Earl of Brentford (1644-1651)
Born c. 1573 Died 1651
A descendant of the 1st Lord Ruthven in a collateral line, also named Patrick Ruthven, 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 But his faculties had begun to decay, and in 1644 he was superseded in his command by Prince Rupert.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.
Extracted from the entry for RUTHVEN in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.