William Ruthven of Ruthven was created Lord Ruthven by summons at the Parliament of Scotland in February 1488. James III of Scotland made him a Lord of Parliament to gain his support against his rebels, who intended to make his son James, Duke of Rothesay King. The King left Edinburgh in March 1488, and joined Ruthven at Perth, and they travelled to Aberdeen. The first battle with the Prince's army was near Blackness Castle. The King was forced to negotiate with his rebels, and handed over Ruthven as a hostage.
Ruthven may have been chosen as a hostage because he was the rival of a rebel, Lord Oliphant, for the office of Sheriff of Perth. He remained a prisoner until the end of the conflict after the death of James III at the Battle of Sauchieburn, and was made to pay a ransom of £1000.
He was invested as a Privy Counsellor of Scotland in August 1513, and after 1515 became one of the guardians of the boy King James V of Scotland. He was rumoured to have died sometime after July 1528.
Lord Ruthven married first Isabel Livingston; and had one son: