John  Rogers

John Rogers (1507 - 1555)

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Rev John "The Martyr" Rogers
Born in Deritend, Warwickshire, Englandmap
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Died in Newgate Prison, Smithfield, Englandmap
Rogers-321 created 14 Sep 2010 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 8,313 times.

Categories: Catholic Priests | Church of England Priests | Marian Martyrs' Monument, Smithfield, Greater London.



The Rev. John Rogers was a Roman Catholic Priest who abandoned the Roman Catholic faith, to promote Protestantism. He published the first English Bible under the pseudonym Thomas Matthews. After taking charge of a Protestant congregation in Wittenberg for some years, Rogers returned to England in 1548. In 1550, he became Rector of St. Margaret Moyses and, in the following year he was made Vicar of St. Sepulchre in London. In 1551 he was made a prebendary. In April, 1552, his family were naturalized under a special act of Parliament. He continued his church work until the accession of Queen Mary to the throne, when on Sunday after her triumphal entry into London 16 July, 1553, he preached a sermon at St. Paul's Cross commending the "true doctrine taught in King Edward's days,," and warning his listeners against "pestilent Popery," he was summoned before the council and put under house arrest. He never preached again. In January 1554 Bonner, the new bishop of London, sent him to Newgate Prison where he remained for about a year. On 22 January 1555 Rogers and other Protestant preachers were brought before the Privy Council and examined. Cardinal Pole, on 28 January 1555, ordered a commission to proceed against persons liable to prosecution under the statutes against heresy, and six days later through sanction of the Council, Rogers was condemned and sentenced as an excommunicated heretic, to be burned to death at the stake at Smithfield. This sentence was carried out the morning of Monday 4 February 1555. He was not even allowed to spend any time with his wife and children before he died, although they were forced to watch him being burned at the stake. He had been offered a pardon if he would renounce Protestantism, but with holy scorn he utterly refused it. He was the first Protestant martyr of Mary's reign.[citation needed]

He has a memorial at Marian Martyrs' Monument, London[1].

Note: Educated Cambridge, Class of 1525
Martyred, burned at the stake during Queen Mary's Reign
Wrote under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthews and wrote the first English Protestant translation of the Bible, Matthews Bible, for which he was burned at the stake in Smithfield, England in 1555, with his eleven children watching. Took Roman Catholic Orders 1526 after leaving Cambridge - before becoming involved in the Protestant Reformation.
In the genealogical part of the address the point of departure for the family was John Rogers the martyr who was burned at the stake, in the reign of Queen Mary, Feb. 4, 1555.-Three hundred and nine years have elapsed since then, but the memory of that epoch is yet fragrant in the history of freedom and truth. The martyr, was born in Lancashire, England, and was educated in Cambridge where he attained great Proficiency in Classical and Hebrew literature. He soon became widely known as a thorough biblical student and a powerful preacher of the Gospel. He was an ardent friend of the devoted scholar and martyr, William Tyndale, and it is affirmed that in connection with him and Miles Coverdale, he entered upon a critical examination of the Scriptures, and assisted in translating them into the English language.
This led to the printing, publishing and introduction into England of the folio Bible in 1537. The Bible was the first complete edition of the old and new Testaments in English, and it was afterwards revised and
published by John Rogers alone, under the assumed name of Thomas Mathews.
His knowledge of language, theology, society and men, eminently fitted him for this work. He had traveled much, and had gathered an abundance of information for his task. On leaving Cambridge he went to Antwerp, and from Antwerp to Wittenburg, at which place his mastery of the Dutch language enabled him to officiate as a Pastor. In the reign of Edward 6th, he was called home by Bishop Ridley and made Divinity lecturer at St. Paul's, and the duties of this office he discharged with zeal and efficiency. But on the accession of Queen Mary to the throne, he became obnoxious to the government through his eloquence in behalf of Protestantism-was confined for six months in his own house-then during a long period in Newgate-passing through three examinations in which he defended himself manfully, but was finally condemned and burned at the stake in Smithfield. Soon after his death, one of his friends found a
dark, dirty looking scroll, rolled up in a corner of his prison cell. That scroll contained a memorandum of his experiences in prison, of his attempts to obtain a visit from his wife, of his conversations with his
jailer, and of the calm, beautiful Christian hope and fortitude that sustained him under every hardship and trial
the Reverend John Rogers (1505-1555), was one of the early Protestant rebels in England. Rogers abandoned the Roman Catholic priesthood and was one of the conspirators working on a secret English translation of the Bible. Rogers was arrested by the government of Queen Mary and tried for heresy. He was burned at the stake for his crime.

Rev. John "The Martyr" Rogers

Birth: 4 Feb 1507 Deritend, Warwick, England
Death: 4 Feb 1555 Newgate Prison, Smithfield, England

Rev. John Rogers was a sixth generation Rogers who chose to become a clergyman. He was born at the family home 'Deritend'. He was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1526. He was then chosen to the Cardinal's College at Oxford and soon thereafter went into holy orders in the Roman Catholic Church. On 26 December 1532, he became Rector of the Church of Holy Trinity in the city of London and served two years. He resigned in 1534 and went to Antwerp as chaplain to the English merchants. Here he met William Tyndale, under whose influence he abandoned the Roman Catholic faith and, in 1536, married Adriana Pratt alias 'de Weedy' (a surname which means 'meadow', in Latin "Prata," but anglicized into Pratt). They had eleven children - 8 sons and 3 daughters. For further information see:

Spouse and (11) Children:

Adigan Adriana Pratt alias 'de Weedy' (a surname which means 'meadow', in Latin "Prata," but anglicized into Pratt) m. 1536 Warwickshire, England
Bernard Rogers

Additional Material


John Foxe's near-contemporary account of John Rogers' martyrdom says that John and Adriana had eleven children: "ten able to go [i.e. to walk], and one sucking on her breast".[2] This is apparently contradicted by John Rogers himself who said shortly before his execution "nowe haue I bene a full yere in Newgate, at great costes and charges, hauyng a wyfe and x children".[3] J. L. Chester provides a simple explanation for this:

He was confined a year in Newgate, during the most of which time … he was prohibited from all intercourse with his family and friends. In his posthumous writings, he mentions the approaching maternity of his wife, at as late a date as Christmas 1553. On the 27th of January, 1554, only about four weeks afterwards, he was removed to Newgate; after which, the probability is he that he neither saw nor was allowed to receive any tidings of his family, until they had their hurried and momentary interview when they met him on the way to Smithfield. Doubtless he then recognised the eleventh child, which he saw for the first time on its mother's breast, and which had been born without his knowledge during his confinement … [2]

The 1619 Visitation of Warwickshire and the 1634 Visitation of Middlesex provide the earliest lists naming all eleven children. They agree over the children's names, though not over their order; and both visitations put all three daughters at the end of the list.[2] In the order given in the Visitation of Warwickshire, they are:

  1. Daniel
  2. John
  3. Ambrose
  4. Samuel
  5. Philip
  6. Bernard (with as-yet unmerged duplicates: 1 and 2)
  7. Augustine
  8. Barnaby
  9. Susan (with an as-yet unmerged duplicate)
  10. Elizabeth (with an as-yet unmerged duplicate)
  11. Hester

Other people sometimes albeit incorrectly listed as children of John and Adriana are:

  1. Beverley Rogers. Almost certainly no such person existed; perhaps she is a misreading of "Barnaby".
  2. William Rogers II of Watford. This is an attempt to "fix" the discredited descent of Thomas Rogers, the Pilgrim Father from John the Martyr.
  3. Elizabeth Eyre née Rogers. Sometimes said to be the daughter of a John Rogers, but one from Poole (though in fact this is likely wrong).

The following needs to be confirmed with strong sources (no evidence, sources are Ancestry Trees and Millennium File):[citation needed]

  1. Susanna Or Susan Rogersborn 1532
  2. John born 1538
  3. Daniel Rogers born 1540
  4. Ambrose born 1540
  5. William born 1543
  6. Barnaby Rogersborn 1543
  7. Elizabeth born 1553


John Rogers the Martyr
John the Martyr
John Rogers the Martyr
John Rogers the Martyr
John Rogers the Martyr
Rev. John Rogers


  • Publications of the Dugdale Society (London, 1921) Vol. 1, Page xxix
  • Cutter, William Richard, A. M., Genealogy - Boston and Eastern Massachusetts (Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, 1908)
  • Chester, Joseph Lemuel, (1861) John Rogers: the compiler of the first authorised English Bible ..., London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts (Page 223 lists children).
  • Chalmers' General Biographical Dictionary, Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors. Original data - Chalmers, Alexander, The General Biographical Dictionary. London: J. Nichols and Son, 1812-1 REQUIRES WORLD MEMBERSHIP Chalmers'
  • Frost, Josephine C., Ancestors of Amyntas Shaw and His Wife Lucy Tufts Williams (Not Published, 1920) Page 27


  1. John Rogers memorial at Find A Grave
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Chester, Joseph Lemuel. John Rogers: the compiler of the first authorised English Bible; the pioneer of the English reformation; and its first martyr, pp 222–32. London: 1861. Available digitally from the Internet Archive.
  3. Foxe, John. The Unabridged Acts and Monuments Online, 1563 edn., bk. 5, 1096. Sheffield: 2011.

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Images: 6
John Rogers Martyr Monument, Birmingham Civic Society.
John Rogers Martyr Monument, Birmingham Civic Society.

Rev. John Rogers, Martyr (1500-1555)
Rev. John Rogers, Martyr (1500-1555)

John Rogers burned at the stake-Smithfield, London-February 4, 1555.
John Rogers burned at the stake-Smithfield, London-February 4, 1555.

Rev. John Rogers, the martyr, burned.
Rev. John Rogers, the martyr, burned.

Marian Martyrs Monument
Marian Martyrs Monument

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On 12 Oct 2016 at 18:12 GMT Cynthia (Billups) B wrote:

This important ancestor deserves an original biography (most of it is copy & paste, and it's not all cited). I'd like to write one for him, but if someone else would rather ... fine with me.


On 11 Feb 2016 at 19:32 GMT Rick Pierpont wrote:

Rogers-7023 and Rogers-321 appear to represent the same person because: Children and death date/location have been changed.

On 11 Feb 2016 at 18:48 GMT Peggy Shackelford wrote:

Rogers-7023 and Rogers-321 are not ready to be merged because: Rogers-7023 has two children not correct. Also death date and location are wrong. Need to correct these two things before merge.

On 2 Aug 2015 at 19:09 GMT Peggy Shackelford wrote:

Rogers-8443 and Rogers-321 appear to represent the same person because: Please merge these two to remove 8443

On 17 May 2015 at 18:29 GMT John Schmeeckle wrote:

On 14 May 2015 at 21:07 GMT John Schmeeckle wrote:

On 23 Nov 2014 at 04:25 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Careful folks; don't get too excited; there is much that has been disproved about his descendants.

On 21 Oct 2014 at 07:39 GMT Renee Malloy wrote:

Rev. John Rogers ESQ, is the First martyr of Queen Mary's reign and my 11th Great Grandpa. My children and I are also lawyers, so it runs in our family! Cambridge University Alumni.

On 21 Sep 2014 at 13:45 GMT Deborah Groda wrote:

Amazing that my family iis part


On 22 Jul 2013 at 12:05 GMT Philip Smith wrote:

I cleaned up the mass of merged profiles, now it is time to determine the correct children - is there a solid source?

Thank you

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