William Dampier (1651 - 1715) was an English navigator, explorer, naturalist, and privateer (pirate) who was the first person to circumnavigate the globe three times, being the first Englishman to leave a written account of Australia. Born in Somerset, Dampier was educated at King's School, Bruton, before traveling on merchant vessels bound for Newfoundland and Java and then joining the Royal Navy. He tried his hand at various businesses in the New World, but in 1679 joined up with English buccaneers raiding Spanish interests in the Americas and East Indies. In 1691, Dampier returned to England short on money and prospects; he was also apparently court-martialed by the Royal Navy for imprisoning one of his lieutenants in Brazil. But he was able to publish his A New Voyage Round the World in 1697, a work that strongly influenced Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Damiel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Dampier was commissioned as a commander in the Royal Navy during the War of the Spanish Succession and tasked with raiding Spain's Manila Galleons. He continued to raid Spanish ships with limited success until 1711 and died in 1715 in London.

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