Select Hudson Miscellany



Here are some Hudson stories and accounts over the years:

Henry Hudson, Buried at St. Dunstan's


Alderman of London, Henry Hudson, a member of the Guild of Tanners, one of the twelve men from which the Lord Mayor of London may be chosen, a gentleman of great wealth, and lord of half a dozen ancient manors; noted for his public spirit and benevelence; died of malignant fever in December 1555 and was buried in the Church of St. Dunstan's where his monument is still to be seen.  


The Voyages of Henry Hudson

The First Voyage
  • Henry Hudson was selected by the Muscovy Company in 1607 to command an expedition "to discover a passage by the North Pole to Japan and China."
  • In May Hudson set sail on the Hopewell from Gravesend.  
  • Hudson reached Greenland, discovered whaling grounds, and went north.  But the conditions were terrible and the weather freezing.  The bad weather prompted their return.
  • The reports that Hudson provided resulted in fleets of whaling ships being sent into the area. 
The Second Voyage
  • In 1608 Henry Hudson was ready to command his second expedition to discover a northeast passage through the Arctic waters north of Russia.
  • Hudson travelled past Norway and towards Russia.  But conditions onboard and the freezing weather and ice led to a near mutiny by the crew and Hudson was forced to return.   
The Third Voyage
  • Lacking backers in England for another voyage, Hudson approached the Dutch and in 1609 signed a contract with the Dutch United East India Company.
  • In April Hudson set sail on the Half Moon from Holland under the Dutch flag.  Hudson travelled past the colde waters of Norway and towards Russia.  The conditions once again led to near mutiny by the crew. 
  • Hudson decided to completely change direction and head West towards warmer waters and the New World.
  • In July the Half Moon passed Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and reached Maine.  He then passed Jamestown and ventured into Delaware Bay which proved too shallow to explore fully.  By September he reached the mouth of the Hudson river and made the decision to explore the river, hoping to find a passage to the Indies.
  • He reached Albany up the Hudson river and, after various explorations, decided that it was time to return home, reaching Dartmouth in England in November.
  • The Dutch ordered Hudson to return to Amsterdam.  But he never went. 
The Fourth Voyage
  • In 1610 Hudson was backed again by the Muscovy Company to command an expedition to search for the NW passage. 
  • In April Hudson left London on the Discovery
  • By July he reached the Hudson Strait and tried to enter the "Furious Overfall."
  • The Discovery became frozen in the ice and Hudson and his crew found themselves the first Europeans to winter in the Canadian Arctic.  It was freezing cold, there was limited food, there were savage native Indians.  The terrible conditions led the crew to mutiny. 
  • Hudson was cast adrift in a small boat with his son John and eight loyal crew members.  They were never heard of again.
  • The mutineers returned home.  Only eight made it back to England.

Family note:  Henry Hudson had married Katherine who died in 1624.  They had three sons: Oliver; John, who died with his father on his final voyage; and Richard, who became the chief representative of the East India Company in the Bay of Bengal and had several children (some of whom emigrated to America).  Many have sought to connect the explorer with Alderman Henry Hudson or with Thomas Hudson of the Muscovy Company, but the connection is unproven.

Richard Hudson in Virginia

Richard Hudson came to Virginia in 1635 as an indentured servant to Obedience Robbins.  Court records indicate a dispute over payment to Obedience which suggests a servitude.

This Richard was a litigous soul, as these court records would indicate:

  • Richard sued a Mrs. Savage for payment of some services that were rendered.  The court ordered her tp pay Richard 600 pounds of tobacco and five barrels of corn. 
  • Richard brought Goodwife Robbins to court for slandering his wife Mary.  Alice Goodwife Robbins received twenty lashes for this offence.  It appears that Alice was a disagreeable person evidenced by the fact that she was often in court.  For another slanderous offence she was "lashed to the end of a canoe and towed over the creek." 
  • Richard then appears in court over a disputed hog.  Richard claimed that it was stolen and that he could identify it by the markings in the ear.  The defendants claimed that the markings were destoyed when the sow was attacked by dogs.  Richard then claimed that the thieves cut it out.  The outcome was not recorded. 
  • Family court records show that Richard snuck upon "his girle" and her boyfriend in a compromising position in the woods.  It is not known if "his girle" was his daughter or a servant. 

Thomas Hudson in Twickenham


Thomas Hudson the portrait painter was a son-in-law of Jonathan Richardson and the master of Joshua Reynolds.  He came to live in Twickenham in 1753 in a house in Cross Deep, a little upstream from Pope's villa.

By that time his style of portraiture was going out of fashion and he gave up painting a little later.  When Sir Joshua Reynolds moved into Wick House on Richmond Hill in 1772, Hudson was said to have remarked:

"Little did I think we should ever have country houses opposite to each other."

On hearing this, Reynolds retorted:

"Little did I think, when I was a young man, that I should look down upon Mr. Hudson."


John Hudson in the West


John Hudson left Liverpool on the Cambridge in August 1849 for New York.   But he soon discovered that his poor economic conditions portended only failure and he wondered if he could survive in the high-priced atmosphere of Gotham.  The news of the discovery of gold in California therefore provided a possible escape from penury.

Attached to the Colony Guard Company of high-minded gentlemen, he set out across the mountains, down the Ohio, and up the Missouri to Kansas where he and his companions prepared for the dash across the plains to the treasure awaiting them.  His illness from cholera or "mountain fever" forced a disappointing stop at the Mormon City of the Saints where he decided to spend the winter before proceeding across the desert to California.

He never made it to California.  He joined the Mormon church and spent the winter as a teacher in the frontier settlement of Fort Utah.  He then spent three months as a draughtsman in a survey of the Great Salt Lake before being assigned by the Mormon church to a new frontier settlement at Manti in Sampete valley.  On arrival there, however, he succumbed to an attack of pneumonia brought on by his mountain sickness and died. 



The Hudsons of Wakefield


James Hudson in a bowler hat is pictured outside his shop on Westmoreland Street in Wakefield during the Christmas fair of 1906.  At the time the picture was taken, James was not the only Hudson working in the town.  He was the eldest in the family and inherited the shop from his father, also named James, in 1867. His brother Ernest had a butcher's shop on Brooke Street and another brother, Alfred, was a fishmonger in Wakefield market.

The first Hudson that the family knew of was Thomas who had been born in Woolley in 1802.  He had various shops and went on to become the landlord of the Cock and Bottle Inn on what is now Marygates Lane.  His father James had been landlord of the Spangled Bull.  Thomas and the pub featured in Kate Taylor's book Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Wakefield.  He helped identify three men involved in a murder.  While they were drinking in his father's pub, they bought pies from Thomas with money stolen from the man they had robbed and murdered.   




Return to Top of Page
Return to Hudson Main Page