Charles Rogers

Date of birth: 

1825-04-18

Date of death: 

1890-09-18

Biography: 

According to Pride and Negligence, Rogers was a "Scotsman and minister of the Church of Scotland, who [by 1874) had settled in England and had there brought out a long series of works on Scottish history, literature, and genealogy." (Pride and Negligence, pp. 56-57).

According to Archives in London and the M25 area:

"Charles Rogers (1825-1890) Scottish author. Born in Denino, Fife, 18 April 1825, the only son of James Rogers (1767-1849), the local minister, and his wife Jane Haldane. He was educated at Denino parish school, and the University of St. Andrews, matriculating in 1839. Licensed by the presbytery of St Andrews in June 1846, he was employed in the capacity of assistant successively at Western Anstruther, Kinglassie, Abbotshall, Dunfermline, Ballingry, and Carnoustie. Subsequently he opened a preaching station at the Bridge of Allan, and from January 1855 until 11 Aug. 1863 was chaplain of the garrison at Stirling Castle. In 1855 he inaugurated at Stirling a short-lived Scottish Literary Institute. In 1862 he opened the British Christian Institute, for the dissemination of religious tracts, especially to soldiers and sailors, and in connection with it he issued a weekly paper, called `The Workman's Friend,' and afterwards monthly serials, `The Briton' and `The Recorder;' but the scheme collapsed in 1863. In 1863 he founded and edited a newspaper, `The Stirling Gazette,' but its career was brief. These schemes involved Rogers in much contention and litigation, and he imagined himself the victim of misrepresentation and persecution. To escape his calumniators he resigned his chaplaincy in 1863, went to England, and thenceforth devoted himself to literary work.

Rogers's earliest literary efforts in London were journalistic, but his chief interest was Scottish history, literature, and genealogy. He also had a passion for founding literary societies. In November 1865 he originated in London a short-lived Naval and Military Tract Society, as a successor to his British Christian Institute, and in connection with it he edited a quarterly periodical called `The British Bulwark.' When that society's existence terminated, he set up `The London Book and Tract Depository,' which he carried on until 1874. The most successful of all his foundations - the Grampian Club, was inaugurated in London on 2 Nov. 1868, and he was secretary and chief editor until his death. Its purpose was to issue works illustrative of Scottish literature, history, and antiquities. He also claimed to be the founder of the Royal Historical Society, which was established in London on 23 Nov 1868, for the conduct of historical, biographical, and ethnological investigations. He was secretary and historiographer to this Society until 1880, when he was openly charged with working it for his own pecuniary benefit. He defended himself in a pamphlet, `Parting Words to the Members,' 1881, and reviewed his past life in `The Serpent's Track: a Narrative of twenty-two years' Persecution' (1880). He edited eight volumes of the Historical Society's `Transactions,' in which he wrote much himself.

He was awarded a the degree of LL.D from Columbia College, New York, in 1854; and D.D. by the University of St Andrews in 1881. He was a member, fellow, or correspondent of numerous learned societies, British, foreign, and colonial, and an associate of the Imperial Archæological Society of Russia. He died in Edinburgh on 18 Sept. 1890, at the aged 65."

Rogers married, on 14 Dec. 1854, Isabella Bain (1825-1880), the eldest daughter of John Bain (b. ca. 1800, d. bef. 1851) of St. Andrews.1

  • 1. The AIM25 source erroneously gives Rev. Rogers wife's name as Jane, which is the name of Isabella's mother and one of her sisters. Mr. John Henderson has kindly pointed out this error in my original source to me, and has also informed me, that the reverend used the surname Roger rather than Rogers until ca. 1854.

Boswellian impact: 

Rogers, in 1874, published what is called "the first extended memoir of Boswell as preface to the first full-scale printing of the Boswelliana." (Pride and Negligence, p. 57)

Bibliography: 

According to the AIM25 source cited above, Rogers' wrote the following publications:

I. Historical and Biographical- Notes in the History of Sir Jerome Alexander, 1872; Three Scots Reformers, 1874; Life of George Wishart, 1875; Memorials of the Scottish House of Gourlay, 1888; Memorials of the Earls of Stirling and House of Alexander, 2 vols. 1877; The Book of Wallace, 2 vols. 1889; The Book of Burns, 3 vols. 1889-91;

II. Topographical - History of St. Andrews, 1849; A Week at the Bridge of Allan, 1851; The Beauties of Upper Strathearn, 1854; Ettrick Forest and the Ettrick Shepherd, 1860;

III. Genealogical- Genealogical Chart of the Family of Bain, 1871; The House of Roger, 1872; Memorials of the Strachans of Thornton and Family of Wise of Hillbank, 1873; Robert Burns and the Scottish House of Burnes, 1877; Sir Walter Scott and Memorials of the Haliburtons, 1877; The Scottish House of Christie, 1878; The Family of Colt and Coutts, 1879; The Family of John Knox, 1879; The Scottish Family of Glen, 1888;

IV. Ecclesiastical- Historical Notices of St. Anthony's Monastery, Leith, 1849; History of the Chapel Royal of Scotland, 1882;

V. Social- Familiar Illustrations of Scottish Life, 1861; Traits and Stories of the Scottish People, 1867; Scotland, Social and Domestic, 1869; A Century of Scottish Life, 1871; Monuments and Monumental Inscriptions in Scotland, 2 vols. 1871-2; Social Life in Scotland, 3 vols. 1884-6;

VI. Religious - Christian Heroes in the Army and Navy, 1867; Our Eternal Destiny, 1868;

VII. Poetical- The Modern Scottish Minstrel, 6 vols. 1855-7; The Sacred Minstrel, 1859; The Golden Sheaf, 1867; Lyra Britannica, 1867; Life and Songs of the Baroness Nairne, 1869;

VIII. Autobiographical and General- Issues of Religious Rivalry, 1866; Leaves from my Autobiography, 1876; The Serpent's Track, 1880; Parting Words to the Members of the Royal Historical Society, 1881; Threads of Thought, 1888; The Oak, 1868;

Rogers also edited: Aytoun's Poems, 1844; Campbell's Poems, 1870; Sir John Scot's Staggering State of Scottish Statesmen, 1872; Poetical Remains of King James, 1873; Hay's Estimate of the Scottish Nobility; Glen's Poems, 1874; Diocesan Registers of Glasgow, 2 vols. 1875 (in conjunction with Mr. Joseph Bain); Boswelliana, 1874; Register of the Church of Crail, 1877; Events in the North of Scotland, 1635 to 1645, 1877; Chartulary of the Cistercian Priory of Coldstream, 1879; Rental-book of the Cistercian Abbey of Cupar-Angus, 1880; The Earl of Stirling's Register of Royal Letters, 2 vols. 1884-5.

Several of these are available via AbeBooks.com.

Books by author

The site contains further information about the following books authored or edited by Charles Rogers: