Popular Poets

Samuel Rogers

11. Samuel Rogers was born July 30, 1763 in Newington Green, England. Although his literary fame today is overshadowed by that of his renowned contemporaries, Rogers was a popular poet and an influential figure in late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century literary culture. Although Rogers initially wanted to be a Presbyterian minister, his father persuaded him to become a banker instead, a decision which allowed him to become rich through business while pursuing a career in literature. After inheriting his father’s fortune in 1793, Rogers formed a salon, which allowed him to become both immensely popular and intimately acquainted with members of different literary, theatrical, and artistic circles. Through his travels to Scotland and France, he added to his extensive collections of artwork and famous friends, including Adam Smith, Walter Scott, Henry Fuseli, and John Opie. In 1796, his public prominence led to his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Beyond his social influence, Rogers was a successful writer and managed to attract a broad readership.