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Rogers, John


(1) - (1627-*;. 1665), English preacher, second son of Nehemiah Rogers, a royalist and Anglican clergyman, was born at Messing in Essex, and became a servitor and student of medicine at King's College, Cambridge. When still a youth the violence of his religious despair led him to attempt suicide and ended in his joining the extreme sect of the Puritans. Deprived of his home in 1642, he walked to Cambridge, and found the college establishment broken up; he nearly starved, but obtained in 1643 a scholastic post in Lord Brudenel's house in Huntingdonshire, and subsequently at St Neot's free school. He became known as a preacher, received Presbyterian ordination in 1647, married a daughter of Sir Robert Payne of Midloe in Huntingdonshire, and obtained the living of Purleigh in Essex. Subsequently he came to London, joined the Independents, became lecturer at St Thomas Apostle's, and attracted attention by the violence of his political sermons. He was appointed preacher to Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin by the parliament in 1651, and while there served in the field, returning in 1652 to St Thomas Apostle's on account of religious dissensions. In 1653 his parishioners at Purleigh, where he had hitherto managed to retain the living, successfully proceeded against him for non-residence. In the quarrel between the army and the parliament Rogers had naturally sided with the former, and he was one of the first to join the Fifth Monarchy movement. He approved of the expulsion of the Long Parliament, and addressed two letters to Cromwell on the subject of the new government to be inaugurated, but the establishment of the Protectorate at once threw the Fifth Monarchy men into antagonism. Rogers addressed a warning letter to Cromwell, and boldly attacked him from the pulpit on the 9th of January 1654. Thereupon his house was searched and his papers seized, and Rogers then issued another denunciation against Cromwell, Mene, Tekel, Perez: a Letter lamenting over Oliver Lord Cromwell. On the 28th of March, on which day he had proclaimed a fast for the sins of the rulers, he preached a violent sermon against the protector, which occasioned his arrest in July. He confronted Cromwell with great courage when brought before him on the sth of February 1655, and was imprisoned successively at Windsor and in the Isle of Wight, being released in January 1657. He returned to London, and, being suspected of a conspiracy, was again imprisoned by Cromwell in the Tower from the 3rd of February 1658 till the 16th of April. On the protector's death and the downfall of Richard Cromwell, the ideals of the Fifth Monarchy men seemed nearer realization, but Rogers was engaged in political controversy with Prynne and became a source of embarrassment to his own faction, which endeavoured to get rid of him by appointing him " to preach the gospel " in Ireland. On the outbreak of Sir George Booth's royalist insurrection, however, he became chaplain in Charles Fairfax's regiment, and served throughout the campaign. He obtained a lectureship at Shrewsbury in October and was in Dublin in January 1660, being imprisoned there by order of the army faction and released subsequently by the parliament. At the Restoration he withdrew to Holland, studied medicine at Leiden and Utrecht, and obtained from the latter university the degree ofM.D.in1662. He returned to England the same year and resided at Bermondsey, was admitted to the degree of M.D. at Oxford in 1664, and is supposed, in the absence of further record, to have died soon afterwards.

Besides the pamphlet already cited, Rogers wrote in 1653 Ohel or Bethshemesh, a Tabernacle for the Sun, in which he attacked the Presbyterians, and Sagrir, or Doomesday drawing nigh, from his new standpoint as a Fifth Monarchy man, and was the author of Challah, the Heavenly Nymph (1653) ; Dod, or Chathan; the Beloved or the Bridegroom going forth for his Bride . . . (1653) ; Prison-born Morning Beams (1654) ; Jegar Sahadutha . . . (1657) ; Mr Prynne' s Good Old Cause slated and stunted 10 Year ago . . . (1609); uairo\iTtla., a Christian Concertation (1659) ; Mr Harrington's Parallel Unparalleled (1659); A Vindication of Sir H. Vane (1659); Disputatio Medica Inauguralis (1662).

AUTHORITIES. Life and Opinions of a Fifth Monarchy Man, by Ed. Rogers (1867), compiled from Rogers's own works; Wood, Athenae Oxonienses and Fasti; Calendars of State Papers (Domestic). See also " English Ancestry of Washington," Harper's Magazine, xxi. 887 (1891); "John Rogers of Purleigh," The Nation, vol. 53, p. 314 (1891).

(2) - ROGERS, JOHN (c. 1500-1555), English Protestant martyr, was born in the parish of Aston, near Birmingham, and was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1526. Six years later he was rector of Holy Trinity, Queenhithe, London, and in 1534 went to Antwerp as chaplain to the English merchants. Here he met William Tyndale, under whose influence he abandoned the Roman Catholic faith, and married an Antwerp lady. After Tyndale's death Rogers pushed on with his predecessor's English version of the Old Testament, which he used as far as 2 Chronicles, employing Coverdale's translation (1535) for the remainder and for the Apocrypha. Tyndale's New Testament had been published in 1526. The complete Bible was put out under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthew in 1537; it was printed in Antwerp, and Richard Grafton published the sheets and got leave to sell the edition (1500 copies) in England. Rogers had little to do with the translation, but he contributed some valuable prefaces and marginal notes. His work was largely used by those who prepared the Great Bible (1539-40), out of which in turn came the Bishop's Bible (1568) and the Authorized Version of 1611. After taking charge of a Protestant congregation in Wittenberg for some years, Rogers returned to England in 1548, where he published a translation of Melanchthon's Considerations of the Augsburg Interim. In 1550 he was presented to the crown livings of St Margaret Moyses and St Sepulchre in London, and in 1551 was made a prebendary of St Paul's, where the dean and chapter soon appointed him divinity lecturer. He courageously denounced the greed shown by certain courtiers with reference to the property of the suppressed monasteries, and defended himself before the privy council. He also declined to wear the prescribed vestments, donning instead a simple round cap. On the accession of Mary he preached at Paul's Cross commending the " true doctrine taught in King Edward's days," and warning his hearers against " pestilent Popery, idolatry and superstition." Ten days after (16th August 1553), he was summoned before the council and bidden to keep within his own house. His emoluments were taken away and his prebend was filled in October. In January 1554 Bonner, the new bishop of London, sent him to Newgate, where he lay with John Hooper, Laurence Saunders, John Bradford and others for a year, their petitions, whether for less rigorous treatment or for opportunity of stating their case, being alike disregarded. In December 1554 parliament re-enacted the penal statutes against Lollards, and on January 22nd, 1555, two days after they took effect, Rogers with ten others came before the council at Gardiner's house in Southwark, and held his own in the examination that took place. On the 28th and 29th he came before the commission appointed by Cardinal Pole, and was sentenced to death by Gardiner for heretically denying the Christian character of the Church of Rome and the real presence in the sacrament. He awaited and met death (on the 4th of February 1555 at Smithfield) cheerfully, though denied even an interview with his wife. Noailles, the French ambassador, speaks of the support given to Rogers by the greatest part of the people: "even his children assisted at it, comforting him in such a manner that it seemed as if he had been led to a wedding." He was the first Protestant martyr of Mary's reign, and his friend Bradford wrote that " he broke the ice valiantly."

The following divines of the same name may be distinguished: JOHN ROGERS (1572?-1603), Puritan vicar of Dedham, Essex, " one of the most awakening preachers of the age." JOHN ROGERS (1610-1680), ejected vicar of Croglin, Cumberland, and the founder of Congregational churches in Teesdale and Weardale, where he evangelized the lead miners. JOHN ROGERS (1679-1729), one of George II. "s chaplains, famous for his share in the Bangorian controversy (1719), his Vindication of the Civil Establishment of Religion (1728), and his Persuasives to Conformity, addressed to Dissenters (1736) and to Quakers (1747). JOHN ROGERS (174O?-1814), leader of the Irish seceding divines, minister of Cahans, Co. Monaghan. JOHN ROGERS (1778-1856), rector of Mawnan, Cornwall, and the owner of the Penrose and Helston estates; a good botanist and mineralogist, and a distinguished Hebrew and Syriac scholar.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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