The Real Story Of Barbados

What is a Rogue – A Rogue By Name and Nature

Rogues in Paradise, the Real Story of Barbados, uses the word Rogues in its most positive sense. The English dictionaries are not so generous, and most define a rouge as one who misbehaves. They use more critical words like abnormal, dangerous, and uncontrollable. These are not the words I grew up with. My family had many Rogues, and we referred to them with great affection. They were outstanding characters that did outrageous and funny things that we still talk about. They were independent-minded rebels. These are the rogues of the Real Story of Barbados.

So the question is, what is a Rogue? And what does Rogue mean?

What does it mean to be called a rogue?
Who are the rogues in history, and what are examples of types of rogues.
What can we learn from rogues?
Are there good and evil rogues?

Let us look at history and reflect on rogues that made a difference.

Noble Rogues

Perhaps one of the most celebrated English Rogues was Sir Walter Raleigh. Courageous, daring, and dashing he became one of Queen Elizabeth’s most favoured Knights. In battle, he was fearless and reckless. He was a war hero who delighted many with his outlandish exploits. 

Sir Walter established the first English colonies in the New World. He was a poet who fought against the Spanish to defend Briton on many occasions. But he was beheaded for treason. The book ‘Rogues in Paradise goes back to the legacy of King Arthur who had many rogues as his trusted knights of the round table. They were rogues with the noble cause to defend king and country. In those days it was an honor to be called a rogue.

What it means to be a Noble Rogue

The answer to the question of what does rogue mean, in the case of Noble Rogues they are scoundrel who has mastered fearless skills, courage, perception, stealth, and investigation. Being Noble they work for a cause that is not obviously self-serving.

Caribbean Pirate Rogues

In the Caribbean, we have had many rogues. The Pirates of the Caribbean were rogues; Sam lord and Steve Bonnet are two pirate rogues of Barbados. Both are featured in Rogues in Paradise, the untold real story of Barbados. One of the most notorious Caribbean pirates was Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard. Born in Bristol, England, he ended up in the Caribbean and made a living pirating ships he called the queens’ enemies. He was famous for being outstandingly brave and ruthless. Like most Pirates, he was also a democrat. As captain of the ship, he shared equally in the spoils of pirating. Every man got an equal share. When he accidentally captured a slave ship, he gave every slave a weapon and made them equal sharing pirates. This and more about other pirates is noted in “Rogues”The Real Story of Barbados.

Women Pirate Rogues

There were women rogue pirates also. Anne Bonny and Mary Read, both women pirates, were fierce fighters who became Caribbean legends. Both were pirates on the ship of Calico Jack (Jack Rackham).

What it meant to be a Pirate Rogues

Pirate Rogues were exceptional athletes.  Acrobatics were a norm as Pirates flew across the air on ropes and sails to board a treasure ship. They landed on the deck sword at hand ready to fight to the death. Like Blackbeard, many were very hard to kill. Sleight of hand and surprise was their trademark. They were masters of intimidation and persuasion.

African-Caribbean Rogues

Amongst the enslaved African people of the Caribbean, there were many rogues. They were rebels that rose up against oppression and the inhuman trade of slavery. In 1816 Bussa, a Barbadian-African slave led a revolt against the plutocracy. He was not the first. Before him, Tacky led a Jamaican rebellion(1760)

The Haitian Revolution of 1789, changed the face of slavery in that country forever. Toussaint L’ouverture, a formerly enslaved person, led the most successful slave revolt. He led his people to victory over the colonial planters class and defeated the invading French. He was a canny politician playing off the competing politics of the day. He established Haiti as a free country built on humanistic ideals of the Enlightenment philosophy, that abolished slavery.

What it meant to be a Slave Rogue

Courage was the trademark of the Slave Rebels. The Caribbean slaves were dominated by force and fear. To rise up against formidable odds and colonial might required extreme bravery. Their cause was to win freedom for all enslaved people.

Celebrating Rogues

According to the British dictionaries, all these historical characters are rightly called Rogues, People who were abnormal, dangerous, and uncontrollable. We owe much to these irascible rogues. Rogues in Paradise celebrates the real, ordinary unsung heroes and the honourable knights. They are the rogues and scoundrels who make Barbados what it is today.

As you can see, Rogues are some of the most important names in history

It can be an honour to be called a rogue, and it is often a term of endearment, as in that lovable rogue and “oh, what a rogue”. They are not necessarily wicked. Many are heroes and honorable rogues. It all depends on the circumstance.

Summary Video – The meaning of Rogue

Rogues in Paradise

What is a Rogue and What does Rogue Means- Rogues -The real story of Barbados

Grab Sample Chapters of Rogues in Paradise
The Real Story of Barbados – a remarkable people, place & history

References to What is a Rogue

Merriam Webster dictionary: Resembling or suggesting a rogue elephant especially in being isolated, aberrant, dangerous, or uncontrollable

Cambridge dictionary: To start behaving in a way that is not normal or expected, especially by leaving your group and doing something dangerous:

Sir Walter Raleigh:

Pirates of the Caribbean
– Sam Lord and Steve Bonnet:
  – Featured in Rogues in Paradise  Get sample chapters of the book
– Blackbeard – Anne Bonny and Mary Read

Caribbean Slave Rebellions:

Toussaint Louverture:


Topics: What is a Rogue | What does Rogue Mean | Examples of Rogues | Who is a Rogue

Other words sometimes used for rogues: Rascal | Vagabond | Scoundrel | Mischievous  | Scamp |  Vagrant |  Tramp.