James Edwin Thorold ROGERS (1823–1890)
His wife Ann Susanna Charlotte ROGERS, née Reynolds (1826–1899)
Their son Henry Reynolds Knatchbull ROGERS (1858–1876)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 23, Grave G69
Front of vault facing north, shown above: JAMES EDWIN THOROLD ROGERS, M.A.
PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL ECONOMY / IN THIS UNIVERSITY / DIED OCTOBER 12 – 1890 / AGED 67
Back of vault facing south, shown below: ANN SUSANNA CHARLOTTE ROGERS
WIFE AND MOTHER / DIED FEBRUARY 3 – 1899 / AGED 73 / WHEN I AWAKE UP AFTER THY LIKENESS / I SHALL BE SATISFIED WITH IT
Under the cross to the right of the vault, image shown below: HENRY REYNOLDS
KNATCHBULL / ROGERS,
CAPTAIN OF / WESTMINSTER SCHOOL / SEPTEMBER 11 – 1876, / AGED 18 / BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART / FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD
See the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and also Wikipedia for the full career
of James Edwin Thorold Rogers, political economist and politician
James Edwin Thorold Rogers was born at West Meon, Hampshire on 23 March 1823, the eleventh son of George Vining Rogers, a surgeon, and Mary Anne Blyth.
Rogers was matriculated at the University of Oxford from Magdalen Hall on 9 March 1842, when he was 19.
On 19 December 1850 at Petersfield, he married his first wife, Anna Peskett, but she died in 1853.
At All Souls’ Church in Marylebone on 14 December 1854, James Edwin Thorold Rogers married his second wife, Ann Susannah Charlotte Reynolds (born in Marylebone in 1825/6, the daughter of Henry Revell Reynolds, Treasury Solicitor) . They had six children:
- Annie Mary Anne Henley Rogers (born in Oxford, probably at 4 Wellington Place, in 1856 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 2 April)
- Henry Reynolds Knatchbull Rogers (born in Oxford, probably at 4 Wellington Place, in 1858 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 17 June)
- Bertram Mitford Heron Rogers (born at 4 Wellington Place, Oxford on 25 August 1860 and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 1 November)
- Leonard James Rogers (born at 8 Beaumont Street, Oxford on 30 March 1862 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 3 May)
- Arthur George Liddon Rogers (born at 8 Beaumont Street, Oxford on 18 December 1864 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 7 February 1865)
- Clement Francis Rogers (born at 8 Beaumont Street, Oxford on 25 October 1866 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 29 November).
Rogers took holy orders, and acted voluntarily as assistant curate at Headington Quarry from 1854. He was ordained at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford on Sunday 20 December 1856.
Between 1856 and 1860 he and his family lived at Wellington Place in St Giles’s parish.
In 1859 Rogers was elected first Tooke Professor of Economic Science and Statistics at King’s College, London.
The 1861 census shows Rogers, who described himself as the Curate of Headington and Tooke Professor of Political Economy, living at Wellington Place with his wife Ann and their first three children: Annie (5), Henry (2), and Bertram (eight months). They had four servants (a nurse, cook, and two nursemaids). In June that year Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) took photographs of young Annie (on a sofa, and in a belted slip, and seated with her mother Mrs Anne Rogers) and of James Edwin Thorold Rogers himself with his eldest son Henry Reynolds Knatchbull Rogers.
Within a year or so the family settled at 8 Beaumont Street in St Giles’s parish, and as their family expanded, they took over No. 9 as well. (Both houses were demolished to make way for the Playhouse.). In 1862 Rogers was elected Drummond professor of political economy at the University of Oxford, a position tenable for five years, and it was during this period that he became involved in radical politics.
The 1871 census shows Rogers (described simply as a Professor of Political Economy) living at 8 Beaumont Street with his wife and five of their children: Annie (15), Bertram (10), Leonard (9), Arthur (6), and Clement (4) and three servants (a nurse, housemaid, and a nursemaid aged only 13).
Death of their eldest son Henry Reynolds Knatchbull Rogers
Their son Henry, who was then Captain of Westminster School, committed suicide by hanging himself at home in his bedroom in 1876:
† Henry Reynolds Knatchbull Rogers died at 8 Beaumont Street at the age of 18 on 11 September 1876 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 18 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
It is significant that the word “died” is not used on the gravestone.
Pat Jalland in Death in the Victorian Family (Oxford University Press, 1996) writes at length about his suicide:
The family of Professor James Thorold Rogers, the historian, could not console itself with the possibility that Henry had suffered from long-term depression, and the father had to take public refuge in the subterfuge that the death in September 1876 was an accident. The suicide of a beloved eldest son, aged only , must have been one of the worst forms of parental torture. Henry’s younger brother Bertram, aged 15, later described the tragedy at the inquest, and in an account for the family history entitled “Black Sheep and Tragedies”. Henry and Bertram were spending the school holidays at home in Oxford, while their father was in Germany and their mother was in bed for a day or two with a bad toothache. The two boys had practised cricket and played card-games in the drawing-room before retiring to bed at their usual time. When Henry did not appear for breakfast next morning Bertram went to his room to call him, and found him “suspended by a strap from the hook on the door, quite dead”. The 15-year-old boy cut the strap and laid his brother’s body on the floor. Henry had not been to bed and the body was quite cold, so he must have died the previous evening. After making the “dreadful discovery”, Bertram rushed to his mother’s room and summoned his father and sister home from Germany.
The inquest was held in the dining-room, where Bertram testified that Henry had given no indication that he “meditated self-destruction” and had no cause to do so. Their doctor said the death was caused by mental derangement due to overwork, no doubt hoping for a verdict of “temporary insanity”, but Bertram privately thought that was nonsense. The housekeeper testified that Henry seemed “very happy”, with no particular problems. The verdict of suicide was damning: “That deceased hanged himself … and [that] there was no evidence laid before the jury to show the state of his mind at the time”. The implication was that Henry was sane and therefore responsible for his actions. Fifty years later Bertram remained unable to explain his brother’s suicide, though “the horror of it is still fresh in my mind”. He felt sure Henry was happy at home, he was captain of Westminster School, and appeared to have good prospects at Oxford. Some light was cast on his school performance by a letter of May 1876 from a master at Westminster School to Mrs Rogers: he regretted that Henry had not recently been successful in his work and attributed this to his apparently poor health, already discussed with his mother, especially his low level of energy. Henry may have been suffering from mononucleosis, with incipient severe depression.
Even at the time of Henry’s death Bertram was aware that his father “feared to face the real fact and tried to persuade himself that it was else than a deliberate act”. It helped James Thorold Rogers to try to believe this fiction. Neither parent ever again spoke of the tragedy to Bertram, presumably because he continued to insist it was suicide, and they preferred to believe otherwise. Whatever their own grief, the parents left this 15-year-old boy to carry an extraordinarily heavy burden of grief and guilt with no parental support. The bereaved parents were unable to respond to the boy’s grief because of their own sorrow and shame. Possibly also the mother was hostile to Bertram because he survived, while her favourite, the eldest son, did not. Nine days after Henry’s death, Professor James Thorold Rogers distributed a most unusual black-edged, printed “open letter” to friends and colleagues concerning the circumstances of his son’s death. Ostensibly this two-page document was an expression of gratitude for the many letters of condolence, but the father’s protests that he would not deceive himself or “argue falsely on behalf of my dead son” are not convincing in the light of Bertram’s evidence. James Thorold Rogers contended that Henry’s death was caused by a schoolboy experiment while performing “dangerous gymnastic practices” in his room. The father affirmed that to argue that such a diligent and contented boy deliberately took his own life “would be to insult humanity, to outrage reason, to dishonour the providence of God, to reduce human life to chaos or chance”. A copy of this extraordinary open letter was bizarrely pasted into the family album of photographs, press cuttings, and records of achievements, a sad family claim for posterity.
James Thorold Rogers also went to much trouble over his son’s grave. The family archives include a “faculty”, or licence, from the ecclesiastical authorities for the construction of a brick family vault in perpetuity on the south side of Saint Sepulchre’s Burial Ground in Oxford, where Henry’s parents were eventually to join their son. The remainder of the family appear to have been buried elsewhere. The significance of these special burial procedures relates back to the ancient customs which denied Christian burial to suicides, whose bodies were interred in a pit at a crossroads, with a wooden stake hammered through them. Though rites of desecration were abolished by the Act of 1823, private night-time burial between 9 and 12 p.m. continued, and clergymen could decline to perform the customary rights over the bodies of suicides or could amend them. Between 1852 and 1880 legislation permitted suicides to be buried with religious rights if co-operative clergymen could be found, but no clause compelled ministers to perform the burial service. Popular opinion continued to oppose the burial of suicides in consecrated ground. Suicides judged non compos mentis were often buried in the shaded north side of churchyards, along with unbaptized infants and executed criminals. Burial practices varied, and some suicides, including Henry Rogers, were placed in family vaults or other more agreeable locations, at the request of privileged families.
Ann Rogers’s obsessive visits to her son’s grave over many years may reflect her lingering concern about the state of his soul, as she endeavoured to beautify and sanctify his last resting-place. Her diary shows that she did not delude herself about the cause of her son’s death, whatever consolation such vain hopes brought to her husband. Ann had four other sons and one daughter, but she could not assuage her grief for Henry. She recorded in her diary on 11 September 1876, the day of his death: “God have mercy upon us for what happened today. My son my son.” Ann Rogers always visited Henry’s “dear grave” at least once a week, and frequently twice or more often, to plant flowers or bulbs, lay a wreath, or clean the marble cross. Tending his grave was an essential ritual which brought her some sense of closeness to her dead son. Numerous diary entries simply recorded “very low. Always thinking about my poor darling”; and at Christmas, “Oh so miserable, longing for my poor Boy.” Of the first anniversary of Henry’s death she wrote: “A year of great mental agony to me. My precious Boy always present in my thoughts and his terrible death a source of unceasing suffering. God help us.”
Bertram Rogers observed that his mother never recovered from Henry’s suicide, and remained in mourning for the rest of her life: “I think his image was always before her.” Ann Rogers was unable to resolve her grief. On the third anniversary of the death she observed, “all the past seems vivid as ever … how vexed is the recollection of that day 3 years”. In 1882 she wrote on 11 September: “The terrible day. My sweet darling Boy I can hardly bear it even now.” She was still visiting the grave at least weekly and discussing her loss with her two sons Arthur and Clem, though never with Bertram. At least she was able to note an improvement in her health on New Year’s Eve 1882, despite continued depression, and “my darling Boy not forgotten but more gone into the past”. Ann Rogers was 51 at the time of Henry’s death and mourned him for twenty-three years until her own death in 1899 when she joined Henry in the vault.
In April 1880 James Edwin Thorold Rogers was elected to parliament as an “advanced Liberal” for Southwark.
At the time of the 1881 census Rogers was a visitor at Cheshunt College, Hertfordshire. His wife Ann was home at 8 & 9 Beaumont Street with Annie (25), who was a school teacher; Bertram (20), who was an unattached undergraduate, living at home; and Leonard (19), who was a Scholar of Balliol College. They had three servants (a cook, parlourmaid, and housemaid). Clement (14) was boarding at Westminster School and Arthur (16) at Westminster College.
Between 1880 and 1885 Rogers’s four surviving sons were all matriculated at the University of Oxford.
From 1883 Rogers held a lecturership at Worcester College.
Rogers ceased to be a Member of Parliament when he was defeated in the election of 1886; and In 1888 he was reappointed to the Drummond professorship at Oxford.
On 1 October 1889 Rogers was summoned at the Oxford City Police Court for an infraction of the order of the Local Board compelling persons to have their dogs effectively muzzled. He was in the University Parks on 15 September, and removed his collie’s muzzle so that it could swim in the Cherwell, and before it could be replaced, it attacked a muzzled terrier. Rogers claimed as a member of the University that (1) the case should be tried before the Vice-Chancellor’s Court, and (2) that he was on his own freehold in the park, as it was the property of the University. The Local Board replied that as the public were allowed the use of the park it was a public place for the purpose of the rabies order, and he was fined one shilling and costs.
Rogers died in 1890:
† James Edwin Thorold Rogers died at 8 Beaumont Street at the age of 67 on 13 October 1890, and he was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery in the same grave as his son on 17 October, following a service in Worcester College Chapel (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
The following description of the funeral appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 18 October 1890:
A very large gathering of senior members of the University assembled on Thursday afternoon at the funeral in St. Sepulchre’s Cemetery, Walton-street. At half-past three the body was conveyed to Worcester College from the deceased’s residence in Beaumont-street, in an open hearse, the funeral cortège consisting of three carriages, kindly lent for the occasion In the first were the widow and Miss Rogers and the Rev. R. N. Gandy; in the second, Mrs. Bartholomew and Miss Fletcher; and in the third, Mr. J. Spencer Balfour, M.P. The other mourners followed on foot, and were Mr. B. M. H. Rogers and Mrs. Rogers, Mr. L. J. Rogers and Miss Rogers, and Messrs. A. G. L. Rogers, C. F. Rogers, C. Woollaston, Julian Rogers, M. Rogers, T. Baines, and S. Woollaston. The deceased’s own carriage brought up the rear. Members of the University and other friends had previously assembled in the Hall of the College, and as the coffin, which was profusely covered with beautiful wreaths, was borne from the College gates to the Chapel they formed in procession after the mourners. First came the Vice-Chancellor (Dr. Boyd) and the Mayor (Ald. Hughes), the Senior and Junior Proctors, the members of Worcester College, Heads of Houses, friends from London, other members of the University, and citizens. The National Liberal Club was represented by Mr. G. W. Osborn, Mr. Philip Bright, Mr. J. Frederick Green, Mr. T. Fisher Unwin, and Mr. Arthur W. Hutton (librarian). Among those also present were the Warden of Wadham, the Provost of Queen’s, the President of Corpus, the Provost of Oriel, the Warden of All Soul’s [sic], the President of Trinity, the Master of Pembroke, the Principal of Brasenose the Rector of Lincoln, the Principal of St. Mary Hall, Sir William Markby, Archdeacon Palmer, Professors B. Prince, Pritchard, Rhys, Westwood, Owen, Cook Wilson, Nettleship, Clifton, Sylvester, Wallace, Burrows, Margoliouth, Dr. Bright, Dr. Legge, Dr. Mee, Dr. Parnkerd, Dr. Neubauer Russell (London), Dr. Murray, Dr. Burdon Sanderson, Dr. Hunt, Dr. Hill, the Revs. G. Moore, J. Dodd, H. A. Harvey, W. B. Keer, W. Esson, H. Hughes, W. B. Duggan, L. R. Phelps, W. A. Spooner, R. H. Charsley, R. G. Livingstone, A. Butler, W. H. Hutton, W. D. Macray, C. J. H. Fletcher, R. St. John Tyrwhitt; Major Wilson, Messrs. T. W. Jackson, Hewins, M. E. Sadler, W. W. Fisher, A. R. Tawney, W. B. Gamlen, E. Chapman, J. C. Wilson, G. W. Child, A. G. V. Harcourt, A. Robinson, S. Ball, W. H. Lloyd, H. A. Pottinger, H. T. Gerrans, H. F. Tozer, Strachan-Davidson, F. P. Morrell, J. L. G. Mowat, H. J. Turrell, F. J. Lys, W. H. Hadow, W. R. Morfill, A. Watson, G. R. Scott, Matheson, W. Esson, Forbes, M. A. A. Mathews, and others.
The body was met at the lodge by the Provost of Worcester (Rev. W. Inge) and the Rev. C. H. O. Daniel, the former commencing the service for the Burial of the Dead. The coffin was carried into the Chapel, which was quite filled. At the conclusion of the ante-service, the body was again borne to the hearse, and the procession was reformed and walked in front of the hearse, being preceded by the University Marshall, who tolled a hand-bell. On arriving at the cemetery the procession divided in the avenue leading from the gates to the lodge, the coffin being borne through the lines. It was deposited in a brick grave in the St. Mary Magdalen portion of the cemetery, which already contained the remains of the deceased’s son. The service was concluded by the Rev. H. E. Clayton. The coffin, which was of polished elm, with brass furniture, bore the following inscription:-
JAMES E. THOROLD ROGERS.
March 23rd, 1823.
October 12th, 1890.
Wreaths came from the following:— National Liberal Club, Mr. and Mrs. George Scott, Dr. and Mrs. Gray, Mr. C. H. Lloyd and Miss Lloyd, Miss Lathbury, Miss Symonds, Mrs. Lott, the Mayor of Oxford and Mrs. Hughes, Rev. J. Dodd, Miss Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Baines, of Leeds, Professor and Mrs. Prichard, Mrs. Alexander and Miss Alexander, Rev. C. H. O. and Mrs. Daniel, Dr. and Mrs Grueber, the Misses Cobden, Mr. and Mrs. Bartholomew, of Reading, Mr. and Mrs. Humphery, of London, and Miss Letitia Rogers, of Alton, Hants.
The funeral arrangements were satisfactorily carried out by Messrs. Elliston and Cavell.
His effects came to £939 17s., and his wife Ann and Richard Norris Gandy were his executors.
Immediately after his death Ann Rogers moved with her daughter Annie to more modest premises at 35 St Giles’s Street. She died in 1899:
† Mrs Ann Susanna Charlotte Rogers died at 35 St Giles’s Street on 3 February 1899 at the age of 73 and was buried in St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 7 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
Her effects came to £1,563 1s. 11d., and her executors were her son Bertram and daughter Annie.
Children of James Edwin Thorold and Ann Rogers
- Annie Mary Anne Henley Rogers (born 1856) became a promoter of women’s higher education and Oxford’s first woman don. She died in 1937 after being hit by a lorry, and the garden to the north of the University Church was laid out in her memory: see her entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Bertram Mitford Heron Rogers (born 1860) became a Doctor of Medicine. On 1 October 1891 at Ss Philip & James Church, Oxford he married Agnes Constance Fletcher, the daughter of Cartaret John Halford Fletcher, the Rector of St Martin’s Church, and they had two daughters. He was a well-known Bristol physician, and at the time of the 1911 census he and his wife were living at 1 Victoria Square, Clifton, Bristol with their daughter Mary Elizabeth Mitford Rogers (18). He died in Oxford 1953.
- Leonard James Rogers (born 1862) became Professor of Mathematics at the Yorkshire College (which developed into the University of Leeds), and was living at 24 Leckford Road at the time of his death at the Acland Nursing Home on 12 September 1933. See his entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Arthur George Liddon Rogers (born 1864/5) became a civil servant in the Board of Agriculture and wrote A Handbook to Bristol and the Neighbourhood. He married Emma Nora M. Hallett in Bromley near the beginning of 1909, and their son Patrick Heron Thorold Rogers was born at the end of that year. Their son Patrick was killed on active service in the Second World War at the age of 31 and was buried at Ramsden on 18 March 1942, Arthur died at Mount Skippet, Ramsden at the age of 79 on 7 March 1944 and was buried there on 11 March.
- Clement Francis Rogers (born 1866) took holy orders and was the Professor of Pastoral Theology at King’s College, London. He died in Oxford on 23 June 1949, and was cremated at Oxford Crematorium.
The following obituary of James Edwin Thorold Rogers appeared in The Times on 14 October 1890:
DEATH OF PROFESSOR J. E. THOROLD ROGERS.
We regret to announce the death of Mr. Thorold Rogers, the well-known Professor of Political Economy at Oxford, which occurred on Sunday night, somewhat suddenly perhaps, but not altogether unexpectedly, at his residence at Oxford. Hardly any man of his time has been better known or more conspicuous in Oxford for the last 30 or 40 years than Professor Rogers. His personality was at once impressive and aggressive, and even those to whom it was least congenial were fain to acknowledge his peculiar qualities and gifts. He was educated at King’s College, in London, and matriculated in due course at Magdalen Hall, a society which at that time was not remarkable for academical distinction, though Jacobson, afterwards Regius Professor of Divinity and Bishop of Chester, had been its Vice-Principal, and Macbride, a lay divine of high Evangelical repute, was and remained for long afterwards its Principal. Rogers obtained a first class in Classics under the old system in 1846, and might well have looked forward to a distinguished academical career. But open Fellowships were rare in the days before the first University Commission, and Rogers never obtained one. The circumstance may perhaps account for the bitterness with which in after years he was wont to attack the University system, though it must be acknowledged that his criticisms were occasionally just as well as pointed.
After taking his degree Rogers took Holy Orders, and for some years in early manhood was either curate or incumbent of Headington Quarry, a poor and somewhat neglected district in the neighbourhood of Oxford. But the bent of his mind and temperament was decidedly anticlerical, and though he still retained the title of reverend for several years, he subsequently relinquished it, having been largely instrumental in procuring the passing of the statute whereby clerks in Holy Orders are now enabled to divest themselves of the disabilities attaching to the sacred office. He married early and settled in Oxford, taking private pupils in large numbers, occasionally examining in the schools, devoting himself to literary pursuits, and gradually taking a large share in the administrative business of the University — he used often to declare that he was the largest holder of unpaid offices in Oxford, and to contrast himself in that respect with the most fortunate holders of comfortable sinecures. His reading was wide and varied, including a vast range of classical and modern literature, but his scholarship was discursive rather than profound, and perhaps somewhat deficient in accuracy. It was one of the disappointments of his life that the Delegates of the Clarendon Press declined many years ago to undertake the publication of an Aristotelian dictionary which he had prepared with much labour and erudition. In 1862 he became a candidate for the Professor of Political Economy founded by Henry Drummond, and vacated at that time by the retirement of Charles Neate, sometime Fellow of Oriel and M.P. for the City of Oxford. The chair was at that time tenable for five years, but the Professor was re-eligible, the election being vested in the Convocation of the University. Rogers, though a noted Liberal and a friend of Bright and Cobden, with the latter of whom he was connected by marriage, had not at that time become notorious and obnoxious in certain quarters as a Radical politician, and he was elected without difficulty. He devoted himself with characteristic energy to the duties of his office, and his studies thenceforth took that distinctively economical turn which resulted some years afterwards in the publication of his well-known “History of Agriculture and Prices in England” — a learned and elaborate work founded largely on his own personal examination of the accounts of several of the Colleges of Oxford, especially those of Merton College. He was a stimulating and suggestive lecturer, interspersing his graver disquisitions with a racy anecdote, not always of a strictly academical type. But his labours in the Chair of Political Economy were not destined to be continued without intermission. When the time came for his re-election in 1868 an opposition was raised in circumstances which we described as follows in recording the death of Professor Bonamy Price in 1888:—
“The Chair had been held for the previous five years by Mr. Thorold Rogers, and Mr. Rogers offered himself for re-election. He had, however, made himself highly unpopular with the Conservative majority of Convocation, and especially with its leaders in Oxford, by his extreme political opinions and his not too discreet expression of them. The contest was accordingly waged, not so much by the candidates themselves as by their respective supporters, on purely party grounds. In special qualifications for the duties no attempt was made by his opponents to impugn the fidelity, industry, and ability with which Mr. Rogers had discharged those duties. Both were Liberals in politics, but Mr. Price, though at one time an advanced Liberal, was now inclining towards the right wing of his party, while Mr. Rogers was regarded by his opponents as an extreme, and even dangerous, Radical. An active canvass was conducted, less in favour of Mr. Price than in opposition to Mr. Rogers, and political animosities of that peculiar type which characterized Convocation and inspired its local leaders in those days were enlisted on behalf of Mr. Rogers’s opponent. The result was a foregone conclusion. Mr. Price was elected by a large majority, the University obtained an excellent professor, and Mr. Rogers was duly punished for his political opinions.”
The only effect on Rogers was to intensify his Radical sympathies and to leave him more unmuzzled than ever in the expression of his political opinions. He began to take a more active part in politics, and in 1874 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Scarborough. In the general election of 1880 he was returned for Southwark as a colleague of Mr. Arthur Cohen, Q.C., and he represented that borough until it was divided by the Redistribution of Seats Act, when he became a candidate for Bermondsey, and was returned for that division in the general election of 1885. But in 1886, having declared himself in favour of the Gladstonian policy for Ireland, he was defeated by the present Conservative member, Mr. Lafone…. He will be remembered not as a politician — for in this capacity he presented the more aggressive and least temperate side of his character to the public gaze — but as a man of letters, a student, and a diligent thoughtful, and suggestive compiler of economical data and statistics. On the death of Mr. Bonamy Price, with whom after some few years of estrangement his personal relations had become cordial and friendly, he was re-elected to the chair of Political Economy, from which he had been somewhat unceremoniously ousted 20 years before. The election had now been transferred to a Board of which Lord Salisbury, as Chancellor of the University, and Mr. Goschen, as Chancellor of the Exchequer. were members, and it was generally believed at the time that both statesmen, forgetting political differences, and recognizing the value of Rogers’s economical researches, concurred in his nomination. For the last year or two it was evident to his friends that his health was seriously impaired; and his death, though somewhat premature, for he was by no means as old as he looked, can hardly have come as a surprise to those who observed his rapidly ageing figure and the decay of his once inexhaustible vivacity.
Professor Rogers’s contributions to economical and political literature were numerous and important. We have already mentioned his “History of Agriculture and Prices,” and to this may be added his “Six Centuries of Work and Wages.” He edited the speeches of his friends Bright and Cobden, produced for the Clarendon Press an annotated edition of Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations,” and collected and edited with historical elucidations the “Protests of the House of Lords.” His minor works, often the product of wide reading and research, are too numerous for detailed mention. Of his personal character many different estimates will be formed by those who knew him in different capacities. He was boisterous and uncompromising in the expression of his often aggressive opinions, but of a kindly nature and generous sympathies. His talk was racy and often too full-bodied to satisfy a fastidious taste, but he was generally well worth hearing, for his knowledge was wide and various, and he applied it with no little ingenuity to the support of the opinions he espoused. His wife survives him, and he leaves several children. His eldest son died very suddenly some years ago — it was uncertain whether by his own hand or as the result of an untoward accident. Many of the late Professor’s friends will recollect the very touching letter which he wrote on that occasion in response to their widespread expressions of sympathy and in repudiation of the hypothesis of suicide. A younger son distinguished himself some ten years ago by a brilliant mathematical career at the University. His only daughter was trained by her father in classical studies, and was the first lady admitted to the privileges of a University examination at Oxford, who obtained a distinction pronounced by the examiners to be equivalent in all respects of a First Class in Classical Moderations.