Henry Hudson

Welcome to the Henry Hudson Webpage

Little is known about Henry Hudson’s life before 1607. Nobody knows when Hudson was born, but most historians suggest that is was around September 12, 1570. Most people guess that he was born in Hartfordshire, England. He believed to have had seven other brothers. He and his wife, Katherine, had three sons: Richard, John, and Oliver. They were believed to have lived in a three-story brick house near London Tower.

First Voyage

Hudson’s first voyage was paid for by the English Muscovy Company. This was a group of merchants who frequently trade with Moscow, Russia. Hudson was given a ship named Hopewell and good crew. The goal of this voyage was to find a northeast route to the Orient. Wind and ice forced him turn around and head back to England.

Second Voyage

Hudson’s second voyage was again financed by the English Muscovy Company. The goal was again to find a northeast route to the Orient. Hudson again sailed with the same ship and crew. As before, strong winds and ice forced him to turn around and head back to England. By this time, the English Muscovy Company was getting upset about financing worthless voyages. There complaining began to draw the attention of the Dutch East India Company.

Third Voyage

Hudson, again was financed for another voyage to the Orient. This time by the Dutch East India Company. They had drawn him to Holland after he had failed twice for the English. Hudson left Holland in 1609. He was soon met by ice and wind, but instead of going back to meet the angry merchants, he reversed his course and sailed west across the Atlantic Ocean. The ship sailed into what is now known as Chesapeake Bay. After sailing north he entered what is now New York Harbor on September 11, 1609. Hudson became the first person to reach the area since Verrazano.
Hudson sailed up what is now the river named after him. He found the Indians to be friendly. He traded them for beaver and green tobacco. Although they were nice; Hudson’s crew could not be trusted. They once drove a group of Indians out of their village. To get them back, the Indians then attacked some sailors in a small boat. Further on north, Hudson realized that this wasn't the way to the Pacific, so he turned around. The Half Moon returned to England in November 1609.

Fourth Voyage

Hudson sent a description of his journey back to Holland and asked for funding on for another voyage. Holland demanded that he returned back to Holland, but the English wouldn’t let him go back. They did not want anymore voyages to benefit Holland. Hudson’s fourth voyage was financed by the English merchant Thomas Smith. He left in the ship Discovery, in April, 1610. He sailed across the North Atlantic into the Hudson Strait and then into Hudson Bay. He was convinced that the large sea led to the Orient.


Hudson explored the area and found nothing. His crew demanded to go home, but Hudson would not give in. Winter set in and the ship was stranded on the ice. When Spring came, Hudson wanted to continue, but the crew had had enough. They mutinied and left Hudson, his son John and six other supporters to die at sea in a small boat. Nothing was seen of them since. As for the crew members. They returned to England, but any of them died on the way, because of starvation. When they returned to England, they were not hung. For they were too valuable to hang, because they had seen the only Northwest route thought to exist to the Orient.

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Click here to see a map of Hudson's voyages.

Date Created: September 29, 2000
Created by: Mike S. and Allison C.
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