Rogers, Charles

, an antiquary, and a man of taste, was born Aug. 2, 1711, in Dean-street, Soho, and received the first rudiments of education at a private school near the Mews, but he did not for some time after this devote himself seriously to literary pursuits. When he did, however, he exerted that innate industry and application, which constituted a striking part of his character; and, with no aid but his own abilities, overcame all other difficulties which stood in the way of an acquaintance with | learning and science. In May 1731, he was placed in the Custom-house, where he executed the duties of the several places which he held, with strict attention and integrity, and at length arrived at the office of clerk of the certificates, in which he continued almost to the end of his life.

From the time of his admission into the Custom-house, he employed his leisure hours in the cultivation of his mind, and in forming the valuable collection of prints and drawings which he left behind him. In the course of these pursuits, he became acquainted with several persons of similar taste, and among the rest Mr. Pond, a well-known and judicious collector. By him he was introduced to the society of Antiquaries, Feb. 23, 1752, of which he became a very useful member, and was several times chosen of the council. In 1757, he was chosen a fellow of the Royal Society. After Mr. Rogers had begun to form his collections, and had made some progress, he conceived the idea of communicating, to the public, specimens of the manners of the several different masters, a work requiring great industry and perseverance, and likely to be attended with great expence. The former he knew he could command, and the latter, as he was a bachelor, gave him little concern. The execution of this undertaking may be considered as the principal object of his life. It appeared in 1777, 2 volumes, folio, under the title of “Description of a Collection of Prints in imitation of drawings, to which are annexed, Lives of their authors, with explanatory and critical notes.” The selection consists of 112 prints, engraved by Bartolozzi, Ryland, Basire, and other artists of reputation, from original drawings in the collections of his majesty, the duke of Marlborough, earls of Bute, Cholmondely, Spencer, lord Frederick Campbell, sir Joshua Reynolds, and his own. The, heads of the different painters, and a variety of fanciful decorations, are also given, in a peculiar style of engraving on wood, by Mr. Simon Watts. The whole performance at once reflects honour on the country, as well as on the liberality of the undertaker, who neither was, nor, it is supposed, ever expected to be reimbursed the great expence he had incurred. Besides this work, Mr. Rogers printed an anonymous <; Translation of Dante’s Inferno,“1782, 4to, in the performance of which he chiefly attended to giving the sense of his author with fidelity, the character of a poet not seeming to have | been the object of Ins ambition. He also published in the” Archseologia," vol. III. a paper on the antiquity of horseshoes and in vol. VI. an account of certain masks from the Musquito shore. A curious letter of his, to Mr. Astle, on some ancient blocks used in printing, may be seen in Gent. Mag. vol. LI. p. 169; and another paper, which was read at the Society of Antiquaries, Feb. 18, 1779, is preserved in vol. L1V. p. 265. Mr. Rogers died Jan. 2, 1784, and was buried in the family-vault in St. Lawrence Pountney burying-ground. 1

1 Cent. Mag. vol. LIV. where is a copy of his portrait from sir Joshua Reynolds.