Dampier, William

born August 1651, East Coker, Somerset, Eng.
died March 1715, London

English buccaneer and explorer.

In his early years he engaged in piracy, chiefly along the western coast of South America and in the Pacific. In 1697 he published a popular book, A New Voyage Round the World. In 1699–1701 he explored the coasts of Australia, New Guinea, and New Britain for the British Admiralty. He was court-martialed for his cruelty but later led a privateering expedition to the South Seas (1703–07). He was a keen observer of natural phenomena; one of his ship's logs contains the earliest known European description of a typhoon.

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▪ British explorer

born August 1651, East Coker, Somerset, Eng.
died , March, 1715, London
 buccaneer who later explored parts of the coasts of Australia, New Guinea, and New Britain for the British Admiralty. A keen observer of natural phenomena, he was, in some respects, a pioneer in scientific exploration.

      Dampier, orphaned at the age of 16, voyaged to Newfoundland and later sailed to the East Indies and the Gulf of Mexico. Between 1678 and 1691 he was engaged in piracy, chiefly along the west coast of South America and in the Pacific. On one voyage he reached Australia (1688), probably the north coast near Melville Island. He found nothing to plunder, however, and took a dislike to the people and their customs.

      Little is known of his life for the next 10 years, until he was appointed to command of the Roebuck to explore for the British Admiralty. He sailed from England on Jan. 14, 1699, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and reached Shark Bay off western Australia on July 26. After exploring the coast northward to what was thereafter called Dampier Archipelago, he went on to New Guinea and, passing around the north of the island, reached New Britain. With a deteriorating ship and a discontented crew, he then continued to Batavia, Java (now Jakarta, Indon.), for repairs and provisions. He sailed for England on Oct. 17, 1700, but, by the time he reached the South Atlantic off Ascension Island on February 22, the dangerously leaking Roebuck had to be abandoned. The crew remained on the island until April 3, when they were picked up by a convoy of homeward-bound warships and East Indiamen. After returning to England, Dampier made two more voyages as a privateer, capturing booty worth about £200,000 on the second venture. His popular book, A New Voyage Round the World, was published in 1697. One of his ship's logs contains the earliest known European description of a typhoon.

Additional Reading
Anton Gill, The Devil's Mariner: A Life of William Dampier, Pirate and Explorer, 1651–1715 (1997); William Dampier, A New Voyage Round the World (1697, reissued 1998); Diana Preston and Michael Preston, A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer: The Life of William Dampier (2004).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dampier, William — ► (1652 1715) Navegante inglés. Exploró las costas de Australia y Nueva Guinea. * * * (ago. 1651, East Coker, Somerset, Inglaterra–mar. 1715, Londres). Corsario y explorador inglés. En su juventud, se dedicó a la piratería, principalmente a lo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • DAMPIER, WILLIAM —    an English navigator and buccaneer; led a roving and adventurous life, and parting company with his comrades, set off on a cruise in the South Seas; came home and published a Voyage Round the World ; this led to his employment in further… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Dampier, William — (1652 1715)    Discoverer and buccaneer, b. near Yeovil. After various seafaring adventures, and leading a semi piratical life, he was in 1688 marooned on Nicobar Island, but escaped to Acheen, returned to England in 1691. He pub. his Voyage… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • DAMPIER, William (1651-1715) — voyager was born at East Coker, near Yeovil, Somerset, England, on 5 September 1651, the son of George Dampier, a farmer, and his wife Ann. The year of birth is usually given as 1652, but Clennell Wilkinson in his biography gives what appear to… …   Dictionary of Australian Biography

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  • DAMPIER (W.) — DAMPIER WILLIAM (1652 1715) Fils d’un petit paysan anglais, entré très jeune dans la marine, William Dampier a combattu les Hollandais en 1672 1673, avant de choisir la vie d’un aventurier, négociant ici, pirate ailleurs, passant des Antilles à… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Dampier — (spr. Dämpier), William, geb. 1652 zu East Coker in Somersetshire, machte früh eine Reise nach Frankreich, Terre neuve u. Ostindien; 1673 engagirte er sich auf einem englischen Kriegsschiff, verließ aber den Dienst bald wieder; 1675 auf kurze… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • William Dampier — Infobox Person name = William Dampier image size = 250px caption = William Dampier, buccaneer, navigator and explorer birth name = birth date = 5 September 1651 birth place = East Coker Somerset death date = March 1715 death place = London death… …   Wikipedia

  • William Dampier — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Dampier. William Dampier, pirate, navigateur et explorateur William Dampier (septembre  …   Wikipédia en Français

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