M E N U
|History of James Rogers, Isaac Rogers Great Grandfather. (Re-typed from hand written
story in Clyde I. Fechser's family history book.)
Born July 6, 1717 in Waterford, Connecticut (Gedcom file says New London, Conn.); died April 20, 1790; married Jan. 24, 1745, Mehitable Newbary. She was buried in the "pepper-box" burying ground. "Dec 9, 1787 James Rogers' wife died on the Great Neck, a noted woman". They resided on the Great Neck in Waterford, near or on what is now (1902) Pleasure Beach. He owned a large plantation and many slaves. He had secured, by purchase, a large number of farms, and gave to each of his children the use of one of these, the title to be in the name of their children (his grandchildren). He was quite wealthy, and employed a lawyer by the year to attend to his business. (Waterford Records) His will was recorded May 5, 1790. The inventory, made in 1790 contained a list of his many farms, among which were the following; the Hempstead, Gosher, Lester and Miner Hill farms; and also Wigwamps Croker Lot, Pickset Lot, Coit Lots, Lyn.. farm, Nathaniel Newbury farm, "with other lands and houses." Total valuation L6068. (James Rogers and his descendents pp. 87-88).
History of James Rogers (more than 4 generations back from Isaac Rogers). Re-typed from handwritten story in Clyde I. Fechser's family history book.
Among the manuscripts preserved in the public record office in England is a copy of a "license to go beyond the seas", dated April 15, 1635; and among others to be "transported to New England embarked in the Increase" is named James Rogers, 20 years. This is generally conceded to be the James Rogers of New London Connecticut. In 1637 James Rogers was one of six men who took part in the Peguot war from Saybrook under Captain John Underhill. He later acquired property at Stratford where he married Elisabeth, daughter of Samuel Rowland. From Stratford he went to Milford where he joined Mr. Pruddens (Connecticut) Church in 1652. His wife had joined in 1645 and some of their children were baptized there. About 1658 he moved to New London where he became by far the most wealthy and prominent man in the city. He was chosen ... to the Court of Electors in 1661-1662, Corn Commissioner for New London 1662, and with his son Samuel was a member of the committee of fortifications for New London. He was intimately associated with Matthew Griswold and Governor Winthrop. He carried on by far the largest foreign and domestic trade of any man in New London. His real estate holdings were very large owning several thousand acres of good farm lands as well as a mill and much city property. In 1676 he joined his son John's church (Rogerenes). He died in 1687 in New London. (See "James Rogers of New London and his Descendants).
Story of John Rogers, believed to be ancestor of Isaac Rogers. This document, found in the Book of Martyrs, is in the House of Lords archives.
John Rogers was brought up in the University of Cambridge, where he was profitably exercised in learning, and at length was chosen by the merchant adventurers to be their chaplain at Antwerp, in Brabant. He happened there to fall in company with that worthy servant and martyr of God, William Tindal, and with Miles Coverdale, who both for the hatred they bore to popish superstition and idolatry, and love to true religion, had forsaken their native country. In conferring with them on the scriptures, he came to a great knowledge in the gospel of God, so that he cast off the heavy yoke of popery, perceiving it to be impure and filthy idolatry, and joined himself with them in that painful and most profitable labor of translating the Bible into the English tongue. He, knowing by scripture, that unlawful vows may lawfully be broken, as that matrimony is both honest and honorable among all men, joined himself in lawful matrimony, and so went to Wittemberg, in Saxony, where he, with much soberness of living, not only greatly increased in all good and godly learning, but also so much profited in the knowledge of the Dutch tongue, that the charge of a congregation was committed to his cure.
In which ministry he diligently and faithfully served many years, until it pleased God, by the faithful labors of His chosen and dear servant, King Edward VI, utterly to banish all popery out of England, setting God's gospel at liberty. He then, having a conscience and a ready will to help forward the work of the Lord in his native country, came to England to preach the gospel. After he had for a time diligently and faithfully labored, Ridley, then Bishop of London, gave him a prebend in the cathedral church of St. Paul; and the dean and chapter chose him to be the reader of the divinity lesson there until such time as Queen Mary, obtaining the crown, banished the gospel and true religion, and brought in the antichrist of Rome, with its idolatry and superstition.
After the queen was come to the Tower of London, he [John Rogers] being called there, made a godly and vehement sermon at St. Paul's Cross, confirming such true doctrine as he and others had taught in King Edward's day, exhorting the people constantly to remain in it, and to beware of al pestilent popery, idolatry, and superstitions. The council being then overmatched with popish and bloody bishops, called him to account for his sermon; to whom he made a stout witty and godly answer, and yet in such sort demeaned himself that at that time he was clearly dismissed. But after proclamation was set forth by the queen to prohibit true preaching, he was called again before the council; for the bishops thirsted after his blood. The council quarreled with him concerning his doctrine, and in conclusion, commanded him as a prisoner to keep his own house, and he did so, although by flying he might easily have escaped their cruel hands. He saw the recovery of religion in England for the present desperate; he knew he could not want a living in Germany, and he could not forget his wife and ten children. But all these things were set aside; after he was called to answer in Christ's cause, he would not depart, but stood in defense of the same, and for that truth was content to hazard his life.
Thus he remained in his own house as a prisoner a long time, till at length, through the uncharitable procurement of Bonner, Bishop of London, he was removed from his own house to the prison called Newgate, where he was lodged among thieves and murderers; during which time what communication he had with the adversaries of Christ is not known, nor yet any certainty of his examinations, further than he had himself left in writing.
After John Rogers had been long imprisoned, lodged in Newgate among thieves, often examined, and very uncharitably treated, and at length unjustly and most cruelly condemned by wicked Winchester, on the 4th of February, in the year 1555, being Monday, in the morning, he was warned suddenly by the keeper's wife of Newgate to prepare himself for the fire. Being then sound asleep, he could scarcely be awaked. At length, being awaked, and bid to make haste, "Then," said he, "if it be so, I need not tie my points;" and so was taken first to Bonner to be degraded. That done, he craved of Bonner one petition. And Bonner asked what that should be. "Nothing," said he, "but that I might talk a few words with my wife before burning." But that could not be obtained of him. Now, when the time came that he, having been delivered to the sheriffs, was brought from Newgate to Smithfield, the place of his execution, Master Woodroofe, one of the sheriffs, calling Master Rogers to him, asked him if he would revoke his abominable doctrine, and his evil opinion of the sacrament of the alter. Master Rogers answered and said, "That which I have preached I will seal with my blood." "Then," said Master Woodroofe, "I will never pray for thee." "But I will pray for you," rejoined Rogers; and so was brought on Monday, the 4th of February, by the sheriffs towards Smithfield, repeating the fifty-first psalm by the way, all the people wonderfully rejoicing at his constancy, with great praises and thanks to God for it; and there, in the presence of Rochester, comptroller of the Queen's household, Sir Richard Southwell, the sheriffs, and a wonderful number of people, he was burned to ashes, washing his hands in the flame as he was burning. A little before his burning at the stake, his pardon was brought, if he would have recanted, but he utterly refused it. He was the first martyr of all the blessed company that suffered in Queen Mary's time at the fire. His wife and children, being eleven in number, ten able to walk and one sucking on her breast, met him by the way as he went towards Smithfield. This sorrowful sight of his own flesh and blood could not move him, but he constantly and cheerfully took his death with wonderful patience in the defense of Christ's gospel.