Benjamin Rogers

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Born: May 1614

Died: June 1698


Rogers was organist at Christ Church, Dublin in his early career, an employment cutailed by the outbreak of the Irish rebellion, 1641. Except for a short interlude at Eton in the early years of the Restoration, Rogers spent most of the rest of his life in Oxford (Magdalen). He was a quintessential Oxfordian of the seventeenth century: informant to Anthony a Wood, composer of music played at the dedication ceremonies of the Sheldonian Theatre, and composer of the Hymnus Eucharisticus, sung on May Morning from Magdalen Tower (probably from the 1670s, although the ritual was not formalised until about 1844).

The entry in Cathedral Music, Volume 1 (William Boyce) reads:

Benjamin Rogers was at first Chorister, and afterwards Lay-Clerk of St. George's Chapel, Windsor: He then became Organist to the Cathedral of Christ-Church, Dublin, where he continued 'till the Irish Massacre in 1641, when he return'd to Windsor, and was again admitted to a place in that Choir. By the Civil Commotions that followed, he was removed from his last station; but had Interest sufficient to obtain an annual Stipend from those in Power. His Compositions were in great Repute, not in his own Country only, but also at the Courts of the Archduke Leopold, since Emperor of Germany, and Christina, Queen of Sweden.

He Commenced Batchelor in Music at Cambridge, 1658, by vertue of a Mandate from the Protector, Oliver Cromwell. At the Restauration, he compsed and perform'd some Vocal and Instrumental Music, for the Entertainment of King Charles the Second, his two Brothers, &c. in the Guildhall of the City of London, for which he was royally rewarded. About this Time he was chosen Organist of Eton-College, which Preferment he left, on being appointed to the same Employ at Magdalen College, Oxford; and upon the Opening of the new Theatre there, in 1669, he was created Doctor in Music. He enjoy'd the last-mentioned Benefice 'till 1685, when he was removed, and allow'd a Pension from the College during his Life.

View the Wikipedia article on Benjamin Rogers.

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