Best Known For
English explorer Henry Hudson embarked on multiple sailing voyages that provided new information on North American water routes.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Believed to have been born in the late 16th century, English explorer Henry Hudson made two unsuccessful sailing voyages in search of an ice-free passage to Asia. In 1609, he embarked on a third voyage funded by the Dutch East India Company that took him to the New World and the river that would be given his name. On his fourth voyage, Hudson came upon the body of water that would later be called the Hudson Bay.
Considered one of the world's most famous explorers, Henry Hudson actually never found what he was looking for. He spent his career searching for different routes to Asia, but he ended up opening the door to further exploration and settlement of North America.
While many places bear his name, Henry Hudson remains an elusive figure. There is little information available about the famous explorer's life prior to his first journey as a ship's commander in 1607. It is believed that he learned about the seafaring life firsthand, perhaps from fishermen or sailors. He must have had a talent for navigation early on, enough to merit becoming a commander in his late twenties. Prior to 1607, Hudson probably worked aboard other ships before being appointed to lead one on his own. Reports also indicate that he was married to a woman named Katherine and they had three sons together.
Hudson made four journeys in his career—a time when countries and companies competed with each other to find the best ways to reach important trade destinations, especially Asia and India. In 1607, the Muscovy Company, an English firm, entrusted Hudson to find a northern route to Asia. Hudson brought his son John with him on this trip, as well as Robert Juet. Juet went on several of Hudson's voyages and recorded these trips in his journals.
Despite a spring departure, Hudson found himself and his crew battling icy conditions. They had a chance to explore some of the islands near Greenland before turning back. But the trip was not a total loss, as Hudson reported numerous whales in the region, which opened up a new hunting territory.
The following year, Hudson once again set sail in search of the fabled Northeast Passage. The route he sought proved elusive, however. Hudson made it to Novaya Zemlya, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean to the north of Russia. But he could not travel further, blocked by thick ice. Hudson returned to England without achieving his goal.
In 1609, Hudson joined the Dutch East India Company as a commander. He took charge of the Half Moon with the objective of discovering a northern route to Asia by heading north of Russia. Again ice put an end to his travels, but this time he did not head for home. Hudson decided to sail west to seek western passage to the Orient. According to some historians, he had heard of a way to the Pacific Ocean from North America from English explorer John Smith.
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean, Hudson and his crew reached land that July, coming ashore at what is now Nova Scotia. They encountered some of the local Native Americans there and were able to make some trades with them.
profile name: Henry Hudson profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
The Chaplin. The Fu Manchu. The Van Dyke. The Garlbaldi. These beards, and other creative variations on chin whiskers, have become such a striking reflection of their wearers' personalities that it becomes hard to know whether the people made the facial hair famous, or the other way around. We do know this much is certain: the only rivals to these fabulous beards are the men sporting them.
Fantastic Facial Hair 70 people in this group
Discover unexpected relationships between famous figures by exploring Biography.com's group of famous explorers. Browse some of the world's most famous adventure-seekers, including Christopher Columbus, Louis Joliet, Jacques Marquette, William Clark, Ernest Shackleton, Diego Velázquez, Matthew Henson, Leif Eriksson and Thor Heyerdahl.
Famous Explorers 61 people in this group
Famous People Named Henry 42 people in this group