Samuel Rogers, an English poet, born at Newington Green, near London, July 30, 1763, died in London, Dec. 18, 1855. He was educated by private tutors, and entered his father's banking house in his boyhood. In his 18th year he became a prose contributor to the "Gentleman's Magazine," and in 1786 published "An Ode to Superstition, with some other Poems," of which during the next four years only about 20 copies were sold. In 1792 he produced his "Pleasures of Memory," which at once gave him a place among the poets of England. His father at his death in 1793 left him an ample fortune, and he soon after retired from active participation in business, though retaining his interest as a partner. In 1798 appeared his " Epistle to a Friend, and other Poems;" and in 1803 he established himself in a house (No. 22) in St. James's place, which during the next half century enjoyed a wide celebrity as a resort of literary men and the receptacle of choice treasures of art. Rogers's " breakfasts," given in a shady apartment, became in time famous as a sort of social rallying point. His collection of pictures, books, vases, etc, was distinguished by its exquisite taste, and realized after his death upward of £50,000, a sum considerably larger than the original cost.
His "Voyage of Columbus" was first published in a new edition of his poems in 1812, and in 1813 his "Jacqueline" appeared in a volume with Byron's "Lara." In 1819 he published a didactic poem entitled "Human Life," and in 1822 "Italy," a collection of pieces in blank verse and in prose. The remainder of his literary life was devoted to the publication of illustrated editions of his "Italy" and his "Poems," the designs for which were furnished by Prout, Turner, and Stothard, and were engraved by the first artists in England. He is said to have expended between £10,000 and £15,000 in this undertaking. On the death of Wordsworth he was offered the laureateship, which, in consideration of his great age, he declined. He retained his physical vigor until near the close of his life. His chief personal blemish was a tendency to ill-natured satire and unreasonable antipathies. Of this and other traits some idea may be obtained from the volumes of his "Table Talk" published by the Rev. Alexander Dyce (1856), and a similar collection by his nephew William Sharpe (1859).