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DUMCRIEFF BOOK


44472bookpages.jpgRogersons - An International Story 

Dr John Rogerson indeed, it could be said, had been one of the men who had well served Catherine the Great as her personal doctor and confidante for more than half his life.

The position he attained afforded him the opportunity to get closer than most to the imperial families of Russia. He would also have been a close observer of many historical events throughout this period and most certainly had been involved in them. However Rogerson was an extremely private individual sharing with history that elusiveness of fact and certainty; a lot of his life today still remains a mystery.

What we can be sure of though is that from very humble beginnings John Rogerson returned to Scotland a very wealthy individual. His time spent treating the Russian elite as their personal doctor and confidante resulted in this onetime tenant farmer’s son, being in his later days in a position, of having tenants of his own farming land on his Wamphray Estate.

Rogerson’s life begun in a small tenant farm in lower Annandale (Lochbrow), and ended eighty four years later in Dumcrieff House less than five miles from where it began. His affinity for Scotland throughout his life remained and recognition of his achievements in his profession was accorded upon his return when he was made a freeman of Dumfries.

The Return Home

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Once back in Scotland, Dr. Rogerson did not take residence immediately in the mansion he had acquired. He considered the building too small and unpretentious for a person of his wealth and status. He therefore decided to have it demolished and replaced on the same site with a new one of a size and on plans he would approve personally. Demolition and rebuilding would take time and Dr. Rogerson was staying in the meantime partly in Edinburgh but mostly in Moffat, at the residence of his friend, the Earl of Hopetoun (the present Moffat House Hotel). This enabled him to keep an eye on the work and ensure the result he envisaged. Only one room of the old building, an erstwhile dining room, was saved and incorporated in the new, as a reminder of the happy times of George Clerk’s hospitality.

The building work at Dumcrieff was progressing and Dr Rogerson was satisfied, as he announced to a friend on 28 March 1820: “am glad the work is going so well at Dumcrieff and I should think that it will be right to have the additional offices erected as early as may be”. He was right, and a few weeks later he was at last in residence in the Mansion of his dreams.

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Page updated: 15 Mar 2017