Thorold Rogers

(1823—1890) political economist and politician

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Thorold Rogers was born at West Meon, Hampshire, in 1823, and died in Oxford on 12 October 1890. His dates are thus an exact centennial of those of Adam smith, whom he revered and whose Wealth of Nations he edited in 1869. Rogers went to school in Southampton, then on to King's College London and finally to Oxford, where he took first-class honours in Greats in 1846. Unsuccessful in gaining a fellowship, he worked as a private tutor in classics and philosophy in Oxford from 1846 to 1859, during which time he published the first of several works on Aristotle, and also married and had six children. Ordained soon after taking his degree, he thereafter combined tutoring with clerical posts in and around Oxford. But Rogers, though still calling himself a Tractarian as late as 1864, ended up as the most anti-clerical of clerics, and after a long period as a non-practising clergyman, was instrumental in the passing of the Clerical Disabilities Act (1870) which allowed Anglican priests to resign from holy orders. Rogers availed himself of the Act on the very Day of its passing and thus became the first ever Anglican clergyman to unfrock himself.


From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Economics.

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