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  • Familia1991article
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The Gowrie Conspiracy and the Trotters of Down

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 07, 1991


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by John Magee

"The Ruthvens were a distinguished Scottish family which traced its descent from a warrior Thor, believed to be of Saxon or Danish origin, and, as far back as the 12th century, they were identified, as extensive landowners, with the manors of Ruthven and Tibbermore in Perthshire.

Over the years the family had taken a prominent part in Scotland's turbulent history, acquiring title, honours and further lands on the way.

Thus in 1488 Sir William, the first Lord Ruthven, provided King James II with 3,000 men at the battle of Sauchieburn, where the king lost his life; and his son, known as the Master of Ruthven, fighting for James IV fell at Flodden, just inside the English border, in 1513."

This article looks at the Gowrie Conspiracy, and whether it was a conspiracy of the Earl of Gowrie against the king, or the king against Gowrie.