Does Alfred University own the Rogers Bible?
The John Rogers – Thomas Hubbard - Samuel Hubbard Bible
Early sources mention that a Bible once owned by the martyr John Rogers can be found at the Alfred University Library. Unfortunately, those sources are incorrect: the location of John Rogers’ Bible is unknown. The Cranmer New Testament and Psalms Bible formerly held at Alfred University was most likely originally owned by Thomas Hubbard. It was transferred to the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society in 1946.
The 1549 Bible is believed to have been mentioned in Samuel Hubbard’s journal: “Now 1675 I have a testament of my grandfather Cooke’s printed in 1549 which he hid in his bed-straw lest it be burnt in Queen Mary’s days.” This fits the inscription found in the Bible at the end of the Gospel of John: “This book was my grandmother’s great grandmother’s, and I know not how many generations before. It was given me by my grandmother, Judith Rogers AD 1762. Caleb Potter.” In an earlier journal entry, Samuel Hubbard wrote that his “grandfather was Thomas Hubbard of Mendlsham [Hubbard is listed in the Fox Book of Martyrs as having been driven out of Mendelshsam] in Suffolk. He had four children, Jeremiah, John, Martha and James. James married Naomy Cooke of Ipswich in Suffolk, daughter of Thomas Cooke of that place.”
Many early heirlooms were passed down through the daughters. Samuel and Tacy Hubbard’s daughter, Ruth, married Robert Burdick; their daughter, Naomi Burdick, married Jonathan Rogers; their son, Jonathan, married Judith Potter; their daughter, Judith Rogers, married Thomas Potter in 1747, and their son was Caleb Potter.
There is no evidence that this Bible was ever owned by John Rogers, the martyr burned at Smithfield, even though Jonathan Rogers may have been a descendent.
The Cranmer Edition (1549) of the New Testament was printed just twenty-four years after Tyndale’s – the first printed in English – and more than 60 years before the King James version (1611).
The Testament was given to the Seventh Day Baptists in 1866 by members of the Potter family in Rhode Island, descendants of James Rogers, the emigrant, and of Samuel and Tacy (Burdick) Hubbard, constituent members of the first Seventh Day Baptist Church in America, organized in Newport, RI in 1671. The text includes New Testament and Psalms printed in large German type with ornamental initial letters to some chapters and a few marginal references. Chapters are divided but there is no division into verses.
The Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society is located at 3120 Kennedy Road, P.O. Box 1678, Janesville, WI 53547-1678.
[Information extracted from material provided to Alfred University by the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society.]