemyss by his first wife Margaret Otterburn, dau. of Sir Adam Otterburn of Redhall, King's Advocate and Provost of Edinburgh, and had issue

4. Hon Barbara Ruthven, mar. after 14 Jan 1556/7 Patrick [Gray], 5th Lord Gray, and had issue

5. Hon Janet Ruthven (d. 9 Dec 1593), mar. (1) bef. 1544 John Crichton of Strathord, and (2) Laurence Mercer of Meikleour

6. Hon Margaret Ruthven, mar. after 24 Mar 1549/50 James Johnston of Elphinston

7. Hon Christian Ruthven, mar. William Lundin of that Ilk


bef. 29 Oct 1552

suc. by



an Extraordinary Lord of Session 1539; Privy Councillor [S] 1542 and 1543; Lord Privy Seal [S] 1546


Patrick [Ruthven], 3rd Lord Ruthven, PC


c. 1520

mar. (1)

Janet Douglas (d. after 16 Dec 1552), said to be illegit. dau. of Archibald [Douglas], 6th Earl of Angus

children by first wife

1. Hon Patrick Ruthven, Master of Ruthven (dsp. and vp. bef. 12 Apr 1561), mar. Hon Marion Gray (mar. (2) aft. 12 Apr 1561 Patrick Ogilvy of Inchmartine; d. Jun 1582), 1st dau. of Patrick [Gray], 4th Lord Gray, by his wife Hon Marion Ogilvy, 2nd dau. of James [Ogilvy], 4th Lord Ogilvy of Airlie

2. Hon William Ruthven, later 4th Lord Ruthven later 1st Earl of Gowrie

3. Hon George Ruthven, Precentor of Dunkeld (d. 4 Sep 1571)

4. Hon Archibald Ruthven of Forteviot, a General in the Swedish service (d. after 1572)

5. Hon James Ruthven of Holyland, Precentor of Dunkeld (b. bef. 1553 ; d. after 1599)

6. Hon Alexander Ruthven (d. after 1586), mar., and had issue

1. Hon Jean Ruthven (dspm. Sep 1591), mar. (1) Henry [Methven], 2nd Lord Methven, the son of her stepmother, and (2) after 3 Oct 1573 as his second wife Andrew [Leslie], 5th Earl of Rothes, and had issue by both husbands

2. Hon Isabel Ruthven, mar. c. 22 Aug 1570 as his first wife James [Colville], 1st Lord Colville of Culross, and had issue

mar. (2)

after 9 Apr 1557 Lady Janet Stewart (widow of (1) Hon Alexander Gordon, Master of Sutherland, 1st son and heir ap. of Lady Elizabeth Sutherland, suo jure Countess of Sutherland, by her husband and second cousin Adam Gordon of Aboyne, later jure uxoris Earl of Sutherland, 2nd son of George [Gordon], 2nd Earl of Huntly, by his second wife the Princess Annabella, 6th dau. of James I, King of Scotland, (2) Sir Hugh Kennedy of Girvanmains, and (3) Henry [Stewart], 1st Lord Methven), 1st dau. of John [Stewart], 2nd Earl of Atholl, by his wife Lady Janes Campbell, 3rd dau. of Archibald [Campbell], 2nd Earl of Argyll


13 May 1566

suc. by

son by first wife


Privy Councillor [S] 1553; Lieutenant of the Middle Marches 1558; a Lord of the Congregation from 1559; a negotiator of the Treaty of Berwick 1559/60; suc. his mother c. 1560 as 7th Lord Dirletoun; he took a prominent part in the murder of Rizzio on 9 Mar 1565/6, after which he fled to Berwick and then to Newcastle, where he died


William [Ruthven], 4th Lord Ruthven later 1st Earl of Gowrie


23 Aug 1581 Earl of Gowrie


The Lordship of Ruthven was held by the Earls of Gowrie from 23 Aug 1581 until 15 Nov 1600, when John [Ruthven], 3rd Earl of Gowrie, 6th Lord Ruthven, etc., was found guilty of high treason and all his peerage titles were forfeited.


 First written 6 Apr 2005



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