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 affectionately referred to them as fun and mischievous. They were outstanding characters who 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.
From Robin Hood to Sir Walter Raleigh
Rogues include all sorts of people, from Robin Hood to Sir Walter Raleigh, Pirates, Slaves, fearless Women, scoundrels, knights, and pirates.
In the world of movies and stories, pirates have transformed from tough-as-nails sailors into swashbuckling heroes with a soft spot for the little guy. But the gritty truth of history is that pirates weren’t the friendly, do-gooders we see in today’s tales. They were more like ruthless thieves, crafty scoundrels, and all-around bad characters who sailed some hazardous seas. They’d think nothing of ending someone’s life to get their hands on that precious loot.
Pirates are a subclass of Rogues. Typically, Rogues take a higher road. There are many noble rogues and very few noble pirates!
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?
Meet them in the Book Rogues in Paradise.
The book is the story of Barbados that delves into the Caribbean’s heritage, history, and character.
It traces epic stories of the First Slave Society in the New World, from the horrors of slavery to Freedom and becoming a republic.
Let us look at history and reflect on rogues that made a difference.
Sir Walter The 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 Britain 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 of defending 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 rogue means is that it all depends on the kind of rogue. 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 self-serving. Robin Hood and Walter Raleigh fit the bill for very different reasons. Will Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, Sir Walter was a seafaring rogue who worked for the crown and himself.
Caribbean Pirate Rogues
In the Caribbean, we have had many rogues. The Pirates of the Caribbean were rogues; Sam lord and Steve Bonnet were two pirate rogues of Barbados. Both are featured in Rogues in Paradise, the untold real story of Barbados. Less known is the Barbados Red Leg Pirate Greaves.
Born a Scottish slave in Barbados, Greaves became a pirate by stowing away on Captain Hawkins’ ship. He killed Hawkins during a dispute over torture and was elected captain. Unlike most pirates, Greaves refrained from brutality, not torturing prisoners, robbing the poor, or abusing women. He focused on theft and evasion. After amassing a fortune, Greaves retired from piracy to become a plantation owner in Nevis. However, a betrayal led to his near-execution, only for an earthquake to spare his life. Rescued and reformed, he became a pirate hunter, eventually earning a pardon. He lived to a peaceful old age – a rare fate among pirates.
The Pirate Ship
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, making them equal sharing pirates. This and more about other pirates is noted in “Rogues” – The Real Story of Barbados.
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.
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). Mary Read ended up dying in prison and Anne Bonny disappeared from the records.
Zheng Yi Sao, born in 1775 in modest circumstances in China, worked as a sex worker before marrying a pirate. Remarkably, she agreed to marry him only if he shared half his fleet. On his death, she assumed control of the remaining fleet, emerging as a formidable pirate leader in the South China Sea, commanding an estimated force of 80,000 men. She was the most successful pirate ever! She had a bigger fleet, she had more people under her command, she had more money. Despite this, we don’t even know her real name, and she was never accorded the notoriety that men like Blackbeard assumed.
Disney also celebrates women pirates with Tia Dalma, a fictional character in their Pirates of the Caribbean series, first appearing in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. She possesses expertise in voodoo and hoodoo, and her past involves a passionate love affair with the pirate Davy Jones, which ended in betrayal and led her to curse him and his abandonment of his responsibilities. In the third installment, it is unveiled that Tia Dalma is, in fact, the earthly form of Calypso, the sea goddess.
African-Caribbean Rogues & Pirates
Amongst the enslaved African people of the Caribbean, there were many rogues. They were rebels who 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, Tackyled 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. As noted above, Greaves, the Red Leg Pirate, was born into slavery and escaped into piracy. Greaves was a humane and moral man despite being a pirate. He did not torture prisoners; he would not rob the poor and would not abuse or rape women. As a pirate, he would just steal and run. Later in life he became a pirate hunter and received a pardon for his early crimes. He died peacefully of old age, unheard of for a Pirate.
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 circumstances.\
Summary Video – The meaning of Rogue
The Book ‘Rogues in Paradise’
References to What is a Rogue
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: https://historydaily.org/blackbeard-myths
Caribbean Slave Rebellions:
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.
History of Rogues
- Story of Barbados People Review Avid Traveller
- Bussa Slave Rebellion
- Very Early Colonial History of Barbados
- Rogues Adventures – Rex Wotton
- What Does Rogue Mean: A Historical Respective
In this Page
meaning of rogue | gentlemen rogues | rogues in the book |historic rogues | noble rogues | slave rogues | pirate rogues | women pirates | |blackbeard | sir. walter |robinhood | pirate ship | the book of rogues