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The Scottish Nation

RODGER, or ROGER, a surname obviously of Norman origin. Among the immediate retainers of William the Conqueror was “a valiant captain of the name of Roger.” Camden affirms that Roger was “mollified from Rodgerus or Rotgerus.” The name Roger is common in Normandy to this day, and it occurs in the Russian dominions under the form of Rudiger. As a baptismal name, it appears to have been frequent both in Scotland and England previous to its being adopted as a surname.

It is of considerable antiquity in Scotland. Roger, bishop of St. Andrews (1188-1202), the son of the earl of Leicester, of the stock of the ancient earls of Mellent in Normandy, and a cousin of William the Lion, was appointed by that monarch lord-chancellor of Scotland (Balfour’s Annals, vol. i. p. 28). His seal is given in Anderson’s Diplomata Scotiae. Roger, his nephew, is witness to a charter of David I. There was also a Roger, prior of Dunfermline.

The earliest notice of any one bearing this surname in our annals is that of Sir William Roger, an English musician (A.D. 1482), one of the favourites of James III., who was hanged over the bridge of Lauder by the incensed nobles of that monarch. John Roger, a Black friar, was in 1544 confined in the castle of St. Andrews by orders of Cardinal Bethune. A number of persons of the name have, from time immemorial, been located in the parish of Galston, Ayrshire. George Roger, a native of that county, and a merchant in Glasgow, purchased in 1569, the farm of Marywell, part of the lands of Coupar Grange, belonging to the abbey of Coupar Angus. From this family was descended Ralph Roger some time minister of Ardrossan, afterwards of the inner high church, Glasgow, and lord-rector of the university of that city. He was ejected at the Restoration, but replaced at the Revolution. From the Marywell family also descended Robert Roger, provost of Glasgow in 1707, and M.P. for the Dumbarton burghs. His son, Hugh Roger, was likewise provost of Glasgow.

RODGER, ALEXANDER, a minor poet, born at East Calder, Mid Lothian, July 16, 1784, was the son of a farmer at Haggs near the village of Dalmahoy, but when his son was about seven years of age, he removed to Edinburgh, in which city Alexander was apprenticed to a silversmith. On his father going the following year to Hamburgh, the young poet was taken to his mother’s relations in Glasgow, where he spent the remainder of his days, and was styled “The bard of the west.” IN 1797 he was sent to learn the weaving business, and in 1806 he married. IN 1819 he was employed upon a paper published in Glasgow, called ‘The Spirit of the Union,’ which advocated radical reform, and on 7th April of that year, he and several others were apprehended and confined in prison for several weeks. In 1821 he became reader and reporter for the Glasgow Chronicle. He was subsequently employed upon two other papers in Glasgow, and died in 1846. A small volume of his poems and songs was published at Glasgow in 1827. IN 1838 a complete edition of his pieces appeared in the same city, and a third and last volume soon after followed. He was also the editor of ‘Whistlebinkie,’ a Glasgow publication of wit, humour, and song.

The Scottish Branch of the Norman House of Roger
With a Genealogical Sketch of the Family of Playfair by the Rev. Charles Rogers, LL.D., FSA Scot.

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