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Henry Hudson was an English sea explorer and navigator during the early 17th century and is considered one of the world’s most famous explorers. He is best known for his exploration of present-day Canada and parts of the northeastern United States. A river, a strait and a bay in North America are named after him.
See the fact file below for more information on Henry Hudson or alternatively, you can download our 27-page Henry Hudson worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Despite earning a place in history as one of the most important European explorers of North America, historians know very little of Henry Hudson’s youth prior to his first journey as a ship’s commander in 1607.
- Most historians believe he was born around 1565 in England and he presumably died in 1611.
- It is very likely that Henry worked on ships from a young age, probably as a cabin boy, and learned navigational skills.
- Henry Hudson captained four separate recorded voyages to the New World between 1607 and 1610, all of which took him into the mostly unfamiliar waters of the Arctic Ocean.
- It was a time when European nations and trading companies competed with each other trying to discover the best routes to reach important trade destinations, especially Asia and India.
- Hudson thought that because the sun shone for most of the summer on the North Pole, the ice there would melt for a short period and ships could make it across the “top of the world”.
First Voyage – 1607
- In May 1607, the Muscovy Company of England hired Hudson to find a northeastern passage to China. Hudson claimed that he could find an ice-free passage past the North Pole that would provide a shorter route to the rich markets and resources of Asia.
- Hudson sailed with his son, John, and 10 companions on his vessel named Hopewell.
- He sailed north, up the coast of Greenland and to an island, Spitsbergen, where Hudson reported numerous whales. They kept going north until Hudson found himself and his crew battling icy conditions and ran into an ice pack before being forced to turn back.
- Hudson and his crew had a chance to explore some of the islands near Greenland before turning back in September.
Second Voyage – 1608
- In April 1608, Hudson made a second Muscovy-funded voyage and took Hopewell out to sea. Hudson set sail in search of the elusive Northeast Passage, this time to the east around northern Russia.
- They made it to Novaya Zemlya, well above the Arctic Circle, in July, but even in the summer they found the ice impenetrable and turned back. Hudson returned to England without achieving his goal.
- After two unsuccessful sailing voyages in search of an ice-free passage to Asia, Hudson was still able to gain a commission from the Dutch East India Company to lead a third expedition in 1609.
Third Voyage – 1609
- In 1609, the Dutch East India Company chose Hudson to lead an expedition to find an easterly passage to Asia.
- Hudson had another ship called Halve Maen, or Half Moon, and left Amsterdam in April 1609 with the objective of discovering a northern route to Asia by heading north of Russia. However, due to the ice that had plagued his previous voyages, Hudson could not continue.
- Having heard rumors of a way to the Pacific Ocean from North America from English explorer John Smith, Hudson ended up taking a different route and sailed to North America instead of heading back home.
- The vessel sailed briefly in the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay, but Hudson concluded that these waterways did not lead to the Pacific Ocean. They met native Americans in Maine then traveled south and found a river, which is now known as the Hudson River. The area was later settled by the Dutch and went on to become New York City.
- Eventually, the Half Moon could no longer travel up the river and they had to return home. King James I of England was angry with Hudson for sailing for another country, so the English authorities seized the ship and the crew.
Fourth Voyage – 1610
- On April 17, 1610, Hudson once again set sail from London to find the Northwest Passage. This time, he was funded by the Virginia Company and sailed the ship Discovery under the English flag.
- He and his crew traveled to North America, sailing further north than he had on his previous expedition. After skirting the southern tip of Greenland, they entered what became known as the Hudson Strait, then reached the Hudson Bay.
- Hudson spent the following months mapping and exploring the eastern shores. In November, however, the ship was trapped in the frozen waters of James Bay, forcing the crew to move ashore for the winter where the tension between crew members grew.
- When the ice cleared in June 1611, Hudson planned to continue exploring, but his crew wanted to return home and some members grew restless and hostile. Led by Henry Green and Robert Juet, the crew mutinied and dispatched Hudson, his teenage son, and loyal crew members in a small open lifeboat. Hudson was never seen or heard of again. It is likely that he quickly starved or froze to death in the harsh cold weather of the north.
- Only eight of the mutinous crewmen survived to return to Europe and, although arrested, none were punished for the mutiny and Hudson’s death.
- Reports also indicate that he was married to a woman named Katherine and they had three sons together named John, Oliver and Richard.
- After Hudson’s disappearance, it was said that Katherine petitioned the British East India Company to send a ship to look for and rescue Hudson.
- When there were no signs of Hudson coming back, Katherine appealed to the company for financial compensation, which she eventually received.
- Henry Greene and Robert Juet, the two leaders of mutiny, did not survive the voyage home.
- A northwest passage was finally discovered by explorer Roald Amundsen in 1906.
Henry Hudson Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Henry Hudson across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Henry Hudson worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Henry Hudson who was an English sea explorer and navigator during the early 17th century and is considered one of the world’s most famous explorers. He is best known for his exploration of present-day Canada and parts of the northeastern United States. A river, a strait and a bay in North America are named after him.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Henry Hudson Facts
- About Henry
- Hudson’s Expeditions
- 16th Century Goals
- Historical Events
- Crossword Adventure
- The Lost Words
- Connecting Game
- Explore the Truth
- Guess What?
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Link will appear as Henry Hudson Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 20, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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