ROGERS, THOMAS 
- Born: - Died: -
Lighthouse designer and builder. Rogers, originally a glasscutter by trade, made a name for himself in England as the inventor of catadioptric lights for lighthouse use. He was invited to Ireland from England by the first Marquess of Buckingham, Lord Lieutenant from 1787 to 1790, to erect a new lighthouse on Howth, Co. Dublin. The lighthouse was completed in 1790. From 1793 to 1797 he was engaged on the construction of the South Rock or Kilwarlin Lighthouse, Co. Down. When the Revenue Commissioners took over responsibility for Irish lighthouses in 1796, they appointed Rogers their Lighthouse Contractor and Inspector; in this capacity he built lighthouses at Cranfield Point, Cape Clear, Loop Head and Clare Island. However he abused his position to enrich himself, leading to a series of investigations of the running of the lighthouse service. As a result of these investigations, an Act of Parliament was passed in 1810 which transferred responsibility for lighthouses from the Revenue Commissioners to the Ballast Board. The Ballast Board appointed GEORGE HALPIN as their engineer. Rogers remained as contractor until Halpin discovered the dilapidated state into which the lighthouses had been allowed to fall, whereupon Rogers's contract was brought to an end in 1812. Nothing is known of his later career.
All information in this entry is from Alec Skempton, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Civil EngineersI (2002), 584, which see for further details, and Bill Long, Bright Light, White Water (1993), 31-32.