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Name: ROGERS, Alexander Stuart (Capt.)

image of individualimage of individual

Nee: son of Lt.-Gen. Sir Robert Gordon Rogers, KCB

Birth Date: 13.11.1862 Peshawar

Death Date: 15.7.1930 Carshalton, Surrey

First Date: 1890

Last Date: 1905

Profession: IBEA Co. General Africa Staff - appointed 1890. Serving in Zanzibar Govt. 1905.

Area: Zanzibar, 1900 Sub-Commissioner Tanaland, Lamu, Witu, Kismayu

Married: 1. 1903 engaged to Kathleen Knox 2. In Bristol 9 Feb 1907 Mary Spackman b. 21 Aug 1882 Bath, d. 9 Jan 1971 London

Children: Edna L. (7 Apr 1903); Gordon Alex Hugh (9 Jan 1908)

Book Reference: EAHB 1905, EAS, Hut, North, Thruston, IBEA, Kiewiet, EAHB 1906, EA Diary 1902, EA Diary 1903, EAHB 1904, Ylvisaker, Web

War Service: France in WW1 ending with rank of Major

School: Wellington College

General Information:

North - From Bath; Lent to IBEA Co. by Punjabi Native Police; in charge of 150 Indian police during 1st Witu expedition 23/10/1890 to 30/10/1890; Witu from at least June 1891; transferred to Lamu Sept. 1892; Mombasa 4/1/1893; Lamu 13/5/1893 in charge of Indian Sepoys; resigned from IBEA Co. to become Administrator of Witu Prot. after IBEA Co. withdrew from Witu 31/7/1893; Lamu 20/10/1893; accompanied military operation to Witu, engaged in attack on Pumwani 7/8/1893; Resident at Lamu May 1894; Vice-Consul for Lamu & Witu Feb 1895; arr. Zanzibar from Witu 30/5/1895, ill in hospital; Transferred to EAP, Sub-Commissioner and Vice-Consul, Tanaland 1/7/1895; promoted to Inspector of Punjabi Police, still lent to EAP; Kismayu May 1898; due to return to EA from leave Dec 1898 but missed boat at Marseille, next boat due at Mombasa 17/1/1898; Lamu June, Dec 1899; arr. Mombasa from Lamu 19/11/1901, to be 1st Minister to Sultan Hamoud bin Mahomed of Zanzibar
Thruston - FO 2, 427 - 1899-1900 - Mr A.S. Rogers' administration of Lamu
IBEA Co. - Nominal List of British Born Subjects resident in IBEA Territories within the Sultans Domain, 30 April 1891 - A.S. Rogers, In charge Witu
Kiewiet - 1891 - Witu district placed under care of Capt. Rogers, an Indian police officer, with a European assistant and Indian troops.
IBEA - General Africa Staff - Appointed 14th July 1890
North - Resigned from IBEA Co. to become Administrator of Witu Prot. after IBEA Co withdrew from Witu 31/7/1893; Accompanied military operation to Witu, engaged in attacks on Pumwani & Jongeni 7-10/8/1893; at Lamu 20/10/1893; resident at Lamu May 1894; Vice-Consul for Lamu & Witu Feb 1895; transferred to EAP, Sub-Commissioner and Vice-Consul, Tanaland 1/7/1895; promoted to Inspector in Punjabi Police, still seconded to EAP 1896; resident at Lamu July 1896; Listed as Collector Lamu & Witu 22/3/1897; Kismayu May 1898; Enquiry into his administration of Lamu carried out by Judge Francis Collinson Feb 1899; Lamu June, Dec 1899; censured by FO & to be removed from area without loss of status - 'he has used his authority on certain occasions in a very arbitrary and unjustifiable manner while on others he has shown a certain culpable negligence' (Collinson, FO 2) May 1900; dep. Mombasa for Zanzibar to be 1st Minister to Sultan Hamed bin Mohammed of Zanzibar 12/2/1902; Regent & First Minister Aug 1904; Regency terminated 7/6/1905; dep. for England on leave 23/8/1905; Post of First Minister abolished & Rogers to be 'got rid of' (FO 2) 24/10/1905; 'He is harsh not to say brutal with natives' (Eliot, FO 2); 'A man of weak character …. he drinks and gambles, both to excess' (Cave, CO 533)
EA Diary 1902 - Listed as Vice-President of the East Africa Agricultural and Horticultural Society - Established 1901 Ylvisaker - In July 1891, Captain A.S. Rogers, who commanded the IBEA police and who was to have a long career in Lamu district where he is still remembered as "Bwana Rajees," ……
Web - He had a reputation as an autocratic but able administrator.
Uganda Journal Vol 19 No 2 p. 210 - IBEA Co. Medal - Captain Rogers who had been in the Punjab Police joined the Company's service in 1890. He was taken over by the Foreign Office for the Zanzibar service on 31 July 1893 on the hauling down of the Company's flag at Witu, and he became administrator there. His gallant conduct in the course of the second Witu Expedition a few weeks later - against Fumo Omari's stockade at Pumwani - is described in Sir Rennell Rodd's 'Social and Diplomatic Memories 1884-1893. Rogers continued in the Zanzibar service and on the death of Sir Lloyd Mathews in 1901 succeeded him as First Minister to the Sultan. On the abolition of that office early in 1906 he retired. He died in 1930.
The African Standard - 26-2-1903 - Invited to the wedding of H.R. Phelips & Miss Jacquette Edith Lambe in Mombasa
Gazette - 13/12/1899 - List of Officers of the East Africa Protectorate - HM Sub-Commissioner and Vice-Consul - A.S. Rogers - Lamu
Old Africa - 23-6-14 - Christine Nicholls & Steve North - Alexander Stuart Rogers was a less than satisfactory official used by the British during their early days in East Africa. He had been born in Peshawar, India (now Pakistan), on 13 November 1862, to a family which originated in Bath. When he grew up he joined the Punjabi Native Police, and it was with 200 of his policemen that he was lent to the Imperial British East Africa Company to join troops in Mombasa, in August 1890. The Company was having trouble in Witu, recently ceded to Britain by the Germans, despite the protests of the local inhabitants, so Rogers and 150 men were sent north along the coast in October of that year. He successfully took control from rebels of the fort at Golbanti a couple of months later, and he was left in charge of Witu. But the IBEA withdrew from Witu in 1893 and Rogers transferred to Lamu, where he became British vice-consul when the British Government took control of East Africa from IBEA in 1895. He was appointed Collector of Lamu and Witu.
Many complaints were received in Zanzibar about Rogers’s administration, including one from a Parsi clerk who said Rogers forced him to help put the body of a slave girl in a boat and dump it in the harbour. Judge Francis Collinson was sent to investigate at the end of 1899 and found many instances of maladministration. Among them was the accusation that Rogers failed to supervise the punishments he authorised, and in one case it was thought that a man sentenced to fifty lashes probably had three times as many before he died. The Judge reported that Rogers ‘has used his authority on certain occasions in a very arbitrary and unjustifiable manner while on others he has shown a certain culpable negligence’. (PRO, Collinson Report, FO2). But it was decided that it would be a loss of face for the administration if Rogers were removed from Witu at once. He ended up being censured and staying another year before an excuse was found to transfer him to Zanzibar. ‘He is harsh, not to say brutal, with natives,’ said Commissioner Eliot.
Surprisingly, Rogers was then appointed first Minister to the Sultan of Zanzibar, Hamed bin Mohammed, in February 1902. As the Sultan was a minor, Rogers became Regent until the lad reached his majority in June 1895. Apparently Rogers ‘became gradually imbued with an exaggerated sense of the importance of his position…which… induced him to prefer his own personal interests to those of the Sultan or of the State.’ He pulled down 120 African huts and spent a lakh (100,000) of rupees to make himself a magnificent residence. The opening photo for this blog shows Rogers and the huge residence he built.
The Sultan complained to London. Rogers became inattentive to his duties, wrote official letters and telegrams without keeping any copy, and mislaid those he received. He failed to keep appointments and neglected to answer letters. He threw people into prison without a warrant. Then he gave orders for all those found unoccupied in Zanzibar to be arrested and sent to the neighbouring island of Pemba for clove-picking. He raised the salary of his own post. He bought a piano and camera and charged them to government funds and made unauthorised grants to the Sultan.
‘But what made it practically impossible for Mr Rogers to continue to hold his responsible position…was not so much his official shortcomings as his personal habits,’ said Basil Cave, British Consul-General at Zanzibar (FO367/20). Rogers’s alcoholism caused him to neglect his duties, to make promises that he forgot by the next day and forgot about the people he had thrown into prison. He gambled and was in debt to £1000.
Rogers was ‘got rid of’ with a pension and he sailed for England in 1905. There he married Mary Spackman in 1907. In the 1911 census we find him in Reedham, Norfolk, described as a ‘retired consular official.’ He and his wife had a son, Gordon Alex Hugh, in 1908. Rogers died in Carshalton, Surrey, on 15 July 1930, leaving an estate of £44.18.10.

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