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Remembering Paul Bogle: from rebel to national hero

Paul Bogle

The Morant Bay Rebellion, ignited on October 11, 1865, in Morant Bay, St Thomas, remains etched in history as a fervent call for justice and rights. At the heart of this uprising was a preacher, a man of conviction, Paul Bogle, whose unwavering spirit and determination led hundreds to march to the courthouse, bravely demanding an end to the injustices and poverty that had plagued their lives.

Governor Edward John Eyre’s response to their plea was nothing short of brutal – martial law was declared, and in the ensuing chaos, approximately 400 men, women, and children paid the ultimate price. The Morant Bay Rebellion, one of the darkest chapters in the history of the British West Indies, stands as a chilling testament to the unrelenting struggle for justice in the face of ruthless oppression.

However, through the shadows of that fateful day, there emerges a ray of hope. The sacrifices made by our forefathers and mothers, particularly Paul Bogle, have paved the way for a brighter future. Today, we enjoy a life of greater freedom and opportunity, thanks to their unyielding determination to fight for what is just and right.

Paul Bogle’s journey from preacher to national hero exemplifies the value of sacrifice and commitment to justice, inspiring a movement and motivating us to continue the fight for a more equitable society.

A LEGACY OF FREEDOM

As we commemorate the Morant Bay Rebellion and celebrate the progress we have made, let us not forget the sacrifices of those who came before us. Their courage and resilience should inspire us to stand up for what is right, to be vigilant in safeguarding our rights and liberties, and to work towards a more just and equitable future.

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Today, we salute the indomitable spirit of Paul Bogle and all those who fought alongside him. Their sacrifice was not in vain. It has enriched our lives, ensuring that we live in a world where freedom and justice are cherished. May we all strive to honour their memory and carry forward the torch of their legacy into the future.

The struggle for justice and rights was never easy, but it was their unwavering dedication that has granted us the better life and greater freedom we enjoy today. Let us make their sacrifice count by continuing to fight for a world where justice and equality prevail.

Contributed by Dr Lorenzo Gordon, who is a diabetologist, internal medicine consultant, biochemist, and a history and heritage enthusiast. Send feedback to [email protected] .

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Paul bogle (1822-1865).

jamaica national hero paul bogle

Paul Bogle led the last large scale armed Jamaican rebellion for voting rights and an end to legal discrimination and economic oppression against African Jamaicans.  Because of his efforts Bogle was recognized as a national hero in Jamaica in 1969.  His face appears on the Jamaican two-dollar bill and 10-cent coin.

Paul Bogle was born free to Cecelia Bogle, a free woman, and an unknown father in the St. Thomas parish in 1822.  Bogle’s mother soon died and he was raised by his grandmother.  As an adult Bogle owned a home in Stony Gut and had another house in Spring Garden as well as a 500 acre farm at Dunrobin making him one of the few African Jamaicans prosperous enough to pay the fee to vote.  In 1845, for example, there were only 104 voters in St. Thomas parish which had an adult population of at least 3,300.

Bogle became a supporter of George William Gordon, an Afro-Jamaican politician and fellow landowner and Baptist.  In 1854 Gordon made the 32-year-old Bogle a deacon.  Bogle, in turn, built a chapel in Stony Gut which held religious and political meetings.

Officially Jamaican slavery ended in 1833 after the Sam Sharpe Rebellion a year earlier.  Yet from 1834 to 1838 former slaves served post-servitude “apprenticeships” to their former owners.  They were also subject to a judicial system controlled by the Colonial government primarily for the benefit of the former slaveholders.  They endured unemployment and taxes but low wages. In 1865, Gordon chose Bogle to lead a delegation to present their complaints to British Colonial governor, Edward John Eyre.

In August of that year Bogle led a 50 mile march of small farmers and former slaves to Spanish Town to meet with Governor Eyre to discuss their political grievances.  They were denied an audience with the governor.

Two months after that attempted meeting, the Morant Bay Rebellion started, sparked by the arrest of a supporter of Bogle for protesting the conviction of another black Jamaican for trespassing on a long-abandoned plantation.  Bogle and his supporters attended the trespassing trial in Spanish Town on October 7. Shortly afterwards when colonial officials attempted to arrest the Bogle supporter who had also attended the trial, he was immediately freed by Bogle’s other supporters.  They then forced Colonial police to release the man convicted of trespassing. Returning to Stony Gut, Bogle and his supporters learned that warrants had been issued for the arrest of 28 men for rioting in Spanish Town.  When the Colonial police attempted to arrest Paul Bogle, his followers fought them off.

On October 11, 1865, Bogle and his brother Moses led a protest march of nearly 300 people from Stony Gut to the Morant Bay Courthouse in Spanish Town.  They were confronted this time by the colonial militia who opened fire on them, killing seven of the protesters.  The protesters retaliated by killing a parish official, Baron von Ketelhodt, and fifteen militia members.  They then set 51 prisoners free.

Colonial soldiers were now brought to Morant Bay to crush the rebellion.  Nearly 500 people were killed and a greater number were flogged before “order” was restored.  Stony Gut, considered the stronghold of the rebels, was destroyed.  Paul and Moses Bogle were captured and hanged on October 24, 1865 at the Morant Bay Court House a day after George William Gordon, who did not participate in the rebellion, was executed.

In January 1866, a Royal Commission was sent from London to investigate the Rebellion.  Following their investigation Governor Eyre was dismissed as the Governor of Jamaica, and then charged but not convicted of murder.  Jamaica became a Crown Colony governed directly from England as a result of the rebellion.

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jamaica national hero paul bogle

Home > Caribbean History > People in History > Paul Bogle

National Hero of Jamaica – Paul Bogle

Freedom fighter, and named Jamaican National hero since 1969, Paul Bogle led the famous Morant Bay Rebellion in 1865, which turned out to be one of the defining moments in Jamaica’s struggle for political and economical advancement.

Paul Bogle, a Baptist Deacon is remembered for his role in the Morant Bay rebellion. His date of birth has been estimated between 1815 an 1822. He lived in Stony Gut in St. Thomas, just north of Morant Bay, whilst many people in the area were small farmers and labourers, he was successful, well educated and owned about 500 acres of land. He was also eligible to vote at a time when there were only 104 voters in the parish of St. Thomas, due in part to the large voting fee, in order to participate.

He became a supporter of landowner and politician and fellow Baptist George William Gordon. In 1864, Gordon made Bogle a deacon in the Baptist church. As social injustices and peoples grievances grew Bogle led a group of small farmers 45 miles to discuss their grievances with Governor Eyre in Spanish Town, but they were denied an audience. This left the people of Stony Gut with a lack of confidence, and distrust for the Government, and Bogle’s supporters grew in number.

The beginnings of the Morant Bay Rebellion first started on October 7th, 1865 when Bogle and his supporters, attended a trial for two men from Stony Gut, a black man was put on trial and imprisoned for trespassing on a long abandoned plantation. One member of Bogle’s group protested in the court, over the unjust arrest and was immediately arrested, angering the crowd further. He was rescued moments later, when Bogle and his men took to the market square, and retaliated. The police were severely beaten and forced to retreat that day.

On Monday, the 9th, warrants were issued against Bogle and a number of others for riot and assault. The police arrived in Stony Gut to arrest Bogle but met with stiff resistance from the residents. They fought the police, again forcing them to retreat to Morant Bay.

A few days later on October 11th 1865 there was a vestry meeting in the Court House. Bogle and his followers armed with sticks and machetes went to the Court House. The authorities were shaken, and a few people in the crowd threw stones at the volunteer militia who fired into the crowd killing seven people. The crowd retaliated, and set fire to the Court House and nearby buildings. When the officials tried to leave the burning building they were killed by the irate crowd outside.

The reprisals came quickly, the troops destroyed Stony Gut, and Paul Bogle’s chapel, Bogle was captured by the Maroon militia, and taken to Morant Bay where he was put on trial and hung at the burnt-out courthouse. Gordon was taken by boat to Morant Bay where he was tried for conspiracy and hung on October 23. In total over 400 Black residents were killed and many more flogged.

Back in Britain there was public outcry, there was increased opposition from liberals against Eyre’s handling of the situation, and by the end of 1865 the ‘Governor Eyre Case’ had become the subject of national debate. In January 1866, a Royal Commission was sent to investigate the events. Governor Eyre was suspended and recalled to England and eventually dismissed. Jamaica became a Crown Colony, being governed directly from England. The ‘Eyre Controversy’ turned into a long and increasingly public concern, dividing well known figures of the day, and possibly contributing to the fall of the government of Lord John Russell in 1866.

The Morant Bay rebellion turned out to be one of the defining points in Jamaica’s struggle for both political and economic enhancement. Bogle’s demonstration ultimately achieved its objectives and paved the way for the new attitudes.

In 1969 the Right Excellent Paul Bogle was named a National Hero along with George William Gordon, Marcus Garvey, Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Washington Manley.

Find out more about people in Jamaican History. Queen Nanny Bogle Samuel Sharpe Marcus Mosiah Garvey George William Gordon Sir Alexander Bustamante Norman Washington Manley

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Paul Bogle National Hero Of Jamaica

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"Service to Humanity Means Sacrifice" - Paul Bogle

Paul Bogle, national hero of jamaica

Photo Credit: National Library Of Jamaica

Born around 1822, Mr. Bogle who lived in Stony Gut, St. Thomas was a Baptist Deacon. He was a firm political adherent of George William Gordon.

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Though he was generally regarded as a peaceful man who shunned violence, he was a leader and organizer, he spent time in educating and training his followers.

Poverty and injustice in the society and lack of public confidence in the central authority urged him to lead a protest march to the Morant Bay Court-house on October 11, 1865.

For his role in the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion, he was captured and hanged on October 24, 1865 by the United Kingdom (Jamaica was a British colony at that time), but his forceful demonstration achieved it’s objectives.

It paved the way for the establishment of just practices in the courts and it brought about a change in official attitude which made possible the social and economic betterment of the people.

He was later named a National Hero of Jamaica with the title Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle. He is depicted on the heads side of the Jamaican 10-cent coin.

For more about the other heroes and heroine of Jamaica, please click here

See Also...

  • Places in J amaica named after our national heroes
  • Hero Nanny Poem, by Louise Bennett 
  • George William Gordon - Jamaica's National Hero
  • Marcus Garvey, Another distinguished Jamaican - And National Hero
  • Sam Sharpe, Esteemed National Hero of Jamaica
  • The National Heroes Song of Jamaica
  • Jamaican National Awards & Honours
  • Marcus Mosiah Garvey's Contribution

Other Pages Related To Paul Bogle, National Hero Of Jamaica

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  • Jamaican Celebrations & Historical Traditions - The Popular Ones
  • The History of Jamaica
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jamaica national hero paul bogle

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Jamaica’s National Heroes: Paul Bogle

Paul Bogle was born free about 1822 in Stony Gut, near Morant Bay in St. Thomas. He was a Baptist deacon and landowner.

On October 11, 1865, thirty-one years following the abolition of slavery in Jamaica, Bogle led about 300 men and women to Morant Bay Courthouse, in protest against poverty and injustice and a lack of confidence in the authorities.

The community had a number of grievances. Small farmers had been hit hard by drought the previous year and rumors surfaced that the white owners had intended to bring back slavery.

White owners, who were outnumbered 32 to 1 by the majority black population, still controlled power. And even though, Jamaicans were legally allowed to vote, the requirement that they had to be able to read and write and pay a high fee in order to do so meant only a few, Bogle among them, could enjoy that privilege.

The incident that brought matters to a head was that arrest warrants had been issued for 27 men of the village. The men were among those who had freed one of their number who had been found guilty of trespassing on an abandoned plantation and thrown in jail.

When Bogle and his group arrived at the courthouse, they were met by a local militia who opened fire killing seven protestors. Eighteen people were killed during the riot that ensued and the peaceful protest turned into what is now known as the Morant Bay Rebellion when more than 2,000 others joined in.

Fearful that the uprising would spread to the rest of the island, Edward Eyre, the British Governor at the time, sent troops to Morant Bay to quell the revolt. By the time they arrived, however, things had calmed. Unfortunately, this did not stop the brutal response of the authorities.

Nearly 500 Jamaicans were killed by troops, 354 were arrested and later executed, and 600 punishments including floggings and prison sentences were carried out.

Paul Bogle was arrested and executed on October 24 th at the Courthouse. His friend and supporter George William Gordon, another National Hero, who had very little to do with the uprising, was arrested in Kingston, tried under martial law and hanged on October 23rd.

The rebellion had a huge impact on Jamaica and Britain. In Britain, it caused significant public outcry with people falling into two camps: those who supported Governors Eyre’s response and those who believed that he should be tried for murder.

Those opposed to his actions, including liberal politicians, like Charles Darwin and John Stuart Mill, set up the Jamaica Committee. Eyre was charged twice with murder but never made it to trial. He returned to the UK in August 1866.

As a result of the riot, the Jamaican Assembly renounced its charter and Jamaica became a Crown Colony.

Paul Bogle was named a National Hero of Jamaica in 1969. His likeness appeared on the Jamaican $2 note from 1969 until it was phased out in 1989, and on the 10c coin since 1991.

According to a friend and descendant of Bogle, many family members, fearing further reprisals by the authorities, scattered to other parts of the island, some even changed their names. However, the Bogle name still lives on and is mentioned in music by several Jamaican musicians including Steel Pulse, and most notably Bob Marley, who sings in “So Much Things To Say” “I’ll never forget no way they turned their backs on Paul Bogle, so don’t you forget no youth who you are and where you stand in the struggle.”

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4 comments on “ Jamaica’s National Heroes: Paul Bogle ”

Brave fella!

The power and control of the white fellas is an interesting phenomena, especially when they are the minority. Makes my head spin.

I love the saying “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. So true.

Thanks for bringing this story to our attention.

You’re welcome, Narelle. I started doing the research for this series last month — October’s National Heroes Month — but for some reason, I couldn’t write it. Decided to leave it and write about other things. Absolute power does corrupt!

Great history I’m learning about Jamaica here. What courage and will…

Good to hear. I’m re-learning about it as I research and write. That fighting spirit!

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Memorial service for paul bogle and the 1865 rebellion.

Memorial Service for Paul Bogle and the 1865 Rebellion

The Full Story

One hundred and fifty-eight years ago, Baptist Deacon, Paul Bogle, led a march from Stony Gut to the Morant Bay courthouse in St. Thomas, to protest the living conditions of the people.

Just before those events of October 11, 1865, the National Hero had taken on the more than 40km journey by foot from Stony Gut to Spanish Town to seek audience with the then Governor but was denied.

It is a story popularly told throughout the many decades that have passed since, but the message of the Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle – sacrifice, fearlessness and unity – continues to be relevant today.

That is why on Tuesday (October 24), scores of residents and guests flocked Colonel Cove in Morant Bay for a memorial service to commemorate the National Hero and the Morant Bay Rebellion.

Keynote speaker, renowned American civil rights activist, Rev. Al Sharpton, who was unable to attend the event physically, set the tone for the event in a video presentation, by stating, “The blood that binds us is deeper than the waters that divide us.”

“Let’s come together, let’s stand together, let us do what he would have wanted us to do. Let’s not just call Bogle’s name but go in the way of Bogle. Stand up and be all that you must be,” he charged.

Rev. Sharpton was invited by Mayor of Morant Bay, Councillor Hubert Williams, and the St. Thomas Municipal Corporation.

He was represented by his children, daughters Dominique and Ashley.

Mayor Williams delivered a moving address in which he declared that it is time for Jamaica to understand that “St. Thomas is a big deal”.

“Paul Bogle led the Morant Bay war because he chose freedom over fear. We must never limit our vision. Great days are ahead of us; we are ready to work hard so the next generation can enjoy it,” the Mayor said.

For his part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Deanroy Bernard, who represented Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, reflected that is “very fitting” for the parish to pause and memorialise Paul Bogle and others who were martyrs in the Morant Bay War.

“It is certainly true that the war occurred in St. Thomas, but it is also true that their actions redounded to the benefit of oppressed black people across Jamaica,” Mr. Bernard said.

He underscored that these actions, which were embedded in self-sacrifice, are what led to the Government of Jamaica absolving Bogle and the others of criminal liabilities, as “they were not criminals…they were freedom fighters”.

Calling to mind the recent proclamation of October 11 as Paul Bogle Day, starting this year, Mr. Bernard emphasised that this must be a day when Jamaicans, both at home and in the diaspora, pause to celebrate one who gave his life so that they can have life.

Custos of St. Thomas, Hon. Marcia Bennett, in her remarks, said Heroes like Paul Bogle are owed “a debt of gratitude” for the freedom and democracy that Jamaicans hold dear today.

“They paid the ultimate price to improve the lives of their people. We are propelled today by their sacrifice and their legacy, so as we honour and celebrate Paul Bogle and the martyrs, let us remember we, too, are in a battle, we fight against incredible odds, but thank God the choice made by our forefathers has placed us on the winning side,” the Custos said.

Other speakers at the massive event included Opposition Leader, Mark Golding; Senator Damion Crawford; and Director, Centre for Reparation Research, Professor Verene Shepherd.

The memorial service was organised by the St. Thomas Municipal Corporation, in collaboration with the Paul Bogle Foundation.

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Paul Bogle: Leader of the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion

Paul Bogle is one of Jamaica’s National Heroes, and leader of the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion, an event that transformed the political system of the island. Bogle’s face appeared on the Jamaican two-dollar bill until it was phased out in 1989, and on the 10c coin since 1991.

Paul Bogle was born free to Cecelia Bogle, a free woman, and an unknown father in the St. Thomas, Jamaica in 1822. Bogle’s mother soon died and he was raised by his grandmother. He grew up in a time of transition in Jamaica. The Maafa (Atlantic slavery) was abolished in 1834 but the political and economic power structure was still dominated by the European population. Although Afrikan-Jamaicans could vote, in reality, the requirement to be able to read and write and the high fee for voting excluded many from being able to vote. In 1845, for example, there were only 104 voters in St. Thomas, which had an adult population of at least 3,300. However, Bogle owned a home in Stony Gut and had another house in Spring Garden as well as a 500-acre farm at Dunrobin making him one of the few Afrikan-Jamaicans prosperous enough to pay the fee to vote.

Bogle was a firm political supporter of George William Gordon an Afrikan-Jamaican politician and fellow landowner and Baptist. In 1854 Gordon made the 32-year-old Bogle a deacon. Bogle, in turn, built a chapel in Stony Gut which held religious and political meetings.

Paul Bogle stamp

Two months after that attempted meeting, the Morant Bay Rebellion started.

On 7 October 1865 Bogle and his supporters attended a trial for a Black man imprisoned for trespassing on a long-abandoned plantation. One member of Bogle’s group protested in the court over the unjust arrest but was immediately arrested, angering the crowd further. He was rescued moments later, by Bogle’s supporters. The protesters then forced the Colonial police to release the man convicted of trespassing. Returning to Stony Gut, Bogle and his supporters learned that warrants had been issued for the arrest of 28 men for rioting in Spanish Town. When the Colonial police attempted to arrest Paul Bogle, his followers fought them off.

On October 11, 1865, Bogle and his brother Moses led a protest march of nearly 300 people from Stony Gut to the Morant Bay Courthouse in Spanish Town. They were confronted this time by the colonial militia who opened fire on them, killing seven of the protesters. The protesters responded by killing a parish official and fifteen militia members. They then set 51 prisoners free.

Colonial soldiers were then brought to Morant Bay to crush the rebellion. 439 Black Jamaicans were killed by troops, 354 Black Jamaicans were arrested and later executed and 600 punishments including floggings and prison sentences were carried out. Stony Gut, considered the stronghold of the rebels, was destroyed, including Bogle’s chapel there. Gordon, who did not participate in the rebellion, was arrested and taken by boat to Morant Bay, where he was tried for conspiracy and hanged on 23 October. Bogle was captured by the Maroon militia and taken to Morant Bay, where he was put on trial and hanged on October 24, 1865 at the Morant Bay Court House.

Back in Britain there was public outcry, and increased opposition from liberals against Eyre’s handling of the situation, with accusations against him of murder. By the end of 1865 the “Governor Eyre Case” had become the subject of national debate. In January 1866, a Royal Commission was sent to investigate the events. Eyre was suspended and recalled to England and eventually dismissed. Jamaica became a Crown Colony, governed directly from England. The “Eyre Controversy” turned into a long and increasingly public concern, dividing well-known figures of the day, and possibly contributing to the fall of the government. In 1866 John Stuart Mill set up and chaired the Jamaica Committee to examine the atrocities committed in Jamaica in the course of ending the rebellion. Thomas Carlyle set up a rival committee to defend Eyre. His supporters included John Ruskin, Charles Kingsley, Charles Dickens and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

The Morant Bay rebellion turned out to be one of the defining points in Jamaica’s struggle for both political and economical enhancement. Bogle’s demonstration ultimately achieved its objectives and paved the way for new attitudes.

Paul Bogle in Popular Culture

In 1969 the Right Excellent Paul Bogle was named a National Hero along with George William Gordon, Marcus Garvey, Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Washington Manley.

Paul_Bogle_two_dollars

Bogle is depicted on the heads side of the Jamaican 10 cent coin. His face was also depicted on the Jamaican two-dollar bill, from 1969 until 1989, when the two-dollar bill was phased out and no longer used in Jamaican currency.

The Paul Bogle High School in the parish of his birth is named after him.

He is referenced in the name of the London-based publishing company Bogle-L’Ouverture.

Bogle is mentioned in songs by Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Brigadier Jerry, The Cimarons, Steel Pulse, Prince Far I, Lauryn Hill, Third World and General Trees.

In So Much Things to Say , by Bob Marley & The Wailers (and subsequently covered by Lauryn Hill), Marley mentions Bogle in the same breath as Marcus Garvey and Jesus Christ, concluding that “I’ll never forget no way they turned their backs on Paul Bogle, so don’t you forget no youth who you are and where you stand in the struggle.”

Please note that there are some controversies over Paul Bogle’s image as he bears a striking resemblance to Thomas L. Jennings. Unless they are doppelgänger, there seems to have been a major historical mistake at some point in time.

Source: https://jis.gov.jm-heroes/paul-bogle/ https://www.blackpast.org/gah-bogle-paul-1822-1865 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bogle

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Structure at Stony Gut

Parish : St.Thomas

Stony Gut, a small village located in the parish of St. Thomas, is the birth place of Jamaica's National Hero, Paul Bogle. He was a deacon of the Baptist Church, located in the same village. It was in this village that, what was to be later called the Morant Bay Rebellion, began. Paul Bogle, his brother Moses Bogle, and the people of Stony Gut walked to Spanish Town to air their grievances against the injustices and oppression faced in the Parish to Governor Edward Eyre.

The rebellion in the end brought about changes in the poor social and economic conditions of the peasants not only in St. Thomas but throughout the island. The rebellion was also the backdrop to the constitutional change which abolished the old representative system in favour of Crown Colony Government.

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jamaica national hero paul bogle

Jamaica National Hero – Paul Bogle

Paul Bogle, it is believed, was born free about 1822. He was a Baptist deacon in Stony Gut, a few miles north of Morant Bay, and was eligible to vote at a time when there were only 104 voters in the parish of St. Thomas.

Paul Bogle

In a violent confrontation with full official forces that followed the march, nearly 500 people were killed and a greater number was flogged and punished before order was restored.

Bogle was captured and hanged on October 24, 1865; but his forceful demonstration achieved its objectives. It paved the way for the establishment of just practices in the courts and it brought about a change in official attitude which made possible the social and economic betterment of the people.

Source – jis.gov.jm

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jamaica national hero paul bogle

TODAY, October 11, Stony Gut in St Thomas — birthplace of National Hero Paul Bogle — will be the venue for heightened celebrations as Jamaica will, for the first time, observe Paul Bogle Day.

This follows the day's proclamation by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen which, significantly, will be observed annually on the day of the Morant Bay War.

In a statement to Parliament on Tuesday, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange said the day was declared at her behest.

The day's celebrations will be led by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission in collaboration with culture clubs.

jamaica national hero paul bogle

"I am pleased to be able to proclaim Paul Bogle Day, even as some of the dreams of Paul Bogle for better working and liveable conditions of the people of St Thomas are coming to pass. The story is told that the Jamaica House of Assembly passed a resolution in 1865 to punish the people of St Thomas for their action, determined that the parish would see very little development," Grange said.

The Government, she said, led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has broken that curse. "Very soon, the people of St Thomas will have greater access to the commercial centre by way of a new highway. Further, also the development of the Morant Bay Court House into a modern museum will no doubt enhance the quality of life for the people of St Thomas going forward," she said.

Opposition Leader Mark Golding said he was pleased that Bogle will be commemorated on a special day in his honour.

"I had actually moved a motion in this House on the 26th of July 2022 calling for that very thing… summarising the tremendous courage and leadership that Paul Bogle showed in St Thomas and the ultimate sacrifice that he paid with his life," he said, noting that he had suggested that the date of commemoration should be the date of Bogle's martyrdom — October 24.

Golding said he was pleased to see that Jamaica will be commemorating Bogle's memory in this way because his role in the country's history is important.

"[The year] 1865 was a turning point, when the landless and oppressed people of St Thomas stood up, and the system of oppression — which gave rise to their determination to fight for their rights in that way — suffered a sort of cataclysmic rejection. Although hundreds of people died in it, it did lead to changes with helped Jamaica to the point where we are today," he said.

On October 11, 1865 Bogle, a Baptist deacon, led a protest march from Stony Gut to the Morant Bay courthouse, incensed by the poverty and injustice being faced by the people of St Thomas and Jamaica in general.

In a violent confrontation with State forces nearly 500 people were killed and a greater number were flogged and punished before order was restored. Bogle was captured and hanged on October 24, 1865.

The conflict, in the end, brought about changes in the poor social and economic conditions of the peasants, not only in St Thomas but throughout the island. It also brought about constitutional change which abolished the old representative system in favour of Crown Colony Government.

In recognition of his efforts, Bogle was conferred with the Order of the National Hero in 1969.

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Jamaicans.com

Descendant of Jamaica’s National Hero Paul Bogle Shares Truth About the Morant Bay Rebellion in Saint Thomas

jamaica national hero paul bogle

October in Jamaica doesn’t only signal the end of the scorching summer heat, but also ushers in the reverence of Heroes Month. Growing up with stories of our national heroes woven into our identities, but how much of those tales are accurate and fair representations of these historical figures and their struggles. The insights we share will not be from the pages of a history book, but from a descendant of Paul Bogle. An interview with Junior Bogle on Caribbean Gateway’s YouTube channel introduces us to a narrative that feels both foreign and familiar. Junior, a direct descendant of the legendary Paul Bogle, unfolds a story passed down through generations that is markedly different from the tales we heard in our youth.

How It Really Started

We were taught about the rebellious deacon, who stirred a violent rebellion. But Junior paints a different picture. His ancestor, as per the familial recounts, attempted many peaceful protests long before the rebellion boiled over. Bogle was thorough, he penned petitions and pleas and sought change through the power of words and silent resilience, but his letters to Queen Victoria were met with disdain. In fact, the triggering event was a trial at the Morant Bay courthouse, where shots fired by the militia claimed innocent lives, plunging St. Thomas into chaos.

Bogle’s Ultimate Sacrifice

One detail, often glossed over in history books, was Bogle not just as a leader but a family man. The brutal response to the rebellion saw his family and followers hunted and slaughtered. Selflessly, Bogle surrendered himself. It is important to note that, contrary to popular narratives, he wasn’t captured but gave himself up to the Maroons. The bounty on his head being the highest in Jamaican history told of the British powers’ desperation to quell his indomitable spirit.

A Legacy Remembered

The rebellion’s vicious suppression and Bogle’s execution didn’t silence his voice. It echoed in the generations that followed, from Marcus Garvey to Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela. Each, in their unique way, carried the torch of resistance, equality, and dignity, making Bogle’s sacrifice not just a moment in history, but a living legacy urging us to remember the power of standing against oppression. We are reminded that history is often more intricate and personal than the generalized narratives in textbooks.

This October, as we celebrate Heroes Month, we’re not just honoring icons, but individuals who were family, friends, and community pillars. Our heroes are more than just words penned, they lived real lives, made real sacrifices and our existence and liberties today are a direct by product of those sacrifices.

Photo – @allisnharrisn

About the author

jamaica national hero paul bogle

Tameka Heath-Harding

Passionate Wordsmith | Globetrotter | Staff Writer @ Jamaicans.com | Music Enthusiast

Welcome to my corner of the digital world! I'm Tameka, a seasoned wordsmith with an insatiable curiosity for the intricacies of life and culture. As a staff writer at Jamaicans.com, I have the privilege of sharing compelling stories and insights that celebrate the vibrant Jamaican culture and its global influence.

Through the power of words, I weave narratives that transport you to far-flung destinations, explore the depths of human experiences, and shed light on the beauty of diversity. Whether it's delving into the flavors of Jamaican cuisine, unraveling the rhythms of reggae music, or uncovering untold stories of the Caribbean, I'm here to illuminate and inspire.

When I'm not busy crafting tales, you'll often find me immersed in the world of music, where I channel my creativity and passion into creating captivating sounds and melodies. Music is my second language, and it's where I find solace and expression.

When I'm not writing or making music, I'm globe-trotting, seeking inspiration in every corner of the world. Join me on this literary and musical journey as we embark on a quest to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Let's connect, converse, and explore the wonders of the written word and the magic of music together. Feel free to reach out for collaborations, insights, or just a friendly chat. Together, let's make the world a bit brighter, one word and one note at a time.

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Paul Bogle, the slave who became a Jamaican national hero 0 / 5 Note: 4 your vote:

Afrikhepri Foundation

P aul Bogle is a Jamaican national hero. He was born before the abolition of slavery, between 1815 and 1820. It was during his youth that slavery was abolished in Jamaica, but the white population still held power and controlled everything. He was one of the few blacks to obtain the right to vote and a land right. In 1865, two men from Stony Gut were tried in Morant Bay court. Paul Bogle and his men go there to support them. A man shouts in the room, the police try to stop him, Bogle and his men intervene. The man runs away. The police then come to Stony Gut to arrest Bogle, but his men will not let them and send them back to Morant Bay. It was then that the Morant Bay uprising began. Bogle and his men walk towards Morant Bay and go to court for a hearing. A battle breaks out, armed police and soldiers kill 20 of Bogle's men. The others take refuge in the court. The police set fire to the courthouse and shoot those who try to escape.

The survivors return to Stony Gut. Governor Edward Eyre sends troops to Portland and St Thomas to crush the spreading rebellion, and puts a price on Bogle's head. The soldiers kill and burn many people, as well as more than a thousand houses. Bogle's men cause minor damage, not being armed to deal with the soldiers, who destroy Stony Gut. Bogle is captured, arrested, taken to Morant Bay and tried. He was hanged on the ashes of the Tribunal on October 24, 1865. 438 other people were also executed. A statue of Paul Bogle will be erected in Morant Bay Square, sculpted by Edna Manley (wife of Norman Manley). In 1995, the 10 cents on the island will be minted with his effigy. Considered one of Jamaica's national heroes, he was sung by many reggae artists such as Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, Burning Spear, and many others. Paul Bogle will remain the symbol of the rebellion against British colonial oppression.

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Paul Bogle - National Hero of Jamaica

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It is believed that Paul Bogle was born free in an estimated period of between the years 1815 and 1822 in Stony Gut, St. Thomas, a few miles from Morant Bay.

He was a Jamaican Baptist deacon and he owned about 500 acres of land because Stony Gut was made up of small farmers.

He was good friends with another one of Jamaica's National Heroes, George William Gordon .

Gordon at the time was a big politician and land owner himself, and he assisted Bogle to get his Deacon status. Bogle was said to be born in a time when slavery was being abolished, which was 1834.

However, the white population was still in control.

This was evident in the fact that though black people were eligible to vote, most of them still could not afford to because they had to have the basic reading and writing ability and some money, because the cost of voting was so pricey...

... yes, they had to pay to vote back in those days!

National Hero Paul Bogle

Bogle was one of those eligible voters who were among the limited 104 voters in the parish of St. Thomas.

A Brief History on Bogle's Heroic Stint

It started in the year 1865, on October 7th, when there was an alleged trespassing case resulting in a black man being captured and found guilty. The black residents of Stony Gut went into protest and got the man freed by force. It was later noted that about 27 of these men from the village had warrants out for their arrests for offenses such as assaulting the police and rioting. Following that event and news, Paul Bogle lead a group of about 280 black men and women into Morant Bay Town on October 11, 1865. It was due to conditions such as poverty and injustice in the society as well as the lack of public confidence in the central authority that this protest was happening. This move was what was dubbed the "Morant Bay Rebellion."

Statue of Paul Bogle

They marched right up to the court house to make their voices heard with regards to the arrest warrants. They were greeted by a force of military personnel who opened fire panicly in the crowd killing about seven (7) of the protesters. Then the only thing that could happen did, that move ignited a fire in the bloods of the rioters and so things got out of hand resulting in another 18 or so persons being killed.

The crowd threw stones and set the courthouse and other buildings on fire. Some of the officials who ran out of the burning buildings to try and save themselves ended up being mobbed and killed by the massive crowd. So what begun as a protest turned out to be a rebellion and the town was then under control by about 2,000 rebels. As expected, there were more deaths in the upcoming days. The result of the riot: 439 black Jamaicans were killed 354 arrested and executed later on and another 600 punishments were carried out, including sentences and flogging. Mr Paul Bogle himself was one of those who were arrested and later executed.

He was hanged on October 24, 1865. Due to his close ties with politician George Gordon, Mr. Gordon was also arrested in Kingston, was tried and later hanged in October. Now George was not a part of the rebellion but he got convicted anyway.

His efforts did not go unnoticed because it paved to way for courts to practice just judgement as well as an attitude change in public officials. That is why he was named a National Hero of Jamaica in 1969 and as a result his head placed on the $2 Jamaican note in the same year.

The note was however phased out in the year 1989. After the phasing out of the $2 note, his head was chosen again to be on the Jamaican 10cents coin which has been in circulation since 1991.

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jamaica national hero paul bogle

This Is The Real Photo Of Jamaica’s National Hero ‘Paul Bogle’, As Per Research – Watch Video

The decades-old mystery as to the real portrait of the leader of the largest uprising in Jamaica, Paul Bogle, seemed to have been solved. In the past years, the controversy surrounding the picture depicting Thomas Jennings And Paul Bogle as the same person has grown tremendously between Americans and Jamaicans.

To seemingly end the debate, Jamaican-Ukrainian researcher Irina Bruce has presented some telling data via video to uncover who the person in the depiction is, where the picture originated, who the portrait owner was and who was responsible for the age-old confusion.

The first point detailed by Irina Bruce to prove that the photo is indeed Paul Bogle was the time frame of when the photo was taken. According to Irina, “If this photo is the photo of Thomas Jennings, it would have been taken any time, between October 1856 and February 1859, which also means the man in the photo is at least 65 years old; do you think this man is in his late 60’s? I don’t think so.”

jamaica national hero paul bogle

As she continued her revelations, Irina presented original documents courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica, proving that the photo originated and was first made public in Jamaica in 1957.

See the image of the record below:

jamaica national hero paul bogle

Another telling piece of evidence outlined by the presenter showed how the photo became a depiction of Thomas Jennings.

Irina revealed that the image was first added to the internet in 2001 as the photo of Paul Bogle; the same image was then added to a blog bio of Thomas Jennings in 2010 by a user in the celebration of black history, which ultimately led to the confusion, as a major media outlet also used the image as Thomas Jennings in its magazine.

jamaica national hero paul bogle

See the video below:

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jamaica national hero paul bogle

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IMAGES

  1. Paul Bogle (1822

    jamaica national hero paul bogle

  2. On this Day in Jamaican History: Jamaican National Hero, Paul Bogle

    jamaica national hero paul bogle

  3. Statue/Sculpture of Jamaican National Hero Paul Bogle Editorial Stock

    jamaica national hero paul bogle

  4. Top Ten Greatest Jamaicans

    jamaica national hero paul bogle

  5. REMEMBERING OUR HEROES _ PAUL BOGLE

    jamaica national hero paul bogle

  6. Paul Bogle

    jamaica national hero paul bogle

VIDEO

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  2. MHS VS PAUL BOGLE HIGHLIGHTS

  3. Titanic In Portland Jamaica / JDF SHiP SiNK Sunk /35 Year Old Paul Bogle

  4. BB Coke 2 Paul Bogle 0 Fulltime Dacosta Cup 2nd Round 2023

  5. Paul Bogle

  6. Edward Seaga Will Become A National Hero?

COMMENTS

  1. Paul Bogle

    October 24, 1865 Paul Bogle, it is believed, was born free about 1822. He was a Baptist deacon in Stony Gut, a few miles north of Morant Bay, and was eligible to vote at a time when there were only 104 voters in the parish of St. Thomas. He was a firm political supporter of George William Gordon.

  2. Paul Bogle

    Paul Bogle (1822 - 24 October 1865) [2] was a Jamaican Baptist deacon and activist. He is a National Hero of Jamaica. He was a leader of the 1865 Morant Bay protesters, who marched for justice and fair treatment for all the people in Jamaica.

  3. 10 Interesting Facts About Paul Bogle

    Today we introduce Paul Bogle - Defender of the People and one of Jamaica's seven National Heroes. We will take a trip down memory lane to visit his life's work and see what has earned him this prestigious title. So let's look at 10 interesting facts about this great Jamaican.

  4. Remembering Paul Bogle: from rebel to national hero

    Paul Bogle's journey from preacher to national hero exemplifies the value of sacrifice and commitment to justice, inspiring a movement and motivating us to continue the fight for a more equitable society. A LEGACY OF FREEDOM

  5. Paul Bogle (1822-1865)

    Because of his efforts Bogle was recognized as a national hero in Jamaica in 1969. His face appears on the Jamaican two-dollar bill and 10-cent coin. Paul Bogle was born free to Cecelia Bogle, a free woman, and an unknown father in the St. Thomas parish in 1822. Bogle's mother soon died and he was raised by his grandmother.

  6. National Heroes

    Norman Manley Paul Bogle Samuel Sharpe Sir Alexander Bustamante, K.B., O.N.H., Ll.D (Hon.) Alexander Bustamante was born William Alexander Clarke, in Blenheim, Hanover, on February 24, 1884. His parents were Robert Clarke, an Irish-descended book-keeper and Mary Clarke, nee Wilson, a small farmer.

  7. National Hero of Jamaica

    Freedom fighter, and named Jamaican National hero since 1969, Paul Bogle led the famous Morant Bay Rebellion in 1865, which turned out to be one of the defining moments in Jamaica's struggle for political and economical advancement. Paul Bogle, a Baptist Deacon is remembered for his role in the Morant Bay rebellion.

  8. Paul Bogle

    Paul Bogle National Hero Of Jamaica Sharing Is Caring! Share this awesome content with your friends now. New! See the real Jamaica in VIDEOS! Click Here and s ee why over 140,000 fans are raving about my YouTube Channel! "Service to Humanity Means Sacrifice" - Paul Bogle Photo Credit: National Library Of Jamaica

  9. Jamaica's National Heroes: Paul Bogle

    Paul Bogle was born free about 1822 in Stony Gut, near Morant Bay in St. Thomas. He was a Baptist deacon and landowner. On October 11, 1865, thirty-one years following the abolition of slavery in Jamaica, Bogle led about 300 men and women to Morant Bay Courthouse, in protest against poverty and injustice and a lack of confidence in the authorities.

  10. Memorial Service for Paul Bogle and the 1865 Rebellion

    Just before those events of October 11, 1865, the National Hero had taken on the more than 40km journey by foot from Stony Gut to Spanish Town to seek audience with the then Governor but was denied. It is a story popularly told throughout the many decades that have passed since, but the message of the Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle - sacrifice ...

  11. Paul Bogle: Leader of the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion

    Paul Bogle is one of Jamaica's National Heroes, and leader of the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion, an event that transformed the political system of the island. Bogle's face appeared on the Jamaican two-dollar bill until it was phased out in 1989, and on the 10c coin since 1991. Paul Bogle was born free to Cecelia Bogle, a free woman, and an ...

  12. On this Day in Jamaican History: Jamaican National Hero, Paul Bogle

    On October 11, 1865, Paul Bogle led 200 to 300 black men and women into the town of Morant Bay, Jamaica, in protest of injustice, poverty, lack of voting rights, high poll taxes, and the conduct of police who, a few days earlier, had attempted to arrest a man for disrupting a court trial, sparking a fight with spectators, to start what has been ...

  13. Jamaica National Heroes

    Paul Bogle, a Baptist Deacon was generally regarded as a peaceful man who shunned violence. He believed in the teachings of the Bible, endorsing the principles of charity and endurance. Yet he was also a leader and organizer who knew well the terrains of the land and had spent time in educating and training his followers.

  14. Jamaica National Heritage Trust

    Stony Gut. Stony Gut, a small village located in the parish of St. Thomas, is the birth place of Jamaica's National Hero, Paul Bogle. He was a deacon of the Baptist Church, located in the same village. It was in this village that, what was to be later called the Morant Bay Rebellion, began. Paul Bogle, his brother Moses Bogle, and the people of ...

  15. Paul Bogle Day gives lift to celebration of national heroes

    Paul Bogle The declaration of last Wednesday, October 11, as Paul Bogle Day was most fitting and provided the perfect build-up to tomorrow's observance of National Heroes' Day when we...

  16. Jamaica National Hero

    Paul Bogle, it is believed, was born free about 1822. He was a Baptist deacon in Stony Gut, a few miles north of Morant Bay, and was eligible to vote at a time when there were only 104 voters in the parish of St. Thomas. He was a firm political supporter of George William Gordon.

  17. Time To Establish The Real Image Of Paul Bogle

    Paul Bogle has since become an enduring source of courage, national pride, self-belief, and resilience among the Jamaican people. Bogle was conferred with the Order of National Hero in 1969 and a photograph purporting to be the image of the man began to circulate throughout the Nation's archives as well as local newspapers, school textbooks ...

  18. Paul Bogle Day is October 11

    Oct 11, 2023 12:13 am · Make a comment This statue, said to be that of National Hero Paul Bogle, stood outside the Morant Bay courthouse for decades. The statue was damaged in 2009 by a...

  19. Descendant of Jamaica's National Hero Paul Bogle Shares Truth About the

    An interview with Junior Bogle on Caribbean Gateway's YouTube channel introduces us to a narrative that feels both foreign and familiar. Junior, a direct descendant of the legendary Paul Bogle, unfolds a story passed down through generations that is markedly different from the tales we heard in our youth.

  20. Paul Bogle, the slave who became a Jamaican national hero

    Paul Bogle is a Jamaican national hero. He was born before the abolition of slavery, between 1815 and 1820. It was during his youth that slavery was abolished in Jamaica, but the white population still held power and controlled everything. He was one of the few blacks to obtain the right to vote and a land right.

  21. Paul Bogle

    Paul Bogle led the Morant Bay rebellion on October 11, 1865 with about 200-300 black people. He became one of the National heroes of Jamaica in 1969.

  22. JAMAICA NATIONAL HEROES Episode 2: Paul Bogle

    It's Heritage Month! This means that the month and time is here to take a look at our Jamaican National heroes. Today's icon is non-other than the Right Exce...

  23. This Is The Real Photo Of Jamaica's National Hero 'Paul Bogle', As Per

    Kemar Tomlinson December 25, 2023 The decades-old mystery as to the real portrait of the leader of the largest uprising in Jamaica, Paul Bogle, seemed to have been solved. In the past years, the controversy surrounding the picture depicting Thomas Jennings And Paul Bogle as the same person has grown tremendously between Americans and Jamaicans.