William Gibbs ROGERS 
- Born: 11 Aug 1792, Dover KEN
- Christened: 30 Dec 1792, St Mary Dover KEN
- Marriage (1): Mary JOHNSON  in Apr 1824
- Died: 21 Mar 1875 aged 82
William Gibbs Rogers
Born 10 August 1792 (Probable)
Died 21 March 1875
Active: 1807 - 1868
Country of birth and death: Great Britain
Wood carver, sculptor in wood
Born in Dover, Kent. Rogers showed an early taste for drawing and modelling, and was apprenticed in 1807 to Mr. David McLauchlan, carver and gilder, of Printing House Square, London. McLauchlan was master of the Shipwrights' Company in 1814 when Rogers conmpleted his apprenticeship and presented the young carver with the Freedom of the City of London. Rogers stayed an extra two years (to c.1816) with his master learning to execute the most complex carvings. Whilst serving in McLauchlan's workshop he had developed a strong interest in the work of Grinling Gibbons. This was stimulated by one of the older carvers, Richard Birbeck from Stamford, Lincolnshire, who had worked at Burleigh House with men who had been employed under Gibbons on the carvings in St. Paul's Cathedral. Birbeck and Rogers studied the wood carvings in city churches together. Rogers interest and skill in carving in the style of Gibbons led him, in later life, to restore a number of carvings, for example those at Belton House, Grantham; Melbury; Chatsworth; and Trinity College, Cambridge.
Rogers set up his workshop in Soho by 1817 and quickly established a reputation as a carver. He was employed by the royal family at Carlton House (c.1817), at the Brighton Pavilion (carvings of monsters for the throne room), and worked at Kensington Palace for the Duke of Sussex in 1831. In 1842 Rogers presented a boxwood spoon to Queen Victoria as a gift for the Prince of Wales and in 1850 he made a boxwood cradle for £330 which was commissioned by the Queen for Princess Louise. It was shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and he was awarded both a prize and a service medal. (The cradle is in the Royal Collection, TNA LC11/134, fol. 28, quarter to 30 June 1850). Rogers assembled a collection of wood carvings and other works which assisted his own work and served as a small museum of decorative arts at his home in Church Street, Soho. Amongst his innumerable commissions were wood carvings executed for the House of Lords in the new palace at Westminster; the palace of the sultan, Abdul MedjÓd, at Constantinople, many private residences in Britain and France, and the churches of St. Ann's, Limehouse, St. Michael, Cornhill, St. Mary-at-Hill, Billingsgate. His last work was a scroll for the library of Trinity College Cambridge executed in 1868.
He married Mary Johnson in April 1824, and they had a large family. William Harry Rogers (1825-73) showed great talents in designing; Mary Eliza Rogers (1827-1910) was also a wood carver and resided for many years in the East, and wrote, among other essays 'Domestic Life in Palestine' (1862). His youngest son, George Alfred Rogers (b. 1837) was the only son who adopted his father's profession. In 1872 William Gibbs Rogers received a civil list pension of £50. He lived in Bow in his final years.
This biographical note is based on the obituary for Rogers which was published in the 'Art Journal', in July 1875, pp. 206-207.
Wealth at death: £100 0s. 0d.
Effects under this amount
Probate date: 24 April 1875
1. William Gibbs Rogers: Wood Carver, 1851.
In 1850, W.G. Rogers was elected to the committee for carrying out the scheme of the Great Exhibition, and received a commission from Queen Victoria to carve a cradle in boxwood in the Italian style, which was exhibited and much admired at the exhibition in 1851. That cradle still exists and is presently displayed at trhe Kensington Palace Museum in London.
Wall Bracket by William
2. Census: England, 8 Apr 1861, St Anne Soho MDX. William is recorded as head of house married age 68 a carver in wood employs 7 men & 1 boy born Dover Kent
3. Census: England, 2 Apr 1871, St Mary Stratford le Soho MDX. William is recorded as head of house married aged 78 formerly sculptor in wood to HRH the late Duke of Sussex and subsequently to the Queen born Dover Kent
William married Mary JOHNSON  [MRIN: 10415], daughter of John JOHNSON  and Elizabeth , in Apr 1824. (Mary JOHNSON  was born circa 1791 in Dulwich SRY.)