RUSHOUT, Sir James, 1st Bt. (1644-98), of Maylords, Havering atte Bower, Essex and Northwick Park, Blockley, Worcs.
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Family and Education
b. 22 Mar. 1644, 5th but o. surv. s. of John Rushout, Fishmonger, of St. Dionis Backchurch, London and Maylords by 1st w. Anne, da. of Joas Godschalk, merchant, of Fenchurch Street, London. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1660. m. c.1670, Alice, da. and h. of Edmund Pitt of Sudbury Court, Harrow, Mdx., wid. of Edward Palmer of the Middle Temple, 5s. (2 d.v.p.), 4da. suc. fa. 1653; cr. Bt. 17 June 1661.1
Commr. for assessment, Essex and Worcs. 1673-80, Kent, Mdx. and Suss. 1677-80, Essex 1689, Glos., Mdx. and Worcs. 1689-90, recusants, Worcs. 1675; j.p. Worcs. by 1690-d., lt.-col. of militia ft. by 1697-d.2
Rushout was of Flemish descent on both sides of the family. His father, a weaver, took out letters of denization in 1634, but was never naturalized. As a ‘merchant stranger’ in 1640 he was returned as one of the wealthiest inhabitants of Langbourne ward; but he took no ascertainable part in the Civil War. At some date after 1643 the family established an interest in Worcestershire by taking over the bankrupt Courteen estate, including the manor of Wyre Piddle, six miles west of Evesham, for which Rushout’s brother-in-law Abraham Cullen was returned in 1661. Rushout first stood for the borough on Cullen’s death, but was defeated by the court candidate Sir John Hanmer. Although the election was declared void because of the mayor’s irregularities, Rushout declined a further contest with Hanmer, but was returned shortly afterwards when the other seat became vacant. He was an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, in which he was appointed to only six committees, the most important being on the bill to license foreign Protestants to exercise their trades in 1677. He was marked ‘doubly worthy’’ on Shaftesbury’s list, and acted as teller against further supply on 15 June 1678. He went abroad later in the year, visiting Montpellier in November, and so was absent at the call of the House in the following month. Nevertheless he was returned for Evesham to all three Exclusion Parliaments, and marked ‘worthy’ by Shaftesbury. Again inactive in the first Exclusion Parliament he was named to the committee of elections and privileges, but given leave to go into the country on 25 Apr. 1679. Presumably he soon returned, for he was appointed to the committee to search for precedents about carrying bills to the House of Lords, and he voted for the exclusion bill. He was totally inactive as a committeeman in the next Parliament, but at Oxford he was named to the elections committee and the committee to recommend a more convenient place for the House to meet in. He bought Northwick Park, eight miles south-east of Evesham, in 1683, but, though now resident in Worcestershire, was unable to secure a seat in James II’s Parliament. But in 1688 the King’s electoral agents reported that he would be elected for the county. Lord Plymouth promised that Rushout ‘would satisfy his Majesty’, but the candidate himself seems to have avoided any commitment on the Tests or Penal Laws. He was duly returned to the Convention, in which he was again inactive. His eleven committees included that to recommend alterations in the coronation oath. On the same day (25 Feb. 1689) he acted as teller against the appointment of a special committee to consider violations of municipal liberties. On 11 July he was added to the committee to consider an address sent down from the Lords. He supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, and in later Parliaments acted with the Court Whigs. He was appointed ambassador to Turkey in 1697, but died on 16 Feb. 1698 before taking up his post. His eldest son was returned for Evesham in 1701, and the fourth and fifth baronets represented the constituency without a break from 1722 to 1796.3
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Edward Rowlands
- 1. Vis. Worcs. ed. Metcalfe, 83-84.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 484; Eg. 1626, f. 52.
- 3. Denizations and Naturalizations (Huguenot Soc. xviii), 52, 65; Inhabitants of London in 1638 ed. Dale, 62; Misc. Gen. et. Her. (ser. 2), ii. 109; VCH Worcs. iii. 211, 270, 358; HMC 10th Rep. IV, 413; Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 16, f. 325; HMC Bath, iii. 109; CSP Dom. 1698, p. 97.