ROGERS, Edward (d.1627), of Cannington, Som.
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Family and Education
Commr. grain Som. 1586; j.p.q. Som. 1601, sheriff 1603-4.
Rogers was allied through his wife’s sisters to the Champernowns, Horners, Warres and the Malletts of Enmore. Through his father-in-law, he became involved in the attempt to colonize Munster. Popham had been authorized to interest the gentlemen of the west country in the enterprise and three of his sons-in-law were among the undertakers. In June 1586, 19 seigneuries in Cork were granted to the Somerset undertakers, among whom Rogers was numbered. During the remainder of 1586 and in 1587 he was active in Irish affairs, making arrangements for defence and for the apportionment of land. By the end of 1587, however, he was disillusioned with the Munster project, finally, with many others of the original undertakers, abandoning it by March 1588.1
Another documented episode in Rogers’s life was his quarrel with his brother-in-law John Harington, Queen Elizabeth’s godson. Both men were hoping to secure for their children the estate of Lady Rogers, Edward’s mother. In 1594 Harington sought redress against Rogers, who had reviled his wife, ‘calling her names not fit to be spoken’, while Harington and his servants had been physically attacked by Rogers and members of his household. In the event, when Lady Rogers died in 1598, her manors were divided among her Harington and Rogers grandsons. The sole executrix was her daughter, Mary Harington, and this gave Rogers the pretext he needed for a renewed attack on his brother-in-law. In January 1603, in the Star Chamber, he claimed that Harington had consulted Lady Rogers’s physicians just before her death, and, learning that she could not live above ten days, had hurried to Cannington and removed plate valued at £5,000, as well as destroying Rogers’s ‘evidences’—the title deeds of the property bequeathed by Lady Rogers. He also alleged that, just before her death, Lady Rogers had accused Harington of robbing her and altering her will. Harington denied the charges, saying that he had acted only upon Lady Rogers’s instructions, or in the manner proper to an executor, in right of his wife. He claimed that the charges had been fabricated by Rogers ‘with a desire rather than a hope utterly to disgrace him’. If this was so, the hope was frustrated by the Privy Council, who referred the dispute to arbitration: ‘as the parties are so near allied ... the King’s will is that the arbitrament shall be speedily proceeded in, with all regard to preserve brotherly love and amity and to no prejudice to Lady Harington and her eldest son’.2
In 1584 Rogers took the senior parliamentary seat for Minehead, a borough under the patronage of the Luttrells of Dunster. There was no close connexion between the two families, for, although a daughter of Sir Andrew Luttrell had married a Rogers, he was a member of the family of Bryanston, Dorset, not that of Cannington. Edward Rogers must have known members of the Luttrell family as fellow justices, and there was a slight connexion through the Malletts: Elizabeth Luttrell had married Richard Mallett, and their grandson, Sir John, had married a daughter of Lord Chief Justice Popham, as had Rogers himself. In the next generation there was a Popham-Luttrell marriage and presumably the network of Malletts, Luttrells and Pophams was strong enough to obtain Rogers the seat.3
Rogers died in 1627. His lands were divided between the three elder sons, with a life interest to his wife, while monetary provision was made for the youngest son and two daughters. Sir Francis Popham, his brother-in-law, was appointed overseer and directed ‘to preserve the love and good liking between my wife and children, that there be no dissension between them’.4
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
Author: Irene Cassidy
- 1. Vis. Som. (Harl. Soc. xi), 128; Foster, Al. Ox. iii. 1273; C142/197/52; Lansd. 48, f. 136; APC xiv. 70; Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 44; PCC 58 Windebanke, 20 Windsor; CSP Ire. 1586-8, pp. 77, 113, 249-50, 271, 449, 508; 1588-92, pp. 69, 130.
- 2. HMC Hatfield, iv. 472; xvi. 99, 437; PCC 15 Montague; St. Ch. 5/R27/32; CSP Dom. 1623-5, p. 566.
- 3. Lyte, Dunster, 179; Vis. Som. 44; Vis. Dorset (Harl. Soc. xx), 79.
- 4. PCC 116 Skynner.