Archdeacon Samuel Rutter

Archdeacon Samuel Rutter

We recently acquired a fine portrait of Archdeacon Samuel Rutter (d.1663), a chaplain and trusted confidante to James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby. He was also a keen writer and produced numerous poems.

Born in Lancashire, little is known about Rutter’s early years but it’s believed he was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. His grandfather was John Rutter, a miller on the Derby estate at Burscough, which could explain why his education was funded by the Stanley family.

James Stanley was a staunch Royalist during the English Civil War and as such, due to his close connection, Rutter found himself involved in a violent siege of Lathom House, the family seat, in 1642. Stanley was ordered by King Charles to fortify the Isle of Man and left his wife, the Countess Charlotte de la Tremoüille, in charge. The Parliamentarians, having discovered this, launched an attack - seeking to capitalise on the Earl’s absence. However, despite various efforts, including offering the Countess a safe passage, they were unable to capture the property. Charlotte’s determination was such that her forces held on until reinforcements arrived. Rutter was instrumental in defending Lathom - offering advice and support to the Countess during her darkest hour. From this point on, she considered him a most loyal friend.

Alongside his duties as chaplain, Rutter produced poems for the amusement of those around him. His best-known collection bears the rather verbose title of “A Choice Collection of Songs composed by Archdeacon Ryter (afterwards Bishop of Sodor and Mann), for the amusement and diversion of the Right Hon. James Earl of Derby, during his retreat into his Island of Mann, in the time of the Oliverian usurpation." It probably served to entertain the boisterous cavaliers who surrounded the Earl and included titles such as "A Song in Praise of Ale" and “On the Direful Effects of the Rebellion". Examples of his poetry are included below, which have been translated from Manx.

Melancholy Drowned In A Strong Drink

BE gloomy no longer, cast your cares aside,
He, who thinks on the morrow, has wasted a day,
For he's but a sorry, chicken-hearted knave,
Who drinks and recks aught of the time.
He's a dangerous man to behold in the land wherein eve dwell,
Who, while his neighbours are building their houses, is still addle headed,
Who throughout his life keeps himself in a constant worry,
As to how he shall raise his means to affluence.
He is wise and thoughtful, who rises when the ploughman starts his toil,
Let the lazy lout stifle himself with his unwilling labour,
As long as the sea-weed lies upon the shore
Our verse shall celebrate such men as these.
When we see the barley springing up in the fields, we sigh for a glass of good liquor,
For our hostess of the inn watches that no one gets more than his share;
Pale death awaits the drunken sot, as a punishment for his intemperance,
And it is through this vice that wise men are so few.
Now we had in the house a net and a churn, and may they long be ours !
For we are free to put wisdom into our words,
It is an honour for the king, it is an honour for the king,
To wear on his head such a crown.

Eubonia Bright

SEE, see the sun that rules the night,
Not made to hurt, but help the sight;
The envy of the proudest vine,
Fix’d in an orb pure crystalline.


Sing we aloud Eubonia’s praise,
Eubonia bright, whose sparkling rays
Break through the clouds of troubled souls,
And leaves no care but in the bowls.


Had the unruly boy desired
This sun, when he his chariot fired;
The parched earth and all the sky,
Had been as safe as you and !.
Sing we aloud, etc.


Let me this heavenly creature view
See, how our noses through its hue,
Like colours in the rainbow’s stream,
From the reflection of a beam.
Sing we aloud, etc.


But as the sun doth never rise
To th’ blind, or those that shut their eyes;
So he that will not drink, and may,
‘Tis he that makes a night of day.
Sing we aloud, etc.


Live mortals, live, no time delay
Your hopes in beauty will decay;
The Gods none other beauty send
But this, which age itself doth mend.


Sing we aloud Eubonia’s praise,
Eubonia bright, whose sparkling rays
Break through the clouds of troubled souls,
And leaves no care but in the bowls.

Scarlett Rocks

MY mind with troubles vexed, my heart with grief annoy'd
My head with cares perplex'd, my all of comfort void,
Upon this stony pillow I seek my rest in vain,
And just like yonder billows my thoughts do swell again.

These rocks below are shaken, and torn as well as I,
Our strength is all mistaken, and we are found a lie.
The waves with often beating have eaten into stone,
Whilst ills with oft repeating have made my heart to groan.

When by a storm are cluster'd, the waters and the sky
And all to ruin muster'd but this poor rock and I.
Our ships, like shells, are sinking, for all their oaken sides:
O then shall I be thinking of all deceitful tides.

And thus my harms recounting, upon this cliff I rest;
My ship no longer mounting, my anchor in my breast,
Which when it came in hither, methought I heard one say,
We shall have change of weather and see a fairer day.

A Quiet Little Nation

LET the world run round,
Let the world run round,
And knowe neither end nor station,
Our glory is the test of a merry merry breast,
In this little quiet nation.

WE eat, we drink, we laugh, we sing,
To-morrow freely comes and goes,
We strike up musick's gentle strings,
And understand no other blows.
Let the world run round, &c.

IF any, sour unhallow'd breath,
Our harmless sports should dare defile,
Let that man fall in love with death
Whilst we the grieffs of life beguile.
Let the world run round, &c.

WHAT tho' our peace much envy,'d be,
Our fears they, need not to increase,
For ev'ry where abroad we see
That men do ever fight for peace.
Let the world run round, &c.

THUS from all enemies secure,
Our heads and hearts as light as air,
Not made the heavy joke to endure,
Of too much wealth, or to,, much care.
Let the world run round, &c.

GOLD, and the troubled strife for gold,
Are evils unto us unknown;
Our clothing's neither gay nor cold,
It covers us, and its our own.
Let the world run round, &c.

WE do not liberty contrive,
Ourselves in bondage for to bring,
As birds to snare do haste alive,
By the loose freedom of the wing.
Let the world run round, &c.

OUR shepherds on their reeds do play,
Charming their sweethearts and their sheep,
Neither of which do go astray,
By nature taught their bounds to keep.
Let the world run round, &c.

OUR mistresses are still the same,
No rivall's blowing at our fire,
We live and frolick in love's flame,
Without the pain of fond desire.
Let the world run round, &c.

IF any fool on change be bent,
And think to thrive the Lord knows when,
Let him first go and learn what's meant
By, excise and committee men.
Let the world run round, &c.

THE master of these festive sports,
Commander of the truest hearts,
Takes to himself the serious thoughts,
And leaves to us the merry parts.
Let the world run round, &c.

SO now, good Master, health to Thee,
And, if there's one who will not pass
The cup, let him hence banished be,
To quench his thirst in the Dhoo-ghlass.
Let the world run round, &c.

Rutter remained friends with the Earl and Countess throughout his life. In a letter to Lord Strange, Stanley wrote "he is a man for whom both you and I may thank God."

A manuscript of his poems was sold at a sale in New York in 1923.


Born in Lancashire. Reputedly the grandson of John Rutter, a miller on the Derby estate at Burscough, Lancashire. Probably descended from the Rutters of Kingsley, a Cheshire family.

Studied at Westminster School.


Elected to Christ Church, Oxford.


Resided at Lathom House, the family seat of his friend James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby, during its first siege by Parliamentarians. Stanley had left following an order by King Charles to fortify the Isle of Man and his wife, Countess Charlotte de la Tremoüille, was left in charge. Rutter was her “chosen friend counsellor” and invaluable at these troubled times.


Appointed Archdeacon and Rector of Andreas, Isle of Man.


Appointed Prebendary of Longden in the cathedral of Lichfield, Staffordshire.


Appointed as Bishop of Sodor and Man.


Died in the Isle of Man. His body was interred at Peel St German's Cathedral in Peel Castle.

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