He was brought up as a quaker. About 1818 he settled as a bookseller and printer at Shaftesbury, Dorset. He obtained an introduction to William Beckford [q. v.], author of ‘Vathek,’ who invited him to Fonthill Abbey. Rutter published at Shaftesbury, in 1822 ‘Delineations of Fonthill Abbey and Desmesne, Wiltshire,’ which ran to a sixth edition in the same year. In 1823 there appeared a handsomely illustrated large-paper edition. Tom Moore, who visited Shaftesbury on 21 July 1826 (Diary, v. 92), describes Rutter, ‘the quaker bookseller,’ as thrusting a copy of ‘this splendid work’ into his carriage as he was driving off, saying it was a mark of his respect for the independent spirit Moore had shown in his life of Sheridan.
Rutter also published: ‘History of Wardour Castle,’ 1823, 8vo; ‘Guide to Clevedon,’ 1829; ‘Delineations of North-West Somersetshire,’ 1829, 4to; ‘The Westonian Guide,’ 1829, 8vo (republished as ‘A New Guide to Weston-super-Mare,’ 1840(?), 8vo); and ‘Guide to Banwell Bone Caverns,’ 1829, 8vo. Rutter's ‘Letters in Defence of the Bible Society to L. Neville’ appeared at London in 1836.
Rutter was a strong reformer in politics, and was fined 5l. for printing a circular note without putting his name to it during the election of 1830. An account of the election was published by Rutter anonymously.
Soon afterwards Rutter gave up his business and studied law. He eventually acquired considerable practice in Shaftesbury and the neighbourhood. He withdrew from the Society of Friends in 1836, at the time of Isaac Crewdson's publication of ‘The Beacon,’ but he attended quaker meetings all his life, and on his death, at Shaftesbury, on 2 April 1851, was buried in the Friends' burial-ground there. By his wife, Anne Burchell (1791–1879), he had six children.
[Smith's Cat. of Friends' Books, ii. 519; Nichols's Lit. Illustr. vi. 242; Allibone's Dictionary of English Literature, ii. 1904; Annual Monitor, 1880, p. 142; Registers at Devonshire House.]
RUTTER, JOSEPH (fl. 1635), poet, belonged to Ben Jonson's latest circle of friends. In 1635 he published ‘The Shepheard's Holy Day. A Pastorall Tragi Comœdie Acted before both their Majesties at White Hall. With an Elegie on the most noble lady Venetia Digby,’ London, 1635, 8vo. Rutter appears to have lived with Sir Kenelm Digby [q. v.] for a time after the death of his wife in 1633. To Rutter's work Ben Jonson wrote a preface addressed ‘to my deare sonne and right learned friend.’ Another is prefixed by Thomas May [q. v.] Rutter has an elegy on Ben Jonson in ‘Jonsonus Virbius,’ London, 1638, 4to. For some years Rutter was tutor to the two sons of Edward Sackville, fourth earl of Dorset [q. v.], lord chamberlain to Queen Henrietta Maria. At the earl's desire Rutter translated from Corneille ‘The Cid. A Tragi comedy out of French made English and acted before their Majesties at Court, and on the Cock pit stage in Drury Lane, by the servants to both their Majesties,’ London, 1637, 12mo. Part of the translation is said to have been the work of Rutter's pupils, Richard Sackville, afterwards Earl of Dorset, and Edward (d. 1645). The second part was published at the king's command in 1640, and both were republished at London, 1650, 4to. Some verses ‘On a Lady's tempting eye,’ attributed to a John Rutter in Harleian MS. 6917, f. 77, may probably be his.
[Ward's Hist. of Engl. Dram. Lit. vol. i. p. xlvi; Fleay's Biogr. Chron. of the English Drama, ii. 173; Baker's Biogr. Dram. i. 614; Dodsley's Select Coll. of Old Plays, ed. Hazlitt, xii. 361; Gray's Index to Hazlitt, p. 622; Cat. of Books before 1640, iii. 1334; Hunter's Chorus Vatum, Addit. MS. 24489, f. 294.]
RUTTY, JOHN, M.D. (1698–1775), physician, was born in Wiltshire, of quaker parents, on 25 Dec. 1698, and after medical education at Leyden, where he graduated M.D. in 1723, reading a thesis ‘De Diarrhœa,’ settled in Dublin as a physician in 1724, and there practised throughout his life. He had been brought up a member of the Society of Friends, and was zealously attached to its tenets and discipline. He was a constant student of medicine and the allied sciences, as well as of spiritual books, such as those of Thomas à Kempis, Law, the Port Royalists, and Watts. He lived sparely, sometimes dined on nettles, practised various forms of abstinence, drank very little alcohol, and often gave his services to the poor. In 1737 he began, he says, to form a just conception of the nature of this life, and saw it as a scene of sorrows, infirmities, and sins. In 1753 he began on 13 Sept. to keep ‘a spiritual diary and soliloquies,’ and continued it till December 1774, leaving directions in his will for its publication. The chief ill-doings of which he accuses himself are too great a love for the studies of the materia medica and meteorology, irritability, and excessive enjoyment of food. Though he deplores these excesses in language which seems disproportioned, and which justly excited Dr. Johnson's laugh