Can You Tell One Rogue from Another?

Not all vagabonds are created equal. Some travel in pairs, some steal horses, some steal from the disabled. Fortunately, British writer Thomas Harman studied vagabond-ology back in the mid 1500’s and provided us a with a list of the various types of vagabonds.

In the spirit of our discussion of voice and, perhaps, our occasional references to precision, I present a portion of the list to you:

1. Rufflers (thieving beggars, apprentice uprightment)
2. Uprightmen (leaders of robber bands)
3. Hookers or anglers (thieves who steal through windows with hooks)
4. Rogues (rank-and-file vagabonds)
5. Wild rogues (those born of rogues)
6. Priggers of prancers (horse thieves)
7. Palliards (male and female beggars, traveling in pairs)
8. Fraters (sham proctors, pretending to beg for hospitals, etc.)
9. Abrams (feined lunatics)
10. Fresh-water mariners or whipjacks (beggars pretending shipwreck)
11. Dummerers (sham deaf-mutes)
12. Drunken tinkers (thieves using the trade as a cover)
13. Swadders or peddlers (thieves pretending to be peddlers)
14. Jarkmen (forgers of licenses) or patricoes (hedge priests)

These are just the male vagabonds, of course. If you want the rest of the list, including the female vagabonds, you will have to visit the web site below.

Find more at Lists of Note: The 23 Types of Vagabond.

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