Reverend Ezekiel Rogers, M.A., founder of Rowley

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Reverend Ezekiel Rogers, M.A., founder of Rowley

Birthplace: Weathersfield, Essex, England (United Kingdom)
Death: January 23, 1660 (69-70)
Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, Colonial America
Immediate Family:

Son of Reverend Richard Rogers and Barbara Rogers
Husband of Joan Rogers; Elizabeth Rogers and Mary Rogers
Brother of Daniel Rogers, M.A.; Ezra Rogers; “Sarah” Stone; Nathaniel Rogers and Mary Jenkin

Occupation: Colonist
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Reverend Ezekiel Rogers, M.A., founder of Rowley

Ezekiel Rogers (1590 – January 23, 1660) was an English nonconformist clergyman, and Puritan settler of Massachusetts.

From Wikipedia

He was a son of Richard Rogers, who held the living of Wethersfield in Essex, and younger brother of Daniel Rogers. He graduated M.A. from Christ's College, Cambridge in 1604,[1] and became chaplain in the family of Sir Francis Barrington in Essex. He was preferred by his patron to the living of Rowley in Yorkshire.[2]

In December 1638, after seventeen years of service, Rogers was discharged from his post as rector of Rowley, after he had refused to read The Book of Sports. Believing the future of Puritanism was at stake, he left for the New World with the members of twenty families of his congregation.[2]

He arrived in New England in December 1638 with the families on the ship John of London, and wintered at Salem, Massachusetts. The first printing press brought to America came on board the ship with them, with the printer Stephen Daye.[3] Theophilus Eaton and John Davenport were then setting up their colony at New Haven; they tried to enlist Rogers, but without success.[2]

Early in the spring of 1639 he and most of these twenty families settled in the town of Rowley, Massachusetts. Rowley was incorporated on September 4, 1639. Rogers was the pastor at Rowley until his death on 23 January 1661,

He was three times married: first, to Sarah, widow of John Everard; secondly, Elizabeth Wilson, daughter of John Wilson of the First Church in Boston;[4] thirdly, to Mary, widow of Thomas Barker. He left no children.

Rogers published The Chief Grounds of the Christian Religion set down by way of catechising, gathered long since for the use of an honourable Family, London, 1642. Several of his letters to John Winthrop are published in the Massachusetts Historical Collection.

different wives

From First Church of Rowley

Rogers was first married in 1627 to Joan Hartopp. She came to America with him and died in Rowley in childbirth along with the child she bore him. His second marriage was to Joan Nelson who was much younger than himself in the hope of producing a son. She too died in childbirth as well as the child. His third wife, widow Mary Barker, was more nearly his age and outlived him by about 17 years.

The home of Rogers, the furnishings, his library and all the church records were destroyed by fire on the night of his third marriage, July 16, 1651. It was commonly believed that a woman who wanted to be his wife set the fire out of jealously. Undaunted by age (he was 61) and infirmity (he was arthritic) he built a new house and replenished his library.


REV. EZEKIEL ROGERS, founder of Rowley

Rev. Ezekiel Rogers was born at Wethersfield in 1590, settled over the Church at Rowley in 1619, and labored there until 1636 when he was, to use his own language, "suspended and driven into New England."

Rev. Ezekiel Rogers, 24th Pastor of St. Peter's Church, Rowley, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, organized a company of twenty families from Rowley and nearby towns and sailed on "John of London". Sailing from Hull dropped anchor in Boston Harbor. They arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in the fall of 1638. Between the time of his arrival and the settlement of this town some months elapsed and his company had increased to fifty-nine families.

The town was settled in the spring of 1639 during the session of the General Court in Boston. It was named "Mr. Ezechi Roger's Plantation Shalbee Called Rowley, Mass."

Rowley was laid out so that nearly all of the early houses bordered on the "Town Brook" or one of its tributaries. Originally the Town of Rowley extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Merrimac River and embraced the towns of Boxford ( Rowley Village), Bradford (Merrimac Lands), Georgetown (New Rowley), Groveland, and a part of Middleton, and the present area of Rowley.

The first printing press to be used in the colonies was carried over on the "John" and set up in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Source: . " Early Settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts ____________________________

From A Genealogical Record of John Spofford and Elizabeth Scott:

"This Elizabeth Scott (mother of Mrs. John Spofford) subsequently married the Rev. Ezekiel Rogers (probably not the one who settled in Rowley, but a relative). She survived said Rogers, and was his widow in 1683."


1674, July 5th . Ezekiel Rogers Ezekiel , son of the Rev. N. Rogers , d. His relict was Margaret , sister to the Rev. Wm. Hubbard , who d. Jan. 23d, 1675 . His children were Martha , Nathaniel , Ezekiel , Timothy , and Samuel . He graduated at Harvard College, 1659 . One reason why his uncle, the Rev. Ezekiel Rogers of Rowley , declined to make him his chief heir, as expected, was, that he would not consent to have his hair cut short.

Source: All Ipswich, Essex, and Hamilton, Massachusetts: Town Histories results for Ezekiel Rogers, page 44

  • Page Col. Line  
  • 119 i 17-18 Rogers, Ezekiel: for M.A. from Christ's College, Cambridge, 1604, read B.A. in 1604-5 from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, whence he migrated to Christ's College, Cambridge,


  • Genealogical Gleanings in England, Volume 1 By Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters
  • EZEKIEL ROGERS "Borne at Wetherfield in Essex in old England Now of Rowley in Essex in new England" 17 April 1660, sworn to 26 March 1661 Renders praise to God for three special blessings : "ffirst for my Nurture and Education under such a father Mr Richard Rogers, in Catechisme and knowledge of the holy scriptures the want whereof I see to be the main cause of the Errors of the times. Secondly that (whereas till I was aboue twenty yeares of age I made but ill use of my knowledge but liued in a formal profession of Relligion) the lord pleased by occation of a sore sicknes which was like to be death to make me to see the worth and Neede of Christ and to take such houlde of him as that I coolde never let him goe to this houre whereby I am now encouraged to bequeath and committe my soulle into his hands who hath Redeemed it, and my Body to the Earth since he will giue me with these very eyes to see my Redeemer. Thirdly for my Calling even to be a minester of the Gospell the most glorious Calling in the worlde which the lord brought into noth without difficulty for my . . . . ing in the time of the hottest Persicution of that Bloody Hirarchy and being inlightened concerning the euell and snare of Subscrip...n and Cerimonies I was advised to give over the thought of the minestry and to betake my selfe to the study and practise of But the lord mercyfully prevented that ; for though it be a good and Nessecary Calling, I haue observed that the most through these o..e Coruption haue made it to them selues the very Temptation to couetousnes or lust or both, I therefore chose rather to lye hide abo.. a dozen yeares in an honerable famelly exerciseing my selfe in minesteriall dutyes for a bout a dozen yeares after my leaving the uneversity. Then the lord Gaue me a Call to a Publique charge att Rowley in Yorke shire whereby The Gentlenesse of —oby Mathewe I was fauoured both for subscription and Cerimonies and injoyed my liberty in the minestry about seaventeene ..ars in Comforthable sort Till for refuseing to reade that accursed Booke that allowed sports on God's holy Sabbath or lords day I was suspended and by it and other sad signes of the times driven with many of my hearers into New where I haue liued in my Pastorall Office about —— years with much Rest and Comforth beleeueiug the way .. the Churches here to be according to the present light that God hath giuen the purest in the wholle world.
  • Now Age and calling upon me to looke daly for my change I profese my selfe to haue liued and to dye an unfeigned Hater of all the Base Opinnions of the Anabaptists and Autinomians and all other Phrenticke dotages of the times that springe from them which God will ere longe cause to be as doung on the earth. I doe also protest against all the evell ffashions and guises of this age both in Apparr.. and that Generall Disguisement of longe Ruffianlike haire A Custome most generally taken up at that time when the Graue and modest weareing of haire was a part of the Reproch of Christ: as appeared by the tearme of Roundheads and was carryed on with a high hand not with standing the knowne offence of soe many Godly persons, and without publique expression of these reasons for any such libertie taken."
  • Then follows his disposal of his estate : to wife Mary the dwelling house &c. during her natural life ; to nephew Mr Samuel Stone of Connecticut thirty pounds; to "my cousen his son John ten pounds;" to dear brother and fellow officer Mr Phillips five pounds and Aquinas his Sum. in folio ; to my sometimes servant Elizabeth Tenney ells Parratt ten pounds ; to loving neice Mrs Mary Matosius of Malden in Essex in old England ten pounds ; to loving niece Mrs Elizabeth C..ton wife of the Preacher of Roterdam in
  • Holland ten pounds ; to the wife of cousin Rogers of Billerica five pounds ; sundry gifts to servants ; all his Latin books to Harvard College and some English books, as appears in the Catalogue.
  • The rest of the estate in lands not given to wife during her natural life, he gives to the Church and town of Rowle upon condition that they pay or cause to be paid &c. unto Ezekiel Rogers the son of Mr Nathaniel Rogers late pastor of the Church of Ipswich deceased the sum of eight score pounds.
  • The real estate given to wife, for term of her life, after her decease to go to the church and town of Rowley to enable them the better to maintain two teaching elders in the church for ever, on condition that they settle an elder within four years and so from time to time when changes occur by death or removal any other way. On failure of this condition the said houses and lands to be to the use of Harvard College. Wife Mary to be sole executrix.*
  • The amount of his estate as rendered in the Inventory was over 1535£, of which 400£ was in lands that were Thomas Barker's (his wife's former husband).
  • This will is on file among the probate papers of Essex County ; but I do not find any copy of it in the Registry or any record of probate or administration granted. In the March term of the Ipswich Court, 1665, Ezekiel Rogers, the son of Mr. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, deceased, brought suit against Mrs. Mary Rogers, the executrix of the above will, for not performing a promise and engagement made to the said Nathaniel in the behalf of his son, wherein the said Mr. Ezekiel Rogers, of Rowley, had obliged himself to provide for Ezekiel the son of Nathaniel, and to make his portion as good as the rest of the sons of the said Nathaniel. The plaintiff in his declaration says that his father for that reason gave him no portion in his estate, except a small pledge of his love, and discharged himself from any care concerning him, and, indeed, looked upon him as the elder brother, though but his fourth son.
  • This case is valuable and important, since it furnishes evidence that the wife of the Rev. William Hubbard was Mary,† and not Margaret, as all our New England authorities have had it, and thus confirms Candler's statement, made in his account of the Knapp family. I fail to find the least bit of evidence, either that Nathaniel Rogers had a daughter Margaret or that William Hubbard had a
    • * Rev. Ezekiel Rogers's will is printed in full in the REGISTER, vol. v. pp. 125-8. — ED.
    • † Candler in his Knapp pedigree gives the name of the husband of Mary Rogers as "Wm. Hobert," and in his Rogers pedigree as "Wm. Heley " (vide REGISTER, xvii. 47). Mr. Waters makes it evident that the surname in the Knapp pedigree (Hobert, i. e. Hubbard) is correct.
    • William Hubart or Hubbard of the County of Essex, England, who afterwards settled at Ipswich, Mass., married Judith, daughter of John and Martha (Blosse) Knapp, of Ipswich, England (see The Visitation of Suffolk, ed. by Metcalf, 1882, p. 149 ; Reg. xvii. 47). He was father of Rev. William Hubbard, who married Mary Rogers.
    • The first book in which I find the christian name of the wife of Rev. William Hubbard given is John Fanner's Genealogical Register, published in 1829, wliere on page 152 she is called "Margaret daughter of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers." Subsequent writers have repeated Farmer's error. — EDITOR.
  • wife bearing that name. This Mary Hubbard seems to be living as late as 26 March, 1685, when she joins her husband in a conveyance of certain land in Ipswich. The following are some of the depositions filed in this case.
  • .... etc.


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Reverend Ezekiel Rogers, M.A., founder of Rowley's Timeline

Weathersfield, Essex, England
January 23, 1660
Age 70
Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, Colonial America