ROGERS, William (1497/98-1553), of Norwich, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. 1497/98. m. Catherine, ?s.p.1
Common councilman, Norwich 1527-31, keeper of the keys 1530-1, sheriff 1531-2, alderman 1532-d., auditor 1532-5, 1546, 1548, 1551, chamberlain’s council 1541-6, mayor 1542-3, Nov. 1548; commr. relief 1550.2
William Rogers, grocer, an apprentice of Alderman Robert Jannys (who was to name him executor), was sworn a freeman of Norwich on 6 Dec. 1525. Elected to the common council at Easter 1527, he progressed rapidly in wealth and civic status; within ten years he was able to lend money to the corporation for the erection of a council chamber. His election to the Parliament of 1542 was quickly followed by his first mayoralty, which he signalized by obtaining from the assembly for himself and his successors the power to dismiss city officials who were negligent in their duties. In the Commons he doubtless helped to procure the Act of 1542 protecting the Norwich worsted industry (33 Hen. VIII, c.16). It may have been his concern for the public good which gained for Rogers the support of the commonalty when in November 1548 the mayoralty became vacant through death; although the aldermen held aloof, fearing (to follow Blomefield) that opposition would precipitate an outburst, Rogers was elected. In the event, when the outburst came with Ket’s rebellion in the following summer he fared no better than his fellows: although he was no longer mayor, the rebels took him prisoner. He survived the experience by four years, during which he continued to render the city a variety of services.3
Rogers acquired much land in and around Norwich, including the manor of Thelveton, valued at his death at £40 a year. By his will he left to the corporation of Norwich, ‘to the use of God’s House to the relief of the poor’, the manor of ‘Pakemans’ and other lands in Shropham hundred; among the payments which were to be made from the endowment was one of 50s. a quarter to the schoolmaster of Aylsham. He prefaced the will, made on 10 Mar. 1552 while in sound health, with a renunciation of all such good works, ‘show they never so glorious in man’s sight as touching my redemption’, and submitted himself ‘