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FAMILY OF JOHN ROGERS OF DEDHAM.
It is with intense gratification that, at last, I am able to answer the long vexed question who was the father of John Rogers, "the famous preacher of Dedham," and to show pretty clearly what was the name of his grandfather, father of the no less famous Richard Rogers of Wethersfield. For more than a score of years has this question been discussed in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register and other publications, without eliciting a particle of positive evidence bearing on this subject. The late Col. Chester, in his memoir of John Rogers the martyr, produced a mass of negative evidence which seemed to refute the wide-spread belief in a descent from that heroic sufferer in the cause of the English Reformation. But all that we actually knew of the family in which so many of our New England people are interested, was what we could gather from the will of Richard, who speaks of his cousin (i. e. nephew) Rogers of Dedham, the inscription on his tombstone, the will of John Rogers himself, his epitaph on the north wall of the chancel in Dedham church, and the Candler pedigrees in the Harleian MSS., British Museum, and in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Add to these Giles Firmin's Journal and the very significant statement in Nichols's Literary Anecdotes (1812), vol. ii. p. 556 (see Memoir of John Rogers the Martyr, by Col. J. L. Chester (London, 1861), p. 243), in reference to Daniel Rogers, the father of the Rev. Dr. Jortin's mother, that he was "descended from Mr. Rogers, Steward to one of the Earls of Warwick, whose residence was at Lees, near Chelmsford, in Essex, temp. Henry VIII.," and we have, I believe, the sum total of our knowledge of this family in England, so far as the genealogical aspect is concerned. In order that we may get our exact bearings at this point of departure, I venture to reproduce the most important of these facts.
The inscription on the tombstone of Richard Rogers of Wethersfield (see Col. Chester's Life of John Rogers, pp. 239, 240) shows that he died 21 April, 1618, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, and was born therefore about A.D. 1551. The following is a very concise abstract of his will, which was published in full in the October number of the REGISTER for 1863 (vol. xvii. p. 326).
RICHARD ROGERS of Wethersfield, Essex, preacher, 16 April 1618, proved 30 April 1618. He mentions John Clarke, a neighbor at the brook, Samuell Waight, a son in law,* Walter Wiltsheir and Jeremy Boozy. To wife Susan all such goods and household stuff as were hers before I married her. I give to my son Danyell my best cloak &c. I give to my son Ezekiell all my Latin and Hebrew and Greek books, but if his brother have not St Austin's Works, I give them him; other books written by myself
*Samuel Waite, of Wethersfield, married Mary Ward, either a sister or daughter of Rev. John Ward, of Haverhill (see my Memoir of Rev. Nathaniel Ward, p. 129; REGISTER, xxxii. p. 188; also xxxi. p. 160). If this reference is to the same person, as is probable, it is evident that his wife was a daughter of Rev. John Ward.-EDITOR.
and all my written lectures and papers I give to sons Danyell and Ezekiell" and to my Cosen Rogers of Dedham " &c. Twenty pounds, out of remainder of my annuities, to wife, and whatsoever shall remain I give it among all my six children. Of the ninescore pounds and twenty marks which Allen Mountjoy gent owes me I give the said ninescore pounds to sons Daniell and Ezekiell and the twenty marks to my daughter Hasselder's children which she had by her husband now living. Daughter Hasseler again mentioned. To my wife's children forty shillings apiece. To my sister Mary Duckfield's three daughters and her son John forty shillings apiece. To my kinswoman Mary Smallwood twenty shillings &c. To Cousin Daniel Duckfield* twenty shillings. My meadow in Wethersfield lying between the Lords meadow and John Clarke's. Goodman Parker's daughter, the widow Barnard.
My executors to be Cousin M John Wright esq. of Romford, in Essex, Susan, my wife, and Francis Longe, my son in law. My brother Cooke and my son Makin to be overseers.
Wit: John Clarke Samuell Wayte.
B. Hamer 314, Consistory Court of London.
The inscription in Dedham church gives us the following dates: Johannes Rogersius hic, quam prædicavit expectat Resurrectionem
An abstract of his will (also given in full, vol. xvii. of REGISTER, p. 329) is as follows:
JOHN ROGERS, minister of God's word in Dedham, 14 October 1636, proved 20 February 1636. The house I dwell in &c to Dorathie my wife, during her life, and then to John Rogers my grandchild, son of my eldest son John Rogers of Colchester, deceased, and to his heirs, and for default of such heirs to his mother, my daughter in law, for term of her natural life, then to my son Nathaniel and to his heirs male, failing such then to my son Samuel and his heirs male, with remainder to my son Daniel and his heirs forever. To my sister Garood and her children twenty pounds. Item to Sara, Hanna and Marke twenty pounds. To my cousin Webb of Colchester ten pounds, and to John her son ten pounds. To my son Anger's children fifty pounds. To my son Nathaniel's children forty pounds. To son Samuel's son thirty pounds. To son Daniel's child five pounds. To son Peck's children ten pounds. To my daughter Martha's child five pounds. To these poor men, Abraham Ham, Robert Ham, John Ham, John Cannon, Simon Cowper, widow French, John Shinglewood, John Weed, Edmund Spinke, William Wood five shillings each. To my servants, Martin Garood ten shillings, George Havill twenty shillings, Tameson Princett ten shillings, goodman Allen of Santoosey (St Osithe?) twenty shillings, and to Elizabeth, now my maid two pounds. To my cousin
* Daniel Duckfield vicar of Childerditch, signs a petition in favor of Mr. Thomas Hooker, preacher at Chelmsford, November, 1629. He died in January, 1653. (See Annals of Evangelical Nonconformity in Essex, by Davids, pp. 156, 360.)-H. F. W.
Elizabeth Rogers ten pounds, and to her brother, the sadler, five pounds. Remainder to all my children in old England. My wife to be sole
Candler shows the parentage of Margaret, the wife of our Nathaniel Rogers, as follows:
Robert Crane =
of Coxhall in Essex
Mary, dau. of Samuel Sparhawke of Dedham in Essex.
Margaret, m. to Nathaniel Rogers, rector of Assington, whence he went into New England.
Besides the pedigree are the following entries by Candler, "closely huddled together," as Col. Chester says:
"Her 2a Husband was Harsnet clarke."
"William Jenkin, of Christ's Church in London."
"Mary, ma. to Daniel Sutton."
"Elizabeth, m. to Tho. Cawton."
66 John, Ezekiel, Anne, to Clarke, a minister."
All these entries, but the first, Col. Chester was able very clearly to explain. The Rev. William Jenkin, of Sudbury, clerk, married a daughter of Richard Rogers of Wethersfield, and had a son, William Jenkin the younger, of Christ's Church, and daughters Mary, wife of Daniel Sutton, Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Cawton, Anne Clarke and Abigail (Taylor). Probably, therefore, John and Ezekiel were also his children. Col. Chester's suggested explanation of the first entry is probably not correct, as will be seen shortly.
To the foregoing I was able to add sundry new evidence gathered, from time to time, in my gleaning among the wills registered in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. But it seemed evident that the field of labor should be the Essex wills, whether registered or preserved in the Commissary Court of London, the Consistory Court of London, the Commissary Court of London for Essex and Herts, the Archdeaconaries of Essex and of Colchester, or any of the other various peculiar courts in that county. So, when my researches into the maternal ancestry of John Harvard called for an investigation into the Rogers family and one or two Roses* gathered by me proved to belong to Essex, I eagerly embraced the opportunity and settled down to an examination of the wills of that county, with what result the following notes will show.
JOHN ROGERS of Mulsham in the parish of Chelmsford in the County of Essex, shoemaker, 10 June, 43 Elizabeth, proved 3 July 1601. My body to be buried in the churchyard of Chelmsford by the good discretion of my executrix undernamed. Item I give and bequeath to Joan my well beloved wife all that my freehold messuage or tenement wherein I now dwell, with all the houses, buildings, yards, garden and hop-yard to the same belonging, with their appurtenances, for and during the term of her natural life, and after her decease I give and bequeath the same messuage or tenement and other the premises, with their appurtenances, unto Thomas Rogers my son and to the heirs of his body lawfully begotten. And if it shall happen the said Thomas my son to depart this natural life without heirs of his body lawfully begotten then my will and mind is that the same messuage or tenement or other the premisses with their appurtenances shall be and remain to and amongst all my other children and their heirs, part and part alike. Item I give unto the aforesaid Joan my wife and her assigns all those my three tenements, with their appurtenances, that I bought of one John Sames and his wife until my daughter Susan shall come to her full age of twenty and one years, for and towards the payment of the legacies hereafter given to Nathaniel Rogers, my son. And at the full age of the said Susan I give and bequeath unto the said Susan and to the heirs of her body lawfully begotten all those my three tenements, with their appurtenances, before given to my said wife till the said Susan should come of full age. And if it shall happen the said Susan my daughter to depart this natural life without heirs of her body lawfully begotten then my mind and will is that the same three tenements with their appurtenances shall be and remain to and amongst all my other children and their heirs, part and part alike. Item I
*I was on the look out especially for any mention of a Rose Rogers, that being the name of John Harvard's aunt.-H. F. W.
give unto my daughter the wife of William Gryffyn the sum of five pounds of lawful English money. Item I give and bequeath to Nathaniel my son the sum of ten pounds of like lawful money, to be paid unto him within two months next after he shall have served the time of his Indenture of apprenticeship by which he now standeth bound for certain years yet to come. Item I give and bequeath unto the aforesaid Thomas my son my standing bed over the hall wherein I usually do lie, with the settle to the same, one feather bed whereon he usually doth lie, with a covering and a blanket belonging to the same, and two pair of sheets, one table, a form and a little cupboard standing in the chamber over the shop, two beds with their furniture, that my servants do usually lie on, one great old table and form, one brass pot and little kettle, one posnet, three pewter platters, two pewter dishes, one pewter bason, two fruit dishes, a copper, an old currying pan and the currying board, all the lasts and other working tools in the shop belonging to my occupation, and my stall and tilt which I use in the market. Item I give and bequeath unto my said son Thomas all my shoes and boots already made and all my leather of all sorts now being bought, upon condition that he pay unto my son John his brother the sum of ten pounds of lawful money of England within two months next after my decease; provided nevertheless that if such shoes, boots and leather as shall remain unsold at the time of my decease shall not amount to the full value of twenty pounds, being valued and prized by four honest and indifferent men, two to be chosen by my said son Thomas and other two by my executrix, that then my executrix shall make up the said shoes, boots and leather to the full sum and value of twenty pounds in ready money at such time as my said son is to pay to his brother John the aforesaid sum of ten pounds by force of this my will. Item I give and bequeath to the aforesaid John my son the sum of five pounds of lawful money of England to be paid to him by my executrix within two months next after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto the aforesaid Thomas my son the sum of three pounds of like lawfull money to be paid to him by my executrix within two years next after my decease. Item I give and bequeath to the aforesaid Nathaniel Rogers my son all that my copyhold orchard with the appurtenances which I late bought of John Ashbye, to have and to hold unto the said Nathaniel his heirs and assigns for ever according to the custom of the manor of Mulsham Hall, whereof the same is holden.
The residue of all my goods, chattles, movables, household stuff, debts, ready money and implements of household whatsoever not before in and by this my last will and testament given, devised and bequeathed, my debts, legacies being paid and my funeral expences discharged, I fully and wholly give and bequeath unto the aforesaid Joan my wife, whom I make and ordain sole executrix of this my last will and testament.
Wit: John Cooke, Thomas Parker, Michael Newman, Richard Brodway, Urias Spilman.
Commissary of London, Essex and Herts, 1601-2, No. 157.
License granted, 27 September, 1604, to the Rector or Curate of Chelmsford to solemnize the marriage between John Hamond of Moulsham, chirurgeon, and Joan Rogers, late relict of John Rogers, late of Moulsham, shoemaker, deceased. Vicar General's Book, London.
JOHN HAMOND of Moulsham, in the parish of Chelmsford, surgeon, 24 September 1612, proved 10 November 1612. To wife Joane all the house