Henry Hudson is a maritime personality who needs no introduction. The Hudson River, the Hudson Strait and the Hudson Bay are all named after this great English explorer and navigator. He explored parts of Arctic Ocean and north-eastern North America.
He is believed to have been born in 1570 in Elizabethan era and there seems to be many a romantic story about his childhood. It is said that he spent his childhood days as a cabin boy and grew up in struggle to earn captainship. The difference between Fate and Fact is unknown.
Though there is little record of his early life, it is known that he was hired by the Muscovy Company in 1607 and was asked to find a waterway from Europe to Asia. Despite making two consecutive trips (one in 1607 and the other in 1608), Hudson failed to find a route to China. In 1608, Hudson sailed to an island in the Arctic Ocean up north called Novaya Zemlya.
In 1609, Henry Hudson left England for Holland and was hired by the Dutch East India company for the same purpose of locating a north-western passage. During this trip, Hudson in a ship called Half Moon, sailed to Nova Scotia and farther south. What he discovered was what we know today as Hudson River.
He is also credited for discovering the place which is now New York City. Hudson sailed into the harbour off New York and he is said to have recorded it as a wonderful harbour, but soon realized that this was not a waterway to India. Many Dutch settlements thrived in the area due to his reports.
After this unsuccessful attempt, the Dutch sent him back to England and Henry left England again in 1610, for the North-western passage but was actually heading towards Canada. This trip would be his last known trip for it was during this period that tragedy struck the great sailor. Hudson's ship was stopped due to getting locked in ice. The crew wanted to mutiny.
Hudson and his son along with a few loyal members of the crew were put on a small boat and left there at Hudson Bay. They must have succumbed to death there in the drastic situation but there is no record of any news from them after this.
Such tragedy strikes the mind and one wishes that life would span fewer ironies, would be less sarcastic and would whole heartedly appreciate the talent, endeavour and courage of the great people.