- Gender Male
- Race Human
- Occupation Royal Governor of the Bahama Islands (Currently Bankrupt)
- Religion Roman Catholic
- Base of operations Nassu, Currently London
- Nationality Kingdom of England
Woodes Rogers is an English sea captain and privateer and, later, the first Royal Governor of the Bahamas. He is known as the captain of the vessel that rescued marooned Alexander Selkirk.
Rogers came from an affluent seafaring family, grew up in Poole and Bristol, and served a marine apprenticeship to a Bristol sea captain. His father held shares in many ships, but he died when Rogers was in his mid-twenties, leaving Rogers in control of the family shipping business. Rogers was approached by Captain William Dampier, who sought support for a privateering voyage against the Spanish. Rogers led the expedition, which consisted of two well-armed ships. In three years, Rogers and his men went around the world, capturing several ships in the Pacific Ocean. En route, the expedition rescued Selkirk, finding him on Juan Fernandez Island. When the expedition returned to England, Rogers had circumnavigated the globe, while retaining his original ships and most of his men, and the investors in the expedition doubled their money.
The expedition made Rogers a national hero, but his brother was killed and Rogers was badly wounded in fights in the Pacific. On his return, he was successfully sued by his crew on the grounds that they had not received their fair share of the expedition profits, and Rogers was forced into bankruptcy.
Rogers was appointed Governor of the Bahamas, where he succeeded in warding off threats from the Spanish, and in briefly ridding the colony of pirates. However, his term as governor was financially ruinous, and on his return to England, he was imprisoned for debt.