Katherine Ruthven, Lady Glenorchy, lived from 1530 to 1584. She was a noblewoman who supported the Scottish Reformation. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Katherine Ruthven was born and brought up at Ruthven Castle, a little west of Perth. After the Ruthven family made the mistake of imprisoning the 16 year old James VI there in 1582, the King had leading members of the family killed or tried for treason, and the even the name of the castle was changed, to Huntingtower Castle. But all that lay far in the future during Katherine's childhood.
In 1551 Katherine married Colin Campbell, 6th Laird of Glenorchy, and moved to live at Finlarig Castle, at the west end of Loch Tay near today's village of Killin. Katherine played an important role in managing the Campbell estates in this part of Scotland and over time became well known in the court of Mary, Queen of Scots, frequently exchanged letters with William Maitland, who played a leading role in the royal household. She was also an active supporter of the Protestant Reformation, which in Scotland came to a head in 1560.
Colin and Katherine had eight children who survived into adulthood, and Katherine was active in arranging suitable matches for them. The Campbell Lairds of Glenorchy were elevated to become the Earls of Breadalbane and Holland in 1635, with one of Katherine's great-grandsons becoming the 1st Earl.