RUSHOUT, John (1738-1800), of Northwick Park, Glos.
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Family and Education
b. 23 July 1738, o. s. of Sir John Rushout, 4th Bt. educ. Harrow; Eton 1753-6; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1756. m. 3 June 1766, Rebecca, da. of Humphry Bowles of Wanstead, Essex, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 2 Feb. 1775; cr. Baron Northwick 26 Oct. 1797.
Rushout during his first Parliament took the same line as his father. He was classed in Bute’s list as ‘Newcastle’; was not included in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries; and may have voted for postponing their consideration, 1 Dec. 1762.1 His only recorded speech in this Parliament was on 22 Feb. 1763 in support of Sir John Philipps’s motion for a committee of accounts. He voted against the Grenville Administration over general warrants, 6, 18 Feb. 1764; was classed by Jenkinson as normally a friend to Government; and in March 1764 received a promise of a seat at the Board of Trade.2 ‘Mr. Rushout’, wrote his father to Lord Hyde, 20 Mar. 1764,3 ‘... is sensible of the obligation, and promises on his part diligence and attendance.’ In July 1765 he was classed by Rockingham as ‘doubtful’ (yet did not vote against the repeal of the Stamp Act), and again in November 1766; but by Newcastle in March 1767 as ‘friend’. He voted against Chatham’s Administration on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, and the nullum tempus bill, 17 Feb. 1768.
In all the divisions of 1769 and 1770 on Wilkes and the Middlesex election he voted with Opposition, and spoke against the royal marriage bill in 1772. On 6 Feb. 1772 he voted for hearing the petition of the clergy against subscription to the 39 Articles. He was again with Opposition in the divisions of 26 Apr. 1773 (Middlesex election) and 25 Feb. 1774 (Grenville’s Act). But he supported Administration’s American policy in 1774, and said in the debate on the Boston port bill, 14 Mar. 1774:4
I always looked on the Americans as free, but never to be free from the control of the legislative authority of this country. They are as much represented as the greater number of the people of this country are ... If we give way to America they would soon be for dispensing with the Act of Navigation.
When war came he changed his mind. He voted against Administration on the Address, 26 Oct. 1775, and in the division on America of 2 Feb. 1778. Robinson wrote in his survey for the general election of 1780: ‘Sir John Rushout does not attend much, but when he does is against.’ Yet he voted in each recorded division between 1780 and the fall of North, always with Opposition.
Rushout voted for Shelburne’s peace preliminaries 18 Feb. 1783, and also for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783. He supported parliamentary reform, 18 Apr. 1785. At first he opposed Pitt, and voted against him in the division on the Irish commercial propositions, 13 May 1785. By the time of the Regency debates he had gone over to Pitt, and on 27 Apr. 1789 applied to him for a peerage.5 No speech by him is recorded between 1774 and 1790.
He died 20 Oct. 1800.