WILLIAM DAMPIER was born in Somersetshire, England, in the year 1652. He lost both his parents when very young, and was bound apprentice to the master of a ship at Weymouth, with whom he made a voyage to France and another to New England. In 1673, he served in the Dutch war, and was afterwards an overseer to a plantation in Jamaica. He next visited the bay of Campeachy as a logwood cutter, and, after once more visiting England, engaged in a band of Buccaneers, as they called themselves, although in reality pirates, with whom he roved on the Peruvian coasts. He next visited Virginia, and engaged in an expedition against the Spanish settlements in the South Seas. They accordingly sailed in August, 1683, and, after taking several prizes on the coasts of Peru and Chili, the party experienced various fortune but no very signal success. Dampier, wishing to obtain some knowledge of the northern coast of Mexico, joined the crew of a captain Swan, who cruised in the hopes of meeting the annual royal Mannilla ship, which, however, escaped them. Swan and Dampier were resolved to steer for the East Indies, and they accordingly sailed to the Piscadores, to Bouton island, to New Holland and to Nicobar, where Dampier and others were left ashore to recover their health. Their numbers gave them hopes of being able to navigate a canoe to Achin, in which they succeeded, after encountering a tremendous storm, which threatened them with unavoidable destruction. After making several trading voyages with a Captain Weldon, Dampier entered, as a gunner, the English factory at Bencoolen. Upon this coast he remained until 1691, when he found means to return home, and, being in want of money, sold his property in a curiously painted or tattooed Indian prince, who was shown as a curiosity, and who ultimately died of the small pox at Oxford. Dampier is next heard of as a commander, in the king's service, of a sloop of war of twelve guns and fifty men, probably fitted out for a voyage of discovery. After experiencing a variety of adventures with a discontented crew, this vessel foundered off the Isle of Ascension, his men with difficulty reaching land. They were released from this island by an East India ship, in which Dampier came to England. He afterwards commanded a ship in the South Seas, and accompanied the expedition of Captain Woodes Rogers as pilot.