Reverend Samuel Rutherford
Reverend Samuel Rutherford
Saint of the Scottish National Covenant
"If ye were not strangers here, the dogs of the world would not bark at you."
The Bonny White Man
When Samuel Rutherford was 5 years old, he fell into a well. Children seeing the incident ran for the nearest help. When adults reached the well, they found Samuel soaked to the bone but sitting on a grassy knoll nearby. When questioned as to how he climbed out of a well that was far too deep to permit such a feat, he responded that a "bonny white man" had come and rescued him. Samuel Rutherford grew to be a great Christian writer and thinker. It was his principles of law that were studied and incorporated into John Locke's writings and which were later extracted by men like Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers of our nation, and incorporated into America's formative governing principles and documents.
Rev. Samuel Rutherford (c.1600-1661), came from our Hunthill family. His secretary said 'he was a gentleman by extraction' and used the Hunthill arms. He was born at Nisbet in Crailing where his father was a farmer or miller.
He was Principal of St Mary's College at St Andrews and was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School [at Jedburgh Abbey] and in 1617 entered Edinburgh University where he graduated 1621 and was appointed regent of humanity 1623. He studied theology and in 1627 became minister of Anwoth in Galloway. In June 1630 he lost his wife and in 1636 he was exiled to Aberdeen for nonconformitv. but he became Professor of Divinity at St Andrews Jan. 7, 1638/9 and in 1640 he married again. He was commissioner of the Church of Scotland to the Westminster Assembly in 1643 and stayed four years in London, publishing his major work Lex Rex in 1644. In 1648 he became Principal of St Mary's College at St Andrews where he was appointed Rector of the Univ. 1651. He died March 29, 1660/1 - tombstone in St Regulus chapel at St Andrews - will reg. St Andrews Nov. 22, 1661. [KRD]
We are proud to call him uncle and a fellow brother in Christ.
On the accession to the throne of Charles I in 1625 he was determined to continue the work of his father. Charles therefore proposed bringing the Scots church into line with that of England, an extremely controversial move which provoked outrage north of the border. He was an opponent of Presbyterianism and thought it would be simpler if all his subjects would adopt Episcopacy (government of the church by crown appointed Bishops). He therefore planned the introduction of the 'Book of Common Prayer' into the Scottish church service. This took some time to plan and it was not until 23rd July 1637 that the new liturgy, which many Scots believed to be more Catholic than Protestant, was ordered to be read in the Church of St. Giles in Edinburgh.
On 28th February 1638 the 'National Covenant' was produced on behalf of the Church of Scotland, backed by the nobility and gentry, in opposition to the new book of prayer. This was essentially an anti-Papist declaration and 60,000 folk gathered to sign the documents which had been placed on public display in Greyfriars church, Edinburgh. Other copies were taken throughout the country for further signatures, bringing the Scottish Kirk into direct conflict with the the King and the rule of law.
In 1643 Charles was ousted from the throne during a bloody Civil War by the English parliamentarians and Oliver Cromwell was installed as Lord Protector. One of his first tasks was to execute the King who was promptly beheaded. The English Parliamentarians agreed that Presbyterianism be adopted as the national religion throughout England and Scotland as they were anxious to have the Scots allied against the still dangerous forces of the Crown. The Covenanters therefore sided with Cromwell and a period of stability ensued. The treaty between the two was called the "Solemn League and Covenant". This was essentially a marriage of convenience.
Scotland was now under English rule and the Church of Scotland enjoyed a time of spiritual prosperity. Cromwell was supreme lord of a united Britain which was now a conquered country living under an army of occupation. However it was to be short-lived as Cromwell died in 1658 and in May 1660 Charles' son, Charles II was fully restored to the throne. He soon passed an act which enforced the people to recognise him as the supreme authority in matters both Civil and Ecclesiastical. The Church of Scotland rejected this and was thrown into the furnace of persecution for twenty eight long years until 1688.
The Eleventh Commandment
The Rev Sam Rutherford was Presbyterian minister of the parish of Anwoth between 1627 and 1638, there are many stories told regarding the life of this most intelligent and pious man. In one of these tales archbishop Usher, who had heard many stories concerning Mr Rutherford and his religious devotion, was returning through Galloway to his home in Ireland. One of these stories related how the minister often spent the entire night in prayer, especially before the Sabbath. This interested the archbishop greatly and he resolved to observe the ministers’ ritual in person. This, however, would not be an easy thing for and Episcopalian bishop to accomplish during this period of distrust and religious intolerance.
At length the archbishop, unsure of what his welcome may be, came to the conclusion that the only solution was to visit Anwoth in disguise. It was thus, dressed as a pauper, that he presented himself at Bush o’ Bield, around dusk on a Saturday and requested lodgings for the night. Mr Rutherford immediately consented and brought the poor man into the kitchen where he might be fed. Mrs Rutherford, according to her custom on a Saturday evening, was examining the servants on their religious knowledge in order that they may be suitably prepared for the Sabbath. During the course of the examination Mrs Rutherford asked the stranger if he could tell her how many commandments there were? When the pauper confidently answered that there were eleven commandments in the bible the Goodwife was shocked and dismayed. Thinking him very ignorant she lamented his condition to the servants saying that any six year old child of the parish could, when asked the question, tell an elder that there were ten commandments. Mrs Rutherford silently resolved to embarrass their visitor with no more questions and, at length, he was amply fed and shown to a room in the garret.
This location, directly above Mr Rutherford's’ chamber, was ideal for the archbishops’ purpose; here he would be able to observe the ministers’ devotions without detection. However, he was to be disappointed, after a short time he heard the minister make himself ready for bed then all was silent. The bishop did not retire himself but sat listening for a long time, still hoping to hear Mr Rutherford at prayer. At length he concluded that he was out of luck and, being wide-awake himself, resolved to take a short walk down the wooded path (that, to this day, is still called "Rutherford's Walk") and view the ministers’ church.
Once there the bishop decided to dispel his disappointment by taking the opportunity to offer up a prayer himself, and there, in the middle of the night, he poured out his heart with abandon. So involved was the bishop in his prayers that he didn’t hear Mr Rutherford, who commonly arose about three o’ clock in the morning, enter the church with intent to observe his own devotions. On discovering the bishop so deeply involved Mr Rutherford stood waiting at the church door until he had concluded his prayers; upon which he knocked gently at the door to make his presence known.
Mr Rutherford took the bishop by the hand, saying, "Sir I am persuaded you can be none other than archbishop Usher; and you must certainly preach for me today, being now the Sabbath morning." The bishop confessed who he was; and after telling Mr Rutherford what induced him to take such a step, said he would preach for him on condition that he would not disclose his identity to the parishioners. Mr Rutherford agreed and proceeded to furnish the bishop with a suit of his own clothes.
Later that morning, but before the household awoke, the bishop and Mr Rutherford left the house separately but returned together, with bishop being introduced as a strange minister passing by who had promised to preach for them. On calling the pauper to his breakfast Mrs Rutherford discovered that he had departed the house before any of the family were out of bed.
After their domestic worship and breakfast the family went out to the kirk; and the bishop chose for his text, John xiii. Verse 34. "A new commandment I give unto thee; that ye love one another." In the course of his sermon, the bishop observed that this might be reckoned to be the eleventh commandment. This was not lost upon Mrs Rutherford who thought to herself that this was the answer that the pauper gave last night. But, looking up to the pulpit, she still could not believe that the visiting priest and the vagabond from the previous night were indeed one and the same person.
After the public service the archbishop and Mr Rutherford spent the rest of the day in convivial conversation; and on Monday morning the former went away in the clothing that he had arrived in. Their deception remained, for a very long time, a secret between the two men.
The Three Witnesses
Another tale that is told in Galloway, and shows the cunning intelligence of the Reverend, concerns Rutherford's Witnesses. When Mr Rutherford took up the living of Anwoth in 1627 he found his parishioners far from the devout people which a new minister might desire.
Often, on a pleasant morning, after the service on the Sabbath, they would repair to a pleasant meadow, said to be on Mossrobin Farm close to the Skyre Burn. There they would merrily indulge in the popular games and pastimes of the day. Mr Rutherford disapproved of this strongly, but, no matter how strongly he remonstrated with them privately, or how passionately preached to them from the pulpit, the frivolity continued in defiance of the Sabbath.
After some time he devised a plan which he believed would do the trick and one Sunday, on which the Sacrament had been administered, he joined a group of parishioners at the church gate. Much to their amazement Mr Rutherford asked if he may join them for the afternoon, and permission given, they retired to the meadow.
When they arrived at the appointed place Mr Rutherford announced that he had a new diversion which he would very much like to teach them, if they had the inclination. This was immediately agreed to and the Reverend sent the parishioners out in search of the three largest stones which they could find. Soon they returned, rolling with very great difficulty, three extremely large boulders. These were then placed at regular intervals across the middle of the meadow which was used for their games. Happy to be exercising their muscles after sitting through the morning service the men readily agreed and the boulders were soon in place.
Then in a loud voice that all present could not fail to hear Mr Rutherford cried "These stones that you have gathered and placed in this pasture I proclaim as emblems of the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Should you not mend your ways and honour the Sabbath, then let them stand witness to your conduct when you stand before your creator on the day of judgement."
These words had the desired effect on the recreational tendencies of his parishioners and for many years "Rutherford's Three Witnesses" were in integral part of the Kirkcudbrightshire landscape and a constant reminder to keep the Sabbath. (These two stories were adapted from "Historical and Traditional Tales Connected with the South of Scotland," "Tales of Galloway" and "Highways and Byways in Galloway and Carrick." - Alan Temperley)
Removal to St Andrews
The year 1638 was memorable for the Church in Scotland, not least because the National Covenant was renewed, being signed in Edinburgh on February 28 with great solemnity and joy. During the previous year, the King had sought to mould the Church fully into an Episcopalian pattern by enforcing the Five Articles of Perth. This generated much popular opposition and stirred up the people to be resolute in their resistance to Arminianism, Popery and despotism. "The peculiarity of the struggle of 1638," says Gilmour, "is that the Church then stood for the nation. Striving to secure her own spiritual independence, the Church really fought at the same time for the civil liberties of Scotland." The King was constrained, or rather compelled, to allow a free General Assembly of the Church.
Samuel Rutherford had returned from Aberdeen to Anwoth after the National Covenant was renewed and was one of the commissioners to that famous Assembly, which met in Glasgow on November 21. The Assembly lost no time in re-establishing Presbyterianism and re-asserting the spiritual independence of the Church. That Assembly also considered the request of the town of St Andrews that Rutherford be appointed Professor of Divinity at St Mary's College and referred it to a Commission of the Kirk. Rutherford was most reluctant to be moved from Anwoth for he could not bear the prospect of having more of the "dumb Sabbaths" he had to endure in Aberdeen. "I trust in God this Assembly will never take me from my pastoral charge," he said, "for there is a woe unto me if I preach not the gospel, and I know not who can go betwixt me and that woe."
To the dismay of his flock, the next year's Assembly, on the recommendation of the Commission, did decide to move Rutherford to St Andrews. However, it also met his desire to continue preaching by making him a colleague of Robert Blair in the town pulpit. Rutherford was obliged to yield to the collective decision of his brethren, but his feelings are clear from what he wrote to Lady Kenmure: "My removal from my flock is so heavy to me that it maketh my life a burden to me, I had never such a longing for death. The Lord help and hold up sad clay."
The Lord did indeed hear and help His servant. As Marcus Loane says, Rutherford "was henceforth to stand with the foremost men of the day in their efforts to guide the Church aright, and his hands were to help in replacing the crown on Christ's brow in Scotland". Although St Andrews University was "the oldest and most brilliant seat of learning in the kingdom", it was far from being spiritually and morally healthy. M'Ward said that it "was the very nursery of all superstition in worship, and error in doctrine, and the sink of all profanity in conversation among the students". But for the next 20 years Samuel Rutherford exercised a tremendous influence on the students, and thus on the future ministry of the Kirk. As Howie graphically puts it: "God did so signally second his servant's indefatigable pains, both in teaching in the schools and in preaching in the congregation, that it became forthwith a Lebanon out of which were taken cedars for building the house of the Lord throughout the whole land".
In 1640, after ten years as a widower, Samuel Rutherford married Jean McMath, a woman who was evidently fitted for such a husband. She was described as "a woman of great worth and piety". One person who knew them both said, "I never knew any among men exceed him, nor any among women exceed her". Before he went south to the Westminster Assembly, three children were born to them, but two of them died in infancy.
Rutherford's work at the Westminster Assembly: After four years in St Andrews, Samuel Rutherford was given another enormous task - that of Scottish Commissioner (along with Alexander Henderson, Robert Baillie, George Gillespie and others) to the Westminster Assembly in London in 1643. Rutherford remained in the city for four years and during that time he not only took a prominent part in the Assembly's debates on theology and Church polity but also preached before the Long Parliament and published five major books.
Rutherford took his wife and remaining child with him to London, and in 1645 another child - a daughter - was added to the family. But heavy sorrow became their lot again when the two children died. Marcus Loane notes: "There is a pathetic reference to this sorrow in one of his letters: 'I had but two children, and both are dead since I came hither'". More children were born in later years, but only one, their daughter Agnes, survived.
The influence which Rutherford and his Scottish colleagues exercised in the Westminister Assembly, says John Coffey, "was out of all proportion to their numbers". J G Vos says, "The Westminster Assembly itself really belongs to English rather than to Scottish Church history, yet the Church of Scotland cooperated in the enterprise at the time, and the work of the Assembly has had far greater permanent effects in Scotland than in England. The chief doctrinal standards of all branches of Scottish Presbyterianism down to the present day were formulated by the Westminster Assembly of Divines."
"Rutherford gave of his best in this Assembly," says Gilmour; "his work has been described as 'the supreme conscious effort' of his life-time." He deemed himself quite unworthy of the honour of being, as he put it, "a mason to lay the foundation for many generations, and to build the waste places of Zion". "Mr Henderson, Mr Rutherford, and Mr Gillespie," said Robert Baillie, their fellow Commissioner, "all three spoke exceedingly well, with arguments unanswerable." It is said that Rutherford's vast store of learning and his great ability in expressing himself "compelled men to hear him with the deepest respect". In the debates on church order, government and authority, some of the most decisive contributions came from the Scottish Commissioners. "Had not God sent Mr Henderson, Mr Rutherford and Mr Gillespie among them," wrote Baillie, "I see not that ever they could agree on any settled [church] government." While Gillespie made one of the most memorable contributions to the debate, it was Rutherford who, of all the Scottish Commissioners, made the most lasting impression on the other members of the Assembly.
When Rutherford left London it was with the prayerful good wishes of the other Westminster divines sounding in his ears. The Assembly minutes for 9 November 1647, record that "Mr Rutherford took his leave of the Assembly. The Prolocutor, by order of the Assembly, in the name of the Assembly, gave him thanks for the great assistance he hath afforded to this Assembly in his constant attendance upon the debates of it". He was the last of the Scottish Commissioners to leave, and when he did, the English Divines wrote to the Church of Scotland: "We can not but restore him with ample testimony of his learning, godliness, faithfulness and diligence, and we humbly pray the Father of spirits to increase the number of such burning and shining lights among you".
During his four years at the Westminster Assembly, Rutherford, as we noted already, wrote five volumes, almost 600 pages long on average. These were: The Due Right of Presbyteries; Lex Rex, or, The Law and the Prince; The Trial and Triumph of Faith; The Divine Right of Church Government and Excommunication; and Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself. He also published two sermons of more than 60 pages each.
His renowned work, Lex Rex: When Rutherford's Lex Rex came off the press, it caused a great stir in London and beyond. He wrote it in response to a 1644 work by John Maxwell, formerly Bishop of Ross, entitled, The Sacred and Royal Prerogative of Christian Kings, which defended absolute monarchy. The basic premise of Lex Rex is that the king is not above the law, but subject to it. Rutherford's aim was to demonstrate that "all civil power is immediately from God in its root", and that "power is a birthright of the people borrowed [by a ruler] from them". In cases of gross oppression and unlimited prerogative, said Rutherford, parliament has an authority superior to the king. Therefore, in extreme circumstances, the people may reasonably and constitutionally resume that power which they had reposed in the hands of their sovereign.
Altogether, says Loane, "it provides us with a fine statement of the principles and policies of Puritan government. It was well-knit with a convincing argument and great dialectical ability, bound and clamped with the iron bands of proof from Scripture and a mass of syllogisms. . . . The king is the highest servant of the state, but is a servant always; absolute power would be both irrational and unnatural."
Of course, these ideas were not new. John Macleod, in his book, Scottish Theology, points out that "the tradition of Scottish Reformed teaching in regard to the obedience that the people owed to the civil power was to the effect that the power of the king is restricted and that his authority has bounds within which it ought to be kept. . . . Of this teaching, the best-known document that there had been so far was Buchanan's De jure regni apud Scotos" (On the Right of Kingship among the Scots).
An indication of the sensation caused by Rutherford's book is found in a statement by Bishop Guthrie. Every member of the General Assembly, he said, "had in his hand that book lately published by Mr Samuel Rutherford, which was so idolized, that whereas Buchanan's treatise was looked upon as an oracle, this coming forth, [Buchanan's] was slighted as not anti-monarchical enough, and Rutherford's Lex Rex only thought authentic". "It is reported," says Howie, "that when King Charles the First saw Lex Rex, he said it would scarcely ever get an answer; nor did it ever get any, except what the Parliament gave it in 1661, when they caused it to be burned at the cross in Edinburgh by the hands of the hangman."
Rutherford's fame spread far and wide. On his return to St Andrews from London in 1647 he was appointed Principal of St Mary's College. Other universities offered him professorships, but he remained in St Andrews. The chair of Divinity at Harderwyck in the Netherlands was offered to him in 1648 but he declined it; and in 1649 he refused the chair of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. Then in 1651 he twice declined an invitation to succeed Charles de Matius in the chair of Divinity at Utrecht. In that same year he became the Rector of St Andrews University. (“Samuel Rutherford - From Birth to New Birth” - Rev Neil M Ross - Part 4 - "St Andrews and Westminster" - From a paper presented to the 2001 Free Presbyterian Theological Conference)
"He had an invitation at the same time to the chair of divinity and Hebrew in the university of Hardewyrk in Holland, which he declined; and on the 20th of May, 1651, he was elected to fill the divinity chair in the university of Utrecht. This appointment was immediately transmitted to him by his brother, Mr James Rutherford, then an officer in the Dutch service, who, by the way fell into the power of an English cruiser, and was stripped of everything, and confined a prisoner in Leith, till he was, through the intervention of the States, set at Liberty. As he had, in consequence of this disaster, nothing but a verbal invitation to offer, Rutherford refused to accept it. James Rutherford returned directly to Holland, and the magistrates of Utrecht, still hoping to succeed, sent him back with a formal invitation in the end of the same year. Rutherford seems now to have been in some degree of hesitation, and requested six months to advise upon the subject. At the end of this period, he wrote to the patrons of the college, thanking them for the high honour they had done him, but informing them, that he could not think of abandoning his own church in the perilous circumstances in which it then stood." (William Anderson "The Scottish Nation; or The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, and Biographical History of The People of Scotland" A. Fullarton & Co London; 1871 page 395 volume 3)
When Charles II. was fully restored, and had begun to adopt arbitrary measures, Rutherford's work, " Lex Rex," was taken notice of by the Government; for, reasonable as are its principles in defence of the liberty of subjects, its spirit of freedom was intolerable to rulers, who were, step by step, advancing to acts of cruelty and death. Indeed, it was so hateful to them, that they burnt it, in 1661, first at Edinburgh, by the hands of the hangman; and then, some days after, by the hands of the infamous Sharpe, under the windows of its author's College in St. Andrews. He was next deposed from all his offices; and, last of all, was summoned to answer at next Parliament a charge of high treason. But the citation came too late. He was already on his deathbed, and on hearing of it, calmly remarked, that he had got another summons before a superior Judge and judicatory, and sent the message, " I behove to answer my first summons; and, ere your day arrive, I will be where few kings and great folks come."
We have no account of the nature of his last sickness, except that it was a lingering disease. He had a daughter who died a few weeks before himself. All that is told us of his deathbed is characteristic of the man. At one time he spoke much of "the white stone" and "the new name." When he was on the threshold of glory, ready to receive the immortal crown, he said, "Now my tabernacle is weak, and I would think it a more glorious way of going home to lay down my life for the cause, at the Cross of Edinburgh or St. Andrews ; but I submit to my Master's will" Some days before his death, after a fainting fit, he said, "Now I feel, I believe, I enjoy, I rejoice." And turning to Mr. Blair, "I feed on manna: I have angels' food. My eyes shall see my Redeemer. I know that He shall stand on earth at the latter day, and I shall be caught up in the clouds to meet Him in the air." When asked, "What think ye now of Christ?" he replied, "I shall live and adore Him. Glory, glory to my Creator and Redeemer for ever. Glory shineth in Immanuel's land." The same afternoon he said, "I shall sleep in Christ; and when I awake, I shall be satisfied with His likeness. O for arms to embrace Him!" Then he cried aloud, "O for a well-tuned harp!" This last expression he used more than once, as if already stretching out his hand to get his golden harp, and join the redeemed in their new song.
It was at St. Andrews he died, on 30th March 1661, and there he was buried. He was interred on the 30th of March, in the ordinary burial place." Had he lived a few weeks his might have been the cruel death endured by his friend James Guthrie, whom he had encouraged, by his letters, in stedfastness to the end. The sentence which the Parliament passed, when told that he was dying, did him no dishonour. When they had voted that he should not die in the College, Lord Burleigh rose and said, "Ye cannot vote him out of heaven." (Lamont's Diary page 133)
The Epitaph on the Rev. Samuel Rutherford's Gravestone
What tongue, what pen, or skill of men
Can famous Rutherford commend!
His learning justly rais'd his fame
True goodness did adorn his name.
He did converse with things above,
Acquainted with Immanuel's love.
Most orthodox he was and sound,
And many errors did confound.
For Zion's King, and Zion's cause,
And Scotland's covenanted laws,
Most constantly he did contend,
Until his time was at an end.
At last he won to full fruition
Of that which he had seen in vision.
Captain James Rutherford, brother of Reverend Samuel Rutherford
The will of James Rutherford 'residenter in Utrecht' is registered at the Edinburgh Commissary Court in 9/3/1668. The Agnes and Barbara mentioned in that document are NOT his sisters but his nieces as has been supposed by some. Agnes was the only surviving daughter of the Rev. Samuel Rutherford and Barbara was the daughter of Rev. George Rutherford also the brother of the Rev. Samuel Rutherford
The will of James Rutherford 'residenter in Utrecht' was registered at the Edinburgh Commissary Court in 9/3/1668. The Agnes and Barbara mentioned in that document are NOT his sisters but his nieces, as has been supposed by a few researchers from outside the family. The evidence is overwelming in support of the idea that Agnes was the only surviving daughter of the Rev. Samuel Rutherford and Barbara was the daughter of Rev. George Rutherford brother of the Rev. Samuel Rutherford and Captain James Rutherford.
To repeat - Agnes and Barbara Rutherford were NOT the sisters of Captain James Rutherford. Samuel’s only surviving child was Agnes Rutherford [see below], she was James’ niece as was Barbara Rutherford d/o Rev. George Rutherford.
Following 1689, Captain James Rutherford's sons, who fought at the battle of the Boyne, received lands in Tyrone and Down counties, Ireland. Their descendants later immigrated to America.
Children of the Rev. Samuel Rutherford:
With Eupham Hamilton:
----- MARIE RUTHERFORD, bap. April 14, 1628, d. young.
By his second marriage Edin. March 24, 1639/40 to Jean MacMath (widow of Hugh Montgomerie of Batharie, c. Down, Ireland) who was bur. Edin. Greyfriars May 16 Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae, new edn. (1915- ) said the 15th), 1675 he had:
----- AGNES RUTHERFORD who m. by 1674 (Scottish Record Office lists and indexes 24) William Chieslie of Cockburn, W.S., and had issue, was bur. in the Greyfriars July 29, 1694; her husband d. Feb. 1704 (A history of the Society of Writers to H.M Signet (1890)).
----- Six other RUTHERFORD children d. young.
Children of the Rev. George Rutherford:
----- DAVID RUTHERFORD (omitted in Fas) to whom a Kirkcuds. sasine was reg. 1654 (Scottish Record Office lists and indexes 21) perhaps d. before 1672 when sasines to his sisters only were recorded
----- SAMUEL RUTHERFORD mentioned only by Fas.
----- BARBARA RUTHERFORD had a Kirkcuds. sasine reg. 1654 and m. ( cont. Dec. 14, 1671; Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae, new edn. (1915- )) Robert son of John Cutlar of Oraland. Other sasines were reg. 1672-3 ((A history of the Society of Writers to H.M Signet (1890)) 25). The wills of Robert Cutlar, portioner of Argrennan, and his wife Barbara R. were reg. Kirkcud. 1681.
----- JEAN RUTHERFORD omitted in Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae, new edn. (1915- )), had sasines reg. 1654 but not later.
----- MARION RUTHERFORD omitted in Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae, new edn. (1915- )), had sasines reg. 1654 and as the wife of Robert Hutton of Newlands was mentioned in sasines reg. 1672-3.
----- MARTHA RUTHERFORD had sasines reg. 1654 and 1672-3J latterly as wife of John Black merchant of Kirkcudbright.
"The Rutherfords in Britain: a history and guide" by Kenneth Rutherford Davis Alan Sutton Publishing Gloucester 1987 Page 86-87
Children of the Captain James Rutherford:
These Rutherfords descend from three brothers who where banished from Scotland to Ireland about 1689 for their Presbyterian beliefs. They are the sons of Capt James Rutherford and nephews of Rev Samuel Rutherford of Anwoth and St Andrews, Scotland. Two of them were in the army in support of William of Orange in 1690 and one was a Presbyterian minister. A forth Rutherford was the mysterious “Captain Rutherford”.
----- REVEREND JOHN RUTHERFORD settled in co Down in Newry
----- REVEREND SAMUEL RUTHERFORD settled in co Monaghan
----- ROBERT RUTHERFORD settled at Oritor, Co Tyrone
----- CAPTAIN RUTHERFORD
“He [Samuel Rutherford] also said on another occasion, "I hear Him saying to me, ‘Come up hither.’" His little daughter Agnes (the only survivor of six children), eleven years of age, stood by his bedside; he looked on her, and said, "I have left her upon the Lord." “
“In the year 1640, he married his second wife, Jean M‘Math, "a woman," says one, "of such worth, that I never knew any among men exceed him, nor any among women exceed her. He who heard either of them pray or speak, might have learnt to bemoan his own ignorance. Oh how many times I have been convinced, by observing them, of the evil of unseriousness unto God, and unsavouriness in discourse." They had seven children; but only one survived the father, a little daughter, Agnes, who does not seem to have been a comfort to her godly mother.”
SAMUEL RUTHERFORD was born about the year 1600. His father is understood to have been a respectable farmer. He had two brothers, James and George. But the place of his birth was not near the scene of his after labours. It is almost certain that Nisbet, a village of Roxburghshire close to the Teviot, in the parish of Crailing, was his birthplace; the name Rutherford frequently occurs in the churchyard.
LETTERS OF SAMUEL RUTHERFORD - With a Sketch of his Life and Biographical Notices of his Correspondents” Edited by the Rev. A.A.Bonar...Containing several letters not before published, etc. Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1848, 1891, 1899 Edinburgh: W.White & Co, 1848
"He had an invitation at the same time to the chair of divinity and Hebrew in the university of Hardewyrk in Holland, which he declined; and on the 20th of May, 1651, he was elected to fill the divinity chair in the university of Utrecht. This appointment was immediately transmitted to him by his brother, Mr James Rutherford, then an officer in the Dutch service, who, by the way fell into the power of an English cruiser, and was stripped of everything, and confined a prisoner in Leith, till he was, through the intervention of the States, set at Liberty. As he had, in consequence of this disaster, nothing but a verbal invitation to offer, Rutherford refused to accept it. James Rutherford returned directly to Holland, and the magistrates of Utrecht, still hoping to succeed, sent him back with a formal invitation in the end of the same year.
William Anderson "The Scottish Nation; or The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, and Biographical History of The People of Scotland" page 395 volume 3 A. Fullarton & Co London; 1871
“The Dutch seem to have taken a strong liking to him [Samuel Rutherford]. He was offered a professor’s chair at Harderwyck, which he declined; and afterwards his brother, Captain James Rutherford, garrisoned with the Scotch Dutch contingent at Grave, was sent over to press him to accept the Professorship of Divinity at Utrecht, vacant in 1651 by the death of the celebrated Detnatius, or Charles de Maets. His reasoning for declining foreign employment is expressed in his own peculiar way in one of his letters, in which he urges a brother clergyman to follow his example: "Let me entreat you to be far from the thoughts of leaving this land. I see it and find it, that the Lord hath covered the whole land with a cloud in his anger; but though I have been tempted to the like, I had rather be in Scotland beside angry Jesus Christ, than in any Eden or garden in the earth." And here I am reminded of the illogicality of discoursing under the title of the Scot abroad, concerning a Scotsman who would not go abroad. My excuse is, that his fame and his works traveled afar, and created a desire for his presence.”
The Scot Abroad by John Hill Burton Chapter 1 - The Scholar and the Author - Part 5 published 1864
“He [Samuel Rutherford] was, in January, 1649, at the recommendation of the commission of the general assembly, appointed principal of the New college, of which he was already professor of divinity; and not long after, he was elevated to the rectorship of the university. An attempt had also been made, in the general assembly of 1649, to have him removed to the university of Edinburgh, which, Baillie says, "was thought to be absurd, and so was laid aside." He had an invitation at the same time to the chair of divinity and Hebrew in the university of Hardewyjk in Holland, which he declined; and on the 20th of May, 1651, he was elected to fill the divinity chair in the university of Utrecht. This appointment was immediately transmitted to him by his brother, Mr James Rutherford, then an officer in the Dutch service, who, by the way fell into the power of an English cruiser, and was stripped of everything, and confined a prisoner in Leith, till he was, through the intervention of the States, set at Liberty. As he had, in consequence of this disaster, nothing but a verbal invitation to offer, Rutherford refused to accept it. James Rutherford returned directly to Holland, and the magistrates of Utrecht, still hoping to succeed, sent him back with a formal invitation in the end of the same year. Rutherford seems now to have been in some degree of hesitation, and requested six months to advise upon the subject. At the end of this period, he wrote to the patrons of the college, thanking them for the high honour they had done him, but informing them, that he could not think of abandoning his own church in the perilous circumstances in which it then stood.”
"Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen" edited by Robert Chambers and Rev. Thos. Thomson published by Blackie and Son Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London in 1856
“Rutherford took his wife and remaining child with him to London, and in 1645 another child - a daughter - was added to the family. But heavy sorrow became their lot again when the two children died. Marcus Loane notes: "There is a pathetic reference to this sorrow in one of his letters: 'I had but two children, and both are dead since I came hither'". More children were born in later years, but only one, their daughter Agnes, survived.
“Samuel Rutherford - From Birth to New Birth” Rev Neil M Ross Part 4 - "St Andrews and Westminster" From a paper presented to the 2001 Free Presbyterian Theological Conference
“In 1630 his first wife died. In 1640 he married Jean Math, who, with a daughter Agnes, survived him. All his children by the first marriage, and six of the second, predeceased him. Agnes married W. Chiesly.
Lamont's Diary; Baillie's Letters; Blair's Autobiogr. (Wod. Soc.);Crawford's Hist. of Univ. of Edin.; Life by Murray; Records of the Kirk; Bonar's edition of Rutherford's Letters. Contributor G. W. S. published 1897
“Rev. George Rutherford was a schoolmaster in Kirkcudbright and he frequently visited his brother, Rev. Dr. Samuel Rutherford an Anworth, “to take sweet counsel with Samuel; and then together, they talked of and prayed for their only brother James, an officer in the Dutch service.” WKR
The names of the children of George Rutherford and his wife Marion Gordon were contributed by K. Rutherford Davis. All of their names, except Samuel were registered in sasines in 1654. Samuel was mentioned as a son by a Scottish historian. Manuscript written by K. Rutherford Davis, 1981, pp.79-80, Potters Bar, England.
Captain James Rutherford had 3 sons; John, Samuel and Captain Rutherford. These three, two officers and a pastor, served in the army of William III. Tellingly, Thomas Rutherford's memorandum book is the source of some of this same information. However, Thomas did not indicate which of the three brothers was his own father. Obviously the first generations knew who Thomas' father was, but never bothered to notate this key piece of information.
"Pennsylvania Genealogies; Scotch-Irish and German" by William Henry Egle, MD, MA Harrisburg, 1886 "Rutherford of Paxtang" - Introduction
"Memorandum Book" 1729-1777 by Thomas Rutherford Paxtang, Pennsylvania