The three great privateering expeditions into the South Sea, which set out, respectively, in 1703, led by William Dampier; in 1708, led by Woodes Rogers; and in 1719, led by George Shelvocke, were costly and ambitious long distance voyages, carrying great risk for their investors but promising great reward. This book tells the story of the voyages and their impact. It argues that, far from being anachronistic activities more in keeping with an earlier age, as some scholars have asserted, the voyages were significant events and had a huge impact - on politicians, influencing future maritime and naval strategy; on investors, swelling enthusiasm for the South Sea Company which ended in the disastrous Bubble; and in literature, where the narratives of the voyages became an important source for some of the greatest literature of the period, including Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The book provides a great deal of original detail about the voyages, including the difficulties of undertaking such lengthy expeditions, unrest among the crews, and financial details of investments and returns - and losses. Tim Beattie completed his doctorate at the University of Exeter.
British Privateering Voyages of the Early Eighteenth Century