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View Tree for Thomas RutterThomas Rutter (b. 1664, d. March 13, 1729)

Thomas Rutter was born 1664 in England, and died March 13, 1729 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He married Rebeccah Staples on January 10, 1685 in William Penn's Manor House.

 Includes NotesNotes for Thomas Rutter:
From the Pennsylvania Gazette of that month: "March 13--On
Sunday night last died here, THOMAS RUTTER, Sr, after a short
illness. He was the first that erected an Iron Work in
Pennsylvania."


Will: 1728
"I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Anna Nutt ye Sume of five pounds Currant mony of Pensilvania, And to her Sons Thomas Savage and Samuell Savage, all my right, title and Interest in and to ye rocks and Quarries of Stone, in ye German Township, in the Land whereon Daniel Howels mill standeth or appertaineth to, To hold to them their Heirs and Assigns forever to be equally divided between them. Item: I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Rebecca Hall, Sixty pounds Currant mony of Pennsylvania: Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son Thomas Rutter one third part of ye one hundred acres of Land Leased to ye Furnace Company with ye one third part of ye said furnace, Iron ore, or other appurtenances to ye sd one hundred acres of Land. Item: I give unto my Daughter Mary Rice, five Shillings. Item: I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Martha Doughty, ye Sume of Forty pounds Currant mony of Pennsilvania. Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son John Rutter, ye Sume of five Shillings. Item: I give unto my Daughter Hester Hawkley, ye Sume of Sixty pounds Currant mony of Pennsylvania. Item: I give and bequeath unto my Son Joseph Rutter, the one third part of the furnace, Iron oare, and other its appurtenances with the one third part of ye one hundred acres of Land leased to ye furnace Company, And allso Two third of my other land adjoining to ye furnace land, To him his heirs and assigns forever. allso Two third parts of ye forge and of ye hundred acres of land whereon ye forge Standeth and of ye Utensils and appurtenances thereunto belonging. Item: I give unto my Son Thos Rutter, over and above what is above Mentioned, all that my plantation and tract of Land in Bristol Township, with ye appurtenances, To him his heirs and assigns forever, provided that he pay all my Legasies herein mentioned, being one hundred and Seventy-five pounds & Ten shillings. Item: I give unto Samuel Nutt, ye Sume of Ten pounds Currant mony of Pennsylvania. Item: I give unto Joseph Hall, Senr, ye Sume of Ten pounds Currant mony of Pennsylvania. Item: I give my burying yard in the Bristall Township To all my Children & Grand Children and their posterity for ye use of a burying ground forever. The quantity to be one half acre in a Square. All which ye above Legasies Shall be paid unto them to whome the Same is bequeathed, or to their Heirs or Assigns after ye Decease of my Executrix, and not before, by my Son Thomas Rutter as is before mentioned. Item: I give my Executrix full power and authority To all or any part of my Lands, Scituate at Mahanatony, not herein before bequeathed, To sell toward paying my Just debts by and with ye Consent and advice of my two Sons in Law Samuel Nutt and Joseph Hall. Item: I give and bequeath all ye residue of my Estate, Goods, Chattels, rents, Leases, and all other my Estate, which is hereinbefore bequeathed, unto my beloved wife Rebecca for and during her Natural Life, Provided She remaine a widdow, but in case She Marry, She shall have her Dowry as ye Law Directs, and I do hereby appoint my beloved wife Rebecca whole and Sole Executrix of this my last will and testament, and I do hereby appoint my two Sons in Law Samuel Nutt and Joseph Hall, Trustees, to see this my Testament performed, and to assist my Executrix."

General notes:
Rutter was not discouraged by his early unsuccessful mining efforts, but continued prospecting until he found ore in paying quantities. This point reached, he built a smelting-furnace, and began the manufacture of iron, thus securing for himself the high honor of being the first in Pennsylvania to manufacture iron from ore. His achievement is thus mentioned in a letter written in 1717 by Jonathan Dickinson: "The last summer, one Thomas Rutter, a smith, who lived not far from Germantown, hath removed farther up the country, and of his own strength has set up making iron. Such it proves to be, as it is highly esteemed by all the smith's here, who say that the best Sweed's iron doth not exceed it."

In the tax-list of Philadelphia County, in 1693, Mr. Rutter is assessed in both Bristol and Germantown townships. At this time he was probably residing on his plantation in Bristol Township, but later removed to within the corporate limits of the borough of Germantown, where, in 1706, he was chosen bailiff,--the chief executive officer of the borough,--in which capacity he presided, 11 January, 1707, at the last sitting of the Court of Record held under the borough charter.(*)

In 1713, 1714, 1727, and 1728 Mr. Rutter was chosen a member of the Provincial Assembly, and during the latter year he participated in a noted Conference, held in the "Great Meeting House" at Philadelphia by a number of Indian chiefs with the governor of the Province and his Council. Rutter was well known to and highly esteemed by the Indians, and when the famous Delaware chief, Sassoman, came to make his address, he recognized the presence of Rutter, and asked the latter to take a seat beside him.(+)

Thomas Rutter's early religious affiliations were with the Society of Friends. He was a member of the Philadelphia Meeting at the time of his marriage, but soon after attached himself to Abington Meeting, on the records of which the births of his three eldest children are entered. He later became a Baptist, his change of faith occurring during the schism which arose, in 1691, among the Friends. He took a prominent part in that movement as one of the followers of the noted George Keith, and was baptized after the order of the Baptists. He had been a Minister among the Friends, but now became one among the Baptists, and for a time he was the Pastor of the small congregation of that sect in Philadelphia. He baptized a number of persons who, later, were prominent in the Baptist denomination. Among such was the Reverend Evan Morgan, the third pastor of the Pennepek Baptist Church. One of the incidents of the movement to which allusion has been made was the writing of a pamphlet by Francis Daniel Pastorius, published in 1697, and entitled "Henry Bernard Koster, William Davis, Thomas Rutter, and Thomas Bowyer, four Boasting disputers of this World, Rebuked and answered according to their Folly, which they themselves have manifested in a late pamphlet, entitled Advice for all Professors and Writers."

Thomas Rutter was a young unmarried man when he arrived in this country, and became a member of the Philadelphia meeting, for in the records of that society is the following, under date 5th of 8th mo. 1685: "According to Thomas Rutter's former request, this meeting hath given him a certificate to Friends of the Falls meeting, concerning his clearness with relation to marriage, and to be signed in behalf of the meeting by Christopher Taylor."

In the minute book of the Falls meeting dated 8th day of 8 mo. 1685, is the following record: "Thomas Rutter and Rebecca Staples have this day, being the second time, proposed their intention of taking each other in marriage, and it appears by certificate and enquiry that the said Thomas Rutter is clear from all other persons, on that account this meeting doth leave ym at liberty to proceed according to truth's order." Thomas Rutter and Rebecca Staples were accordingly married at Pennsbury the 10th of 11th mo. 1685.


Rutter was baptized in 1691 by the Rev. Thomas Killingworth, and as he was already a preacher he now set forth Keith's doctrines, of Christ the external Word, and the visible sacraments He commanded as of higher value than "the inward light." Soon after his conversion Rutter baptized Rev. Evan Morgan and Mr. John Hart, both of whom became eminent preachers among the Baptists. He also baptized Henry Bernard Koster, Thomas Peart, and seven others whose names are not recorded.(*)

More About Thomas Rutter:
Ancestral File Number: HBPS-ZN .
Burial: Friends Cemetary.
Immigration: 1682, On the Amity or Welcome, Philadelphia.
Occupation 1: Esquire.
Occupation 2: Employed by William Penn as an Iron Maker.
Occupation 3: Prospected for Ore.
Taxes 1: May 15, 1693, Assessed in Germantown PA for 30 pounds 2 shillings 6 d .
Taxes 2: May 15, 1693, Assessed in Bristol Township for 50 pounds 4 shillings, 2 d..

More About Thomas Rutter and Rebeccah Staples:
Marriage: January 10, 1685, William Penn's Manor House.

Children of Thomas Rutter and Rebeccah Staples are:
  1. +Jonathan Rutter, b. 1693, Bristol Twp, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. November 17, 1735, Pennsylvania.
  2. +Anna Rutter, b. August 25, 1686.
  3. +Hester Rutter, b. April 13, 1703, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  4. +Thomas Rutter, b. October 26, 1690, Philadelphia County, d. July 03, 1734, Chester Co., Pennsylvania.
  5. Joseph Rutter, b. Abt. 1702, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  6. +Mary Rutter, b. Abt. 1695, Bristol Twp, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  7. Martha Rutter, b. Abt. 1697, Bristol Twp, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  8. +Rebecca Rutter, b. September 09, 1688, Bristol Twp, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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