ROGERS, Sir John (by 1507-65), of Bryanston, Dorset.
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Family and Education
b. by 1507, 2nd s. and h. of Sir John Rogers by 1st w. Elizabeth, da. of Sir William Courtenay of Powderham, Devon. m. lic. 27 Jan. 1523, Catherine, da. of Sir Richard Weston of Sutton Place Surr., 16s. (11 d.v.p.) inc. Richard† and Thomas† 4da. (2 d.v.p.). suc. fa. June 1535/Feb. 1536. Kntd. July 1538/Jan. 1540.2
J.p. Dorset 1528-d.; steward, duchy of Lancaster, Dorset 1531-d., hundred of Kings Somborne, Hants. by 1561; steward, Blandford Forum, Dorset by 1565; commr. musters, Dorset 1544, 1546, benevolence 1544/45, chantries, Dorset, Som. 1548; sheriff, Som. and Dorset 1552-3.3
John Rogers was granted livery of his father’s lands in February 1536. He was executor of his father’s will, drawn up on 9 June 1535, the overseers being his father-in-law, Sir Richard Weston, and Richard Phelips. As John Rogers junior he had been on the commission of the peace for Dorset since 1528 but it was only after his succession to his inheritance that he became prominent in the county, his new importance being recognized and enhanced by the knighthood which came to him by 1540.4
In 1536 Rogers was called upon to help suppress the northern rebellion. A year later he attended Prince Edward’s christening and in 1540 the reception of Anne of Cleves. In 1544 he went with the Dorset contingent to the siege of Boulogne. His services to the King were rewarded by a grant, for £739, of the dissolved house of the Black Friars in Melcombe Regis and other former monastic property in Dorset; in May 1546 he received a further grant, of a lordship in Dorset forfeited by the Marquess of Exeter, for which he paid £514 and in 1552 a lease of the lordship of Street in Somerset. He had a large family to provide for and seems to have fallen into difficulty, selling or mortgaging sizeable properties to Thomas White III of Poole, Robert Oliver of London and others. His troubles were to worsen and he was to die insolvent.5
Roger’s parliamentary career spread intermittently over three reigns and 14 years. His election as junior knight of the shire in 1545 and 1547, on both occasions with the powerful Sir Thomas Arundell, answered to his own combination of court favour and local standing. The ‘Mr. Rogers’ to whom a bill was committed in the second session of the Parliament of 1547 is thought to have been his namesake Sir Edward Rogers. His choice as sheriff of Somerset and Dorset in the autumn of 1552, although implying that he stood well with the Duke of Northumberland, barred his return to both the Parliament called in the spring of 1553 and that summoned by Queen Mary in the following autumn. Whether Rogers as sheriff wavered in the intervening succession crisis we do not know. His subsequent readiness to join with his fellow-justices in proclaiming as traitors those who rebelled against the Spanish marriage seems to reflect his loyalty to the new regime, but it may well have been a grudging loyalty; not only did he become less active in local government but in 1555, on his next appearance in the House of Commons, he was one of more than 100 Members who opposed a government bill. In so doing he went along with kinsmen and colleagues: his son-in-law John Buller whose seat at Weymouth Rogers had probably procured, another relative by marriage, Roger Fowke, who sat for Bridport, and his friends Sir Giles Strangways II, feoffee of his lands, and Clement Hyett, his deputy in the stewardship of the hundred of Kings Somborne, all joined him in this protest. For a protest of another kind, abusing the subsidy collector who called upon him, Rogers was committed to the Fleet in the Easter term of 1556: as this episode followed a crop of arrests of political suspects both his behaviour and its consequence may have had ulterior significance.