Edward Rosling

British planter and politician (1863–1946)

Sir Edward Rosling (4 December 1863 - 19 January 1946) was a Ceylonese tea planter and politician.[1][2]


Edward Rosling
Born(1863-12-04)4 December 1863
Barnes, Surrey, England
Died19 January 1946(1946-01-19) (aged 82)
Weybridge, Surrey, England
EducationQueenwood College
OccupationPlanter, Politician
Spouse(s)Isabella Graham White (m.1888)

Edward Rosling was born 4 December 1863 in Barnes, Surrey, England. He was the eldest son of his parents. His father Joseph Rosling (1830 - 1890) was a timber merchant in Nutfield. His mother's name was Julia Victoria née Black (1838 - 1927).[3] He had two half siblings: Mary (b.1858) and Katherine (b.1859) from his father's first marriage. He had three sisters: Margaret (b. 1866), Ethel (b.1869) and Josephine (b.1872) and one brother, Percy (b.1867).

Rosling was educated at Queenwood College, Hampshire. In 1886, at the age of 23, he travelled to Ceylon. He was apprenticed as a "creeper"[a] in Ceylon on a tea plantation in Ambagamuwa. In late 1888 he took up a position as a manager on a tea estate in Nanu Oya.[5] He worked as a tea planter for 27 years. He served as the chairman of the Anglo-Ceylon and General Estates Company Limited.[3] In 1899, he was elected as the president of the Hill Club in Nuwara Eliya. In 1900, he was elected as the chairman of the Planter's Association. After serving for a year, he was re-elected as chairman between 1909 and 1911.[5] In November 1902, Rosling was appointed as an unofficial member of the Legislative Council of Ceylon[6] and a Justice of the Peace.[7] He served on the Council for ten years. He was retired from the Council in 1913.[3][5] His position on the Council was later filled by William Duff Gibbon.[8]

He married to Isabella Graham White (1866-1958) on 28 June 1888 at Duncairn Church in Belfast, Ireland.[9] They had seven children: Josephine (b.1890), Alfred (b.1892), Edward (b.1895), Isobel Phyllis (b.1898), Percy Campbell (b.1902), Edward (b.1904) and Hugh Patrick (b.1910).

Rosling was knighted in June 1913 for his services on the Legislative Council of Ceylon.[3][10] After retirement, he returned to England and became the chairman of the Ceylon Association in London between 1914 and 1915.[5]

He died on 19 January 1946 in Weybridge, Surrey, England.[3] He is buried in the cemetery at St. Peter's church in Hersham, Surrey.


  1. A creeper was an individual who was apprenticed to an experienced manager to learn the business of tea planting.[4]


  1. "Edward Rosling". History of Ceylon Tea. Dilmah. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  2. Wright, Arnold, ed. (1999). Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources. Asian Educational Services. p. 97. ISBN 9788120613355.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Journal of the Royal Society of Arts". 94 (4711). Royal Society of Arts. February 1946: 188. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. "Ceylon Tea Industry". The Ceylon Planters' Association. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Ukers, William H. (1935). All About Tea. New York: The Tea and Coffee Trade Journal Company. p. 189. ISBN 9781387040070.
  6. "Ceylon Government Gazette" (5887). 5 November 1902. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. Registrar-General's Department (Ceylon) (1907). Ceylon Blue Book. South Africa: Government Printer. p. J3.
  8. "Ceylon Government Gazette No. 6184" (PDF). 17 May 1907. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  9. "Marriages". The Belfast News-Letter. 29 June 1888. p. 1.
  10. The London Gazette, 1 July 1913 (issue 28733), p. 4638.