Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rogers, John (1778-1856)

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ROGERS, JOHN (1778–1856), divine, born at Plymouth on 17 July 1778, was eldest son of John Rogers, M.P. for Penryn and Helston, by his wife Margaret, daughter of Frances Basset. Rogers was educated at Helston grammar school, at Eton, and at Trinity College, Oxford. He matriculated on 8 April 1797, graduated B.A. as a passman in 1801, and M.A. in 1810. Having been ordained to the curacy of St. Blazey, he became rector of Mawnan, the advowson of which belonged to his family, in 1807. In 1820 he was appointed canon residentiary of Exeter. In 1832 he succeeded to the Penrose and Helston estates of about ten thousand acres, comprising the manors of Penrose, Helston, Carminow, Winrianton, and various other estates in Cornwall, including several mines. The Penrose lands had been acquired in 1770 by his grandfather, Hugh Rogers, and the Helston in 1798 by his father. Rogers resigned his rectory in 1838. He died at Penrose on 12 June 1856, and was buried at Sithney, where there is a monument to him.

Rogers married, first, in 1814, Mary, only daughter of John Jope, rector of St. Ives and vicar of St. Cleer; and, secondly, in 1843, Grace, eldest daughter of G. S. Fursdon of Fursdon, Devonshire; she survived him, and died in 1862 (Gent. Mag. 1862, i. 239). By his first wife Rogers had issue five sons and a daughter. His eldest son, John Jope (1816–1880), was M.P. for Helston from 1859 to 1865; the latter's eldest son, Captain J. P. Rogers, is the present owner of Penrose.

Rogers was a popular and energetic landlord, and a good botanist and mineralogist. As lord of the Tresavean mine, he took an active part in forwarding the adoption of the first man-engine, the introduction of which in the deep mines, in place of the old perpendicular ladders, proved an important reform. He contributed several papers to the ‘Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall.’

He was, however, chiefly distinguished as a Hebrew and Syriac scholar. In 1812, when Frey prepared the edition of the Hebrew Bible published by the newly formed Society for Promoting the Conversion of the Jews, the general supervision of the work was entrusted to Rogers. His own works, in addition to sermons and occasional papers, were: 1. ‘What is the Use of the Prayer Book?’ London, 1819. 2. ‘Scripture Proofs of the Catechism,’ London, 1832. 3. ‘Remarks on Bishop Lowth's Principles in correcting the Text of the Hebrew Bible,’ Oxford, 1832. 4. ‘The Book of Psalms in Hebrew, with Selections from various Readings and from the ancient Versions,’ Oxford and London, 1833–4. 5. ‘On the Origin and Regulations of Queen Anne's Bounty,’ London, 1836. 6. ‘Reasons why a new Edition of the Peschito Version should be published,’ Oxford and London, 1849. A few days before his death he completed his last article on ‘Variæ Lectiones of the Hebrew Bible’ for the ‘Journal of Sacred Literature.’

[Burke's Landed Gentry, 1838, i. 299; Eton School Lists; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Boase's Collect. Cornubiensia, c. 829; Boase and Courtney's Bibliotheca Corn. p. 586; Gent. Mag. 1856, ii. 248; Journal of Sacred Literature, 1857, iv. 243–4.]

E. C. M.