Rogers, William (fl.1580-1610) (DNB00)

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ROGERS, WILLIAM (fl. 1580–1610), engraver, was the first Englishman who is known to have practised copperplate engraving. It is not known where he studied the art, but it was probably in the school of the Wierix family at Antwerp. That Rogers was an Englishman is shown by his signing one of his engravings ‘Anglus et Civis Lond.’ He engraved some portraits of Queen Elizabeth, which are very scarce. Of one of them, a full-length portrait in royal robes, only one impression in its complete state is known; this is now in the print-room at the British Museum. Another portrait, with allegorical figures, is signed and dated 1589, and another bears the inscription ‘Rosa Electa.’ Rogers also engraved the large picture of Henry VIII and his family attributed to Lucas de Heere, now at Sudeley Castle. Of this print only three impressions are known. Rogers engraved numerous portraits, title-pages, and illustrations for books, among these being the titles to Linschoten's ‘Discours of Voyages into ye Easte and West Indies,’ 1596, and to Sir John Harington's translation of Ariosto's ‘Orlando Furioso’ (1591), the cuts in Broughton's ‘Concert of Scripture,’ 1596, and the portraits in Segar's ‘Honor, Military and Civile’ (1602), and Milles's ‘Catalogue of Honour, or Treasury of True Nobility’ (1610).

Rogers's work shows him to have been a trained artist in the art of engraving. He is mentioned by Francis Meres [q. v.] in his ‘Palladis Tamia,’ 1598: ‘As Lysippus, Praxiteles, and Pyrgoteles were excellent engravers, so have we these engravers: Rogers, Christopher Switzer, and Cure.’

[Walpole's Anecd. of Painting (ed. Wornum); O'Donoghue's Cat. of Portraits of Queen Elizabeth; Bromley's Cat. of Engraved British Portraits; Lowndes's Bibl. Man.; Strutt's Dict. of Engravers; Caulfield's Calcographiana.]

L. C.