Roger Dudley

From Academic Kids

Roger Dudley (between 1535/45 - 1590) was a British soldier.

Roger Dudley was born in London, England, but is said to have been baptised in Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire. He was the son of Captain Sir Henry Sutton Dudley, who married an unnamed daughter of one Christopher Ashton between 1545 and 1550. Ashton's daughter died sometime after October 29, 1588, but before 1590. Henry Dudley was himself the son of John Sutton, 3rd Baron Dudley, "Lord Quondam", who was married to Cecily Grey. Roger may be the Roger Dudley who was matriculated as pensioner at Christ College, Cambridge, in 1566, but left without a degree.

It is believed that he married, on June 8, 1575, at Lidlington, Bedfordshire, Susannah (née Thorne), herself recorded as having been born on March 5, 1559/60 in Northamptonshire, and baptised at Yardley Hastings, the daughter of Thomas Thorne and Mary Purefoy. Dudley is said to have been "in financial difficulty" when he was married under the inconspicuous title of Mr. Roger Dudley. His wife's family claimed descent from Charlemagne.

He is reported to have been a Captain in (the Earl of Leicester)'s militia, fighting with a commission from Elizabeth I, and under the banner of Henry of Navarre. He is thought to have died at the Battle of Ivry, France in 1590. Yet in 1586, four years earlier, the Reverend Cotton Mather of Boston wrote: "Thomas Dudley's father was Captain Roger Dudley, -- slain in the wars, when -- his son, and one only daughter were very young".

Marshall K. Kirk suggests that Roger made his home after his father's death with Peter Grey, a "Queen's servant", whose manor of Segenhoe was two miles from Lidlington, (Bedfordshire), where Roger was later married.

Roger and Susannah Dudley raised at least 5 children, listed as:

Thomas Dudley. (second governor of Massachusetts)
Mary Dudley .
Richard Dudley. (b. 1583 - d. 20 Aug 1603).
Dorothy Dudley.
David Dudley.

Susannah is recorded as having died in 1585 during childbirth, at St. Dunstan's, London and again three years later in a will, dated October 29, 1588, (Probate 9th May 1589), when Thomas Thorne bequeaths... "to the Children of Susan Dudley, my Daughter..." (etc.)

William Dudley, a son of David, was the first of this line in the family of the lords of Dudley to move to Connecticut, and founded the settlement of Guilford, on the shores of Long Island Sound. He emigrated to New England sometime between 1636/43.

Three of William Dudley's great grandsons were to give their family name to their new home in the Cornwall hills, when they moved to Owlsbury from Guilford in the mid C17. Owlsbury was renamed Dudleytown, and thereafter the persistent legend of America's most haunted town was born.

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