This page lists biographies of some authors whose works are cited on the Bibliography page. The biographies are listed in chronological order. Unless otherwise noted, each work contains a bibliography and index.

NOTE: This page is still “under construction” and more information will be added later on.

William Ambrosia CowleyBib button

Although there are no known biographies of Cowley, he is mentioned in most biographies of Dampier and others.

His “Master of Arts” degree

The legend that Cowley had an advanced degree from Cambridge University appears to have originated in the Philip Gosse book, and is repeated (without attribution) in the other sources listed below. There is no known source in which Cowley makes any type of claim about his education, nor do the Cambridge University archives have any reference to anyone with that name.

1924: Gosse. The Pirates' Who's Who. p. 88: “M. A. Cantab.” (no further details given)

1929: Wilkinson. Dampier: Explorer and Buccaneer. p. 98: “Although an M.A. of Cambridge University, … .”

1960: Kemp & Lloyd. Brethren of the Coast. p. 85: “There was also … a man [Cowley] who had taken a Master of Arts degree at Cambridge … .”

1997: Gill. The Devil's Mariner: William Dampier, Pirate and Explorer. p. 144: “He [Cowley] claims to have been an MA of Cambridge University, … .”

William Dampier Bib button

1889: Russell, W. Clark. William Dampier. 192 pages, no Bibliograpy, no Index. London: Macmillan and Co.

p. 183: “I think we may take it that [Dampier] never married whilst he pursued his sea-life.” Perhaps Russell did not trouble himself to read the works of his subject. In Chapter 15 of his New Voyage, Dampier writes of “ … having married my Wife out of [the Duke of Grafton's] Dutchess's Family, and left her at Arlington House, at my going Abroad.”

ca. 1895: Anon. The Life and Adventures of William Dampier. With a History of The Buccaneers of America. 224 pages, no Bibliography, no Index. London: Blackie & Son.

The five chapters include numerous footnotes citing Burney and others, including one on p. 224 that begins “This is a mistake.” It refers to the description of Dampier's death in the text, and thus implies the text was copied verbatim from another source, to which the unidentified editor added the note.

1910: “Edinburgh” [pseud?]. Buccaneers of America: Adventures of Sir Francis Drake, Thomas Cavendish, William Dampier. 414 pages, no Bibliography, no Index. Akron, Ohio: The New Werner Company.

The last five chapters (VII-XI) are devoted to Dampier. Despite some minor differences in content, they closely follow the contents of The Life and Adventures of William Dampier published in 1895 (q.v.), but omit the footnotes of the earlier work. Although the footnote in the 1895 edition citing a mistake in the text might suggest it was an updated version of this 1910 work, ... [more to follow].

1929: Wilkinson, Clennell. Dampier: Explorer and Buccaneer. 249 pages. New York: Harper & Brothers.

1934: Bonner, Willard Hallard. Captain William Dampier: Buccaneer-Author. 205 pages, appendix. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

1962: Shipman, Joseph C. William Dampier: Seaman-Scientist. 62 pages, no Index. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Publications. Library Series, 15. Soft cover.

1966: Lloyd, Christopher. William Dampier. 160 pages. London: Faber and Faber.

1983: Burg, B. R. Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition: English Sea Rovers in the Seventeenth-Century Caribbean. 209 pages. New York: New York University Press.

p. 123: “William Dampier … was also deeply attached to a boy he had acquired from another European seafarer in 1690. To purchase the boy, Dampier was forced to buy the mother as well, but there was little doubt about which of the pair appealed to him. The boy, Jeoly, ‘was painted [tattooed] all down the Breast, between his Shoulders behind; on his Thighs (mostly) before; and in the Form of several broad Rings, or Bracelets round his Arms and Legs.’ Ownership of Jeoly had its pleasures but all was not joy for the Captain in the relationship.”

Dampier did not purchase Jeoly or his mother, but instead was given a one-half owner's share in them by a Mr. Moody, who had previously purchased the pair in Mindanao. The “boy” was actually an adult who, according to Dampier, “… had five Wives and eight Children.” Dampier brought the prince to London, where he was exhibited as a curiosity until he died of smallpox. A description of him on an engraving by John Savage (1692) offers this information: “This admirable person is about the age of 30.” There is nothing in Dampier's Voyage or in any other known source to suggest that the two had a homosexual relationship.

1987: Cockburn, Elizabeth O. William Dampier: Buccaneer, Explorer, Hydrographer, 1651-1715. 8 pages. Sherborne, England: Shelleys.

The pamphlet briefly describes Dampier's landing in western Australia and the memorial plaque to him in St. Michael's Church in East Coker. An excerpt from Dampier's 1675 letter to Colonel Helyar is also given.

1994: Norris, Gerald [ed.]. William Dampier. 259 pages. London: The Folio Society.

The book contains a 22-page biographical introduction, followed by excerpts from Dampier's books.

1997: Reinhartz, Dennis. The Cartographer and the Literati—Herman Moll and His Intellectual Circle. 156 pages. Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press.

Although not a biography of Dampier himself, the book describes his dealings with Herman Moll, and introduces the following (unattributed) claims:

p. 76. “After buying some land in Dorset and setting his now-pregnant wife upon it, …” (emphasis added).
p. 81. “Dampier made enough money … to leave his family comfortably situated.”
There is no known documentation elsewhere that Mrs. Dampier was ever pregnant, or that Dampier had a family—other than his brother George.

1997: Gill, Anton. The Devil's Mariner: William Dampier, Pirate and Explorer. 371 pages. London: Michael Joseph (an imprint of the Penguin Group).

Charles Darwin Bib button

1995: Janet Browne. Charles Darwin: Voyaging. Volume I. 605 pages. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

2002: Janet Browne. Charles Darwin: The Power of Place. Volume II. 591 pages. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Robert FitzRoy Bib button

1968: H. E. L. [Harold Edward Leslie] Mellersh. FitzRoy of the Beagle. 308 pages. New York: Mason & Lipscomb.

Despite the fact that a Midshipman Arthur Mellersh served aboard FitzRoy's HMS Beagle, the author makes no comment on a relationship, or lack thereof. As far as is known, there is no record—one way or the other—of any connection between the Midshipman (and much later, Admiral) and the author.

2003: John & Mary Gribbin. FitzRoy: The Remarkable Story of Darwin's Captain and the Invention of the Weather Forecast. 336 pages. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.

2003: Peter Nichols. Evolution's Captain. 336 pages. No Table of Contents, no Index. New York: HarperCollins.

David Porter Bib button

1875: Porter, David D[ixon]. Memoir of Commodore David Porter, of the United States Navy. 427 pages, no Bibliography, no Index. Albany: J. Munsell.

A biography of the Commodore by his son the Admiral.