Henry Hudson – The Sea Explorer


English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century:

Henry Hudson is an English explorer, probably born September 12 1570 in London and died in 1611.

The first years of his life there is very known little about, but surely it passed them close to the sea. Some think that it started, of 16 years, like cabin boy and then climbed one by one the levels until becoming captain.

8a29ca3d-81dd-41a8-a41f-22fd293bc529_llukgyrt6fto7i6rty87iuIn 1607, Hudson embarked on Hopewell to seek a passage towards Asia through the Arctic Ocean and the north pole, otherwise called Northwest Passage. The voyage was financed by the Company of Moscow, one of the English small firms profiting from royal charters. At the beginning of June, he arrived close to the east coast of Greenland and went up towards north, by establishing charts progressively of its progression. He put the course on Svalbard, which it reached July 17. At this place the ship was only with 577 marine miles of the pole, but it became obvious that the ice would prevent them from progressing more. Hudson decided to return to England On the way of the return he discovered the island which is now known under the name of Jan Mayen, and found England in September. The island Jan Mayen forms today part of the Kingdom of Norway.

In 1608 he launched out in a new attempt, this time while skirting the Norwegian littoral. He again had to turn back because of the ice, after having reached Nova Zembla. This place had already been explored before, and the Moscovy Company not to finance other Arctic voyages.

The New Netherland Museum and the Half Moon

The museum operates the Half Moon, a reproduction of the ship that Henry Hudson sailed from Holland to the New World in 1609. This site has information on the plank-by-plank replica which was created by the New Netherland Museum. Currently, there is a brief history of the voyage on “The History” page. Pictures, graphics, and other interesting information can be found throughout this site.

Building the Half Moon replica for the 1909 Hudson Fulton Celebration

The creation of a full scale replica of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon was one of the accomplishments of this celebration, and this chapter describes how the Half Moon replica was designed and built.

What was the Half Moon like?

As to armaments. Juet refers to a falconet, which was a small cannon about four feet long that typically fired an iron ball two inches in diameter. Weighing more than 400 pounds, it would have been mounted in a carriage at a gun port, and the Half Moon probably had at least four of them. Juet also refers to stone-shot “murderers,” which were small rail-mounted cannon that could be swiveled and aimed along the ship’s length to repel boarders. Muskets are also mentioned.

Fatal Journey: The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson by Peter C. Mancall

HudsonmapIn April 1610, Henry Hudson set sail on the Discovery with a crew of 22 (including his 17-year-old son) on his fourth expedition in search of a shorter route to the Far East. USC historian Mancall (Hakluyt’s Promise) vividly recreates the eager anticipation of the voyage, the lust for conquest and for spices, the voyage’s risks and the joy and terrors that Hudson and his crew faced. But as winter approached, rather than return to England, Hudson set anchor in the bay named for him. Stuck in ice for seven months, their provisions dwindling, the crew mutinied in the spring, forcing Hudson, his son and seven other sailors into a skiff left floating in the bay.

Little is known about the life of Henry Hudson before he became an explorer during the period between 1607 and 1611. He and his wife Katherine had three sons, one of whom sailed with him as he searched for a western route to Asia. Hudson made four voya ges in search of a new route to the Orient, three flying the flag of England and one for the Dutch.

Hudson’s first two voyages were financed by the English Muscovy Company. This was a group of English merchants who traded with Moscow. Hudson was hoping to find a northeast passage to China, Japan and the East Indies. He believed that a route could be found by heading for the Arctic Ocean. Both voyages resulted in the Hopewell turning back. Blocked by ice and heavy winds Hudson returned to England and the English merchants grew discouraged with the venture. The Dutch East India Company heard of Hud son’s attempts to find a northeast passage and agreed to supply him with a ship, crew, and provisions in order to continue the explorations for a passage to the Orient.

The Half Moon left Holland in 1609 and started northeast. Hudson again found himself blocked by ice north of Russia. The men, many accustomed to a warmer route, began to grumble and threaten to mutiny. Rather than return to Holland and face the mercha nts who paid for the expedition, Hudson reversed his course and crossed the Atlantic to look for the passage to the Indies through America. The ship reached the coast and sailed to what is now Chesapeake Bay, then turned north. On September 11, 1609, th e Half Moon entered the bay now known as New York Harbor. Hudson became the first European to reach this spot since the visit of Verrazano eighty-five years earlier.

Hudson sailed up the river that is today named for him. This journey was the basis for the Dutch claim to the area now known as New York. The land was beautiful and well suited for settlement. Along the way he found the Indians to be very friendly, of ten rowing out to meet him. They brought green tobacco to smoke and beaver and otter skins to trade for beads, knives, and hatchets. Despite this the crew remained mistrustful. At one point they set ashore and drove a group out of their village. Later , a group of Indians in canoes attacked a small boat of sailors as they explored the bay. The farther north Hudson went he realized that this was not the way to the Pacific. He probably went above where the Mohawk River joins the Hudson before turning back.

The Half Moon returned to England rather than Holland, and landed in November 1609. He sent an account of his voyage to his employers and requested permission to prepare for another voyage. The Dutch merchants ordered him to return to Holland but Engla nd refused to let him leave the country. They did not want further voyages to benefit Holland. Hudson’s fourth trip to sail northwest in search for a passage to the Orient was funded by English merchants. He left in the ship Discovery, April 1610. Du ring this trip Hudson set out for the American Arctic and sailed through the Hudson Strait and into Hudson Bay. Hudson was convinced that this great sea would extend westward to China.

Hudson explored the waters and after several weeks the crew began to protest. They demanded to head for home but Hudson refused. Winter set in and the ship was stranded. When spring came Hudson wanted to resume the search for the westward water route but the crew had suffered enough hardship. They mutinied and took over command of the ship. They set Hudson, his son John, and six supporters adrift in a small boat and left them to die. They were never seen again. The Discovery sailed for home but several crew members died of starvation before they reached England. The surviving members were not punished for their crime. They were the only men who had sailed the sea that was thought to lead to the Indies. They were too valuable to hang.

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Hi from Greenville! I'm Carlton. I don't know what else I would be doing if I couldn't write. My favorite kind of music is Grunge. I'm excited to become a part of this fantastic community.