Rutledge, Sir James (1743-1794)

French writer and publicist.

Served in Berwick’s Franco-Irish cavalry regiment as a young man. Family conflicts led him to abandon a mercantile career and remove to Paris (c. 1772), where he devoted himself to literature. Published sketches contrasting English and French mores as well as essays on tragedy and comedy; did much to publicize English literature, particularly Shakespeare, in France. Outspoken and litigious. Prominent in Revolutionary political clubs; attacked Necker and was twice imprisoned.

Of Irish descent. Son of Walter Rutledge, a Dunkirk merchant and banker who received a baronetcy for services to James Francis Edward Stuart, “the Old Pretender.” Married.