Select Rose Miscellany

Here are some Rose stories and accounts over the years:

Rose Clan Origins

Rose clan origins are uncertain.  There are two main theories.

One theory has it that Hugh Rose of Geddes came over from Ireland to Scotland in the 12th century and that the Roses were originally vassals of the old Earls of Ross.  The other theory, which the Rose chiefs tend to believe, is that they were English or rather Norman in origin.  The name derived from Ros, near Caen in Normandy, a fiefdom of Bishop Odo de Ros who was the brother of William of Nornandy.  The Norman descent comes from the notion that the first clan Chief Hugh Rose was a protege of this Bishop Odo.  

The Rose clan is unique in one way among Scottish clans. Since its formation the Chief has always been passed down in succession from father to son.  And the name of the first born is normally Hugh Rose.  Only twice in its history, as at present, has there been no male heir and it was passed down to the oldest daughter who has always been named Elizabeth.

An Epitaph for Miss Rose

In the 18th century London’s Gentleman's Magazine printed an epitaph on Miss Rose, the niece of Hugh Rose of Kilravock, which ran as follows: 

“Here lies a Rose, a budding Rose  
Blasted before her bloom  
Whose innocence did sweets disclose  
Beyond that flower's perfume.  
To those who by her death are grieved  
This consolation's given: 
She's from a world of woe relieved  
And blooms a Rose in Heaven."

Sir Philip Rose of Wycombe and Rayners

Philip Rose was born into a leading Wycombe family in 1816. When only 25, as a junior partner in a firm of London solicitors, he was dismayed to discover that no hospital would treat one of his clerks for consumption.  Undeterred, he used his formidable drive and energy to establish the now world-famous Brompton Hospital, with Queen Victoria as patron and Prince Albert laying the foundation stone.  

He earned his fortune as a solicitor during a time of rapid expansion of the railway system.  Benjamin Disraeli was a close friend and he managed his legal and financial affairs, as well as acting as national agent for the Conservative Party.  He and Disraeli bought their local estates at the same time, Disraeli at Hughenden and Philip Rose at Rayners. 

He took on the role of squire and Rayners became the focus of all village celebrations, employing two thirds of the adult population as estate workers or tenants.  In 1854, using largely his own money, he built St. Margaret's church there.   He also built St. Margaret's Institute in order to try and keep working men out of pubs.  In 1875 he laid the foundation stone of the school which was completed 10 months later.  He was also five times mayor of Wycombe and the first man in 1896 to own a car in Wycombe.  

Sir Philip’s legacy was continued by his son who hosted a grand firework display in "Celebration of Victory and Peace" at Rayners in July 1919.

Rev. Robert Rose in Virginia

The following was one story about the Rev. Robert Rose, or Parson Rose as he was called:

"Parson Rose, hearing of the distress of the people, gave information by advertising that he had a quantity of corn which he could spare and that all those wishing to get a share should come to his house on a certain day. 

When they had all arrived, he asked that they should form a line.  When the line was formed he asked the applicants whether they had the money to buy the corn.  Many rejoiced and cried out: 'We have the money,' while the greater portion, with looks and eyes cast down, said: 'We have no money.' 

The parson said with good humor to those with money: 'As you have money, you are able to get corn anywhere.  But as to these poor people who have no money, they are to get my corn.'  And it was so done."

When the city of Richmond was about to be laid out, he was invited, by those to whom the duty was entrusted, to meet with them and thus be aided by his counsel.  It was while thus engaged that he sickened and died.   He was buried in the graveyard of the old church on Richmond Hill, with the following inscription:

"Here lyeth the body of Robert Rose, the rector of Albemarle parish.  His extraordinary genius and capacity in all the polite and useful arts of life, though equalled by few, were yet exceeded by the great goodness of his heart. 

Humanity, benevolence, and charity ran through the whole course of his life, and were exerted with uncommon penetration.  In his friendship he was warm and steady; in his manners gentle and easy; in his conversation entertaining and instructive.  With the most tender piety he discharged all the domestic duties of husband, father, son and brother.  In short, he was a friend of the whole human race, and upon that principle a strenuous asserter and defender of liberty. 

He died on the 30th day of June, 1751 in the 47th year of his age."

Moses Rose at the Alamo

Moses Rose, born in France, had served in Napoleon's army, and was later involved in a plot to restore Napoleon. The plot having failed, he was expelled from France and left for America.  He made his way to Texas and in 1826 was a part of a company which wrested the town of Nacogdoches from Mexican control.  

Being an adventurous soul, he later joined another Texas revolutionary army under the command of Jim Bowie.  He again marched to capture Nacogdoches from the Mexicans.  After the victory, the town was wild with joy and admiration and Moses Rose found himself now a prominent citizen of the town, as well as a close friend of Jim Bowie.  This friendship is what would later bring him to the Alamo.

Rose survived the Alamo and later returned to Nacogdoches.  He found he was not welcome.  "Remember the Alamo" rung in everyone's ears.  When they recalled their dead, Rose was remembered as a betrayer for not sticking with those brave men during their final days.  The last few years of his life were spent with the lingering contempt of those that knew him.

It was only much later that the truth started to get out.  Moses did witness the last days of the Alamo.  Escape at that time might have appeared impossible.  But escape he did under the cover of darkness and he was able to get through the Mexican lines. 

The Rose Family Reunion in Nova Scotia

In 1888 the descendants of John Rose celebrated the 70th year of the landing of the Rose family in Pictou by holding a picnic on the grounds of David Sinclair in Chance Harbor.   David was a descendant of the Rose family on his mother’s side. 

At about 11 am the gathering commenced.  Between 80 and 90 partook of the bounties of a well supplied table. At the head of the table was seated Alex. Garvin of Pictou, the husband of her who in her youthful days was Alexandrena Rose and who was the only one of the family that had crossed the Atlantic of those present. 

After tea, Mr. D. C. Rose made a few remarks in which he said:  

“We meet today to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the landing of the Rose family in the county of Pictou. We meet to honor the memory of our parents.  

To Alexander Rose of Invergordon, Scotland, as far back as I can trace the family, on the parental side.  He was a kind and well to do ferryman between Invergordon and Cromarty.  Isabella Calder was married to John Rose, son of Alexander, and they emigrated to Nova Scotia with a family of three boys and five girls in 1818 on board the Rowena of Aberdeen.  

Their old motto Ever Constant has been the history of the descendants of the family, as farmers, sailors, miners or merchants.  May the latter motto, "I dare" be ever yours to do the right.”  

The gathering was a very pleasant one.

The Jack Rose Cocktail

Jack Rose is the name of a classic cocktail that was popular in the 1920's and 1930's.  It contains applejack, grenadine, and lemon or lime juice.  The cocktail appeared in a scene in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises when Jake Barnes, the narrator, drinks a Jack Rose in the Paris Crillon hotel bar while awaiting the arrival of Lady Brett Ashley.  

The origin of the cocktail is uncertain.  Some think it was named after or even invented by the gambler Baldy Jack Rose.   A New York underworld figure, he had opened a gambling den on Second Avenue known as The Rosebud.  He was such a popular figure there that the legend of the Jack Rose began.  

Harvey's Famous Restaurant in Washington, DC claimed to be its originator.  In 2003 the Washington Post published an article that chronicled two writers' quest to find a Jack Rose in a Washington DC bar.  After visiting seemingly countless bars, they were unsuccessful in finding one.

The Rose Family in New York

The Rose family has made a lot of money in New York real estate and given a lot away - quietly, but not entirely anonymously.  There are the Roses of the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Natural History Museum; of Rose Hall and the Rose Building and Rose Rehearsal Studio at Lincoln Center; of the Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library.  Current or past generations of the dynasty have sat on many of the city’s most exclusive boards, from the Philharmonic to the Botanical Garden.  At Yale, from which nearly every family member graduated, they built the Rose Alumni House.  

“It has been long inculcated in the third generation of the Rose family, which is my generation, that we have a deep obligation to give back to the place from which we have gained so much,” said Adam R. Rose, the current President of Rose Associates, “and that place is New York City.”  

Adam Rose is in fact one of the few Roses of the family who still work at Rose Associates.  His sister Isabel remarked:

“I’m very interested in the trajectory of ambition over the course of generations, and what success does to people.  It usually starts in the first, hits biggest in the second, and by the time the third gets to it, they are the writers and the poets and the intellectuals - because they could.”  

Gideon Rose of his generation is the managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine; while Jonathan Rose started his own real-estate enterprise, Rose Companies.

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