Jordan Adlard Rogers is sitting pretty as the new lord of the $65 million Penrose Manor in the U.K. He also receives an annual salary from the estate of $130,000. This is all new to him. Jordan grew up nomadic and penniless with his mother and her series of inappropriate and often abusive boyfriends. They lived like gypsies. It wasn’t until recently that it was discovered Jordan was the product of a fling his mother Julie had with an heir to Penrose Manor back in the 80s. Jordan’s life has had a 360-degree turn of fortune since that discovery. He went from living in abandoned cars and council houses to a 1,536-acre estate filled with nearly priceless antiquities. But it is one painting that haunts Jordan. It is of the father he never knew. Jordan is the spitting image of Charles Rogers. If he had seen that portrait 20 years ago, his life would have been so different.
Charles Rogers was the last in line of an illustrious family who occupied Penrose Manor since 1771. Jordan is his only heir. While Charles grew up in luxury, Jordan had a nomadic childhood and frequently didn’t know when his next meal would be or where it would come from. He spent five years living with a traveling community – basically being a gypsy. He didn’t have running water or indoor plumbing. And now, he will never have to work again or worry about money.
Jordan’s mother, Julie Adlard, was an alcoholic throughout his childhood. Now 51, she’s sober, thrilled for her son’s good fortune, and willing to admit she made a lot of mistakes. She frequently dated men who were violent and beat her up. She was already well on her way to her downward spiral when she met 31-year-old Charles Rogers. She was 18. They got involved.
Charles was also on his own downward spiral. He was from a long line of very senior officers in the Army and Navy. His father was a Lieutenant Commander. Charles spent a brief time in the Army where he served in Northern Ireland during the most violent period in that country’s history. When he left the Army, he returned to Penrose and lived the life of a hippie. He didn’t have the ambition to find a career and lived in a small farmhouse on the edge of his parents’ estate. When he met Julie Adlard, he wasn’t the heir to Penrose: his older brother, Nigel, was. However, Nigel died of leukemia in the summer of 1987. He was in his early 30s and did not have any children. At that point, Charles became the heir to Penrose.
When Nigel died, Julie was five months pregnant with Jordan. She had no idea that her baby had just become the heir to the $65 million estate. Jordan was born in late December 1987. Three weeks later, Julie married a man named Gary Galloway and he was raised to believe Gary was his dad. When Jordan was four, she left Gary for a man named Buster. Suddenly, he was thrust into the nomadic lifestyle. Jordan recalls that he didn’t fit in anywhere. The places they lived didn’t have bathrooms, he went to the bathroom in bushes. His education during this period was sporadic at best, since the family didn’t spend more than a few days in any one place. He quickly fell behind in school and learned to hate it as a result.
His mom’s boyfriend, Buster, was a violent man, yet Jordan wanted a father so badly he begged Buster to be his father. In the fall of 1994, Jordan’s sister Queenie was born. Two years later, his mother broke up with Buster, and the family moved into a council flat. Jordan was nine and it was the first time he regularly attended school. That said, his mom didn’t have a car and was hardly ever up in the mornings, so he walked the mile and a half to school and back every day. Then, one day when he was 10, his mom told him Gary wasn’t his real dad. Jordan had been wondering when he’d grow as tall as Gary. Jordan is 5’8″ and Gary was over 6′ tall. That’s when he found out Charles Rogers was his dad.
Then, a few weeks later, Julie borrowed a car from a relative and she and Jordan showed up at Charles’ front door. Her plan was to make him acknowledge his son. Julie and Charles went into another room to talk and Jordan could her his mom yelling and crying: “Can’t you see he’s the spitting image of you.” They were only in Charles Rogers’ house for 15 minutes before they left to go back home. Charles did, however, agree to take a DNA test to see if he was Jordan’s dad, or not. Unfortunately, Julie never followed up on that because not long after Buster was over visiting Queenie and he dropped dead of a heart attack in Julie’s living room. Julie refused to spend another night in the home and eventually they were kicked out of their council flat.
Jordan was sent to live with his grandmother, Julie’s mother Barbara. Jordan was secure for the first time in his life but he still missed having a dad. He started telling kids his dad was dead because it was easier. He also kept reminding his mom to get the DNA test done with Charles but that didn’t happen.
When Jordan was 18, he tried to get the DNA test from Charles himself. He made it clear he wasn’t after the Rogers’ money. He just wanted to know for sure who is dad was. By this time, Charles was basically a hermit addicted to prescription drugs, rarely showered, and slept in his car frequently. His health was declining and attempts at rehab had failed. Charles agreed to a DNA test but told Jordan he had to formally request it through a lawyer and that cost more than $1,300. Jordan couldn’t afford that so he didn’t pursue it.
By the time 2015 rolled around, Jordan was making a pretty good living as a home health care worker and he had met his fiancée Katie Hubber, a medical imaging technologist. Today, the couple has a young son named Joshua.
In August 2018, Jordan received a phone call from Penrose Manor’s estate manager. Charles had been found dead in his car outside the house. He’d overdosed on a heroin substitute. The estate manager told Jordan it was his last chance to prove whether or not he was his son. Just three days earlier, Jordan and Katie had found out she was pregnant. That was the same day that Charles died.
The DNA test did, in fact, reveal that Charles Rogers was Jordan’s father, making him the sole heir to Penrose Manor.
Jordan’s grandparents donated the estate to the National Trust in exchange for a 1,000-year lease for descendants of the Rogers family to live there. Jordan’s priority was to put in a games room with a 65-inch TV to watch football in. Katie’s priority is to update the kitchen which is stuck firmly in the 1960s.
One thing is for certain, Jordan and Katie’s son Joshua will never have to worry about where he’s going to sleep or where his next meal is coming from.