His father was an extensive landowner and Justice of the Peace at Heath, Yorkshire although he was in prison for debt in 1629. Rushworth was a solicitor at Berwick on Tweed from 1638 and entered Lincoln's Inn in 1640.He also began work as clerk assistant at the House of Commons in 1640: assisting Henry Elsynge, Clerk of the House of Commons, he was the first recorded individual to hold the office While Rushworth was remembered as a person, his writings found favour in America where they served as a source of inspiration for Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson bought a copy of Rushworth's Historical Collections for use in his own library and he often quoted from them. Rushworth was a contemporary of John Lilburne whose writings had a profound impact on the history of the English Civil Wars of the 17th century. Although his senior, he also shared much in common with Oliver Cromwell (born 1599), because they were evangelical Christians who believed that the Church of England should undergo a total reformation, contrary to the wishes of King Charles I. His views of Charles I as a king who had declared war on his own people, were later echoed in words by Thomas Jefferson and others when writing about the reign of George III in the Declaration of Independence.
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