Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rogers, Josias

ROGERS, JOSIAS (1755–1795), captain in the navy, was born at Lymington, Hampshire, where his father would seem to have had a large interest in the salterns. In October 1771 he entered the navy on board the Arethusa with Captain (afterwards Sir) Andrew Snape Hamond, whom he followed to the Roebuck in 1775. In March 1776 he was sent away in charge of a prize taken in Delaware Bay, and, being driven on shore in a gale, fell into the hands of the American enemy. He was carried, with much rough treatment, into the interior, and detained for upwards of a year, when he succeeded in making his escape, and, after many dangers and adventures, in getting on board his ship, which happened to be at the time lying in the Delaware. For the next fifteen or eighteen months he was very actively employed in the Roebuck's boats or tenders, capturing or burning small vessels lurking in the creeks along the North American coast, or landing on foraging expeditions. On 19 Oct. 1778 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and after serving in several different ships, and distinguishing himself at the reduction of Charlestown in May 1780, he was, on 2 Dec. 1780, promoted to the command of the General Monk, a prize fitted out as a sloop of war with eighteen guns. After commanding her for sixteen months, in which time he took or assisted in taking more than sixty of the enemy's ships, on 7 April 1782 the General Monk, while chasing six small privateers round Cape May, got on shore, and was captured after a stout defence, in which the lieutenant and master were killed and Rogers himself severely wounded. He was shortly afterwards exchanged, and arrived in England in September, still suffering from his wound. From 1783 to 1787 he commanded the Speedy in the North Sea, for the prevention of smuggling, and from her, on 1 Dec. 1787, he was advanced to post rank.

In 1790 Rogers was flag captain to Sir John Jervis (afterwards Earl of St. Vincent) [q. v.] in the Prince. In 1793 he was appointed to the Quebec frigate, and in her, after a few months in the North Sea and off Dunkirk, he joined the fleet which went out with Jervis to the West Indies. He served with distinction at the reduction of Martinique and Guadeloupe in March and April 1794, and was afterwards sent in command of a squadron of frigates to take Cayenne. One of the frigates, however, was lost, two others parted company, and the remainder of his force was unequal to the attempt. Rogers then rejoined the admiral at a time when yellow fever was raging in the fleet, and the Quebec, having suffered severely, was sent to Halifax. By the beginning of the following year she was back in the West Indies and was under orders for home, when, at Grenada, where he was conducting the defence of the town against an insurrection of the slaves, he died of yellow fever on 24 April 1795. He was married and left issue. A monument to his memory was erected by his widow in Lymington parish church.

[Paybooks, logs, &c., in the Public Record Office. The Memoir by W. Gilpin (8vo, 1808) is an undiscriminating eulogy by a personal friend, ignorant of naval affairs.]

J. K. L.