Rufino de Amusátegui Goicoechea was born in Cádiz on February 28, 1867 and was baptized in the parish of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in that city. He was the son of Manuel Antonio de Amusátegui Barrenechea (1831-1885), a native of Algorta (Vizcaya), and Alberta Goicoechea Echevarría († 1896) from Cádiz of Basque descent. The marriage had at least eight more offspring, of which three women (Javiera, María del Carmen and Teresa) reached adulthood, while another man – Manuel Antonio – died at the age of 11, the rest dying as toddlers. Mr. Amusátegui Barrenechea, “capitalist merchant”, consignee and shareholder of the shipping company Olano, Larrinaga y Compañía, will be appointed liberal mayor of Cádiz on two occasions (1881 and 1883). After his resignation, in February 1884 the conservative Eduardo Genovés acceded to the mayor’s office.
Once the entrance exam for secondary education at the Institute of Cádiz (September 16, 1876) was passed with the qualification of notable, Rufino de Amusátegui made his enrollment in said center, recently elevated to the category of provincial, passing the five subjects of the which was examined during the courses 1876-1877, 1877-1878 and 1878-1879 with two notable and three outstanding (two of them with prizes). On September 18, 1879, Rufino entered the San Luis Gonzaga school in El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz), run by the Society of Jesus. They were also admitted then, among other people from Porto, Agustín Aldaz Toro, Guillermo de Alberti Sánchez Bustamante, Manuel del Cuvillo Sancho and José Merello Gómez. In this academic year, Father José María Vélez was in charge of a community of 28 Jesuits, who served 218 students (77% of them interns). After an absence from a course, Rufino de Amusátegui returned to school in October 1881, already in the rectory of Father Miguel Sánchez Prieto, and obtained several first prizes for achievement as a fourth-year student. In addition, he was proclaimed brigadier of the first division and elected prefect of the congregation of San Luis. In the following academic year, Amusátegui achieved – because of his “faultless conduct” – the supreme dignity of “prince of the college”, an honor that in the third proclamation (April 8, 1883) fell to Francisco Menchaca Preston. Rufino once again belonged to the board of the congregation, this time as an assistant, while the position of prefect was occupied by José de Roda López from Granada.
On April 22, 1884, our biographer took part in a brilliant Academy of Agriculture, a subject taught by the Jesuit Cesáreo Eguidazu, lecturing on phylloxera together with his colleagues Francisco Picardo, Juan de Dios Pequeno and Luis Francisco Verges. Rufino’s high school academic record reflects that he revalidated with outstanding – before the different commissions of professors of the Jerez Institute – the eight official subjects he took during his stay at the San Luis school. With the same note, he passed the two exercises of the degree, which he carried out at the age of 17, in June 1884. Immediately afterwards, the brand new bachelor began studying Philosophy and Letters and Law at the Literary University of Seville. He obtained the degree in the first degree on December 2, 1887 and in the second on June 27, 1890, in both with the qualification of outstanding.
On June 30, 1892, Rufino de Amusátegui obtained his doctorate in Law from the Central University of Madrid with the thesis “International Conflicts”, which received the highest qualification. On October 2 of that year, he married Catalina Rodríguez de Gálvez Bonilla (1868-1957) from Jaén in the church of San Francisco el Grande, from whose marriage two men and five women were born. In July 1893, Amusátegui —with address at number 64, first floor, Preciados street— saw his application for incorporation to the Madrid Bar Association approved. With the chair of Civil Law vacant at the University of Salamanca, he was admitted as an opponent, although he did not appear at the presentation ceremony on March 22, 1897. Summoned in December 1903 by the Ministry of Grace and Justice one hundred places of the Corps of Aspirants to the Notary Public, our biographer entered said body after fierce opposition, being appointed by Royal Order of April 14, 1905 as third-class candidate, with number 80 of the general ranking. The following October 13, he took possession of the vacant notary in Medina de las Torres (Badajoz). A year later (October 10, 1906) he was appointed to serve as the notary of the Navarran town of Fitero (Tudela notary district), although his inauguration was delayed —for health reasons— until August 1907. Among the collaborators of the weekly The Voice of Fitero (1912-1913) we find Rufino de Amusátegui, described by the Phiteran writer Manuel García Sesma (1902-1991) as “a cultured, honored, tolerant, refined and enthusiastic man of all noble causes.”
Due to seniority in the career, Amusátegui successively obtained the notaries of Falces (Tafalla district) and Briones (Haro district), in February and August 1914, respectively, until on December 10, 1915 he took charge of the Los Arcos, in the Estella district, for which he had been appointed almost three months earlier. In November 1918, he was assigned to the city of Corella (Tudela district), where he practiced his profession for almost 13 years. In the Guía de Navarra (1925-1926), by Ángel Sáiz-Calderón, in addition to being a notary, Amusátegui appears as director of the local biweekly newspaper Youth, “Organ of the Catholic Youth”, which was written in Calle Mayor, 40. He also collaborated in the tribute number, dedicated to Corella, of the publication The Aragonese Travel Novel (1928), where – after praising General Miguel Primo de Rivera – he assured: “The social status of Corella is still, thanks to God, of great Catholic solidity, and in it, in that solidity, the Koreans will know how to build the new order social that is being formed in the world ”.
By Royal Order of March 16, 1931, Amusátegui Goicoechea was appointed to the Cádiz notary’s office of San Roque (Seville notarial college) —vacant after the transfer of its holder, Raimundo Casal Soto—, of which he took possession on May 9 1931, at the dawn of the Second Republic. A year later he participated again in the contest for vacant notaries, obtaining – for the promotion shift – the first class of Cuenca (Albacete school), by transfer of Isauro Pardo. At this time, Amusátegui was a collaborator of The Defender of Cuenca, weekly Catholic social action directed by Dimas de Madariaga, deputy for Toledo on the CEDA lists (later assassinated). Wishing to establish his residence in a warmer climate zone, Rufino de Amusátegui requested and obtained – by Order of the Ministry of Justice of August 12, 1935 – the vacant notary office of La Línea (Cádiz), of which he was given possession on 20th of the following month. When the military uprising of July 1936 occurred, Amusátegui took refuge in Gibraltar, staying at the Rock Hotel in the British colony with his wife, five daughters and two grandchildren (José María and Antonio). The city of La Línea fell into the power of the Second Tabor de Regulares de Ceuta on the afternoon of July 19, after which many people with leftist affiliations were taken to arms. Amusátegui’s ideological affinity with the rebels allowed him to return to La Línea in mid-August and rejoin his notary’s office. A very different fate then ran at the Republican naval base in Cartagena, his son Antonio, lieutenant commander, who was murdered aboard the prison ship Spain No. 3 with 80 other sailors from the General Corps. Rufino de Amusátegui Goicoechea died in La Línea on February 3, 1940, at almost 73 years of age.