Patrick Ruthven, 1st Earl of Forth

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The Earl of Forth

Patrick Ruthven, 1st Earl of Forth and 1st Earl of Brentford (c. 1573 – 2 February 1651) was a Scottish nobleman, general, and diplomat.

Patrick Ruthven distinguished himself in the service of Sweden, which he entered about 1609 and left 1637. 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 English 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 raised to the Peerage of Scotland as Lord Ruthven of Ettrick in 1639 and was created Earl of Forth in 1642. In 1644 he was also raised to the Peerage of England as Earl of Brentford.

The Earl compelled the Earl of Essex to surrender Lostwithiel, and was wounded at both the first and second 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 But his faculties had begun to decay, and in 1644 he was superseded in his command by Prince Rupert.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, Forth died at Dundee on the 2 February 1651.

He left no sons and his titles became extinct. He was a descendant of Sir William Ruthven, 1st Lord Ruthven in a collateral line.


External links[edit]

  •  "Ruthven, Patrick (1573?-1651)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  • Ruthven Correspondence: Letters and Papers of Patrick Ruthven, Earl of Forth and Brentford, and of His Family: A. D. 1615 - A. D. 1662. With an Appendix of Papers Relating to Sir John Urry. Edited from the Original Mss., by the Rev. William Dunn Macray (Google eBook)
Peerage of Scotland
New creation Earl of Forth
Lord Ruthven of Ettrick
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Brentford