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"William Dampier (1652 - 1715) - English navigator, pirate, merchant, and scientist, who made three round-the-world trips, discovered many islands in the Pacific Ocean. The British Academy of Sciences elected him as a member of the Scientific Research combined with the robbery, mainly of Spanish settlements on the Pacific coast On his travels he wrote a number of books, in particular, "Journey to New Holland"

William Dampier's contemporaries called him the "king of pirates." But he was not only a sea robber - Dampier was an outstanding navigator who made three round-the-world voyages, made many geographical discoveries and hydrological studies. His name is the archipelago, island, cape, and straits, etc. He is the author of three books that were very popular. The works of Dampier were so highly appreciated by contemporaries that he was honored to be elected a member of the Royal Society - the British Academy of Sciences, and his portrait, painted by Thomas Murray at the end of the 17th century, is placed in the National Portrait Gallery in London.


William Dampier was born in 1652 in East Toker (Somerset County, England) to a peasant family. Early as an orphan, he entered a merchant ship at the age of sixteen. After several voyages, Dampier in 1673 went to serve in the navy. In one of the battles, he was wounded and left England after leaving the hospital in Jamaica. There he worked as a plantation manager. But he did not like the role of the planter, and Dampier moved to the coast of the Gulf of Campeche, where for three years he was engaged in collecting a dye.

In 1678, Dampier returned to England. He married and bought a small estate. But in the same year again decided to return to Jamaica. On the way, Dampier met the filibusters and joined the crew of a small vessel without a flag, which, according to a shamefaced entry in his diary, was engaged in "searching for supplies" in the Caribbean (everything that concerned pirate matters, Dampier found decent language). Soon the young corsair gathered a detachment of desperate thugs and led him into the interior of the continent "to the forest industry." When the detachment returned to Jamaica, the robbers spent several months sipping their stolen valuables, and their leader was processing the collected scientific material.

In 1679, Dampier led his ship to the shores of Honduras and Nicaragua, where he plundered the Spanish city of Portobello and studied mosquitoes. In 1680, in Darien, he robbed Santa Maria and tried unsuccessfully to capture Panama. The broken gang went to the islands of Juan Fernandez. On the way, Dampier met with the tribes of the Indians, described their life and traditions.

With great difficulty, Dampier's detachment walked through virgin forests, crossed the stormy rivers. "Trying to save my written papers, I got a large bamboo pipe, which I ate at both ends so that water would not fall into it, I kept my diaries and drawings in it when rain fell on us or we had to swim," Dampier wrote in his diary. There are other records there that "troubles began": the Spaniards appointed a large reward for Dumper's head.

Then Dampier moved to Virginia and again went to sea on Captain Cook's ship. They engaged in an ordinary pirate affair, robbed and drowned all counter Spanish ships. Dampier at the same time manifested himself not only as a pirate but also as an outstanding observer-oceanographer. He collected materials for maps and descriptions of the Pacific islands and the coasts of Spanish America.

Dampier's interest in nature was the subject of jokes of his colleagues, who were only interested in ringing coins. But the captain was unruffled and even instructed his pirates sometimes to conduct scientific observations in breaks between robberies, forced them to describe in detail all that he had seen, put these stories in his diaries " - wrote Dampier in his book - that "trips for food" is not exactly the usual method of scientific research, but it is quite safe - after all, my people are good protection for the scientist. "My kind assistants often lie about their discoveries in fauna and flora, but I know how to distinguish lies from the truth. "

In 1686, Dampier on the ship of Captain Swann visited the Galapagos Islands. Since this operation was unsuccessful, Swan sent his ship to the East Indies.

Separating from Swann, Dampier and Dr. Wafer captured a brand new Spanish bark and, "in the usual way getting all the necessary things," went on a separate voyage

Dampier landed on the northwest coast of Australia. He spent there a little over two months and penetrated quite deep into the interior of the country, called the land of Dampier. During this expedition, he made many scientific discoveries: described the handsome flamingo, sea lion-sea lion, sea lion, sea elephant; studied winds-trade winds off the coast of South America, outlined the theory of their occurrence; studied the currents in the South Pacific, observed a polar night, reaching the Southern Arctic Circle.

Two years (1687-1688), the captain furrowed the ocean, giving fear to the Spanish