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John Rut (fl. 1512 – 1528) was an Englishmarker mariner, born in Essex, who was chosen by Henry VIII to command an expedition to North America in search of the Northwest Passage; on 10 June 1527 he set sail from Plymouthmarker with two ships, the Samson and the Mary Guilford. The voyage was set up by Cardinal Wolsey at the wishes of Robert Thorne, a Bristolmarker merchant. The Samson was commanded by Master Grubemarker and the Mary Guilford was commanded by Master John Rut.

During the sail across the Atlantic Oceanmarker, the ships separated during a storm, and it is assumed that the Samson was lost. In early July the Mary Guilford met heavy ice and turned southward; they reached the Labrador coast near St. Lewis Inletmarker, which they explored. In late July the Mary Guilford set sail for St. John'smarker. They entered St. John's harbour on 3 August where they had reported encountering eleven Norman fishing vessels, one Brittany fishing vessel and two from Portugalmarker.

It was at St. John'smarker, Newfoundlandmarker on 3 August 1527 that the first known letter was sent from North America. While in St. John's, Rut had written a letter to King Henry on his findings and his planned voyage southward to seek his fellow explorer. The letter in part reads as follows;
Pleasing your Honourable Grace to heare of your servant John Rut with all his company here in good health thanks be to God.
The conclusion of the letter reads:
...the third day of August we entered into a good harbour called St. John and there we found Eleuen Saile of Normans and one Brittaine and two Portugal barks all a fishing and so we are ready to depart towards Cap de Bras that is 25 leagues as shortly as we have fished and so along the Coast until we may meete with our fellowe and so with all diligence that lyes in me toward parts to that Ilands that we are command at our departing and thus Jesu save and keepe you Honourable Grace and all your Honourable Reuer.
In the Haven of St. John the third day of August written in hast 1527, by your servant John Rut to his uttermost of his power.

After leaving Newfoundland for warmer climes, the Mary Guilford sailed along the east coast to Floridamarker; it is believed that this was the first English ship to have done so. Rut returned to England the following year and no other record of him remains.

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