Rogers’ History

The History of the Rogers of
Wiltshire, Somerset & Devon, England

This line of ROGERS lasted for a little over two hundred years, from the earliest proven connection with young Thomas in 1454 to the final Henry in 1672.

We can only guess at the earlier than 1454 connections. . What is certain is that Thomas ROGERS of Bristol, was admitted to Lincoln`s Inn , London, on the Sunday before Lent , 1454 at the same time as Walter Hungerford. This was not the great Walter Lord Hungerford, who had amassed estates in Wiltshire, Somerset , Berkshire and elsewhere and who died in 1449, but possibly a grandson. And it may have been the Hungerfords who chose and paid for Thomas to accompany Walter . Pupil lawyers might have been between 14 and 16 years old giving Thomas a possible date of birth around 1438. The Hungerfords were hugely important landowners and allied to the Lancastrian cause of Henry Vl as was most of the West Country. At the time of Thomas`s admission, there was another Thomas ROGERS in Bristol, who was a burgess, then Sheriff in 1455, and Mayor in 1459. In 1458 Wm Canturbury of Bristol granted to Nicholas Poyntz of Acton , Philip Mede and Thomas ROGERS of Bristol, four houses in Redcliffe Street. Perhaps this Thomas was the father of Thomas of Lincoln`s Inn and rich enough to buy his son a place at the earliest of the Inns of Court, or a man in a position to be of local use to the Hungerfords.

England in 1454 was ruled by the holy Henry Vl , king from childhood and son of the great Henry V of Agincourt fame . As a child he had had the Dukes of Beaufort and Gloucester as his guardians ; when he came of age, he married Margaret of Anjou and had a son Edward. However the King was a weak man and his Queen was much the stronger of the two. The King`s interests were his two major foundations Eton College and King`s College Cambridge But in 1454, as Thomas ROGERS entered Lincoln`s Inn, the King had been declared insane and Richard Duke of York stepped into the vacuum creating the division which became the Wars of the Roses, York versus Lancaster . The King was quite unable to control either the Yorkists or his own Lancastrian supporters , and his Queen Margaret with his young son Edward , fought for his cause and in his place . When he recovered from this breakdown , the King became a recluse and was deposed in 1461 ,when Edward lV of the house of York and brother to the treasonable George of Clarence and the regicide Richard lll, was crowned King. Plots followed battles and more plots and Henry Vl was finally reinstated, but only as a puppet king, until his murder and that of his son Edward in 1471, by Edward lV who finally secured the throne for the Yorkists following the battle of Tewkesbury. Thomas ROGERS progressed up the ladder of the law , and around the late 1450s married Cecily the daughter and co-heiress of William Bessils of Bradford on Avon. The Bessils were not important or landed but they did have a small estate in Bradford which on the death of William Bessils was divided between his two daughters. It was a step up for Thomas . By Cecily he had two sons William born circa 1459 and John b c 1463 . And sometime in the 1460s Thomas secured the reversion of Collyngborne Valence, Wilts after the deaths of the childless John and Joan Lewknor , which in turn reverted to Thomas`s son William . He was also JP for Wilts from 1461 – 78

By 1478, Thomas had been appointed Serjeant at Law by the Yorkist Edward lV . This is the year which also saw the execution in the Tower of George Duke of Clarence who had plotted and changed sides once too often. It seems unlikely that Thomas , a Lincoln`s Inn lawyer was involved as the appointment to Serjeant at Law was notable evidence of royal favour.

It is not known when Cecily died, but Thomas`s second marriage can only have taken place after the 31st May 1471 . Catherine Courtenay was one of four daughters of Sir Philip Courtenay and Elizabeth dau of Walter Hungerford. She was married to Sir St Clare Pomeroy ,son and heir of Henry de la Pomeroy, on whom Henry had settled the manor of Stockleigh Pomeroy. It is worth noting that the Pomeroys had Stockleigh Pomeroy from the time of Edward lll. It had descended from Henry Pomeroy to his son Henry , to his son Thomas, his son Edward, and then to his son Henry , who was the father of St Clare ,Richard and Thomas Pomeroy. Henry Pomeroy , in the Visitations of Cornwall as ” of Tregony ” granted the manor to St Clare and his wife Catherine , the reversion belonging first to their heirs and then to Richard and his heirs, by charter dated 27 Sept 2 Ed lV , 1462, and it is likely that it was granted on or around the time of the marriage of St Clare Pomeroy to Catherine Courtenay . But Sir St Clare died on 31 May 1471 without issue and as a result of action in the decisive battle of Tewkesbury on 4th May 1471. His estate devolved on his next brother Richard Pomeroy who was aged 30 or more in 1471, so from that Sir St Clare was probably in his mid 30s ; although Catherine his widow was still seised of it until her death in 1514 by which time Richard Pomeroy was also dead, and it came to his son Edward Pomeroy.

Perhaps the younger Walter Hungerford, Thomas ROGERS fellow pupil at Lincoln`s Inn put forward the idea of Thomas, the low born but successful lawyer marrying Catherine the daughter of his uncle and aunt Sir Philip Courtenay and Elizabeth Hungerford. Catherine had three sisters , Anne married Thomas Grenfield/ Grenville in 1447, Elizabeth married James Luttrell of Dunster in 1451, Philippa married Sir Thomas Fulford of Fulford. This last Sir Thomas Fulford was the son of Elizabeth Bossom of Bossoms Hele and Sir Baldwin Fulford, and Elizabeth when widowed became the first wife of Sir William Huddesfield , Attorney General to Edward lV, who later became the third husband of Catherine Courtenay. All these were a tight knit group of Devon gentry linked by close family relationships , the law and close to the new Yorkist court .

Perhaps Catherine was able to chose Thomas ROGERS the lawyer for her second husband, as no doubt Sir St Clare Pomeroy had been chosen by her parents for her first husband . He was clearly a successful man, in the royal eye , and might well have gone higher in the law

The marriage though short lived was successful and Catherine had a son George ROGERS born circa 1476 , he was said to be 30 years or more when his mother died in 1514, and Thomas himself was appointed Serjeant at Law in 1478 . But Thomas died in the same year and for the second time Catherine was a widow , this time with a small son and two step sons. However the latter were in Bradford on Avon and William ROGERS had come into both the Bradford part of his mother`s Bessils estate and the reversion of the Collyingbourne Valence estate. John the younger son was a pupil lawyer , so their father Thomas though not having amassed much property during his working life, which presumes he was an honest lawyer, had managed to give his first two sons a start in life. And had he lived no doubt would have provided for George ROGERS to a greater extent than the reversion of Collyingborne Valence . Thomas ROGERS had two IPMs one in Wiltshire dated 2 Nov 1478 held at Bradford by John Boteler ,escheator, said that Thomas ROGERS on the day he died, held of the Abbess of Shaftesbury , two messuages, one toft with appurtenances in Bradford and Trotte in socage for rent of 12d per annum, value £4 per annum. They also say that Hugh Pagenham esquire was seised of the manor of Smalbroke with appurtenances and by deed granted the said manor to Thomas ROGERS and his son William ROGERS for ever by virtue of which they are seised. William the son survives and the manor is held of Henry Duke of Buckingham by what service they did not know, value £18 per annum. Thomas ROGERS held no other lands or tenements in this county. He died on 5 October last and William ROGERS his son and heir , aged 20 years on the morrow of the feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord last past before the date of this inquisition.

The Somerset IPM is dated 31 Oct 18 Ed lV and was held at Holewale by Richard Morton , escheator, and says that Thomas ROGERS held no lands or tenements of the king when he died, but was seised of one messuage , 40 acres of land , 100 acres of pasture with appurtenances in Frome, held of William Leversege, but they do not know by what service, value £4 per annum. And William ROGERS his son and heir is aged 22 years or more. This earlier IPM gives the date of his death as 3rd October .

A year later in 1479 the Calendar of Patent Rolls records that on 12th Oct at Westminster a Licence for 20s paid in the hanaper, for William ROGERS , son and heir of Thomas ROGERS, late one of the King`s serjeants at law , to grant the reversion of the manor of Colyngbourne Valence co Wilts held in chief, on the death of Joan , late the wife of John Leukenore, knight ( Sir John was another of those who lost his life at the battle of Tewkesbury along with Sir St Clare Pomeroy ) who holds it for life, and the manor with the exception of an acre of land in it , to William Huddesfield and Katherine his wife for their lives with remainder to his brother, George ROGERS and the heirs male of his body. Colyingborne was a large manor divided into various villages or hamlets, C Valence , C Kingston, C Abbotts, C Southampton, and with Burhampton , Affeton and Boscombe all in the county of Wilts was granted on the 8th July 1469 ( so prior to Thomas`s marriage to Catherine Courtenay) at Westminster by John Hampton and Philip Chard , containing 20 messuage, 16 tofts, 800 acres of land , 100 acres of meadow, 400 acres of pasture , 10 marks rent, and a rent of a pair of gilt spurs and a pound of cumin, held in chief, with the exception of 100 acres of wood, parcel of the manor, to John Leukenore and Joan his wife for life with remainder to Thomas ROGER and William ROGER his son , and the heirs of Thomas , and to grant the said 100 acres of wood held in chief as parcel of the manor, to the said Thomas and William and heirs of Thomas . Licence of £6 paid into the hanaper .

From this we can assume that Catherine Courtenay, the widow of Thomas ROGERS , must have remarried Sir William Huddesfield, less than a year after the death of her husband , and perhaps it was he who altered the reversion from William ROGERS to George ROGERS , to William ROGERS to Wm and Katherine Huddesfield and then on to George ROGERS. Presumably they held the reversion during George`s minority. This is a substantial property and far exceeds the small estate held by William the eldest of Thomas`s son in Bradford . And perhaps Thomas had purchased this in the aftermath of Tewkesbury and as a favoured lawyer of Edward lV ..


courtesy of the Devon Record Office

Catherine and William Huddesfield remained married until his death in 1499 and had a daughter Elizabeth. The Huddesfield family came from Honiton , and coincidentally Sir William was another pupil at Lincoln`s Inn and in time became , like Thomas ROGERS, a Serjeant at Law. He was also Recorder of Exeter , and Justice of Oyer and Terminer and became Attorney General to Edward lV . He married firstly the widow of Sir Baldwin Fulford, who had been Elizabeth Bossom, and had a daughter Katherine by her who married Sir Edmund Carew of Mohuns Ottery in the parish of Luppitt, close by both Dittisham where the Bossoms had an estate and Honiton the estate of the Huddesfields. By Catherine Courtenay , William had another daughter Elizabeth who in turn married Anthony Poyntz of Iron Acton who was the descendant of the Nicholas Poyntz of Acton who was granted together with Philip Mede and Thomas ROGERS of Bristol , 4 houses in Redcliffe Street.

At the time of his death on 20th March 1499, the Huddesfields appeared to be living in Bridport . William`s will “written in myne owne hand the 8th June 1497 and of the reign of King Henry Vll, the xii “ was, unusually, written in English . He gave the priest at Bridport 6s 8d and 13s 4d to the parish church there , the same amount was given to the church at Dittisham and he remembered his first wife by leaving the same to the priory and convent at Clerkenwell ` to pray for the soul of me and Elizabeth late my wife ` who was buried there before the high altar. From this it may be assumed that the Huddesfields used Clerkenwell for their London base and kept Bridport as their retirement base which is close to the border with Devon and therefore close to their estates at Honiton and Dittisham. It is also close to Luppitt where his daughter Katherine was married to Sir Edmund Carew , who was killed at the siege of Therouenne in 1513, she died in 1499 and her will is proved at Lambeth. Sir William Huddesfield left his dau Elizabeth, by Catherine Courtenay , a thousand marks which was a huge sum of money, but which may have been equal to his married daughter Katherine`s dowry. He left a good deal of silver to Katherine Carew for her use after the death of his wife Catherine and he returned his wife`s dowry to her ” which my wife brought to me she knoweth well where it is I never spend a penny thereof I will she have it to her owne use and behove to the intent that she may peruse it at her pleasure (on) her owne son George ROGERS whom I intended if I might have lived to have presented him to honour as my owne childe god knoweth ” . He also left her his manor of Shillingford for life, and asked for an honest priest at Shillingford or Bridport to sing and pray for the souls of me and Elizabeth late my wife and of William and Alice Huddesfield “my fadder and moder “. He made Catherine his wife and Elizabeth his daughter by her , executors of his will with Robert Alder “my old servant “. His will was proved at Lambeth in 6th July 1499 and he was buried at Shillingford .

Catherine his widow was still living at Bridport in 1511 where she wrote her will . She mentioned nothing of the Pomeroys or the Huddesfields or the Carews . She willed that her body be buried in the church of Grey Friars in Exeter before St Francis and beside the high altar, and she pays seven marks a year for seven years for a friar to say mass daily for her. She gave her gown of black velvet to the warden of the Grey Friars , presumably to pay for these masses. She gave her written mass book , a valuable gift, to the churchwardens of Bradford ” to pray for the soul of me and Thomas ROGERS sometyme my husband and serjeant at the law. I will that there be a stone laid upon him my said husband at Bradford. I will that my daughter Elizabeth Poyntz have all such stuff as remaineth at my place at Brittport….. I give and bequeath to William ROGERS of Bradford aforesaid , gentleman, son to the said Thomas a standing cup of silver and gilt with a cover with dragon wings and to his brother John ROGERS a flat cup of silver white with cover of my own arms…..I give and bequeath to Katherine one of the daughters of George ROGERS my son 20 marks in money…the residue to George ROGERS my son and Edward ROGERS son and heir apparant to the said George and Elizabeth ROGERS daughter to the same George whom I order and make my executors. ” Her will was proved in London in 1514, and far from being buried in Grey Friars in Exeter ,she too is buried in Shillingford as the brass on the tomb of both Sir William and Catherine shows . It is particularly noticeable that the tomb of Thomas ROGERS at Bradford went without a marker stone for 33 years, and interesting that he as a senior law officer was buried so anonymously .

On the north side of the chancel of Shillingford church over a plain high tomb is the brass of Sir William and Catherine and their children , he wears armour under a tabard which bears the arms of Huddesfield. She kneels behind him and on her robe are the arms of Courtenay. Behind her is George her son by Thomas ROGERS, and following the two daughters Elizabeth Poyntz and Katherine Carew. In the south chancel window were shields of arms, Courtenay impaling Hungerford for Catherine`s mother, Carew impaling Huddesfield, for Katherine Carew nee Huddesfield, Huddesfield impaling Bossom , for the first wife of Sir William , Elizabeth Bossom later Fulford, and quarterly 1st and 4th Huddesfield with 2nd Courtenay and 3rd Fulford . From this it seems unlikely that Thomas ROGERS was granted a coat of arms, nor seemed to have used one. The important surname for Sir William was Courtenay .. The manor of Shillingford with Faryngdon and Widecombe, were held by Catherine from Sir William until her death , they had been granted by charter in 1481, so a little time after her marriage to Sir William Huddesfield, by her brother Peter , Bishop of Exeter, Walter Courtenay, esq, another brother, and two Robert Mortons one a clerk , who jointly were seised of Shillingford and St Mary Steps Exeter, with the advowsons, and in reversion to William Montagu who was nephew to Sir William Huddesfield , William Fulford, nephew to Catherine , the bishop and Walter Courtenay, and then George ROGERS. By a further charter of 1492 the same was granted to Catherine with remainders to her daughter Elizabeth and Sir William`s daughter Katherine, and following the deaths of both Catherine Huddesfield and Katherine Carew , the manors remaindered to Elizabeth Poyntz.

Before we leave the 15th C , Elizabeth Poyntz had children by her husband and they continued to be a notable Gloucestershire family , and the Carews produced many interesting sons including George who was standing on the bridge of the ill fated Mary Rose as it sank into the Solent in front of Henry Vlll. Catherine and Thomas ROGERS son George who was born between 1472 and 1478 married an unknown Elizabeth . No record has been found of her surname , so from that we can assume that she was of low birth. He and Elizabeth had three children, Edward , Elizabeth and Katherine, all mentioned in their Courtenay grandmother`s will . Nothing more is known of Elizabeth ROGERS, the daughter , maybe she died young after the death of her grandmother Catherine who makes her her executrix ; Katherine married a Christopher Kirton of Pilton, and nothing more is known of her. However the two other sons of Thomas ROGERS the Serjeant at Law prospered in a modest way , and married into small local landed gentry families, and achieved entries in the Visitations of both Somerset and Kent.


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George ROGERS was described in the Visitations of Somerset as of “Lopit” and his wife Elizabeth remained surname-less, but their son Edward born circa 1498 achieved a great deal. George ROGERS appeared only once in documents apart from the wills of his mother and stepfather and the reversion licence, and that was in the will of John Witdecombe dated 1527 when George was already dead. He willed ” also I will William Courtenay , knight , Nicholas Wadham , knight, Philip Champeron, esq, Baldwin Mallet, esq, Edward ROGERS, Henry Thornton and Henry Rogers being feoffees with George ROGERS, esq and John Skilling , nowe dede of my manor of Witdecombe …in the parish of Martock, by my dede indented Dec 13th 13 Henry Vlll,. ( 1521) being now seased of a parcel therof as appeareth by my dede indented dated 10 Dec the same year, of covenants and agreements made between the said George ROGERS of the one part and me the said John Witdecombe of the other to the use of me the said John Witdecombe for the term of my life and after my decease to the use of William Witdecombe and Elizabeth his wife .” George ROGERS was described of Lamport ( Langport ) in his will of 1524 , but he willed that his body to be buried at Thruxton and the priest was given money and was a witness. This is a short will as if written urgently , his body was to be buried at Thruxton and all his possessions go to his son Edward. His IPM in Wilts gave only Collyngborne Valence as his sole holding and this descended to Edward ROGERS his son .

By conjecture only , the Thruxton connection was through the marriage of Edward ROGERS to Mary dau of Sir John Lisle . From a portrait which once hung at Woburn , Edward was aged 59 in 1557, so he was born probably before the death of his step grandfather Sir William Huddesfield, and certainly in the life time of Catherine Courtenay who despite his tender years makes him an executor of her will with his father George and sister . The Lisles were of Thruxton in Hampshire and George ROGERS in his will asked to be buried in the chantry at Thruxton , which in fact was not finished until circa 1527, but the only plausible reason why George was so far from home might be that he was attending the wedding of his son Edward at Thruxton when he died . No further mention was found of his wife Elizabeth . And of his two daughters Katherine Kirton of Pilton may be the connection that Edward ROGERS had all his life with the village, but again of Elizabeth no mention.

Bindoff, in his History of Parliament has Edward born c 1498, son of George ROGERS of Langport and Elizabeth ……., married by 1528, Mary dau and co heiress of Sir John Lisle of the Isle of Wight, ? 3 daus, succeeded father 9 Sept 1524 , knighted ( at the Coronation of Edward Vl ) 22 Feb 1547. He goes on to say that Edward was given livery by the Marquess of Exeter in 1525 which means he was in service to the Courtenays. However not all went well . The country was , as always, a Catholic one, and certainly Edward had married into an important Catholic family the Lisles, so when the 95 theses were pinned to the Castle door by Martin Luther in Wittenburg, in 1517 , it caused a considerable stir around Europe. Many people were unhappy with the way the Catholic church was run, its huge wealth and land holdings, and when the Bible was printed in German , suddenly religion was available to all and not just the priests. Edward was perhaps in a dilemma, married into a Catholic family but believing in the Lutheran principles , whatever, he and his step-cousin George Carew , who later became Archeacon of Totnes in 1534 and Canon of Exeter in 1535 , with Andrew Flamanck , had to leave the country for France in 1526. But their troubles blew over and Edward was given a pardon by the King in April 1527 . In this pardon he is described as Edward ROGERS of Martock and Langport , alias of London, alias of Powderham , Devon.


courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

From this point his life seems secure and he had become an esquire of the body to the King in 1534, and had a licence to import wine in the same year ; he was also appointed bailiff of Hammes and Sangatte in France from 1534 – 1540 He had already acquired an interest in Cannington by the time of the dissolution in 1536, and by 1539 the now Protestant King Henry as head of the newly formed Church of England , had granted to Edward the nunnery, the rectory and advowson, the manor , and the lands that went with the former priory . Edward and his family converted the priory into a substantial home centred on a first floor hall with other principal rooms in the central and western ranges of buildings. Around the same time he acquired the reversion of Buckland Abbey and its lands. By 1540 he was also JP for Dorset and Somerset, but this too was the year he quarrelled with Thomas Seymour ; the Seymours were very powerful as the brothers of the late Queen Jane Seymour and were appointed guardians of their nephew later to become Edward Vl , and Edward ROGERS had to enter a large amount of money as a pledge to keep the peace .
Through his association with the Russells , in particular another up and coming young man, Sir John Russell the first Baron Russell, Edward became MP for Tavistock in 1547, but following the death of Henry Vlll in same year, his career at court stalled with the Seymours in the ascendancy as Protector and guardian of the young King. But with the Protector`s fall in 1549 , Edward became at least temporarily one of the four principal gentlemen of the bedchamber to the King. In 1549 the Prayer book rebellion mainly focussed on the West country but Edward appears to have had no involvement . Then suddenly in Jan 1550 he was jailed in the Tower at the same time as the Earls of Arundel and Southampton are dismissed from the King`s Council, but once again he survived and was reinstated by June 1550.

He became MP for Somerset in 1553 , and when the young King was dying, Edward as one of his council, signed the succession to the throne in favour of Lady Jane Grey as did John Russell , Earl of Bedford. How Edward ROGERS survived this can only be explained by his loyalty to the Protestant faith and the late King. In Catholic Queen Mary`s first Parliament , Edward sat for Somerset again , elected by the Protestant freeholders . But his patience ran out with the prospect of Queen Mary`s marriage to King Philip of Spain, which would have brought England under the control both of Spain and the Pope . Edward as a fierce and pioneering Protestant would have been totally opposed and it is not surprising to find his name among the conspiritors. Sir Thomas Wyatt had many supporters and elected Edward Courtenay as the leader for Devonshire. This Courtenay was the only son of the Marquess of Exeter who had given livery to Edward ROGERS back in 1525 , and Edward ROGERS would have known the son from childhood, and would have given him his loyalty. Edward Courtenay had a childhood mainly spent in the Tower of London with his imprisoned parents, from the age of 12 in 1539 to 1553 he was an innocent prisoner . Because he was a grandson of Edward lV, he had been put forward as a possible husband to Queen Mary and part of the charge levelled against him after the Wyatt rebellion was that he aspired to the hand of the Protestant Princess Elizabeth who was intended to take the throne in place of her sister Mary who would be overthrown had the rebellion been successful.

Other conspirators were Sir Peter Carew who was a grandson of Katherine Carew the daughter of Sir William Huddesfield ; Sir Nicholas Throckmorton who married Ann Carew, and whose son Thomas Throckmorton married Edward ROGERS daughter ; William Winter who was of the same family as Edward ROGERS` daughter in law . This conspiracy failed and again Edward was lucky to survive, he does not appear to have been tried with the others despite spending a year in the Tower of London and having his property confiscated . He was released in January 1555 with Gawain Carew , another grandson of Edmund and Katherine Carew By July 1555 he had been pardoned on payment of £1,000 to keep the peace , again , and a further £700 for his goods already seized and was then freed of all bonds and penalties . In the last years of Catholic Queen Mary and perhaps grateful for his life, Edward went into exile again in France .

By 1558 and the accession of Queen Elizabeth , he was recommended by an old friend , relative and fellow conspirator , Sir Nicholas Throckmorton for the position of comptroller of the household, and after a short period as vice chamberlain became Comptroller after Sir Thomas Parry who had been with the Queen since her childhood. John Russell , Earl of Bedford had also held the post of Comptroller between 1537 and 1539. He remained in post and a Privy Councillor until his death in 1567.

Interestingly in 1565 he presents an indenture in which he asks Edward Lord Hertford, son of the disgraced Protector Somerset , ” his vearie frende ” to sell to him a pasture known as Meades Hayes in Pilton together with the tenant Robert Sergeant younger son of Robert Sergeant , who was a menial servant of Edward ROGERS, but who was a villein regardant which means that he was tied to that bit of land , to have and to hold the said close to the said villein and his children for ever …and once this was granted Edward would grant the said Robert Sergeant his freedom . Edward ROGERS will is dated 21st April 1560 and was proved in London on 21 May 1567. He leaves his ” son” Thomas Throckmorton a short gown of damask, and his wife,( Edward`s daughter Jane ) a diamond ring, the lesser of the two ; to his “son” Thomas Harman (married to Edward`s daughter Anne ) a short gown of taffeta and to his “son” John Chettel (married to Edward`s daughter Mary ) a night gown of black taffeta ; to his cousin Henry ROGERS ( son of William ROGERS of Bradford on Avon ) a night gown of cloth furred with fox ; to his ” sister Katherine Kirton 3 kyne and one jugge of silver , being at Pilton, and the which I was wont to drink in there To Elizabeth Chamberlayne otherwise Clasie , one gilte bolle being silver , all gilte, with a cover, 2 kyne, 2 oxen , one bull and one ring with a diamond . To John Coker £10 , one standing cup with a cover of silver, which is at Pilton, and one of my geldings with saddle etc. John Clasie the younger, my servant, £20 Edward Chettell son of John Chettel £20 .” And the rest to his only son and executor George ROGERS. Although he fails to call Elizabeth Chamberlayne otherwise Clasie his sister, it is noticeable that he leaves her the same if not more than he leaves his sister Katherine Kirton . Whilst that is not proof it is certainly worth noting .

Edward ROGERS` IPM taken in Somerset on 2 Oct 1568 before John Harrison escheator, said that Edward was seised of the crown, of the house and site of the Priory of Cannington and estates in fee tail , and that the King had granted the manor of Rodwey Fitzpayne to him ; and that he was seised of the manor of Collingborne and Ore in Wiltshire and in the chapel of Pyddell Waldeston in Dorset, and in diverse tithes of the chapel and certain lands etc in Calcott in the parish of Cryckeland in Wilts , and lands in Hurtley Somerset ; and in consideration of the jointure of Jane wife of George ROGERS dau of Edmund Winter , esq decd and the dau and heir apparent of Eleanor Winter her mother, by deed of feoffment of Edward ROGERS of 16 March 1 Ed Vl , 1547 ( and perhaps the date of the marriage of George ROGERS and Jane Winter ) to the said George and Jane his wife and the heirs male of their bodies ; and Edward was also seised of the manor of Cote , Somerset, and various lands in Cote , Martock , Stapleton, Wytcombe etc ; and also Buckland and various lands around Buckland Michaelchurch and North Petherton. Out of this last Edward granted to Elizabeth Chamberleyne , wife of William Chamberlayne an annuity of £10 for the term of her life . All the lands etc devolved on to George ROGERS, Edward `s only son and heir . Again it is interesting to see the singling out of Elizabeth Chamberlayne for an annuity which tends to reinforce the idea that she was in fact Edward`s sister .

George ROGERS the second who was born perhaps circa 1525 -28, was knighted in 1574 and appeared to have lived a modest life without public office . His will was dated 1581 and proved in London in 1582. His eldest son Edward received the manors of West Pennard and Kingsbury and Cannington, and to his son William he left his lands which he purchased of his cousin Anthony ROGERS, son of William of Bradford on Avon, and lands in Wimborne St Mary in Dorset.. Cousin Anthony ROGERS of Bradford left a will just a year before George, dated 1580 and proved 1581. He had two daughters Ann Bysshe, and Dorothy Hall, but his estate devolved onto his brothers Richard and Ambrose, both of whom according to the Visitation of Somerset 1623 died without issue . . He left his cousin Sir George ROGERS , the cupboard etc in ” my orriall”.

Sir George`s son Edward ROGERS of Cannington died in 1627 and left four sons Sir Francis, George , Edward and Henry ; his widow Catherine died just 10 years later in 1637 and left her second son as executor all her plate with the residue going to her two younger sons Edward and Henry . Now the sons fall one after the other. Sir Francis ROGERS only son Hugh, predeceased his uncle Henry in 1653 , and the estate is shifted from one brother to another . George ROGERS in 1638 , left everything to his nephew Hugh and if he died , as he did without heirs, to his two brothers Edward and Henry. Edward died in 1639 and left everything including the lands bequeathed to him by his brother George to his brother Henry . Henry ROGERS died unmarried in 1672 and the estates of Cannington etc reverted to the Crown who in turn gave them to the Cliffords. Henry left sufficient money for the rebuilding of a London church most needed after the great fire of London.

Of the second son of Thomas ROGERS , serjeant at law , John who became a lawyer , from Cliffords Inn, in Sutton Valence in Kent , living in 1514 , his line too becomes extinct before 1672 although he was never in the line of reversion for any of the property in Bradford on Avon or Collyngborne Valence . He had a son Ralph who in turn was the father of Richard ROGERS who became Suffragan Bishop of Dover , he was born circa 1532 and like his cousin Edward he too had to seek sanctuary in France during the reign of Queen Mary ; his sister Catherine married as her second husband the only son of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer ; by his wife Ann he had several children named for members of her family Fogge Rogers , Goldwell Rogers and Francis who was Rector of St Margaret`s Canterbury. Richard himself died in May 1597 and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral .

Devon is the county for the next part of the ROGERS family tree . The village of Luppitt is both the site of Mohuns Ottery the home of the Carews, and also may be translated as Lopit where George ROGERS , son of Thomas and father of Sir Edward, came from. The two evidences for the latter are the Dictionary of National Biography but the editor of this may have simply taken “of Lopit” from the Visitation of Somerset of 1623. Bindoff in his History of Parliament, follows the IPM and will of George ROGERS and says he is of Langport in Somerset. Certainly no evidence has been found of the Carews leasing or granting any land in the village of Luppitt to George ROGERS. But it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he rented or tenanted some land whilst his step sister Katherine was married to Edmund Carew. By conjecture, with Sir William and Catherine Huddesfield of necessity in London in the early part of George`s life, it should have been a good opportunity for George to start a career , marry well , come to the notice of the King etc. However he seems to have spent most of his adult life away from London in Martock and Langport , and this part of Somerset is where his daughter Katherine married Christopher Kirton and where Sir Edward visited often .

There is , however , a line of ROGERS in Luppitt from the mid 1500s and it may simply be a coincidence that they share a reasonably common surname .


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References : PRO -C140 /65 ; Prof Michael Hicks , Who`s Who in Medieval England ; PRO -C 142/148 fol 28 ; Somerset Studies Library ; Somerset Wills ; Dictionary of National Biography ; Bindoff , History of Parliament ; Cal of Patent Rolls 9 & 19 Edward lV ; VCH Wiltshire ; VCH Somerset ; Prince`s Devon Worthies ;Rogers-Courtenay-Huddesfield ,Arch Papers 1902 by W H Hamilton Rogers ; Visitations of Devon , Cornwall, Somerset, Wiltshire ; portrait of Sir Ed Rogers courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery , London ; coram/church/history(Thruxton) ; C IPM Series ll, vol 30 (14) (57); PCC 4 Holders ; PCC 37 Horne ; Camden Series ,John Benet`s Chronicle & Warkworth`s Chronicle ; Alumni Oxon 1500-1715 ; Admissions to Lincoln`s Inn ; Bristol RO @pro a2a P/StT/D/1 35 H Vl, D/23 8 H Vl . D/64 36 H Vl , D/66 38 H Vl ;