Owen Rogers was made free of the Stationers' Company of London on 8 October 1555. His origins are unknown, but his wife Rose was the daughter of David Lloid of 'Biteffery' (Bodfari), he had two stepbrothers named Jones, a lodger named Lewis Evans who wrote a 'new year's gift' and at least one of the ballads he printed, and his last two apprentices were Humphrey Powell of 'llodrod' (Lledrod?) and his step-nephew Rice Jones. There can be little doubt that he was of Welsh stock and part of London's Welsh community.
The first books printed with the types and ornaments he would use in his signed books in and after 1558 were either printed anonymously or are defective, but there can be no reasonable doubt that they were his. The earliest is a well-printed Sarum processional of 1555 (STC 16246); others include an anonymous attack on Bishop Edmund Bonner (STC 3286) and probably a lost edition of The Recantation of Thomas Cranmer (6005.5). Named ninety-fourth out of ninety-seven freemen listed in the Stationers' Company's charter of incorporation in May 1557, until the mid-1560s each financial year usually records him registering a handful of booklets or ballads and being fined small sums for minor breaches of the rules.
In 1559 Elizabeth's first Parliament succeeded in authorizing the reprinting (with a few important revisions) of the second Edwardian Book of Common Prayer, but Mary's reign had left London with few printing houses sufficiently large to mass-produce the book as quickly as required. Two folio editions were put in hand, but one of them (STC 16292) was farmed out to seven different printing houses, and Rogers was asked to print quires H, M, and half of quire I (forty of the total 288 pages). Two more editions followed in quick succession, with Rogers contributing respectively forty-eight and thirty-two pages.
His output thereafter returned to being sparse and undistinguished, and nothing survives later than 1561. By 1565 he had ceased to print, and was having his few small publications printed by others. He was still alive when he bound Rice Jones as his apprentice in March 1566, but was presumably dead when Jones was freed by another Stationer in April 1577.
Published date: 2022-04-20
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
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