Richard Rogers (1551-1618) was educated at Cambridge University – Christ’s College (BA, 1571) and Caius College (MA, 1574). In 1575 he became curate of Radminster, Essex, and in 1577 was appointed lecturer at Wethersfield, Essex, where he was to remain for the next forty years. He established a presbytery at Dedham, organized meetings in his neighbourhood for prayer and spiritual fellowship, and ran a school in his own home to groom young men for Cambridge and the ministry.
Rogers was a man of considerable learning who led a humble, peaceable, and exemplary life, although he suffered greatly for his nonconformist views, at various periods being forbidden to preach. He married twice, first to a woman named Barbara (her family name is unknown), with whom he had at least seven children, six of whom survived him. Two of his sons, Daniel and Ezekiel, became Puritan ministers. His second wife was Susan Ward, the widow of a neighbouring minister. He had no children with her but became stepfather to the six children she had by her first marriage. Of these children, three more sons – Samuel, John, and Nathaniel – became Puritan ministers.
Rogers’ sermons on Judges, first published in 1615, were reprinted in facsimile by the Trust in 1983.[The author image is from a painting of Rogers by Gustavus Ellinthorpe Sintzenich, by kind permission of Mansfield College, Oxford.]