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Document Number: AJ-133
Author: Juet, Robert, died 1611
Title: The Third Voyage of Master Henrie Hudson
Source: Purchas, Samuel. Hakluytus Posthumus, or Purchas His Pilgrimes: Contayining a History of the World in Sea Voyages and Lande Travells by Englishmen and Others. (Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons, 1906). Volume 13, pages 333-374.
Pages/Illustrations: 43 / 0
Citable URL: www.americanjourneys.org/aj-133/

Author Note

Little is known about English navigator Henry Hudson and even less about his crewmate Robert Juet. A group of English investors hired Hudson in 1607 and again in 1608 to find a Northeast Passage across northern Russia to Asia, but both voyages failed. After the expedition described here, Hudson renewed his search for a Northwest Passage in 1610, penetrating the Arctic to reach the massive Canadian bay that bears his name. Hudsonís ship was frozen in by mid-November and he and his crew barely survived a precarious winter on the eastern shore of Hudson Bay. When spring came and Hudson wanted to continue exploring, his exhausted crew rebelled. The mutineers, including Robert Juet, set Hudson, his son, and six other men adrift in an open boat on June 22, 1611, and took the ship home to England. Hudson was never heard from again. Juet died in September 1611 when the returning vessel was within sight of Ireland.

Expedition of 1609

The Dutch East India Company hired Hudson to make a third attempt for a Northeast Passage in 1609, and he left at the beginning of April. Encountering bitter winter weather north of Scandinavia, Hudson on May 14, 1609, made an unauthorized detour across the North Atlantic to explore for a northwest passage instead. He had learned from John Smith of Smithís surveys south of forty degrees (see AJ-074) and determined to see if a passage existed north of the point where Smith had left off.

Hudson reached Newfoundland on June 15, 1609, turned south, and spent a month near modern Kennebec on the coast of Maine to repair his ship. He reached the vicinity of modern Norfolk, Virginia, in August and then turned north, exploring Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, and the New Jersey shore before sailing into New York harbor on September 3, 1609. He then followed the Hudson River 150 miles into the interior, as far as navigation would permit, penetrating almost to modern Albany by September 22, 1609. Convinced that the Hudson River did not go all the way to Asia, he left New York on October 4, 1609, and arrived November 7 in England, where both ship and crew were impounded.

Document Note

Juetís journal of Hudsonís third voyage fell into the hands of Samuel Purchas (1575-1626), successor to Richard Hakluyt as the leading English publisher of voyages and travels. Purchas included it in his collection, Purchas, His Pilgrims, issued in 1625, but died the following year; it remained out of print until the 1905-1907 edition given here.

Other Internet and Reference Sources

Charting the Sea of Darkness, by Donald Johnson (Camden, Maine: McGraw Hill/International Marine, 1993) prints the only other surviving eyewitness accounts. English historian Ian Chadwick has a comprehensive site on Hudson at http://www.ianchadwick.com/hudson/ that contains maps, day-by-day chronologies, and an annotated list of links to other resources.

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