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SOME ADVENTURES OF THE WIFE AND SON OF HENRY
By MILLARD F. HUDSON
preter was employed in the negotiaRichard Hudson in Japan, 1614-1623
tions, because he did not understand
Dutch. F all the navigators produced For many years past a series of imby the golden age of explora- portant historical collections has been
tion, none has been happier in appearing in England, including the the enduring quality of his fame than publications of the Hakluyt and other Henry Hudson. All the elements of societies, the Calendars of State Papers, contemporary circumstance and post- the Records of the English East India humous events seem to have combined Company, and other similar publicafor the preservation and magnification tions. No single discovery of firstof his reputation. In the pages of his rate importance concerning Captain tory is to be found nothing but praise Hudson or his voyages has been made, of his skill and courage, mingled only yet many interesting side-lights are with a tender regret for his untimely thrown upon his associates and some end. The ideal captain of a heroic age, disclosures made concerning his imhe had the exceptional good fortune to mediate family. It appears that he had have his name perpetuated by two at least one son, in addition to John, great natural features of a new conti- who is usually described in histories as nent, one of which has become, and an only son, and that he left a widow; will always remain, an important and we are able to trace the fortunes Center of human interest and activity. of this widow and younger son for a
In one respect Fate dealt somewhat time and to follow them through some harshly with Hudson, in that, for many interesting adventures. years, very little was known about his The story opens on the fourteenth personality, his family, or his antece- day of April,
1614, in the council chamdents. In writing his Henry Hudson ber of the English East India Comthe Navigator, published by the Hakluyt pany, at London, where the directors Society in 1860, Dr. Asher felt obliged were discussing the extension of trade, to say: "The whole period of his life the rivalry of the Dutch, and the arknown to us extends over little more rangements for a new voyage to the than four years, from April 19, 1606, to Far East. Announcement was made June 21, 1611." In the year preceding that Mrs. Katharine Hudson was withthe appearance of Asher's work, Henry out, and had a boon to crave. Almost (. Murphy, United States Minister at three years had elapsed since "that The Hague, had found in the Royal worthy irrecoverable discoverer, MasArchives there a copy of the contract ter Henry Hudson," was left to perish between Hudson and the Amsterdam in the great inland sea. The ships sent Chamber of the Dutch East India Com- out to search for him had brought no pany. This contract, which led to the news, and none would ever come; but discovery of the Hudson River, is still the directors could not yet reconcile in existence. It shows that Hudson themselves to this, and described their was an "Englishman,” that he had a caller as “Mistress Hudson, the wife or "wife and children," and that an inter- widow of Mr. Hudson, who was left in
the Northwest discovery." Mrs. Hud- evidently a difference of several years son “desired their favor for the em- in their ages, so it seems safe to asploying of a young youth, a son of his, sume that he was a mere boy. she being left very poor and unable to The directors "conceived that therein maintain the charge." It appears that they were partly obliged in charity to the name of the young youth" was give assistance, in regard that his Richard. There is nothing to show his father perished in the service of the years; but his elder brother, John, was commonwealth," and on the 19th idem a young man of fifteen or sixteen at ordered him to be bound apprentice "to the time of his death, and there was some one man for the Company's use
hereafter." The man selected was modern city of Yokosuka, where is John Hunt, who was going on the con now situated the imperial ship-building templated voyage as master's mate of piant. He married a Japanese woman the ship Samaritan. Five pounds were and had by her a son and a daughter. ordered to be laid out upon the boy for Permission to return to his family, in "apparel and necessaries." The feet, England, was, however, refused him, consisting of the Samaritan, the Thomas, and he was virtually a prisoner until and the Thomasine, all under the com 1612. In October, 1611, he addressed mand of General David Middleton, a letter to his "unknown friends and sailed in June or July.
countrymen," who had settled in Java, The fleet reached the Cape of Good calling their attention to the opportuniHope on the Third of October, ties for trade in Japan. The com"where," wrote Middleton, "we had re pany was then looking for openings for freshing both of flesh and fish to con trade and lost no time in despatching
Departing thence on the 20th, from England a fleet equipped for the they made Bantam, Java, on the 13th establishment of a factory. The ship or 14th of February, 1615. Here the Clove, of this fleet, under command of General called a court to determine the Captain John Saris, reached Japan on disposition of the ships, and it was the 12th day of June, 1612. ordered, among other things, that the Upon Saris's intervention, the Sho. Osiander (or Hoseander), "a ship for gun released Adams and he took serlorn,” (laid up for want of men) vice under the Company at their facshould be sent to Japan, with Hunt as lory, for two years. Limited trading master. Middleton furnished the ship privileges were granted, and the facwith “the principal men” of his feet, tory was located at Firando (also writthirty in number, "together with pro ten Hirado and Hirato), in the Strait vision of furniture and victuals," and of Korea, at the extreme west of Japan. she was to touch at the English factory on the east side of the island of Firanat Patani, in Siam, and take on com do. This was a convenient port for modities suitable for Japan. Richard shipping from Europe, it lay in a faHudson took passage on this ship, as vorable position for opening trade with did also John Osterwick, both having China, and its ruler was friendly; but, been assigned to the English trading on the other hand, it was on an insigpost, or "factory," in Japan. Of the nificant island, there was no good anevents of the voyagę we learn little; chorage, and the Dutch, who had been the ship reached its destination on the settled in Firando for some years, last day of August, and Richard Hud- proved formidable rivals. The old son passed from the care of Captain ruler, Foyne Sama, shared the governHunt to that of Captain Richard Cocks, ment with his grandson, Figen a (or the head of the factory in Japan. Figeno) Sama. The former was friend
The English attempt to establish ly and encouraged foreign trade; but trade with Japan was largely due to he died in 1614, and Figen a Sama an Englishman named William Adams, proved a weak ruler, who was govwho, after an adventurous voyage, erned by his nobles, and the latter reached the coast of that country in were hostile to the English. April, 1600. He was sent to the court It was stipulated that, as one of the of the Shogun by his comrades, and conditions of their trading privileges, there, because of his knowledge of the English were to carry a present to mathematics and ship-building, was the Shogun whenever one of their taken into favor and became a man of ships arrived from Europe. The regugreat influence. Indeed, he was "in lar route for this journey, over which such favor with two emperors of Japan Richard Hudson was to pass more as never was any Christian."
than once, was down the inland sea to made an officer and granted the rev Osaka, thence by land to Suruga (now cnues of the village of Hemi, near the called Shidzuoka), where the Shogun,
Iyeyasu, resided. It was also neces- concessions for the much-desired sary to visit, in returning, the court of trade with China, and considerable Hidetada, son of Iyeyasu, at Yedo, his sums were paid the China Captain father having transferred the title to and his brother, to be used in forwardhim and he being the actual Shogun. ing the negotiations, but nothing ever
Saris left eight men in the new fac- came of them. On the other hand, tory. The cape or head-merchant was many traits make the old Captain an Richard Cocks. He was one of the agreeable character, even though he original incorporators of the Company, was not a successful business agent. He having subscribed £200, and resided cultivated a garden and planted the abroad five years before going to Japan. first potatoes grown in Japan. He His selection for a post presenting so kept a diary, most of which has sur19any difficulties was not a forunate vived. This diary abounds in strange one. He was both easy-going and words, borrowed from many tongues ; quarrelsome. There seems reason to its language is archaic and misspelled believe that he was the dupe of a de- with great ingenuity, yet it gives an signing Chinaman, Andrea Dittis, entertaining picture of Japanese manwhom he called the Captain of the ners and much information of value. China Quarter, or the China Captain. Cocks very weaknesses render his story It was through this man that entertaining; and in its trivialities and he chiefly endeavored to secure unconscious humor it deserves a lasting place in the literature of its class. visit to the court of the Shogun, with Some of his letters from Japan having presents, being necessary, Capt. Ralph been sent to King James I. to read, he Coppindall was assigned to that duty. declared they contained “the loudest While awaiting his return, the Osiander lies that he had ever heard”; but the was brought aground and sheathed. verdict of the modern reader will be She sailed again on February 26th, that, to the extent of his powers, Cocks 1616, greatly to Cock's relief, for the was a faithful chronicler. There is crew were a turbulent lot of Dutchcontemporary testimony that he was a men, concerning whom he writes: “A man of honesty, years and judgment. strange kind of people they are all of
William Adams, who was second in them which came in this shipp”; and authority under Cocks, was employed again: "I never saw a more forward in various capacities about the factory. and bad leawd company then most of He was a man of more skill and learn them are.” Neither did he like Captain ing than Cocks, who stood somewhat Hunt, although at the beginning he in awe of him. They quarrelled at had made him a peace-offering of "a times, but, despite occasional out- pig, 6 hense, 10 loves of bread, with bursts, got on fairly well together. peares, redish, cowcumbers, and bell
Richard Wickham was an old em- engines.” A rumor having arrived, ployee of the Company, who had led soon after the Osiander's departure, that an adventurous life. He was in more she had been attacked by a Portuguese independent circumstances than the vessel and several of the crew killed other factors. His letter-book for the arid made prisoners, Cocks gravely years from 1614 to 1616 is still pre- recorded his opinion that it was too served in the India Office.
good to be true. Concerning Hunt he William Eaton and Edmund Sayers felt constrained to write: "I could not were with the factory from the first, forget to note downe how Mr. Hunt, and were the only members, besides the master of the Hozeander, fell out Cocks and Richard Hudson, who re- with Roland Thomas, the purcer. Soe inained till the end. Tempest Peacock they went together by the eares. I and Walter Carwarden were among condemn them both very much, but the original members, but soon went surely they were drunk, espetially the on a trading voyage to Cochinchina, master, and I think he is crazed in his where the former was drowned and witts.” whence the latter never returned. "il- Richard Hudson was now settled at liam Nealson, also an original mem- the factory where he was to pass eight ber, was consumptive, quarrelsoine, years. His position was that of an unand addicted to drink. Cocks registers attached servant, whose duties and ocmany complaints about Nealson's con- cupations may be inferred, to some c'uct, especially when he was in his extent, from Cocks' diary. His associ“fustian fumes.” Osterwick, who ates were, at first, Cocks, Nealson and joined the factory in 1615, with Osterwick. Branch factories had been Richard Hudson, was of Dutch descent opened soon after Saris' departure and and was a kinsman of Wickham. He different members sent to take charge was the accountant of the factory. The of them: Wickham to Yedo, Eaton to eight original members, with Oster- Osaka, and Sayers to the northern wick and Hudson, a cook and a few parts of Kiushiu and the island of Tsuservants, comprised the total member- chima; while Adams, Peacock, and ship of the factory; and toward the Carwarden had gone on a voyage to end the number of factors was re- Cochinchina. About a year after Hudduced to four.
son's arrival, the branch factories had Upon the arrival of the Osiander off to be closed, and after that the force Cochi (the harbor of Firando), consisted of Cocks, Adams, Wickham, salutes were exchanged with the Dutch Eaton, Sayers, Nealson, Osterwick, and factory and due ceremony observed. A Hudson. Later, death and departures