desire to revenge the murder; and he was present against the queen when she surrendered to the lords at Carberry Hill. Along with Lord Lindsay, he was appointed to conduct the queen to the fortalice of Lochleven, and to have charge of her during her imprisonment there; but, according to Throckmorton, being suspected of having shown ‘favour to the queen,’ he was subsequently employed on another commission (Illustrations of the Reign of Mary, Bannatyne Club, p. 208). Along with Lord Lindsay, Ruthven acted as procurator in obtaining the queen's demission of the government in favour of her son (Reg. P. C. Scotl. i. 538), and at the coronation of the young king at Stirling he certified with Lord Lindsay that she had demitted the government willingly and without compulsion. On 24 Aug. he was selected provost of Perth (ib. p. 505); after the queen's escape from Lochleven he took up arms against her, and was present at her defeat at Langside on 13 May 1568 (Hist. of James the Sext, p. 27); and in August he stopped at the Fords of Tay the Earl of Huntly, a supporter of the queen, who was coming to attend the parliament, accompanied with a thousand horse (Calderwood, History, ii. 418). At the convention of Perth in July 1569 he voted against the queen's divorce from Bothwell (Reg. P. C. Scotl. ii. 8). On 24 Nov. of the same year he was appointed lieutenant of Perth, and bailie and justice of the king's lands of Scone (Reg. Mag. Sig. Scot. 1546–80, No. 1894); and on 7 Dec. he received a grant of certain lands in South Kinkell (ib. No. 1902).
Ruthven was one of those who bore the body of the regent Moray from Holyrood to its burial in St. Giles's Church (Randolph to Cecil in Knox's Works, vi. 571). He continued to adhere to the lords in their contest with the supporters of Mary, who held possession of the castle of Edinburgh, and distinguished himself in several engagements. In 1570 he assisted in the capture of the garrison of the enemy at Brechin (Calderwood, iii. 8). In February 1571–2 he was sent to defend Jedburgh against Ker of Ferniehirst, whom he surprised and completely defeated (Reg. P. C. Scotl. ii. 116–17; Hist. of James the Sext, p. 98; Calderwood, History, iii. 155; Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1572–4, No. 116); and in July 1572 he defeated a sortie from Edinburgh Castle (ib. No. 458). On 24 July 1571 he was, in room of Robert Richardson [q. v.], who resigned, appointed lord high treasurer for life. He was a commissioner for the pacification of Perth on 23 Feb. 1572–3 (Reg. P. C. Scotl. ii. 193); and he signed the undertaking with the English ambassador Drury as to the arrangements to be observed on the capture of the castle of Edinburgh (Cal. State Papers, For. Ser. 1572–4, No. 897).
Lord Ruthven was one of those deputed by Morton to represent him at the convention of nobles at Stirling in March 1577–1578, at which it was agreed that Morton should be deprived of the office of regent (Moysie, Memoirs, p. 2), and on the 15th he was sent with others of a deputation to Morton to request him to surrender the castle of Edinburgh (ib. p. 3), when he was chosen by Morton as one of the ‘neutral men’ who might meanwhile be named keepers of the castle (ib.) In April he was also named one of the new councillors under whose direction the king was to carry on the government (ib. p. 5). Subsequently he joined Morton, who had obtained access to the castle of Stirling, and he was present at the meeting of parliament held there under Morton's auspices, and was chosen a lord of the articles (ib. p. 12). On 8 Sept. 1578 he was nominated one of eight noblemen for the reconciliation of the two factions, and also lieutenant of the borders, with special powers for reducing them to obedience (Reg. P. C. Scotl. iii. 25–6). On 28 Nov. he was appointed an extraordinary lord of session. He signed the order for the prosecution of the Hamiltons on 30 April 1579 (ib. p. 147), and on 20 May was thanked for the discharge of his commission against them. Ruthven had long been at feud with James, fourth lord Oliphant, a supporter of Queen Mary, and while returning in October 1580 from Kincardine, where he had been at the marriage of the Earl of Mar, he happened to pass near the house of Lord Oliphant at Dupplin, whereupon he was pursued by Lord Oliphant, and his kinsman, Alexander Stewart, shot dead with a hacbut. Ruthven pursued the master of Oliphant at law for the slaughter, and on 15 Nov. both parties were bound over by the council to keep the peace (ib. iii. 329). Ultimately the master in March 1582 went to the lodgings of Ruthven in Edinburgh without sword or weapon, and offered himself to his will.
During a convention of the lords at Dalkeith on 3 May 1581, to consult on the trial of Morton, Ruthven fell sick through a drink of beer he got in Dalkeith, and it was rumoured that he had been poisoned, but the evil effects were only temporary (Calderwood, iii. 556). After the execution of Morton it was deemed advisable to gratify him by creating him by patent, 23 Aug. 1581, Earl of Gowrie and Lord Ruthven and Dirleton, and on 20 Oct. the lands and barony