William Dampier was an English explorer and navigator who became the first Englishman to explore parts of what is today Australia, and the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. He has also been described as Australia's first natural historian, as well as one of the most important British explorers of the period between Sir Walter Raleigh and James Cook.
After impressing the Admiralty with his book A New Voyage Round the World, Dampier was given command of a Royal Navy ship and made important discoveries in western Australia, before being court-martialled for cruelty. On a later voyage he rescued Alexander Selkirk, a former crewmate who may have inspired Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Others influenced by Dampier include James Cook, Horatio Nelson, Charles Darwin, and Alfred Russel Wallace: The Buccaneers—Navigation in the Seventeenth Century—Features of the Vocational Life of the Early Mariner
Dampier's Early Life—Campeché—He joins the Buccaneers, 1652-1681
Dampier's First Voyage round the World, 1681-1691
The Voyage of the "Roebuck," 1699-1701
The Voyage of the "St. George," 1702-1706-7
The Voyage With Woodes Rogers, 1708-1711