ROGERS, Edward (1781-1852), of Stanage Park, nr. Knighton, Rad. and 8 Charles Street, Mdx.
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Family and Educationb. 30 Sept. 1781, o.s. of Charles Rogers, merchant, of Cheapside, London and Harriet, da. of Robert Heptinstall of Hound Hill, Yorks. educ. Charterhouse 1793; Emmanuel, Camb. 1798; M. Temple 1797; I. Temple 1801, called 1807. m. (1) 21 Oct. 1807, Sarah Augusta (d. 28 Dec. 1816), da. of George Wolff of Balham House, Surr., Danish consul-gen. in England, 4s. d.v.p.; (2) 22 Nov. 1832, Eliza Casamajor, da. of Henry Brown of E.I. Co. civil service (Madras), s.p. suc. fa. 1820.1 d. 20 Dec. 1852.
Capt. S. Salop militia 1811-12.
Bailiff, Ludlow 1825-6; sheriff, Rad. 1840-1.
Charles Rogers, this Member’s father, was a younger son of the Rev. Edward Rogers of The Home, a direct descendant of Roger de Norbury, who had held property and influence in Ludlow and southern Shropshire in the fourteenth century. In partnership with Thomas Brown of Cheapside, whose son Benjamin married his daughter Mary in 1803, he prospered as an East India merchant. By 1800 he had retired to Ludlow, where he was made an alderman, and purchased Stanage Park, about 17 miles away on the Herefordshire-Radnorshire border, from Thomas Johnes†, who had relinquished his Radnorshire interests after coming in for Cardiganshire in 1796.2
Rogers, his only son, was born in London and was called to the bar shortly before his marriage. He settled briefly at Wigmore, Herefordshire, where his son Edward was born in 1810, served under the Clives in the Ludlow militia and apparently practised on the Oxford circuit.3 His wife, who shared his mercantile background, died at Ludlow in 1816 at the age of 26, having borne him three further sons, none of whom survived to adulthood.4 The deeper purse of the radical Member for Radnorshire, Walter Wilkins*, left Rogers with little prospect of a seat for that county, and he was one of the three squires who dissuaded Thomas Frankland Lewis* from risking a premature challenge there in 1812.5 Amid speculation that he and his relations would assist the anti-Clive party at the general election of 1820, he acted as go-between in the negotiations which secured the withdrawal of the candidature of Edmund Lechmere Charlton† against the 1st earl of Powis’s sons Lord Clive and Robert Henry Clive at Ludlow, and he contested Bishop’s Castle on Powis’s interest with the government whip William Holmes.6 On the hustings he promised to ‘act as my conscience and my judgement direct me ... in support of the present form of government’.7 The Commons determined the ensuing double return in their favour, 16 June.8 Rogers assisted in the passage of Lord Clive’s estate bill (which received royal assent, 8 July 1820), so confirming his role as one of the Clives’ men of business.9 His cousin, the Rev. John Rogers of The Home, became bailiff of Bishop’s Castle that Michaelmas, and Lord Clive replaced Rogers’s ailing father as an alderman of Ludlow. The latter died, 31 Dec. 1820, leaving personal estate of £20,000 (resworn under £16,000, 23 Nov. 1821), and Rogers inherited Stanage Park, which had been rebuilt under the direction of the Reptons.10
No speeches by Rogers are reported before 1831. He divided steadily with the Tory Clives against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 30 Apr. 1822, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825, but differed from them by voting against the attendant Irish franchise bill, 9 May 1825. He divided against parliamentary reform, 9 May 1821, 20 Feb., 2 June 1823, 26 Feb. 1824, and his few wayward votes against the Liverpool and Wellington administrations tended to reflect local concerns. Nevertheless, strong popular support for Queen Caroline in Bishop’s Castle and Ludlow did not deter him from dividing with government against a motion censuring their handling of her case, 6 Feb. 1821.11 He brought in the abortive Ludlow paving bill, 16 Feb.12 Unlike the Clives, he voted for reductions in the army, 14 Mar., 31 May, and for the additional malt duty repeal bill, 3 Apr., winning approval thereby in Radnorshire, where he was an active magistrate.13 He voted against making forgery a non-capital offence, 23 May 1821. He became bailiff of Bishop’s Castle that September and helped to secure the passage of the Bishop’s Castle roads bill, which received royal assent, 15 May 1822.14 He divided with government against more extensive tax reductions, 21 Feb., but voted to lower the duty on salt, 28 Feb., and to abolish one of the joint-postmasterships, 2 May. He divided against inquiry into the lord advocate’s treatment of the Scottish press, 25 June. He was in the ministerial majorities against repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr., and inquiry into chancery delays, 5 June 1823; but, unlike the Clives, he divided against them for inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr. 1823. He voted against condemning the indictment in Demerara of the Methodist missionary John Smith, 11 June, and in the government’s majority for the Irish insurrection bill, 14 June 1824. He was added to the select committee on salmon fisheries, in which Powis had a vested interest, 18 May, and appointed with Powis’s sons to that on county rates, 19 Mar. 1824, 9 Mar. 1825, 2 Mar. 1826. He voted for the Irish unlawful societies bill, 25 Feb., and the duke of Cumberland’s annuity, 10 June 1825. He promoted the abortive Ludlow and Severn railroad bill for Powis, and attended and addressed public meetings in Ludlow and Radnorshire following the collapse in February 1825 of Prodgers’ Bank and that of Coleman and Wellings in March 1826. He was sworn in as high bailiff of Ludlow in October 1825.15 His minority vote against empowering government to admit foreign corn, 8 May 1826, was his only recorded one that session. Notwithstanding criticism of his Cheapside connections and ‘Pythagorean silence’, his return for Bishop’s Castle at the general election in June was not seriously challenged.16 At Ludlow, where he was the returning officer, Lechmere Charlton forced a brief poll, which terminated in favour of the Clives, with a view to having the franchise and boundaries determined on petition.17 Hurt by Lechmere Charlton’s public denunciation of Ludlow corporation, Rogers challenged him to a duel near Bath, which ‘terminated without bloodshed’ 9 Oct. 1826.18
He voted against corn law reform, 2 Apr., and Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827, 12 May 1828, and divided with the Wellington administration against ordnance reductions, 4 July 1828. In February 1829 their patronage secretary Planta predicted that, like the Clives, he would divide ‘with government’ for Catholic emancipation, but he abstained. He cast votes against enfranchising Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb., Jewish emancipation, 17 May, and reducing expenditure on the South American missions, 7 June 1830, when he divided against abolishing the death penalty for forgery. Rogers had been at the forefront of the Radnorshire magistrates’ successful campaigns for parliamentary funding for the Hereford-Aberystwyth road and the new gaol and county hall at Presteigne, and he strongly supported their memorials and petitions against the 1830 administration of justice bill, which proposed transferring the assizes to Brecon or Hereford when the court of great sessions was abolished. He voted against the bill, 18 June.19 His minority votes to restrict on-consumption under the sale of beer bill, 21 June, 1 July 1830, accorded with the prevailing opinion of the corporations of Bishop’s Castle and Ludlow.20 At the general election that month he was returned for Bishop’s Castle with another Ludlow corporator, Frederick Hamilton Cornewall of Delbury, the eldest son of the bishop of Worcester and a kinsman of the late countess of Powis.21 Lechmere Charlton was belatedly ‘bought off’ at Ludlow,22 and ‘though labouring under considerable indisposition’, Rogers hurried from there to Presteinge to support Frankland Lewis, whose election for Radnorshire he had tacitly supported at by-elections in April 1828 and March 1830.23
The Wellington ministry counted him among their ‘friends’, and he divided with them on the civil list when they were brought down, 15 Nov. 1830. Bishop’s Castle was to be disfranchised by the Grey ministry’s reform bill, and he voted against its second reading, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. At the ensuing general election he came in for Bishop’s Castle with a new Clive nominee, the anti-reformer and barrister James Lewis Knight, and supported Frankland Lewis in Radnorshire, where he was challenged by a reformer.24 He divided against the reintroduced reform bill at its second reading, 6 July 1831. Presenting a hostile petition from Bishop’s Castle, which he fully endorsed, 14 July, he claimed that ministers had ‘decided to pass the bill without giving the parties aggrieved a chance of being heard in support of their claims’ and asserted that his ‘only consolation’ was ‘that to the last, my vote shall be given against a measure which I conceive to be unjust and oppressive’.25 He voted to make the 1831 census the criterion for English borough disfranchisements, 19 July, and stayed on in London to monitor the bill’s progress;26 but, like Powis’s other Members, he voted only against the partial disfranchisement of Chippenham, 27 July, and the bill’s passage, 21 Sept. 1831. They did not divide on the second reading of the revised measure, 17 Dec. 1831, but voted against enfranchising Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the bill’s third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. Rogers also divided against the second reading of the Irish measure, 25 May. He paired against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 12 July 1832.
Rogers, who married a granddaughter of Thomas Brown in November 1832, did not stand for Parliament again.27 He remained an active magistrate and benefactor of the poor and was sheriff of Radnorshire during the Rebecca riots. He died at the Bath home of his nephew Benjamin Brown in December 1852 and was buried in the family vault in Brampton Bryan, having outlived his second wife and only surviving son, who had died unmarried in Geneva, 4 Dec. 1838, at the age of 28.28 His unmarried sister Harriet thus became the main beneficiary under the wills of both Rogers and their mother (d. 1834), and she alone was empowered to open his papers. Stanage was placed in trust and reverted to the descendants of the Rev. John Rogers of The Home on Harriet’s death in 1867.29
Ref Volumes: 1820-1832
Author: Margaret Escott
- 1. Burke LG erroneously gives 1830.
- 2. R.C. Oliver, ‘Three Early 19th Cent. Letters pertaining to Rad.’ Trans. Rad. Soc. xlii (1972), 34-35; IGI (Surr.); P. Beesly, Hist. Knight Fam. 8.
- 3. IGI (London, Herefs., Surr.); Gent. Mag. (1807), ii. 976; H.T. Weyman, ‘Members for Bishop’s Castle’, Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), x (1898), 64-66.
- 4. Oliver, 36-37; IGI (Salop); Gent. Mag. (1816), ii. 627.
- 5. NLW, Harpton Court mss C/595; HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 510-11.
- 6. Salop Archives DA1/100/2, Bishop’s Castle corporation minutes, 1713-1861, p. 266; Salop Archives, Ludford Park mss 11/1001; Salop Archives, Clive-Powis mss 552/22/67; Salopian Jnl. 1, 8, 15 Mar.; Shrewsbury Chron. 3, 10, 17 Mar.; The Times, 7 Mar. 1820.
- 7. Shrewsbury Chron. 10 Mar. 1820.
- 8. CJ, lxxv. 181-2, 316-17.
- 9. Ibid. 418, 423.
- 10. Salopian Jnl. 3 Jan. 1821; PROB 11/1640/104; IR26/875/126; Oliver, 35.
- 11. The Times, 20 Nov. 1820.
- 12. CJ, lxxvi. 77.
- 13. W.K. Parker, ‘The Great Rebuilding’, Trans. Rad. Soc. l (1980), 24.
- 14. Shrewsbury Chron. 19 Oct. 1821; Bishop’s Castle corporation minutes, p. 270; CJ, lxxvii. 42-43, 267.
- 15. Hereford Jnl. 16 Feb. 1825; Salop Archives, Ludlow Borough LB2/1/7, pp. 399-419; Shrewsbury Chron. 14 Apr. 1826.
- 16. Clive-Powis mss 552/22/82-85 and uncat. ‘A Burgess’ to Rogers, 19 Nov. 1825; Hereford Independent, 25 Feb.; Shrewsbury Chron. 2, 16 June 1826.
- 17. Ludlow Borough LB7/1847. See LUDLOW.
- 18. Salopian Jnl. 18 Oct.; The Times, 19 Oct. 1826.
- 19. Parker, 21-33; Hereford Jnl. 20 Sept., 4, 11 Oct. 1826, 17 Jan. 1827, 2 Apr., 26 Oct. 1829, 10, 17 Mar., 27 Apr. 1830; Harpton Court mss C/399, 517, 596, 604-6; CJ, lxxxv. 211.
- 20. Hereford Jnl. 14 July 1830.
- 21. Ibid. 14 July; Salopian Jnl. 4 Aug. 1830; Clive-Powis mss 552/22/90-95; Bishop’s Castle corporation minutes, p. 288.
- 22. NLW, Aston Hall mss C.599; VCH Salop, iii. 291.
- 23. Harpton Court mss C/597; Shrewsbury Chron. 13 Aug.; Hereford Jnl. 18 Aug. 1830.
- 24. Clive-Powis mss 552/22/97 and uncat. Clark to F. Allen, 25 Apr.; Bishop’s Castle corporation minutes, pp. 292-3; Harpton Court mss 2163; Hereford Jnl. 1