Henry Hudson Biography

Henry Hudson was an early 17th century English navigator and explorer. This biography of Henry Hudson provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline

Henry Hudson
Quick Facts

Born: 1565

Nationality: British

Famous: Quotes By Henry Hudson Explorers

Died At Age: 46

Born in: England, United Kingdom

Famous as: Navigator and Explorer

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Katherine Hudson

father: Henry Herdson Hudson II

mother: Barbara Alderman

siblings: Christopher Hudson, Edward Hudson, John Hudson, Thomas Hudson

children: John Hudson, Oliver Hudson, Richard Hudson

Died on: 1611

place of death: Hudson Bay

City: London, England

Founder/Co-Founder: Muscovy Company

Continue Reading Below

Henry Hudson was an early 17th century English navigator and explorer. He embarked on multiple sailing voyages not only for the English, but also for the Dutch, attempting to discover a short route from Europe to Asia through the Arctic Ocean, in both the Old World and the New. He was employed by the Dutch East India Company and while seeking a western route to Asia he spent some time exploring the region around what is now New York in the United States which led to the exploration of the river which was eventually named in his honor. Counted among the most famous explorers, Hudson, however, could not find what he was actually looking for—the shortest route from Europe to Asia. But he made many significant discoveries over the course of his career as a professional explorer and his expeditions paved the way for further exploration and settlement of North America. In spite of the fame he enjoyed during his later years, his early life continues to be shrouded in obscurity. The circumstances surrounding his birth or the details regarding his parents are not known. However, it is believed that he started working as a cabin boy while young and became a knowledgeable explorer following years of experience at the sea

Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Continue Reading Below
Henry Hudson
Childhood &Early Life
  • Nothing regarding his birth or early life is known with certainty. Some sources state that he was born around 1565 while others date his birth to around 1570. Nothing is known about his parents or family either.
  • It is believed that he worked as a cabin boy while young and acquired years of experience at sea.
    Continue Reading Below
Top
Later Life
  • Hudson probably became an experienced and skilled sailor by the beginning of the 17th century. The Muscovy Company of England hired Hudson in 1607 to find a northerly route to the Pacific coast of Asia. During this period, several companies in different countries were vying with each other to find the Northwest Passage to Asia.
  • Hudson along with his son, John, and ten companions set forth on the 80-ton Hopewell on 1 May 1607. They started northward and reached the east coast of Greenland in June. On reaching the edge of the polar ice pack, he followed it east until he reached the Svalbard (Spitsbergen) archipelago. Due to the icy conditions, the expedition could not continue and returned to England in September.
  • The next year, in 1608, he was sent again by East India and Muscovy Companies on another attempt to find the passage. The expedition started from London in April and travelled almost 2,500 miles up to Novava Zemlya, well above the Arctic Circle, in July. It was summer, but still the ice was impenetrable and the voyagers were forced to turn back.
  • In 1609, Hudson joined the Dutch East India Company as a commander and was assigned to undertake a third northeast voyage. He started from Amsterdam in April abroad the Dutch ship Halve Maen (Half Moon). This time he was told to discover a northern route to Asia by heading north of Russia.
  • The sailors could not explore the specified route due to unfavorable climatic conditions and decided instead to try to seek a westerly passage through North America.
  • They crossed the Atlantic Ocean and travelled down the North American coast reaching as far south as the Chesapeake Bay. Then Hudson decided to explore the region near New York and discovered the river that would eventually be named after him.
  • While the explorers were returning to the Netherlands, Hudson was stopped in the English port of Dartmouth. The English authorities were upset that Hudson was exploring for another country and forbade him from working for the Dutch again.
    Continue Reading Below
  • Hudson wanted to embark on yet another voyage to find the Northwest Passage to Asia and was able to convince the English authorities to finance the voyage. The funding came from the Virginia Company and the British East India Company.
  • He departed from London in April 1610 in the 55-ton vessel Discovery. He reached Iceland in May and the south of Greenland in early June. By this time the crew was excited due to the expectation that the ship was finally close to discovering the Northwest Passage.
  • By the end of June, the explorers had reached what is now the Hudson Strait at the northern tip of Labrador. Hudson and the others spent several months exploring the region but could not find a passage to Asia. Moreover winter set in by November and the crew had to move ashore.
  • Quarrels arose between crew members during the long months of confinement in winter. By the time the weather improved enough for the commencement of travel in June 1611, several of the crew members wanted to return home. Hudson, however, was adamant that they continue with the goal of discovering the elusive passage.
  • At this juncture, some members of the crew mutinied against Hudson, and set him along with his son, John, and seven other crewmen adrift from the Discovery in a small shallop, an open boat.
Top
Major Discoveries
  • In 1609, while on a voyage to search for the Northwest Passage, Henry Hudson came across a river near the region of modern day New York in North America. He explored the areas around the river and claimed the territory as the first Dutch settlement in North America. The river was eventually named in his honor.
Top
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Some reports state that Henry Hudson was married to a lady named Katherine and had three sons.
  • The shallop in which Hudson and the other castaways were set adrift was never seen again. It is generally believed that the castaways died after a few days.
  • The Hudson River in New York and New Jersey, Hudson County in New Jersey, the Henry Hudson Bridge, the Henry Hudson Parkway, and the town of Hudson, New York are all named in the honor of this great explorer.
Top

See the events in life of Henry Hudson in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Henry Hudson Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/henry-hudson-6465.php
Last Updated
- July 07, 2017

People Also Viewed

Bear Grylls
(British)
 
John Hanning Speke
(British)
 
Charles Sturt
(British)
 

William Adams
(British)
 
Mungo Park
(British)
 
Walter Raleigh
(British)
 
John Smith
(British)