Clan Ruthven of Perthshire, Scotland; of Norse stock, they settled first in East Lothian and then in the 12th century in Perthshire. Swein gave the estate of Tibbermore to the monks of Scone in c. 1190. His grandson Sir Walter Ruthven took his name from his estates, Ruadhainn in Gaelic. His son Sir William, swore allegiance to Edward I of England in 1291 and 1296, but also aided Sir William Wallace against the English at Perth in 1292. In 1313 he was appointed Sheriff of Perth (St. Johnston) by Robert the Bruce. Sir William Ruthven of Balkernoch was held in England 1424-1427 as a hostage for the ransom of James I. His great-grandson was created Lord Ruthven in 1488, and his eldest son, William, Master of Ruthven, was killed at Flodden in 1513. Patrick, 3rd Lord Ruthven and his son, William, were among Lord Darnley’s co-conspirators in the murder of Queen Mary’s secretary and favourite, David Rizzio. William succeeded his father as 4th Lord, and was in the queen’s escort to Lochleven Castle, where she was forced to abdicate. He was Treasurer of Scotland during the James VI’s minority, and was created Earl of Gowrie in 1581. In 1582 he led the Ruthven Raid, where the king was abducted from influence of the regents, the Earls of Arran and Lennox. After the king’s escape, Gowrie was later arrested and beheaded for treason in 1584. His son James was restored to the estates and title in 1586 but died in 1588 aged thirteen. His brother, John, 3rd Earl Gowrie and his other brother, Alexander were killed as supposed traitors by government agents in Perth in 1600 in the Gowrie Conspiracy. The family coat of arms was publicly debased, their estates forfeited and the title of Gowrie was forever outlawed. Alexander’s descendant Sir Thomas Ruthven was created Lord Ruthven of Freeland in 1651. The family honour was fully restored with Alexander Ruthven, second son of Walter, Baron Ruthven of Freeland, who fought in the Sudan in 1898, where he won the Victoria Cross. He was appointed Governor General of Australia in 1936, and he was created Earl of Gowrie in 1945.
Arms: Paly of six, argent and gules.
Crest: A ram’s head couped sable, armed or.
Motto: Deid schaw.