James Rutherford (?-?) aka "residenter of Utrecht"/Notes

< James Rutherford (?-?) aka "residenter of Utrecht"

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Chamber and Thomson, 1856Edit

From Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen]] originally edited by Robert Chambers, with a supplemental volume by the Rev. Thos. Thomson. It was published by Blackie and Son of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London in 1856. The article on Rev. Samuel Rutherford (aka "the Divine") contains the following reference to James Rutherford of Utrecht,,

...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

Testament and InventoryEdit

James Rutherford, resident of Utrecht died about 1668. His estate was probated in Scotland, beginning 9 March 1668. The probate record, refers to the "testament dative and Inventory", and to the estate "executors dative". In dealing with Scottish estates these terms indicate that the deceased died without a valid will, or as having died "intestate" in modern terminology.

The script used to record this Testatment and Dative is elaborate, and difficult to read by those acustomed to modern script. In addition, the language used is sometimes difficult to follow for a modern reader. John Harnden, (B. Sc., of Tupsley, Hereford, Herefords) created a version of the record for Lois Johnson about 2005. His translation retains the original terminology of the document.

Mr. Herden considers his translation as copyrighted, and so it can not be provided in full on this site. The following is an extract from his translation, and further converts this "translation" into modern English. This excerpt is used under "fair use" provisions of US copyright law.

Source: Rutherfoord, James - 9th March 1668 - residenter in Utrecht - Testament Dative and Inventory - Edinburgh Commissary Court - Reference CC8/8/73

James Rutherford
9 March 1668
The testament dative and inventory of the goods, gear, sums of money...pertaining to the late James Rutherford, resident of Utrecht...faithfully made and given us by Agnes Rutherfoord, spouse to Mr. William Chislie, Writer to His Majestie's Signet, and Barbara Rutherfoord...sisters to the said late James Rutherford, and only executors datives discerned as nearest of kin to the deceased by decree of the commissioners of Edinburgh....

This document does several things for those interested in his family history.

  • 1. Establishes his DOD as c1668, presumably in the Utrecht
  • 2. Identifies his sisters as Agnes and Barbara, though Barbara turns out to be more of a cousin than sister (see below)
  • 3. Identifies Agnes' husband as William Chislie, "Writer to His Majestie's Signet", a term indicating he was either a law clerk or a solicitor.
  • 4. That the courts of Scotland recognized no other persons as the nearest of kin to James Rutherford.
  • 5. This suggests that his wife predeceased him
  • 6. Is consistent with the identification of Rev. Samuel Rutherford (c1600-1661) since he is not mentioned here, and is known to have died prior to 1668.
  • 6. This may also suggest that he had no surviving children, or that they were underage at the time of his death.

This later point is a significant issue for those who believe that the John Rutherford (?-?) who married Isabella Alleine (?-?) was the son of James Ruthrford "residenter of Utrecht". In order to accept this connection data would be needed to show a) why John Rutherford was not named in this court record, b) other evidence that he was the son of James. While its possible that he was not named because he was underage, direct evidence of that is needed.

The between James residenter of Utrecht and the Rev. Samuel Rutherford is stengthened by the following provided fide Lois Johnson:

  1. Agnes Rutherford, was the daughter of the Rev. Samuel Rutherford, m Mr. William Chislie, Writer to his Majesty's Signet. Source: Rutherfurd, Samuel, Mr., - 22nd November 1661 - Principal of the New College of St. Andrews - Testament,Testamentar and Inventory - St. Andrews Commissary Court - Reference CC20/4/12
  1. Barbara Rutherford, was the daughter of George Rutherford, of Kirkcudbright m 14th December 1671 Robert Cutlar of Oraland, per K. Rutherford Davis, The Rutherfords in Britain A History and Guide, pgs 86-89 "The Family of the Rev. Samuel Rutherford". Lois noted that George Rutherford was a schoolteacher, brother of the Rev.Samuel Rutherford and James Rutherford, Soldier of Utrecht.

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