Early life and background. Alexander Hore-Ruthven was born on 6 July 1872 in Windsor, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom, as the second son of Walter Hore-Ruthven, 1st Baron Ruthven of Gowrie (1838–1921), the 9th Lord Ruthven of Freeland, and Lady Caroline Annesley Gore (1848–1914), the daughter of the 4th Earl of Arran.
Lord Halifax held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) of Humberside between 1983 and 1996. He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Wilton Beacon in 1985 and the office of High Steward of York Minster in 1988. Wood held the office of Vice-Lord-Lieutenant of the East Riding, Yorkshire, in 1996. He is a Knight of St John and JP.