Grey Ruthven, 2nd Earl of Gowrie

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Alexander Patrick Greysteil Ruthven, 2nd Earl of Gowrie, (born in Dublin 26 November 1939), usually known as Grey Gowrie, is a Scottish hereditary peer. He is the elder brother of the writer Malise Ruthven


The Independent describes Gowrie's family background as follows: His father, a commando in the SAS, was killed in action during the Second World War. His mother worked in Intelligence with Freya Stark, so their two small sons - Gowrie and his younger brother, Malise - were left with their grandparents in Ireland.[1]

Northern Ireland

Gowrie was a Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office from 15 September 1981 to 10 June 1983.[2]

He has said of this period:

In my day in Ireland, mornings began with a report from Long Kesh, from the H Blocks (I was Prisons Minister), from all the bewildering nomenclature of the Maze. Then came news from a dark nowhere we called Liaison.[3]


  1. Angela Lambert, Grey by name, passionate by nature: The famously charming Lord Gowrie, critic and Booker Prize judge, discusses of his love affair with literature, The Independent, 5 October 1993.
  2. David Butler and Gareth Butler, Twentieth Century British Political Facts 1900-2000, Macmillan, 2000, p.41.
  3. Lord Gowrie: The long road to forgiveness, Independent, 17 March 2003.