Lionel Wafer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Map of the Darien Scheme, drawn in part with information from Lionel Wafer.

Lionel Wafer (1640–1705) was a Welsh explorer, buccaneer and privateer.

A ship's surgeon, Wafer made several voyages to the South Seas and visited Maritime Southeast Asia in 1676. The following year he settled in Jamaica to practise his profession. In 1679 two noted buccaneers named Cook and Linen convinced him to become a surgeon for their fleet.

In 1680, Wafer met William Dampier at Cartagena and joined in a privateering venture under the leadership of Bartholomew Sharp.[citation needed]

After a quarrel during the overland journey, Wafer was marooned with four others in the Isthmus of Darien, where he stayed with the Cuna Indians. He gathered information about their culture, including their shamanism and a short vocabulary of their language. He studied the natural history of the isthmus. The following year, Wafer left the Indians promising to return and marry the chief's sister and bring back dogs from England. He fooled the buccaneers at first as he was dressed as an Indian, wearing body-paint and ornamented with a nose-ring. It took them some time to recognise him.[citation needed]

Wafer reunited with Dampier, and after privateering with him on the Spanish Main until 1688, he settled in Philadelphia.[citation needed]

By 1690 Wafer was back in England and in 1695 he published A New Voyage and Description of the Isthmus of America, which described his adventures. It was translated into French (1706), German (1759), and Swedish (1789).[citation needed]

The Darien Company hired him as an adviser when it was planning its settlement on the isthmus in 1698.[citation needed]

He died in London in 1705.[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]