Thomas Rutter 1670–1744

Thomas Rutter a salt boiler and his wife Mary Brough lived at Lymington, Hampshire.

Salt boiling houses at Lymington-Pennington in Hampshire. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Click image to see original photograph

7th Great-grandfather – Maternal father’s line of Johnston Family

Thomas Rutter was born in 1670 in Lymington, Hampshire. He married Mary Brough in 1696 in Spilsby, Lincolnshire. They had seven children in 14 years. He died in 1744 in Lymington, Hampshire, at the age of 74.

Lymington is a port town on the west bank of the Lymington River on the Solent, in the New Forest district of Hampshire, England. Today, it is described as being to the east of the South East Dorset conurbation, and faces Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, to which there is a car ferry service.

Lymington was famous for making salt from the Middle Ages up to the 19th century. There was an almost continuous belt of salt workings along the coast toward Hurst Spit. Thomas Rutter worked as a salt boiler on the Lymington River during his life. The river was central to the development and life of Lymington. The following map, made in 1698, shows not only the river but also the High Street and the row of salterns along the edge of the marshes. It is a beautifully clear and detailed source of historical information.

Map of Lymington in 1698 and hand prints of a working saltern with wind pump, evaporating pond, cistern and boiling house.

The above picture also shows the wind driven pump that conveyed the salt-rich brine into large vats alongside the boiling houses from which it was fed into heated pans and evaporated leaving the encrusted salt to be scraped off and placed into sacks for shipment. By the mid-18th century Lymington was producing vast quantities of salt which was a substantial economic support for those living in the town.

Old print of the Lymington High Street

Old print of the Lymington High Street

About one hundred years later, William Rutter, the great grandson of Thomas Rutter and Mary Brough, was superintendent of the Lymington Salt Works. He travelled to the colony of New South Wales on ‘The Brothers’, to work as a salt maker for John Blaxland, at Newington, on the Parramatta River.

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Thomas Rutter was born in 1670 in Lymington, Hampshire, England to John Rutter, age 36 and Ann, age 31.

Half fan chart image showing the parents of Thomas Rutter
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Thomas Rutter married Mary Brough in April 1696 in Spilsby, Lincolnshire, when he was 26 years old. Mary Brough (1670–1760)

Family Tree showing four generations of descendants for Thomas Rutter and Mary Brough
It has been decided not to develop individual web pages for William Rutter 1699-1776 and John Rutter 1736-1811, including their spouses and families.
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Thomas and Mary’s daughter Ann Rutter passed away in 1745 at the age of 48. Ann Rutter (1697–1745)

Thomas Rutter died in 1744 in Lymington, Hampshire, England when he was 74 years old.

Reviewed and updated on 2 September 2022