Henry Hudson, born circa 1565-1570, dead 1611, was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northwest Passage to Cathay via a route above the Arctic Circle. Hudson explored the region around modern New York metropolitan area while looking for a route to Asia while in the employment of the Dutch East India Company. He explored the Hudson River, and laid thereby the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region, Hudson discovered the Hudson Strait and the immense Hudson Bay on his final expedition. While searching for the Northwest Passage, Hudson and his son would lose their lives. In 1611, after wintering on the shore of James Bay, Hudson wanted to press on to the west, the mutineers cast Hudson, his son and seven others adrift, the Hudsons, and those cast off at their side, were never seen again. His name also lives on with the Hudsons Bay Company that explored and worked in the vast Hudson Bay watershed and this large company, and one of the longest lasting, was very successful with fur trading all across North America. Canada acquired a portion of land from the purchase of Hudsons Bay Company lands. Details of Hudsons birth and early life are mostly unknown, some sources have identified Hudson as having been born in about 1565, but others date his birth to around 1570. Other historians assert even less certainty, Mancall, for instance, states that was born in the 1560s. Hudson is thought to have spent many years at sea, beginning as a cabin boy, in 1607, the Muscovy Company of England hired Hudson to find a northerly route to the Pacific coast of Asia. The English were battling the Dutch for northwest routes and it was thought at the time that, because the sun shone for three months in the northern latitudes in the summer, the ice would melt and a ship could make it across the top of the world. Hudson sailed on 1 May with a crew of ten men and they reached the east coast of Greenland on 14 June, coasting it northward until the 22nd. Here they named a headland Youngs Cape, a high mount, like a round castle near it Mount of Gods Mercy. After turning east, they sighted Newland on the 27th, near the mouth of the great bay Hudson later simply named the Great Indraught. On 13 July Hudson and his crew thought they had sailed as far north as 80°23 N, the following day they entered what Hudson later in the voyage named Whales Bay, naming its northwestern point Collins Cape after his boatswain, William Collins. They sailed north the following two days, on the 16th they reached as far north as Hakluyts Headland at 79°49 N, thinking they saw the land continue to 82° N when really it trended to the east. Encountering ice packed along the north coast, they were forced to turn back south, Hudson wanted to make his return by the north of Greenland to Davis his Streights, and so for Kingdom of England, but ice conditions would have made this impossible
Image: Henry Hudson
Replica of Henry Hudson's ship ''Halve Maen'', donated in 1909 by the Dutch to the United States on the occasion of the 300-year anniversary of the discovery of what is now New York
John Collier's painting of Henry Hudson with his son and some crew members after a mutiny on his icebound ship. The boat was set adrift and never heard from again.