Earls of Forth (1642)


1st Earl of Forth, Patrick Ruthven, b.1572-1573, a.1642, d.1651


Patrick Ruthven was the great-grandson of William Ruthven, 1st Lord Ruthven (for whom see the earls of Gowrie) and his second wife Christian Forbes, daughter of William Forbes, 3rd Lord Forbes, the grandson of William Ruthven of Ballindean (b.?, d.1566) and Agnes Crichton, and son of Sir William Ruthven of Ballindean (b.?, d.1603) and Catherine Stewart, daughter of John Stewart, 4th Lord Innermeath (for whom see the earls of Atholl). He was one of the many Scots who joined the Swedish Army of King Gustavus Adolphus in support of the Protestants during the Thirty Years War, and was Governor of Ulm. He retired to Scotland in 1638 but was almost immediately requested by Charles I to lead a Royalist Army against the Covenanters during the Bishop’s Wars and defended Edinburgh Castle in 1640, for which he was raised to the peerage as 1st Lord Ruthven of Ettrick. At the start of the English Civil War in 1642, he joined Charles at Shrewsbury. Shortly before the Battle of Edgehill he was appointed Captain-General of the Royalist forces and was created 1st Earl of Forth. He was successful in several engagements, notably Lothwithiel, and was wounded at both the first and second battles at Newbury before being replaced as commander by Prince Rupert due to his health and old age, although he was also created 1st Earl of Brentford in the Peerage of England at this time. He then joined Prince Charles in France and accompanied him to Scotland in 1650 after the execution of Charles I. He had two daughters but no sons and so all of his titles became extinct.


(Last updated: 25/08/2010)