ROGERSON, John (-d.1611), of Coventry, Warws.
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Family and Education
Freeman, Drapers’ Co., Coventry 1565, master 1570, 1572, 1584, 1595, 1601, 1606.3
Member, Gt. Council, Coventry 1585-c.1589, 1597-at least 1609., dep. alderman from 1597, mayor 1597-8, commr. subsidy 1608.4
Rogerson was probably a native of Preston, Lancashire; at least one of his brothers was born there, and he left money to the town in his will.5 He fined for the freedom of the Coventry Drapers’ Company in 1565, and went on to serve as master six times. He was admitted to the city’s Great Council in 1585, at the same time as Henry Sewall*, but around four years later he so offended his fellow councillors that his membership was suspended. This incident also involved a former mayor, Thomas Hill, and in February 1591, following further complaints, both men were summoned before the Privy Council and bound over for good behaviour. However, Rogerson did not finally make his peace with the Great Council until March 1597. Although appointed a deputy alderman shortly afterwards, he never achieved the senior rank. His election as mayor in the following autumn was probably a mixed blessing given the substantial expenses the office involved.6
In February 1604 Rogerson was elected to represent Coventry in Parliament. Just 12 days beforehand he and his fellow citizen, Henry Breres, were granted a lease of the city’s two principal rectories, though it is unclear whether these events were connected. Somewhat overshadowed by Breres, who was attending the Commons for the fourth time, Rogerson received no personal committee nominations, and is not known to have spoken in the House. However, he was entitled as a Coventry Member to attend five bill committees, whose business embraced felt manufacture, the leather trade, alehouses, decayed coastal towns, and provision for the Navy (31 Mar., 12 Apr., 10 and 23 May, 28 June). Allowed daily expenses of 5s., his wage bill for the first session came to £29 15s.7
As one of Coventry’s wealthier residents Rogerson received a Privy Seal demanding payment of £20 in the spring of 1605, but the Great Council arranged for two other men to take on half of this burden. No details survive of his Commons career during the second and third parliamentary sessions. In 1605-6 at least he was paid expenses at the same daily rate as before. In March 1606 he and Breres were both admitted as honorary members of Gray’s Inn, but it is unclear how or why this was arranged.8
Rogerson was evidently still active in April 1609, when he signed a letter from Coventry’s governors to the Privy Council rejecting a request for the city’s subsidy assessments to be increased. However, on 19 Feb. 1610 the Commons was informed that he was now ‘incurably sick’ and aged, and therefore unable to resume his seat. The House insisted on obtaining confirmation of these facts, but a by-election was ordered once a certificate arrived from Coventry on 2 March.9
Rogerson had made his will on 9 Feb. 1609, while still in good health. The bulk of his estate was left to his wife and son, but he also provided legacies for 42 other relatives, totalling £1,341. Charitable bequests included £45 to be distributed around his home city, and £10 to set the poor of Preston to work. He also established a trust fund of £100 to supply loans to Coventry’s drapers and clothiers, with the interest payments being employed to fund three annual sermons at St. Michael’s church. To encourage the Drapers’ Company to attend his funeral, he set aside £4 to allow them to hold a dinner afterwards. Notwithstanding his allegedly terminal condition in early 1610, this event did not take place until 1611. The precise date of his death is unclear, but his will was proved in August. None of his descendants sat in Parliament.10
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Paul Hunneyball
- 1. GI Admiss.
- 2. PROB 11/118, ff. 111v-12v; 11/122, f. 286v.
- 3. Coventry Archives, PA 154/2, ff. 61, 80, 85, 106, 122, 134, 144.
- 4. SP14/31/1; Coventry Archives, BA H/C/17/1, ff. 102, 133, 134v, 135v; HMC Hatfield, xxi. 42.
- 5. PROB 11/102, f. 141v; 11/118, f. 111v.
- 6. Coventry Archives, PA 154/2, f. 61; BA H/C/17/1, ff. 102, 133-4v, 192v, 197v-8; APC, 1590-1, pp. 270, 304, 313-4.
- 7. Coventry Archives, BA H/C/17/1, f. 151; BA H/C/20/2, p. 82; CJ, i. 160b, 169a, 205a, 222b, 247b.
- 8. Coventry Archives, BA H/C/17/1, f. 154; BA H/C/20/2, p. 84; BA/H/Q/A79/92C.
- 9. HMC Hatfield, xxi. 42; CJ, i. 396b, 404a.
- 10. PROB 11/118, ff. 111-12v; Coventry Archives, PA 154/2, f. 160.