Life of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner

Life of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner  (1801) 

Daniel Defoe is bibliographic antecedent but not author.


Life of Robinson Crusoe, of York, mariner - Title.png


The Famous History of

The Author’s Birth. he is shipwrecked, but having better Success in a second Voyage, he enters on a third, in which he is taken by a Sallee Rover; with the Manner of his Escape, and getting to Brazil.

I WAS born at York in the year 1632, my father being a native of Bremin, and coming over to Mull, merchandized till he got an estate, and settled in York.

Though I was the youngest of three brothers my father gave me sufficient learning to qualify me for the law; but being of a rambling disposition, I resolved to go to sea, tho’ my parents used all the persuasions they could against it; my father particularly laying before me the great danger of trusting to the sea, and the hazard of meeting many ships at war; also the ill fortune that had attended my eldest brother, who, contrary to his inclination, purchased a place in the army, and was unfortunately killed; adding, withal, that I cou d not reasonably expect success, as I went without his blessing. But happening to meet an acquaintance, whose father was master of a ship bound to London, I went with him on board unknown to my parents, and without their blessing.

We had no sooner left the Humber, to the Westward, but a terrible storm arose, and after six days incessant toil and sickness, our ship sunk; but some colliers saved the crew, and by good fortune we landed at a place which is called Cromer, from whence we walked to Yarmouth, where we parted from the rest, and so came up to London. Then, I went on board a Guineaman, having obtained of my relations about forty pounds, and my captain, who esteemed me as a companion more than a common sailor, instructed me in laying it out, and returning from the voyage I cleared 200l.

My captain died soon after my return, and I embarked again with the mate, but with different success; for we were taken by a Sallee Rover not far from the Canary Islands, who carried us as slaves into the port; but the captain taking a liking to me, did not sell me as he did the rest of the men, but kept me as his own slave.

A young Morrocco boy and I used to row his boat and divert him with fishing, and at other times he vouchsafed to trust me with his boat along with a kinsman of his to catch fish. His name was Muly, and the boy was called Xury.

I persuaded them to take fire arms with them to shoot curlews, and took a good store of provisions. When we got out to sea, I took an opportunity to throw Muly over-board threatening to shoot him if he offered to come near me.

We sailed five days, steering South by East along the shore; my man Xury and I killed some creatures, which were good food, and storing ourselves with fresh water, we failed with great difficulty till we made the Cape de Verd and also other islands.

At length by good fortune I espied a sail, which happened to be a Portuguese ship, the matter of which took us up, bought the boy Xury of me, and afterwards landed me at Brazil.

Here I served a planter for some time, and telling the captain of the ship that I had some money in England, he procured it for me. Here I also purchased a plantation, and lived four years, daily increasing in riches.


Our Author attempts his Fate again, and is cast away on an unknown island. His Journal of incidents and a new Method of making an Almanack.

THE merchants being resolved to fit out a ship for Guinea, to stock our plantations with negroes, I agreed to go commander, making my will, and appointing the captain who saved my life to be my heir, if I should die in this my voyage.

I sailed the first of September 1650, the same day eight years I had left my parents. But we had not long been off the island on the East, before a terrible storm arose, which held twelve days.together, and having made shift to get into our boat, the waves overset us near the shore, and all the men perished except myself, who was violently driven ashore as it were by force.

You may be sure I thanked God for this deliverance, severely reproaching myself for disobeying my father's commands, and withal, his speech that if I went as I did without his blessing. I could not expect to have any success, made my sorrows the greater, and when I considered I had no prospect but that of starving, or being devoured by wild beasts, my grief was increased, having no weapon but a pipe, a tobacco stopper, and a knife.

That night I took up my repose in a tree, and the next day finding a spring, I drank very heartily thereof, taking a quid of tobacco to keep me from starving. When the storm was abated, I found the ship had been drove very near a rock and the boat twelve miles of; but there being a large inlet of water between me and the boat, I ventured to swim off to the ship, where I found plenty of rum, and other liquors. Then I made a raft of timber, and taking two pistols, two fowling pieces, some horns of powder, a bag of shot, two saws, two hammers, and and an ax, I put them all on a raft, and so floated safe to shore.

In order to satisfy myself, I took a survey from a mountain, and found myself upon an island encompassed by the ocean. Thus necessity made me begin to make a hut with the chests and planks that he had brought on shore.

I went on board again the next day, and brought away, three bags of nails, a screwjack, a grindstone, and a hatchet; and in short, by degrees I got what was necessary out of the ship, and proceeded to finish my habitation.

My tent I then covered with a sail which I had on shore, and I barricaded the door with my chest.

Having several good books, particularly the bible, I used to comfort myself that Providence, had not only saved my life, but that I had the wreck of the ship to maintain myself with in solitude.

I had got no pen and ink, but with a knife I cut the letters on a post that I had erected near the stone, viz. I LANDED HERE SEPT. 30, 1665; and on both sides of the post I daily made a notch with my knife, the seventh notch being as long again as the rest, by which I preserved a calendar of every week, month, or year. When I used to think of my condition, I rejoiced I was alive, and that Providence had enabled me to get a sustenance as long as I lived. And here I must give an extract of my Journal.


SEPTEMBER 30th. 1666, I was cast upon this island, and called it the Island of Despair.

From October 1, to November the 7, my raft overset, but recovered it at low water. I employed my time in securing my goods. Shot a' she goat. Erected my tent under a rock. Made a strong fence around me. Shot two wild ducks and one wild cat. Stowed my powder.

From Nov. 17, to Jan. 14 I made me shelves, dresser, and a table; killed and wounded some goats, one wounded I cured and brought up tame. I employed myself in building a wall around my hut. In searching the island, and taming wild pigeons, which were excellent food. I then got a little oakum for the wick, and made myself candles.

So far for my Journal.


Of the several Discoveries he made in the Island, and his Fight on his finding it visited by the Indians.

ABOUT this time, a most remarkable thing happened, for finding a bag filled only with the husks of corn, and throwing it away, it sprung up, and afforded me good provision for many years.

Being settled, and having made me a ladder, for I had no door, to ascend my wall, where I placed fire-arms, as though it were a castle. Here I was surprised by an earthquake, which gave me three sudden shocks, but it did me no harm.

It would be too tedious to mention every particular circumstance during the year. I shall only observe, that fishing and shooting were my pleasures, and contemplating on the word of God, and praying, were my employments on the sabbath. At last I fell sick of a fever, which after some time left me, for which I returned thanks to the Almighty Being. I had not been at this place ten months, when I had the curiosity to view the island and accordingly ascending a hill, I espied pleasant meadows on the other side, and coming there found the cassava root, which the Indians make bread of; also plants of aloes, and sugar canes. I went farther, and found the place adorned with most beautiful woods. Getting into a tree, I rested there that night. The next day’s journey I found the country charming, and often wished my habitation there.

In about a month’s time I came back to my castle, where I found my cat with three kittens. Besides her I had a dog and a parrot, which I taught to call Poor Robinson Crusoe. A great part of my time was employed in sowing corn, and making earthen pots to hold water.

One day as I walked out, my dog siezed a kid, which I tamed; but though I wanted nothing, my heart was almost broke to think what a place I was to remain in.

When my cloaths were worn out, I made me a suit of the skins of four footed animals, and a cap of the same. It would have made any one smile to see me thus accoutered, with a naked sword by my side, and two guns on my shoulders.

When I had been there about five or fix years, I made me a little canoe, resolving to sail about the island; but I narrowly escaped being lost; and recovering the island again, I laid my canoe aside, and being tired, laid myself down to sleep, but was awaked by a voice calling, Where are you Poor Robinson Crusoe? Where have you been? This I found to be my parrot, whom I learned to talk this language.

As I was one time visiting the boat, I espied on the sea-shore the print of a man’s foot, from which I concluded, in a fright, that it must be occasioned by the devil, or that the savages had certainly landed in that place, the latter of which I was soon confirmed in, when I saw several skulls and bones that the Indians had left behind them.

Upon this I resolved the next time they came to destroy them; but then my mind was much disturbed with the thought of murder. However afterwards I always went out armed, and going out one morning as customary, I espied on the shore, two canoes, with eleven savages going to land, having with them another savage, whom they were going to kill and eat. In an instant the victim jumped up, and ran for his life towards my castle; and there being a little creek to pass, he jumped in and swam it in about thirty strokes.

I immediately beckoned to him that ran away, but he never having seen a white man before, was as much afraid of me as he was of them. However, I ran between them, and knocked one down, and coming towards the other, he was going to shoot at me with a bow and arrow, But I killed him with a fowling-piece.

The poor savage that fled, seeing his enemies fail, stood still, to whom I made signs to come to me; and at last he came trembling, laying his head at my feet in token he would be my slave for ever.

The savage whom I had knocked down was not dead, which being discovered by the wretch I had just redeemed, he desired by dumb tokens, that l would lend him my sword, which I accordingly did, when he cut off his head, and then returned me my sword again.

I then took the fellow home, who was very comely and well made, and prepared a lodging for him without my fortification, not daring as yet to trust him too near me.

I named him friday, because on that day I took him; and indeed he proved a most true and faithful servant; and learned of him by signs, his way of life. At last he understood my language, and worked at any thing I commanded him. I cloathed him as myself was cloathed, and fed him with the same victuals as I eat myself. When he saw me going to shoot, he would fall before me, and by signs pray me not to kill him. And at other times he seemed to wonder the gun itself did not shoot him, as thinking it understood him.

In short, I at last became familiar to him, and taught him as well as I could the knowledge of God and his son Jesus Christ; and described to him the religion, manners, and customs of other nations. And I believe in my conscience the riches of all the universe would not have tempted him to forsake me.

I was now in the 23d year of my captivity, when sending out my man Friday to seek some turtles upon the shore, he speedily returned, and told me there were two or three canoes coming there to land. It was not long before we discovered they had brought a poor Christian slave to be sacrificed, which I perceived through a grove, where Friday & I were hid; so resolving to set him free, we fired and killed three, and wounded five; than coming down upon them, we killed two, and wounded another, and the rest escaped in their canoes.

The poor victim we then unbound, whose name was Christianus, a Portugeuse, who told told me, that he and sixteen Spaniards were shipwrecked, and five only escaped in the boat; that they had concerted measures how to build them another vessel, to make their escape in; but he happened unfortunately to stray from the rest, and was taken prisoner by a parcel of savages, who had brought him over for a sacrifice.

There was also another victim lay in one of the canoes, whom I desired Friday to unbind, when immediately the poor fellow kissed him, sung, hallooed, cried, laughed, danced, jumped, and capered so long that I could not get an answer from him. At length he told me it was his father.

I took them all home, and entertained them as my subjects.

We kept upon our guard lest any more canoes should come, but there was no danger, for those that had escaped, reported to the other savages, that the island was inhabited by spirits, and would soon be burnt to ashes. After several considerations, I was resolved that Friday, his father, and the Portuguese, should go over in one of the canoes we had taken, and bring those men over to dwell in the island. Accordingly they went, after I had furnished them with provisions to sustain them, and fire arms for their defence.


Of his return to Yorkshire, where he marries; but his Wife dying, and his restless Disposition continuing, he goes to sea once more.

WAITING very impatiently for their returning one morning early, Friday came running to me, saying, Master, they are come.

But through my perspective glass I espied an English ship at anchor, and the long boat coming on shore, and when they landed I saw three unarmed and one bound, encompassed by four or five armed.

Friday immediately cried out, O master! master! you see Englishmans eat prisoners as well as savage mans. At last I perceived they left the unfortunate bound man, and then rambled into the woods; upon which I drew near to them, and asked what they were? They were at first amazed at my habit, but at length one of them told me that he was master of the ship, and that the sailors had riotously rebelled against him. Upon which I made him promise two things if I redeemed him. First, That he should not pretend to any authority in the island. Secondly, He should transport me and my man, gratis, to England.

After this agreement, I furnished them with arms, and pursuing the five men, we found them asleep.

The two men fired and killed one, and wounded another, who crying out for help, the captain bid him call to God for forgiveness, and then knocked him down; the other three begging for mercy, the captain granted it, on condition of their helping to recover the ship.

The crew wondering they staid so long, sent their other boat out, and hallooing for their companions, they were answered from one hill to another, till we decoyed them into a wood, and then coming round to the boat we knocked one fellow down that was in it, and then the others joined us, and pulling up the boat on the ground, the tide being out, we prepared to meet the others returning, when immediately the captain shot, and killed the boatswain, who was the ringleader of the mutiny.

On this I advanced with my army, myself Captain General, Friday my Lieutenant General, and the rest of my officers and soldiers, and called out to them to surrender, which upon the promise of sparing their lives, they did.

In short, at length we got their consent to recover the ship, and so going on board, the captain shot the pirate captain dead, the mate shot another, and then the rest of them surrendered.

Soon after the captain came on shore, and thanked me for his preservation, offering me the ship at command.

After due punishment had been inflicted on the offenders, taking my man Friday with me, together with my parrot and some other relics, I sailed away in Dec. 1680 having lived there 28 years, 2 months, and 8 days and landed in England the 18th of June 1690; having not seen my own country in 35 years.

When I came into Yorkshire I found both my parents dead, and none of my family but two sisters living. The captain whom I had saved, acquainted the owners of the manner in which I had saved the ship at Desolate Island, and they made me a present of 700l.

I went afterwards to Lisbon, where I met the Portuguese captain, who took me on board on the African coast, and discovered myself, he told me how my plantation was improved, but that it was in the King’s hands, it being supposed I was dead. He lent me an hundred moidores, which I returned soon after, for in seven months I had an account of my estate, which was 100l. a year and 2000l. in money.

After these most wonderful Providences, I concluded to return to my native country, my man Friday still attending me.

Accordingly we set out for the city of Madrid, being advised to go to Calais by land, and travelling to Navarre and Pampelena, we were attacked on the road by two wolves and a bear.

We came at last to Thoulouse where we had no fear of wild beasts, and so passing thro’ France, I then took shipping, and landed at Dover the 5th of January I had my bill punctually paid me. I then sold my plantation, because I would not go there and turn Papist.

Soon after my arrival in England. I married, and had two sons and two daughters, but my wife dying, and my nephew coming from sea drew me to make a voyage to the East Indies, which I accordingly did in the year 1694, when I again visited my island, and informed myself of what occurred since my departure; how the Spaniards had brought them to subjection, with other particulars relating to the battles with the wild savages, and how they made a descent upon the main, and brought off 11 men and 5 women, by whom they got children. I left them a carpenter & a smith, with all kinds of necessaries, promising to send them English workmen, and other things which was afterwards performed.

And thus ends such a very remarkable chain of Providence, as most certainly had filled the world with great wonder and astonishment, and deserves the perusal of all people, especially those who are inclined to learn the art of patience, in submission to the Divine will.

And indeed the many miracles of this man’s life is very strange and surprising. The events by a serious application, may be as examples to others, and the wisdom of Divine Providence, in all our circumstances, may be justified and honoured, let them occur when they will.


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.