Rushout, John (DNB00)

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RUSHOUT, Sir JOHN (1684–1775), politician, born in 1684, was younger son of Sir James Rushout (d. 1698), first baronet of Milnst-Maylards, Essex, by Alice, daughter and heiress of Edward Pitt, of Harrow-on-the-Hill, and relict of Edward Palmer. His grandfather, John Rushout, a native of France, who settled in England as a London merchant in the reign of Charles I, was lineally descended from Joachim de Rouault, Sieur de Boismenart et de Gamaches (known as the Mareschal Gamaches), master of the horse to Louis XI (Dezobry et Bachelet, Dict. i. 1196).

John succeeded his nephew, Sir James Rushout, as fourth baronet, 21 Sept. 1711. He did not, however, inherit the manor of Maylards, which passed out of the family (Morant, Essex, i. 69). Entering parliament for the borough of Malmesbury at a by-election in April 1713, he was re-elected at the general election of the following August, and again in 1715. He was chosen both for Malmesbury and Evesham in 1722, but having been unseated on petition for the former constituency, he continued to represent Evesham until he retired from parliament at the dissolution of 1768, having thus enjoyed a seat for fifty-four years, and attained the position of father of the House of Commons.

Rushout acted as Lord Hervey's second in the latter's duel with William Pulteney (afterwards Earl of Bath) in St. James's Park, 25 Jan. 1731 (Gent. Mag.) He was a frequent speaker in the house against the measures of Sir Robert Walpole. He acted as teller for the opposition against the convention in 1739, and was chosen one of the committee of secrecy appointed to inquire into Walpole's conduct during the last ten years of his administration, 26 March 1742. Sir John accepted office in Lord Carteret's ministry as a lord-commissioner of the treasury with a salary of 1,600l. a year, in February 1742, whence he was promoted to the very lucrative post of treasurer of the navy in December 1743, and was admitted to the privy council, 19 Jan. 1744; but on the formation of the ‘broadbottom’ administration in the following December, he retired from office. He was elected high steward of Malmesbury in June 1743, and died, at the great age of ninety-one, on 2 March 1775, when his memory, good humour, and politeness were in full bloom. Short in stature, he was said to be choleric in temper (Walpole, Letters). He married, 9 Oct. 1729, Anne (d. 1766), sixth daughter of George Compton, fourth earl of Northampton. His only son, John, was raised to the peerage as Lord Northwick, in 1797. The title became extinct on the death of George Rushout, third baron, in 1887.

[Wotton's Baronetage, 1771, ii. 209; Burke's Peerage; Haydn's Book of Dignities; Parliamentary Returns.]

W. R. W.