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Who sponsored Henry Hudson?

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Quick Answer

Muscovy sponsored Henry Hudson for his first two trips, while the British East India Company sponsored his third. As his trips were not always successful, Hudson struggled to find private sponsors, but he did convince Muscovy, the East India Company and some private benefactors to sponsor his fourth trip.

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Full Answer

Henry Hudson was an explorer famed for investigating the Arctic regions. His first two trips were backed by the Muscovy Company of London. During the spring of 1607, Muscovy took his son John and a team of sailors to explore the edge of the polar ice pack, but was forced to turn back because of the ice. His second trip moved between Svalbard and the Novaya Zemlya, but he was forced to turn around because of ice for a second time.

Because of the two failed trips, Hudson was unable to generate interest among private sponsors. His third trip was sponsored by the East India Company, and was initially set to explore channels running between North America and the Pacific. When he faced blockades, he reneged on his agreement to return home immediately and explored areas of North America instead.

Hudson's final trip took place in 1611, and was sponsored by a mix of the East India Company, Muscovy and private sponsors. He was meant to explore the possibility of a Pacific-bound channel near Weymouth. Hudson at one point believed he had found the channel, but instead he had discovered Hudson Bay. During the trip, his team suspected him of favoring certain crew members when handing out rations. A mutiny was soon underway, which resulted in the team casting Hudson and his son adrift. Nobody ever saw him again.

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