John Rogers

c.1500-1555. Protestant martyr. Born near Birmingham, he was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, was from 1532 rector of a London church, then in 1534 became chaplain to the English merchants in Antwerp, where he assisted in smuggling forbidden books into England. Here he met William Tyndale,* then engaged in his translation of the OT, and embraced the Reformed faith, After Tyndale's martyrdom he used his manuscripts together with the already published translation of Miles Coverdale* to produce his influential “Matthew's Bible”* in 1537. Rogers's own share in the work was largely confined to the prefaces and marginal notes. Matthew's Bible was to be a major inspiration in all those translations which led up to the Authorized Version of 1611. Rogers now married and removed to a pastorate at Wittenberg, where he studied Melanchthon's* writings, some of which he later translated. He returned to England in 1548, was presented to two crown livings in London in 1550, and a year later was made prebendary and divinity lecturer at St. Paul's Cathedral. His advanced political and religious views had already caused him trouble under Northumberland's protectorate. With the advent of Queen Mary he was arrested and put into Newgate Gaol with J. Hooper* and others. After cruel sufferings he was burnt at the stake in 1555 in the presence of his wife and children-the first Protestant martyr of the new reign.