Posted by R. Berg on February 03, 2003
In Reply to: Origin of "company of rogues" posted by scott bruce on February 03, 2003
: Anyone know the origin of the phrase "company of rogues?" It's not Shakespeare, I searched. I have a 1652 usage in a Petition against an English merchant. Thanks for your help.
From the Oxford Engl. Dict., 1st ed., "rogue," n.:
1. One belonging
to a class of idle vagrants or vagabonds. Now arch. as a legal term.
For the legal definition, see the Act 14 Eliz. c. 5 [section] 5.
. . . 1600 BRETON "Pasquil's Madcappe" Wks. (Grosart) I. 6/1 He shall . . . in a iacket and a paire of broages Goe passe among the company of roages.