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RUTTER, JOSEPH (fl. 1635), poet, belonged to Ben Jonson's latest circle of friends. In 1635 he published ‘The Shepheard's Holy Day. A Pastorall Tragi Comœdie Acted before both their Majesties at White Hall. With an Elegie on the most noble lady Venetia Digby,’ London, 1635, 8vo. Rutter appears to have lived with Sir Kenelm Digby [q. v.] for a time after the death of his wife in 1633. To Rutter's work Ben Jonson wrote a preface addressed ‘to my deare sonne and right learned friend.’ Another is prefixed by Thomas May [q. v.] Rutter has an elegy on Ben Jonson in ‘Jonsonus Virbius,’ London, 1638, 4to. For some years Rutter was tutor to the two sons of Edward Sackville, fourth earl of Dorset [q. v.], lord chamberlain to Queen Henrietta Maria. At the earl's desire Rutter translated from Corneille ‘The Cid. A Tragi comedy out of French made English and acted before their Majesties at Court, and on the Cock pit stage in Drury Lane, by the servants to both their Majesties,’ London, 1637, 12mo. Part of the translation is said to have been the work of Rutter's pupils, Richard Sackville, afterwards Earl of Dorset, and Edward (d. 1645). The second part was published at the king's command in 1640, and both were republished at London, 1650, 4to. Some verses ‘On a Lady's tempting eye,’ attributed to a John Rutter in Harleian MS. 6917, f. 77, may probably be his.

[Ward's Hist. of Engl. Dram. Lit. vol. i. p. xlvi; Fleay's Biogr. Chron. of the English Drama, ii. 173; Baker's Biogr. Dram. i. 614; Dodsley's Select Coll. of Old Plays, ed. Hazlitt, xii. 361; Gray's Index to Hazlitt, p. 622; Cat. of Books before 1640, iii. 1334; Hunter's Chorus Vatum, Addit. MS. 24489, f. 294.]

C. F. S.