12/01/2019
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Scottish nobleman Alexander Ruthven was born - On this day in history

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Scottish nobleman Alexander Ruthven was born on 12 January 1580 in Perth. Ruthven is known for his part in the Gowrie Conspiracy, which was an attempt to kidnap and possibly murder King James VI (pictured) at Gowrie House. Alexander and his brother John waylaid the king at Gowrie House, where they trapped him in a tower. The king managed to call for help and the two Ruthven brothers were killed by members of the king's bodyguard.

Although various motives have been suggested over the years, one strong motive is that the brothers bore a grudge against the king for the execution of their father sixteen years earlier. Shortly after this episode, the king was accused of having fabricated the event because of debts which he owed the brothers.

After his death, Alexander was hung, drawn and quartered and his remains were displayed around Scotland.

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