William Dampier (baptised 5 September 1651 – March 1715) was the first Englishman to explore parts of what is today Australia, and the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. He has also been described as Australia's first natural historian, as well as one of the most important British explorers of the period between Sir Walter Raleigh and James Cook.
After impressing the British Admiralty with his book, A New Voyage Round the World, Dampier was given command of a Royal Navy ship and made important discoveries in western Australia, but was court-martialled for cruelty. On a later voyage, he rescued Alexander Selkirk, a former crewmate who may have inspired Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Others influenced by Dampier include James Cook, Lord Nelson, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.