Henry Hudson was regarded as the best navigator during the Age of Discovery.
There is not much information about the early life of Henry Hudson. He led four voyages to find the fabled northern route to Asia without losing a crew member. Although he never became successful in his ultimate goal, Hudson, nonetheless, had a tremendous contribution to both the Dutch Government and the future explorers.
Check out the amazing facts below and see what makes Henry Hudson a remarkable navigator.
Henry Hudson Facts
1. Hudson has a cabin boy to captain story
Unfortunately, there are no consistent records about Henry Hudson’s early life. Some historians claim that he was born in 1565, while others say it was around 1570. Due to such conflicting claims, Hudson’s birth was never certain.
Nonetheless, these experts commonly believe that Hudson spent most of his life at the sea and that he started as a cabin boy and climbed the ladder towards becoming the captain of the ship.
2. Hudson navigated the most in far north
In 1607, an English trading company, Muscovy Company, employed Henry Hudson to explore and locate a passage from the North Pole to Asia. It was believed that the summer melted the North Pole ice which made the travel from Europe to Asia shorter. On May 1, Hudson set sail on the ship Hopewell, together with his crew which includes his 14-year-old son – John Hudson.
After more than a month, they were able to cross the east coast of Greenland. From thereon, they directed their voyage towards north-east and reached the Spitsbergen island – the largest island of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. However, as they attempted to sail forward, their route was blocked by polar ice. Thus, they were forced to return to England.
During this period, such a voyage ranked the furthest exploration in the far north, an interesting fact about Henry Hudson.
3. Hudson was the first to sail across the Arctic Ocean
A year later, the Muscovy Company hired Henry Hudson once more to locate a passage from the North Pole to Asia. In this voyage, Hudson’s crew is directed to sail across the northern part of Russia. After sailing for about 2,500 miles, Hudson and his crew reached Novaya Zemlya – an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. However, as they were about to navigate forward, they were again blocked by a block of polar ice. Thus, they were again forced to return to England.
Although Hudson failed to find the pathway to Asia twice, an interesting fact about Henry Hudson is that he nonetheless led the first exploration of the Arctic Ocean.
4. Hudson’s 3rd exploration is under Dutch East India Company
Unfortunately, the next voyage of Henry Hudson is no longer for the Muscovy Company. In 1609, Netherland’s Dutch East India Company employed his service to again locate the fabled passage to Asia. This time, Hudson learned about two possible routes towards the Pacific through sailing across North America.
During his voyage on the ship Half Moon towards the north-east, he and his crew faced another circumstance that would warrant their return. However, despite this, Henry Hudson ignored the return order and changed its course to North America.
In the end, he again failed his mission to locate the passage to Asia.
5. The Hudson River is named after Henry Hudson
After refusing to return to Europe, Henry Hudson continued to traverse towards the west. On July 2, it landed in Newfoundland, Canada and thereafter journeyed south across the great river which was early on discovered by the Giovanni da Verrazano – a Florentine navigator. The Half Moon ship pass through above the river and reached today’s capital of New York – Albany. From here on, that river was referred to as the Hudson River.
Eventually, the Half Moon ship was seized by the English authorities. Hudson and his crew were banned from working under the Dutch East India Company again. Nonetheless, his expedition was utilized by the Dutch to claim all the regions he had explored. This paved the way for the establishment of New Netherlands colonies, including the New Amsterdam, Wiltwyck, and Fort Orange, among many others.
6. Hudson’s last expedition discovered the Hudson Strait and the Hudson Bay
As his last chance to locate the north-west route to Asia, Henry Hudson was commissioned by the Virginia Company and the British East India Company in 1610. He set sail on the ship Discovery across the Atlantic and south of Greenland. On June 25, it circled the southern part of Greenland and sailed through across a strait in the northern part of Labrador. Eventually, this strait was known as the Hudson Strait.
Hudson thought that he was able to finally find the Pacific. Little did he know that he just sailed through a large bay. Eventually, this bay was referred to as the Hudson Bay, a fun fact about Henry Hudson. Thus, when he moved to sail towards the south, he only reached the bay between the Ontario and Quebec – the James Bay.
Thus, after several attempts. Henry Hudson never found the fabled north-west passage to Asia.
7. Hudson was mutinied by his crew
Unfortunately, Hudson’s crew suffered from severe weather conditions and lack of supplies while they were in James Bay. This led his crew to rebel against his leadership. Thus, as they head back towards England, the rebels threw Hudson, his son, and his favored crewmates in the Hudson Bay.
Apparently, those who were able to return to England was acquitted during trial, an unfortunate fact about Henry Hudson.
8. Hudson was the best navigator during the Age of Discovery
Despite never achieving his ultimate goal, Henry Hudson’s expeditions were all labeled dangerous. His survival from the waters of North Atlanta marks his amazing skill as a navigator. Further, he never had a crew member die during these voyages.
Nonetheless, despite such successes, he met his demise by playing favorites among his crew members.
Henry Hudson was a renowned English navigator famous for leading four unsuccessful but beneficial voyages. Despite his failure to find the fabled northern passage towards Asia, he contributed vast discoveries to his sponsors and future navigators.
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