Alexander Selkirk and the Last Voyage of the Cinque Ports Galley
In 1712 Alexander Selkirk acted as a witness in a case taken by investors against William Dampier, Commodore of the voyage during which he was marooned. The article explores the background to his depositions and queries the impartiality of his evidence. It is argued that Selkirk was not, as has generally been accepted, the master of the Cinque Ports Galley but was of lower status. The author suggests that Daniel Defoe may have been responsible, among others, for exploiting Selkirk’s story in order to bolster propaganda for the South Seas Project.