Dampier was the first Englishman to explore New Holland (Australia) and the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. He wrote down his stories in a best selling book of the era: Voyage Round the World. In many ways, he was the most remarkable explorer of his era and his exploits would not be exceeded until Sir James Cook's voyages a century later.
On a later voyage, William Dampier was able to rescue Alexander Selkirk, who was Daniel Defoe's inspiration for Robinson Crusoe. He was also Court Martialled for cruelty to his crew and dismissed from the Royal Navy in 1702.
Timelines | 17th Century Timeline