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Henry Hudson is perhaps the most well-known explorer in the world.
Hudson was one of the prominent personalities of the early seventeenth century. He is well known for exploring parts of the northeastern United States and Canada.
Hudson sailed four voyages at the beginning of the seventeenth century, three for the English and one for the Dutch, from 1607 to 1611.
The first two expeditions of this English explorer in 1607 and 1608 were made on the English merchants' behalf to find the Northeast Passage to China. In the third voyage in 1609, which is the most famous, the Dutch East India Company asked Hudson to carry out a voyage to discover a new passage to reach Asia. Later in 1610-1611, Hudson carried out the fourth and final voyage for the English again, to find the North-West Passage.
Read ahead to know more about the renowned English explorer Henry Hudson's expeditions. If you are fascinated by prominent achievers, you will surely enjoy reading similar articles such as Marco Polo facts and William Harvey facts. Don't miss reading those!
Henry Hudson is the most prominent English explorer and a navigator who was actively involved in explorations and expeditions from 1607 to 1611. To find a Northeast and Northwest Passage to Asia, he sailed on three vessels: the Hopewell, the Halve Maen (Half-Moon ), and the Discovery.
Hudson was also known as Hendrick Hudson, which is in Dutch.
Hudson is known to have lived much of his life in the sea. His journey is incredible, from a cabin boy to the ship's captain.
It is most likely that Hudson was from a rich academic background, and he is thought to be highly trained and educated in cartography, astronomy, seamanship, navigation, and mathematics.
Some believe that he was educated at Harvard University.
Hudson's objective was to find the sea route from Europe to Asia: the Northeast and Northwest Passages. Although none of the Passages were discovered at that time, his contributions to expeditions to North America's maritime geography are phenomenal.
An interesting fact about Hudson is that he explored the Arctic Ocean before anyone from Europe did.
As a navigator, Hudson sailed four voyages from 1607 to 1611.
His first voyage was for England in the year 1607. England-based trading company Muscovy Company hired Hudson to lead the voyage in search of a northern route to the Pacific coast of Asia.
The ship which Hudson navigated was named Hopewell. He sailed on three different ships.
While on his voyage, Hudson encountered heavy ice conditions, which forced him to return along with his crew members.
In 1608, Hudson was again approached by the Muscovy Company for his second voyage to find the Northeast Passage to the Indies, around North Russia. When the ship reached Novaya Zemlya, a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean, they found the way blocked by impenetrable ice that forced them to return.
Hudson's third and most famous voyage was for the Dutch East India Company in 1609.
The Dutch ship he traveled was Half Moon or Halve Maen.
Hudson departed from Amsterdam, intending to locate the Northeast Passage to Asia. Like the first two voyages, he found ice during his third voyage. However, this time Hudson was more determined and did not give up. He instead decided to head west, seeking to reach the Pacific Ocean through a northwest route through North America.
Hudson explored the North River during the third voyage, now called the Hudson River.
In a vessel named Discovery, Henry Hudson undertook his fourth voyage in 1610 on behalf of the English.
Henry Hudson explored the Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay during his fourth and final voyage.
They became the first Europeans to stay in the Arctic region of Canada during winter.
However, the crew mutinied against Hudson and seven other people and abandoned them in a small boat. That was the last time when Hudson was ever seen.
Henry Hudson set sail four times in the oceans to find out the Northeast and Northwest passages to reach Asia. His expeditions might not have achieved their desired results, but they were never short of discoveries and findings.
During his first expedition, Hudson, along with his crew and a boy, believed to be his son John Hudson, reached Greenland's east coast and later sighted the 'Newland' or Spitsbergen, off the coast of Greenland.
It is said Henry Hudson, during his voyage in 1607, made a detour to the Jan Mayen island and later named it Hudson's Tutches. Though some consider the island to be discovered by Hudson, there is no mention of the details in his journal, nor is there any cartographical evidence to prove this discovery.
During his third voyage in 1609, Henry Hudson, along with 16 members of the crew, reached the mouth of a river along the northern coast of North America. The river is now named after Henry Hudson and called the Hudson River.
Though the river bears the name of Hudson, it was Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer who sailed a short distance in the river in 1524.
Yet, the Hudson River is named after Hudson because he was the first to explore the river in 1609.
The Hudson River was earlier called the Mahicannittuck or North River, and the Dutch also called it Mauritius.
Hudson, along with his crew, navigated upstream through New York, trading native things all along. The Dutch constructed Fort Nassau ( Albany, New York), the first Dutch settlement in North America.
The English authorities wanted to prevent Hudson and his crew from carrying out expeditions on behalf of other countries. While on his return, Hudson docked at Dartmouth in England, where he was held by the English authorities and was asked to hand over his log. However, he passed it on to Amsterdam through the Dutch Ambassador to England.
He sailed up to 150 mi (240 km) to Albany, New York, but realized that they were not heading to the Pacific.
During his final voyage for England, Henry Hudson reached a strait, later named the Hudson Strait. They followed the southern coast of Hudson Strait and reached Hudson Bay.
Europeans interests in colonizing North America began with Henry's discovery of the Hudson Bay. It also increased trade between the continents and traded furs, corn, and tobacco items.
Henry Hudson had the goal of finding the northern route from Europe to Asia. He could not succeed in his mission; however, Hudson is famous for exploring New York City and the most important North American waterways- Hudson River, Hudson Strait, and the Hudson Bay. His findings have given a considerable understanding of North America's geography and the northeastern waterways, thus changing the world of navigation and trade.
During Hudson's first voyage in 1607, Hudson and others sailed along the east coast of Greenland and reached Spitsbergen. They spotted several whales there.
They were also caught up in rough weather, and the waters were hard to navigate. They courageously overcame these challenges, which would have otherwise been disastrous.
On their second voyage in 1608, the team of sailors spotted a strange creature, which they thought was a mermaid. Hudson has described that creature had a porpoise-like tail and a woman's body in his log.
Again in this voyage, they encountered frozen waters in the Kara Sea, Arctic Ocean, and had to return.
Hudson, during his third voyage, explored the New York region. After returning from the third voyage, he reached Dartmouth in England, kept under house arrest for working with the Dutch East India Company.
Henry undertook his fourth voyage in 1610 on behalf of the British East India Company and the Virginia Company. During the expedition, he sailed around the southern tip of Greenland and reached a strait at the northern end of Labrador, and this strait came to be called the Hudson Strait after him.
Their ship further followed the southern coast of Hudson Strait and reached Hudson Bay. Initially, they were so excited, assuming that they had found the Northwest Passage. However, after months of explorations and mapping, he and his crew couldn't find the Passage. The crew led by Hudson sailed till its end at the south, James Bay, and waited there till the winter passed. As they sailed aimlessly, the Discovery vessel became entrapped in the ice.
The Arctic winter was severe, leading to disagreement between Henry and the crew. When spring arrived, Henry wanted to explore the Hudson Bay further and find the Passage. However, the members of the crew wanted to return home. A few crew members conspired to a mutiny. They set Henry, his son John and seven other crewmen, who probably were loyal to Henry, leaving them adrift in a small boat, marooned in Hudson Bay. Henry Hudson and others were never found again, and their destiny remains a mystery.
We do not know much about Hudson's early life; however, there are different ideas regarding his birth. Historians believe his birth date to be between 1560 to 1570.
Possibly, his grandfather was also named Henry Hudson. Many historians believe that he was a source of inspiration to Hudson, introducing him to cartography and seamanship. His grandfather motivated Hudson to explore. Scholars also believe that Hudson's grandfather was among the founders of the Muscovy Company, which funded him in the first two voyages.
Henry belonged to Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, to the northwest of London.
Henry was married to Katherine. His three sons were named John, Richard, and Oliver.
Katherine filed a petition to carry out their rescue operations when Henry and John disappeared after their final voyage.
Richard, Henry's son, moved to India, spent the rest of his life luxuriously.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for '131 Henry Hudson facts: Is the Hudson river named after him? Find out,' then why not take a look at William Sherman facts or Andre Derain facts?
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