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RUTHERFORD, JOHN (d. 1577), divine, born at Jedburgh, studied under Nicolaus Gruchius at the college of Guienne at Bordeaux. He accompanied his teacher and George Buchanan (1506–1582) [q. v.] in their expedition to the new university of Coimbra, and thence in 1552 he proceeded to the university of Paris. His reputation attracted the notice of John Hamilton (1511?–1571) [q. v.], archbishop of St. Andrews, who offered him a chair in the college of St. Mary, which he had recently organised at St. Andrews (Hovæi Oratio, MS. in Archiv. Univ. St. Andr.); and, after teaching for some years as professor of humanity, Rutherford was translated in 1560 to be principal of St. Salvator's College in the same university. Soon after his admission to the university he was also made dean of the faculty of arts, although not qualified by the statutes. He had embraced the reformed doctrines abroad, and on 20 Dec. 1560 the assembly declared him one of those whom ‘they think maist qualified for ministreing and teaching,’ and on 25 June 1563 he was ordained minister of Cults, a parish in the gift of his college (Calderwood, Hist. of the Kirk, ii. 45; Keith, Affairs of Church and State, iii. 72).

Rutherford retained the provostship of St. Salvator's till a short time before his death, at the close of 1577. He had a son, John, who became minister of St. Andrews in 1584, and died of the plague in the following year.

Rutherford was the author of ‘De Arte Disserendi,’ lib. iv., Edinburgh, 1577, 4to: a work said by Thomas McCrie (1772–1835) [q. v.] to mark ‘a stage in the progress of philosophy in Scotland.’ He also wrote a reply to John Davidson's ‘Dialogue betwixt a Clerk and a Courteour,’ which was not printed; it incurred the censure of the assembly (Calderwood, iii. 310–12). There are further assigned to him ‘Collatio Philosophiæ Platonicæ et Aristotelicæ,’ ‘Collatio Divi Thomæ Aquinatis et Scoti in Philosophicis,’ and ‘Præfationes Solennes, Parisiis et Conimbriæ habitæ.’

[Scott's Fasti Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ, II. ii. 422, 483; McCrie's Life of Andrew Melville, i. 107–110, 127, 249; Dempster's Hist. Eccles. Gentis Scotorum, ii. 565; Masson's Register of Scottish Privy Council, 1569–78, p. 208.]

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