RUTHIN (Rhudd ddin, " red fortress "), a municipal and contributory parliamentary borough (with Denbigh and Holt) and market town of Denbighshire, N. Wales, situated on a hill rising from the river Clwyd, 21 m. from Chester, and 215 from London by rail. Pop. (1901) 2643. It is on the Great Western railway (Denbigh, Corwen & Ruthin branch). Apart from the legends of Arthur and his limestone block (shown in the market-place), the first event of note in its history is its connexion with the de Grey de Ruthyn family (the first lord died J353)- Owen Glendower attacked it unsuccessfully in 1400. It was sold by the de Greys to Henry VII., and Elizabeth gave it to the earl of Warwick. In 1646, after two months' siege, it was dismantled by the Parliamentarians. The new castle occupies the same site, and is built of the same coloured sandstone as the old. New buildings for the Free Grammar School (founded in 1595 by Gabriel Goodman, dean of Westminster, who also in 1590 had built the hospital for twelve decayed housekeepers), were opened in the town in 1893. The old (conventual) Anglican church of St Peter, once belonging to " Les Bons-hommes," and made collegiate in 1310 by John de Grey, has a Perpendicular north aisle roof, nearly 500 panels of carved oak, and cloisters which have been made into a house for the warden of the hospital. Agriculture is the staple, but there are chemical, aerated waters, bricks, terra-cotta and other manufactures.
RUTHVEN, the name of a noble Scottish family which traces its descent from a certain Thor, who settled in Scotland during the reign of David I. In 1488 one of its members, Sir William Ruthven (d. 1528), was created a lord of parliament as Lord Ruthven. His eldest son William was killed at Flodden in 1313, and consequently his grandson William succeeded him in the title, and after holding the offices of extraordinary lord of session and keepe," of the privy seal died in December 1552, leaving three sons. The eldest of these, Patrick, jrd Lord Ruthven (c. 1520-1566), played an important part in the political intrigues of the i6th century as a strong Protestant and a supporter of the lords of the congregation. He favoured the marriage of Mary with Darnley, and was the leader of the band which murdered Rizzio. This event was followed by his flight into England, where he died on the i3th of June 1566. Ruthven wrote for Queen Elizabeth a Relation of the murder, which is preserved in MSS. in the British Museum.
A descendant of the ist Lord Ruthven in a collateral line, also named Patrick Ruthven (c. 1573-1651), distinguished himself in the service of Sweden, which he entered about 1606. As a negotiator he was very useful to Gustavus Adolphus because of his ability to " drink immeasurably and preserve his understanding to the last," and he also won fame on the field of battle. Having taken part in the Thirty Years' War and been governor of Ulm, he left the Swedish service and returned to Scotland, where he was employed by Charles I. He defended Edinburgh Castle for the king in 1640, and when the Civil War broke out he joined Charles at Shrewsbury. He led the left wing at the battle of Edgehill, and after this engagement was appointed general-in-chief of the Royalist army. For his services he was created Lord Ruthven of Ettrick in 1639, earl of Forth in 1642 and earl of Brentford in 1644. The earl compelled Essex to surrender Lostwithiel, and was wounded at both battles of Newbury. But his faculties had begun to decay, and in 1644 he was superseded in his command by Prince Rupert. After visiting Sweden on a mission for Charles II., Brentford died at Dundee on the 2nd of February 1651. He left no sons and his titles became extinct.
Patrick, 3rd Lord Ruthven, was succeeded as 4th lord by his son William (c. 1541-1584), who like his father was prominent in the political intrigues of the period and was also concerned in the Rizzio murder. In 1582 he devised the plot to seize King James VI., known as the raid of Ruthven, and he was the last-known custodian of the famous silver casket containing the letters alleged to have been written by Mary, queen of Scots, to Bothwell. In 1581 he was created earl of Gowrie, but all his honours were forfeited when he was attainted and executed in May 1584 (see GOWRIE, 3RD EARL OF).
The and Lord Ruthven left a son, Alexander (d. 1599), the founder of the family of Ruthven of Freeland, and the grandfather of Sir Thomas Ruthven (d. 1673), on whom Charles II. bestowed the title of Lord Ruthven of Freeland in 1651. When his son David died unmarried in April 1701 the title of Baroness Ruthven was assumed by the latter's sister, Jean (d. 1722), although according to some authorities the peerage had become extinct. It was, however, assumed in 1722 by Isobel (d. 1732), wife of James Johnson, who took the name of Ruthven on succeeding to the family estates; and their son, James Ruthven (dj 1783), took the title and was allowed to vote at the elections of Scots representative peers. In 1853 the barony again descended to-a female, Mary Elizabeth Thornton (c. 1784-1864), the wife of Walter Hore (d. 1878). She and her husband took the name of Hore-Ruthven, and their grandson, Walter James Hore-Ruthven (b. 1838), became the 8th baron in 1864.
See the Ruthsen Correspondence, edited with introduction by theRev.W.D. Macray(i868); J.H. Round, "The Barony of Ruthven of Freeland " in Joseph Foster's Collectanea Genealogica (1881-85); and Sir R. Douglas, The Peerage of Scotland (new ed. by Sir J. B. Paul).
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