William Dampier

William Dampier

Explorer and hydrographic surveyor William Dampier (1652—1715) learned his craft on early voyages to voyages to Newfoundland, Bantam, Jamaica and Yucatan, and subsequently made three circumnavigations of the globe. 

The first (1679-91) began with a raid across the Isthmus of Panama onto the Spanish Pacific coast that returned to the Caribbean and, eventually, Virginia, where the privateer John Cooke enlisted him in 1683. With Cooke, Dampier rounded Cape Horn, spent a year raiding Spanish interests in Peru, the Galápagos Islands, and Mexico. 

After  Cooke died, Dampier transferred to Charles Swan's Cygnet. At the end of March 1686, they set out to raid the East Indies, travelling via Guam and Mindanao to Manila, Poulo Condor, China, the Moluccas, and on New Holland, where the Cygnet anchored near King Sound on 5 January 1688, where they spent two months careening the ship.

After being marooned with two shipmates in the Nicobar Islands, Dampier eventually returned to England via  Aceh and the Cape of Good Hope. 

Second and third voyages

© Ian Hughes 2017