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William Dampier was an English explorer who was the first person to travel all the way around the world three times and also the first in England to have explored parts of Australia. He is Australia’s first historian of natural science.
See the fact file below for more information on the William Dampier or alternatively, you can download our 23-page William Dampier worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND NAVAL SERVICE
- William Dampier was born in East Coker, Somerset, England in August, 1651.
- He was educated at King’s School, Bruton, Somerset, and became an orphan at 16 years old.
- At a young age, he sailed on two merchant voyages to Newfoundland and the East Indies.
- He joined the Royal Navy in 1673.
- During his service, he saw action at the Third Dutch War, particularly the Battle of Schooneveld.
- He had to return to England not long after he began his service to recover from an illness.
- He joined a sailing expedition, and he worked in plantation jobs in Jamaica and Mexico for a few years.
- Before he set sail in 1679, he married his wife Judith in England.
DAMPIER’S FIRST CIRCUMNAVIGATION
- Dampier’s pirate life and first circumnavigation began in 1679 when he joined the crew of Captain Bartholomew Sharp on the Spanish Main of Central America.
- They visited the Bay of Campeche in Mexico twice.
- The crew captured Spanish ships off the coast of Panama then attacked Spanish settlements in Peru.
- In 1683, Dampier met privateer John Cooke with whom he raided Spanish assets in Peru and the Galapagos.
- In 1686, Dampier transferred to the Cygnet, ship of buccaneer Charles Swan, and began a journey to the Pacific to raid the East Indies.
- The crew went on to sail to the Philippines, China, and eastern Indonesia.
- Dampier arrived at King Sound, western Australia in early 1688.
- Dampier ended up being marooned on one of the Nicobar Islands.
- From there, he used a small canoe to travel in Sumatra before eventually returning to England in 1961 through the Cape of Good Hope.
- He compiled his journal accounts into a book, A New Voyage Round the World, which was published in 1697 and made a good impression on the British Admiralty.
- He published another book, Voyages and Descriptions, in 1699.
- In 1699, Dampier was appointed to command the warship HMS Roebuck in behalf of the Admiralty. The mission was to travel to modern-day Australia via Cape Horn.
- On January 14, 1699, the expedition began and Dampier traveled via the Cape of Good Hope instead.
- He arrived at Shark Bay off western Australia on July 26, 1699.
- Dampier began writing accounts of the flora and fauna he found in Australia.
- He continued on to Roebuck Bay, still keeping records and samples of flora and fauna.
- He rounded New Guinea before reaching New Britain.
- Because of the worsening conditions of the Roebuck, Dampier decided not to continue the exploration of Australia and commence their return to England.
- The deteriorating Roebuck, however, could not make it all the way through and had to be left behind on Ascension Island on February 22, 1701.
- There were accounts that were left behind in Roebuck, but Dampier was able to keep some of the plant specimens and wind and ocean current charts around Australia and New Guinea.
- Upon returning from the Roebuck expedition, one of Dampier’s lieutenants filed charges against him for cruelty. He was found guilty and dismissed from the Royal Navy.
SECOND AND THIRD CIRCUMNAVIGATION
- From 1702 to 1706, Dampier led another expedition in the South Seas and was placed in command of the St. George.
- Their mission, which failed, was to attack the Manila galleons; the St. George ended up being abandoned in Peru.
- He returned to England without a ship in 1707 after the unsuccessful expedition.
- He set sail on his third and final voyage in 1708 as sailing master for privateer Woodes Rogers’ ship Duke.
- The third expedition was more successful than the second one as they were able to capture a Spanish galleon full of spoils in 1709.
- It was also in this voyage when Dampier’s former crewmate, Alexander Selkirk, was rescued.
DEATH AND LEGACY
- In March, 1715, Dampier died in London before he even got his share of the loot from his third expedition.
- Dampier’s collection of records on winds and ocean currents was an important contribution to navigation.
- Dampier’s accounts on the fauna and flora he found on northwestern Australia were the basis of the studies of naturalist Joseph Banks, which eventually led to the founding of modern Australia.
- His notes and observations were used as reference by naturalists Charles Darwin and Alexander von Humboldt.
- Dampier was mentioned in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.
William Dampier Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about William Dampier across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use William Dampier worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about William Dampier who was an English explorer who was the first person to travel all the way around the world three times and also the first in England to have explored parts of Australia. He is Australia’s first historian of natural science.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- William Dampier Facts
- William’s Bio
- Sequence of Events
- Captain’s Catalog
- Fill in the Blanks
- Which Trip Was It?
- All About Exploration
- Explorers of the World
- Dampier’s Legacy
- My Dream Expedition
- A Letter to William
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Link will appear as William Dampier Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 22, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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