Military Review

Adventurer and adventurer Dampier. Part of 1

The Spaniards called the Englishman William "the terrible captain Dampir." One of his name suggested horror and panic to the sailors of the Iberian Peninsula. But Dampier was not famous for this. Unlike most of the "colleagues", he was engaged in research work in parallel with robbery and wrote several books. In addition, he was a member of the British Royal Society. And under his portrait, which hangs in the London National Gallery, there is an inscription: “William Dampier is a pirate and hydrograph.”

“I want to see the world”

This entry was left in the diary of the young William. At fourteen he was left without parents. And he fell under the care of a local landowner, Colonel Hilar. He sent William to study in a nearby town. But two years later Dampier decided that his place was not here, but on the water. Therefore, I got a job as a cabin boy on a merchant ship. His first trip was short: the ship sailed to France, and then returned back. Such "minimalism" was not to the liking of a young adventurer. Therefore, William moved to a fishing vessel engaged in fishing in the waters of Newfoundland. But here Dampier felt out of place. The cold climate of the North Atlantic acted on him depressingly. Therefore, he soon moved to the ship, plying in the warm waters. First, William plowed the waters near Java. But when the situation heated up and the threat of a new confrontation with Holland hung, Dampier sailed away.

After that, William entered the service in the royal fleet. He was lucky: he was on the Royal Prince flagship under the command of Admiral Edward Sprague. There is evidence that Dampier took part in the Shoneveld and Texel battles. Just in the last battle, the allied Anglo-French fleet was defeated. Admiral Sprague was killed, and William was saved by a miracle.

After leaving the hospital, Dampier decided that it was time to get some rest. Therefore, he returned to his native village of East Cocker. That's just a quiet and measured life in the English backwoods did not please the adventurer. Colonel Hilyar came to the rescue again. He suggested that William move to Jamaica to take the position of a sales agent on a sugar plantation. Dampier agreed without hesitation.

But in Jamaica, the Englishman did not work out. The fact is that he did not converge with Wailey, the manager of the sugar plantation. He immediately saw through the guest, so somehow he mentioned that William was “a man hanging around, not inclined to stay long in one place”. So, in fact, happened. Soon Dampier escaped from the plantation and fell on a merchant ship. However, the route Jamaica - Port-Royal, too, quickly bored adventurer. Therefore, after about six months, he joined a group of lumberjacks. Together with them, the adventurer settled on the coast of Yucatan, in a place called One Bush Bush. The main part of the population here were runaway black slaves, called Simarrons, as well as pirates. In such a motley outlaw company, Dampier spent several years.

All this time the Englishman kept systematic entries in his diary. In them, Dampier described in detail the surrounding nature, and also shared his impressions of the customs and customs of the local Aborigines. I did not forget to tell in detail about the pirate raids on the settlements of the Spaniards. So, for example, it was the summer of 1676. Then the sudden hurricane left the British without food supplies. Therefore, in search of food, they went to “explore” the nearby territory from the island of Trist to Rio Alvarado. The villages that met on the way, the British plundered. Do not forget about the hunt for turtles and manatees. The final chord of their campaign was an attack on the Spanish city of Alvarado.

Then William decided for the second time that it was time to settle down. After a short stay in Jamaica, the adventurer moved to London. Here I bought land and got married. That's just his rebellious soul and love of the sea could not accept the quiet and measured family life, and most importantly, the land person. Therefore, after only a few months, under the pretext of trading, he decided to sail. Her wife answered: “Only for a short while, there, on Tortuga, very dissolute women.” And Dampier swam away. Most likely, they never saw each other again ... At least there is no information about this.

World cruise with pirates

Satisfied with his family life for several months, William returned to Jamaica and again engaged in trade. At the invitation of an acquaintance of Mr. Hobby, Dampier was on the Loyal Dream ship, heading to the Mosquito Coast to buy a campus tree. But the ship did not reach the destination. It stopped in the Jamaican harbor of Port Morant. And while Mr. Hobby was in trouble, there was a pirate flotilla under the command of John Coxon. According to the official version, the ships of the filibusters went to the Gulf of Honduras to procure valuable campus wood. But in fact, they were going to plunder the city of Puerto Bello, so their path went to the Isthmus of Panama. Sailors from the Loyal of the Dream learned about the true purpose of the pirates, and all came under the command of Coxon as one. Dampier himself did not think long.

Already at the beginning of 1680, the adventurer along with the pirates took part in a raid on Puerto Bello. After the capture of the prey, the robbers crossed the Isthmus of Panama and plundered ships and coastal settlements near the races of Panama and Peru.

During this time, the flotilla was replaced by several captains. Some were accused of cowardice, others were killed in battle. Over time, Dampira bored with this "monotony." Together with other pirates, he chose a new captain - John Cook. On a big boat and a pair of canoes, a gang of pirates made it to the Panamanian coast. Having landed on the shore, the robbers sank their boats so that they would not attract the attention of the Spaniards, and headed through the jungle. From that moment on Dampier began to take notes with special care: “I took out a thick bamboo trunk, waxed it on both sides with wax so that the water would not penetrate inside. So I saved my journal and other records, although I often had to go swimming. ”

Marsh cast took more than twenty days. During this time, the pirates many times were on the verge of death. Especially tight with provisions. And if it were not for the help of the Indians, perhaps the Cook team would not have reached its intended goal - the Caribbean coast. By the way, several pirates, impressed by the redskins, made themselves tattoos in the local manner and stayed with them.

William described the march like this: “On the fourth day we started our march early, because it was usually clear before noon, and it was raining at noon. But in general, we didn’t care: it was raining, or the sun was shining, because I’m quite sure that we crossed the river on 30 once a day ... We couldn’t dry our clothes or warm up, there was no food: everything it made the transition very difficult for us ...

When we crossed the river, we began to wait for the backward satellites. Half an hour later they came. But in the meantime, there was so much water that they could not cross the river, and we could not help them. We decided to wait until the water subsides. We walked two miles along the river and built huts there, having covered six miles during that day. As soon as we had time to build huts, the river spread even more and flooded the banks, forcing us to move away. The night came before we could make new huts, and we had to lie directly on the ground. Most of the night there was an unusually heavy downpour, numerous lightning flashed and terrible peals of thunder resounded. ”

Dampier described and the death of one of the pirates: “We approached the shore and saw that the water was sleeping. Then they began to think how to cross the river, but it was not so easy. Finally, we decided to send one person across the river with a rope in order to ship all of our things first and then people. Agreed to do this, George Ganey. He took one end of the rope and quickly wrapped it around his neck, and left the other on the shore, and the other person stayed near the rope. But when Geini was in the middle of the river, the rope stretching behind him accidentally twisted or entangled, and the man who was watching the rope on the shore grabbed it, from which Geini turned over onto his back. And the man who held the rope in his hand threw it into the river, thinking that by this he would correct his mistake. But the current was very strong and the swimmer, who had three hundred dollars on his back in the bag, went to the bottom and we never saw him again ... ”

Despite the friends and the death of the Cook team still managed to get to the coast. Here they met French pirates under the command of Captain Tristan and entered his service. But a few months later, Dampier moved to another French pirate's ship, Arshambo. True, he stayed on this ship for a short while, as the adventurer "was tired of living with the French." And William was on the ship of Captain Wright. This robber compared to others was less fortunate, so the pirates rebelled every now and then because of the lack of rich booty.

In the spring of 1683, the ship "Rivend" appeared in the Chesapeake Bay, commanded by John Cook. He once left Tristan too, managed to get hold of a ship and put together a team. Dhampir immediately went under his top: "August 23 of 1683, we sailed from Virginia under the command of Captain Cook, heading for the Southern Seas."

Cook's ship made the transatlantic transition, visited the Cape Verde Islands, and then headed to the shores of Africa. In November, off the coast of Sierra Leone, the pirates were lucky: they came across a powerful Danish frigate. Cook outwitted the enemy captain and managed to seize the ship. Calling him "Bladder's Delight," the pirates headed for the Strait of Magellan. As for their old ship, there are several versions to this effect: it was either drowned, or traded from local slavers for black slaves.

The pirates did not succeed in entering the Strait of Magellan, a strong wind prevented it. Therefore, "Uslade" had to go around Cape Horn to get into the Pacific Ocean. For a long time, the pirates roamed off the coast of Central America. And after the death of John Cook, Edward Davies became the new captain of the Bachelor's Delights. Together with the ship under the command of Charles Swan, the pirates plowed the waters of Chile, Peru and Panama.

At some point Dampiru, as usual, tired of the monotony. So he went to the ship Swan. This captain decided to cross the Pacific Ocean, heading for the Philippines. On the island of Mindanao, William decided to board the ship under the command of John Reed.

But soon Dampira was struck with the idea that it’s time to end with piracy: “this crazy team got tired enough”. But he could not escape from the captain. Therefore, 5 January 1688, Dampier, along with the robbers, landed on the Australian coast, near Darwin, and met with the local aborigines. And a curious note appeared in his diary: “The inhabitants of this country are the most miserable people in the world. Although the Gottentons of Monomotops are ugly people, they look like gentlemen in comparison with these. These have no houses, clothes, sheep, cattle, fruits, ostriches, etc., whereas the Hottentots have it all, and in their whole way of life they differ little from animals. They are tall, narrow bone, with thin long limbs. They have big heads, sloping foreheads and huge eyebrows. Their eyelids are always half let to keep flies from flying into their eyes. Flies here are so annoying that it is impossible to get rid of them; they climb in the nostrils and in the mouth, if the lips are not very tightly compressed. They have big noses, nice full lips and wide mouths. The two front teeth in the upper jaw are missing from them all, men and women, young and old. Do they pull them out, I do not know. Men never have beards ... They have no shelters, and they sleep in the open air, not covered by anything. The earth is their bed, the sky is their canopy. Their only food is small fish. They have no devices to catch big fish ... ".

After a couple of months, the ship headed for Sumatra. But on this piece of land pirates did not stay long, and in early May reached the Nicobar Islands. Only here Dampier and several other people managed to escape from the pirates, having received the permission of Captain Reed. Once free, he decided to return to Sumatra. No sooner said than done. And there William took up the usual thing: trade. In the spring of 1689, he signed up for a dubious and risky business - the delivery of contraband opium to Malacca. Two years later, the adventurer found himself on a merchant ship under the command of Captain Heath. And rounding the Cape of Good Hope, in September of the same year, Dampier returned to his homeland.

For several years he processed and systematized diary entries. And in 1697, the first volume of the New Journey Around the World was released. William dedicated his work to the president of the Royal Scientific Society. And soon he was summoned to the Trade and Entrepreneurship Council for the position of expert in the fight against sea robbers.

When the second volume of his works, Travels and Discoveries, was published, Dampier became a celebrity. He was even introduced to King Wilhelm III, who made the adventurer a member of the Royal Society. A portrait of William "settled" in the National Gallery.

By the way, Dampier's creation made a strong impression on the writer Jonathan Swift. Therefore, working on the creation of a book about the adventures of Gulliver, he took something from the works of his compatriot. Moreover, as a sign of respect and gratitude, Swift makes his Gulliver and William relatives. There is an episode in the book where the writer's hero mentions a certain “cousin Dampier”.

But the adventurer did not wait for the release of his second book. He again set sail in search of new adventures ...
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 18 October 2017 07: 31 New
    The adventures of Dampier did not end there ... We are waiting for the second part ..
  2. XII Legion
    XII Legion 18 October 2017 08: 05 New
    in parallel with the robbery, he was engaged in research and wrote several books

    But someone in parallel with the robbery was engaged in public work)
    Interesting person
    Thank you
  3. Korsar4
    Korsar4 18 October 2017 08: 51 New
    If there is such a combination - then the favorite of the pirates.
  4. Monarchist
    Monarchist 18 October 2017 12: 51 New
    It was a time of adventurers and a fidget. Tired of trade and he is a fisherman, bored with fishing and he went to the pirates.
    This Dampier was a vizunik: how many times he could perish with a vessel or "decorate" it. If the Spaniards captured him then ... his journey ended
  5. Some kind of compote
    Some kind of compote 18 October 2017 13: 31 New
    The throw march took more than twenty days

    Considering distance and terrain - impressive
  6. nmaxxen
    nmaxxen 21 October 2017 10: 56 New
    There is an opinion (and the map in the article confirms this) that Dampir is the first to circumnavigate the world.
  7. chingachguc
    chingachguc 5 July 2020 14: 22 New
    old Dampir ... survived so much that it would be enough for ten human lives, who did not find wealth, and apparently, did not really look for them.