December 28, 2006
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Trinity House MS. Transactions. 1609-1625.
(24 _October_ 1611)
The 9 men turned out of the ship:
Henry Hudson, master.
John Hudson, his son.
John King, quarter master.
Michael Butt, married.
Thomas Woodhoase, a mathematician, put away in great distress.
Philip Staff, carpenter.
Syracke Fanner, married.
John Williams, died on 9 October.
--Ivet [Juet], died coming home.
Men that came home:
Robart Billet, master.
Abecocke Prickett, a land man put in by the Adventurers.
Edward Wilson, surgeon.
Francis Clemens, boteson.
Bennet Mathues, a land man.
Nicholas Syms, boy.
Silvanus Bond, couper.
After Hudson was put out, the company elected Billet as master.
Abacuck Pricket, sworn, says the ship began to return about 12th June, and
about the 22d or 23d, they put away the master. Greene and Wilson were
employed to fish for the company, and being at sea combined to steal away
the shallope, but at last resolved to take away the ship, and put the master
and other important men into the shallope.
He clears the now master of any foreknowledge of this complot, but they
relied on Ivett's judgment and skill.
Edward Wilson, surgeon, knew nothing of the putting of the master out of the
ship, till he saw him pinioned down before his cabin door.
Francis Clemens, Adrian Motter and Bennet Mathues say the master was put out
of the ship by the consent of all that were in health, in regard that their
victualls were much wasted by him; some of those that were put away were
directly against the master, and yet for safety of the rest put away with
him, and all by those men that were slain principally.
They all charge the master with wasting the victuals by a scuttle made out
of his cabin into the hold, and it appears that he fed his favourites, as
the surgeon, etc., and kept others at only ordinary allowance. All say that,
to save some from starving, they were content to put away so many, and that
to most of them it was utterly unknown who should go, or who tarry, but as
affection or rage did guide them in that fury that were authors and
executors of that plot.
Instance & Prize Records. (High Court of Admiralty). Examinations,
&c. Series I. Vol. 42. 1611-12 to 1614.
Die Sabbto XXV'to _January_ 1611.
EDWARD WILLSON, of Portesmouth Surgion aged xxij yeares sworne and examined
before the Right Wor'll M'r [Master] Doctor Trevor Judge of His Matyes High
Court of the Admiltye concerninge his late beinge at sea in the Discovery of
London whereof Henry Hudson was M'r for the Northwest discovery sayth as
Being demaunded whether he was one of the companie of the Discovery wherof
Henry Hudson was M'r for the Northwest passage saythe by vertue of his oathe
that he was Surgion of the said Shipp the said voyadge.
Beinge asked further whether there was not a mutynie in the said Shipp the
said voyadge by some of the companie of the said Shipp against the M'r, and
of the manner and occasion thereof and by whome say the that their victualls
were soe scante that they had but two quartes of meale allowed to serve xxij
men for a day, and that the M'r had bread and cheese and aquavite in his
cabon and called some of the companie whome he favoured to eate and drinke
with him in his cabon whereuppon those that had nothinge did grudge and
mutynye both against the M'r and those that he gave bread and drinke unto,
the begynning whereof was thus viz't. One William Willson then Boateswayne
of the said shipp but since slayne by the salvages went up to Phillipp
Staffe the M'rs Mate and asked him the reason why the M'r should soe favour
to give meate to some of the companie, and not the rest whoe aunswered that
it was necessary that some of them should be kepte upp Whereuppon Willson
went downe agayne and told one Henry Greene what the said Phillipp Staffe
had said to the said Willson Whereuppon they with others consented together
and agreed to pynion him the said M'r and one John Kinge whoe was Quarter
M'r and put them into a shallopp and Phillipp Staffe mighte have stayed
still in the shipp but he would voluntarilie goe into the said shallopp for
love of the M'r uppon condition that they would give him his clothes (which
he had) there was allso six more besides the other three putt into the said
shallopp whoe thinkeinge that they were onely put into the shallopp to keepe
the said Hudson the M'r and Kinge till the victuals were a sharinge went out
willinglie but afterwards findinge that the companie in the shipp would not
suffer them to come agayne into the shipp they desyred that they mighte have
their cloathes and soe pte of them was delivered them, and the rest of their
apparell was soulde at the mayne mast to them that would give most for them
and an inventory of every mans pticuler goodes was made and their money was
paid by Mr Allin Cary to their friendes heere in England and deducted out of
their wages that soe boughte them when they came into England.
Beinge asked whoe were the pties that consented to this mutynie saythe he
knoweth not otherwise then before he hath deposed savinge he saythe by
vertue of his oathe that this exăet never knewe thereof till the M'r was
brought downe pynioned and sett downe before this eăxtes cabon and then this
examinate looked out and asked him what he ayled and he said that he was
pynioned and then this exăte would have come out of his cabon to have gotten
some victualls amongest them and they that had bounde the M'r said to this
exăte that yf he were well he should keepe himselfe soe and further saythe
that neither did Silvanus Bond Nicholas Simmes and Frances Clements consente
to this practize against the M'r of this exactes knowledge.
Beinge demaunded whether he knoweth that the Hollanders have an intent to
goe forthe uppon a discovery to the said Northwest passadge and whether they
have anie card [chart] delivered them concerninge the said discovery saythe
that this exăte for his parte never gave them anie card or knowledge of the
said discovery but he hath heard saye that they intend such a voyadge and
more he cannot saye savinge that some gentlemen and merchants of London that
are interessed in this discovery have shewed divers cardes abroad w'ch
happelie might come to some of their knowledge.
Beinge asked further whither there bee a passadge throughe there he saythe
that by all likeliehood there is by reason of the tyde of flood came out of
the westerne ptes and the tyde of ebbe out of the easterne which may bee
easely discovered yf such may bee imployed as have beene acquainted with the
voyadge and knoweth the manner of the ice but in cominge backe agayne they
keepinge the northerne most land aboard found little or noe ice in the
Beinge asked what became of the said Hudson the M'r and the rest of the
companie that were put into the shallopp saythe that they put out sayle and
followed after them that were in the shipp the space of halfe an houre and
when they sawe the shipp put one [on] more sayle and that they could not
followe them then they putt in for the shoare and soe they lost sighte of
them and never heard of them since And more he cannot depose.
* * * * *
Admiralty Court. Oyer and Terminer. 6.
No. 77. True Bill found for the trial of Robert Bileth alias Blythe, late of
the precinct of St. Katherine next the Tower of London, co. Middlesex,
mariner, Abacucke Prickett, late of the city of London, haberdasher, Edward
Wilson of the same, barber-surgeon, Adrian Matter, late of Ratcliffe,
Middlesex, mariner; Silvanus Bonde, of London, cooper, and Nicholas Sims,
late of Wapping, sailor, to be indicted for having, on 22 June 9 James I, in
a certain ship called The Discovery of the port of London, then being on the
high sea near Hudson's Straits in the parts of America, pinioned the arms of
Henry Hudson, late of the said precinct of St. Katherine, mariner, then
master of the said ship The Discovery, and putting him thus bound, together
with John Hudson, his son, Arnold Ladley, John Kinge, Michael Butt, Thomas
Woodhouse, Philip Staffe, Adam Moore and Sidrach Fanner, mariners of the
said ship, into a shallop, without food, drink, fire, clothing or any
necessaries, and then maliciously abandoning them, so that they came thereby
to their death and miserably perished. [Latin. Not dated.]
* * * * *
Admiralty. Oyer and Terminer. 41.
Friday 7 _February_, 1616 [O.S.]
Abacucke Prickett, of London, haberdasher, examined, says that Henry Hudson,
John Hudson, Thomas Widowes, Philip Staffe, John Kinge, Michael Burte,
Sidrach Fanner, Adrian Moore and John Ladley, mariners of the Discovery in
the voyage for finding out the N.W. passage, about 6 years past, were put
out of the ship by force into the Shallop in the strait called Hudson's
Strait in America, by Henry Grene, John Thomas, John Wilson, Michael Pearce,
and others, by reason they were sick and victuals wanted, "under account"
[i.e., if rations from the existing scant store were served out equally]
they should starve for want of food if all the company should return home in
the ship. Philip Staffe went out of the ship of his own accord, for the love
he bare to the said Hudson, who was thrust out of the ship. Grene, with 11
or 12 more of the company, sailed away with the Discovery, leaving Hudson
and the rest in the shallop in the month of June in the ice. What became of
them he knows not. He was lame in his legs at the time, and unable to stand.
He greatly lamented the deed, and had no hand in it. Hudson and Staffe were
the best friends he had in the ship.
About five weeks after the said ship came to Sir Dudley Digges Island. Here
Grene, Wilson, Thomas, Pearse and Adrian Mouter would needs go ashore to
trade with the savages, and were betrayed and set upon by the savages, and
all of them sore wounded, yet recovered the boat before they died. Grene,
coming into the boat, died presently. Wilson, Thomas and Pearse were taken
into the ship, and died a few hours afterwards, two of them having had their
bowels cut out. The blood upon the clothes brought home was the blood of
these persons so wounded and slain by the savages, and no other.
There was falling out between Grene and Hudson the master, and between
Wilson the surgeon and Hudson, and between Staffe and Hudson, but no mutiny
was in question, until of a sudden the said Grene and his consorts forced
the said Hudson and the rest into the shallop, and left them in the ice.
The chests of Hudson and the rest were opened, and their clothes, and such
things as they had, inventoried and sold by Grene and the others, and some
of the clothes were worn.
Thomas Widowes was thrust out of the ship into the shallop, but whether he
willed them take his keys and share his goods, to save his life, this
examinate knoweth not.
At the putting out of the men, the ship's carpenter [Staffe] asked the
company if they would be [wished to be] hanged, when they came to England.
He does not know whether the carpenter is dead or alive, for he never saw
him since he was put out into the shallop.
No shot was made at Hudson or any of them nor any hurt done them, that he
He did not see Hudson bound, but heard that Wilson pinioned his arms, when
he was put into the shallop. But, when he was in the shallop, this examinate
saw him in a motley gown at liberty, and they spoke together, Hudson saying:
It is that villain Ivott [Juet], that hath undone us; and he answered: No,
it is Grene that hath done all this villainy.
It is true that Grene, Wilson and Thomas had consultation together to turn
pirates, and so he thinks they would have done, had they not been slain.
There was no watchword given, but Grene, Wilson, Thomas and Bennett watched
the master, when he came out of his cabin, and forced him over board into
the shallop, and then they put out the rest, being sick men.
He told Sir Thomas Smith the truth, as to how Hudson and the rest were
turned out of the ship.
He told the masters of the Trinity-house the truth of the business, but
never knew or heard that the masters said they deserved to be hanged for the
They were not victualled with rabbits or partridges before Hudson and the
rest were turned into the shallop, nor after.
There was no mutiny otherwise than as aforesaid, they were turned out only
for want of victuals, as far as he knows.
He does not know the handwriting of Thomas Widowes. He, for his part, made
no means to hinder any proceedings that might have been taken against them.
(Signed) ABACOOKE PERIKET.
[On the same day]
Robert Bilett, of St. Katherine's, mariner, examined, saith that, upon a
discontent amongst the company of the ship the Discovery in the finding out
of the N.W. passage, by occasion of the want of victualls, Henry Grene,
being the principal, together with John Thomas, William Wilson, Robert Ivett
[Juet] and Michael Pearse, determined to shift the company, and thereupon
Henry Hudson, the master, was by force put into the shallop, and 8 or 9 more
were commanded to go into the shallop to the master, which they did, this
examinate thinking this course was taken only to search the master's cabin
and the ship for victualls, which the said Grene and others thought the
master concealed from the company to serve his own turn. But, when they were
in the shallop, Grene and the rest would not suffer them to come any more on
board the ship, so Hudson and the rest in the shallop went away to the
southward, and the ship came to the eastward, and the one never saw the
What is otherwise become of them be knoweth not.
He says that the men went ashore (as above) to get victuals; and from their
wounds the cabins, beds and clothes were made bloody.
There was discontent amongst the company, but no mutiny to his knowledge,
until the said Grene and his associates turned the master and the rest into
He heard of no mutiny "till overnight that Hudson and the rest were [to be]
put into the shallop the next day," and this examinate and M'r. Prickett
persuaded the crew to the contrary, and Grene answered the master was
resolved to overtrowe all, and therefore he and his friends would shift for
Such clothes as were left behind in the ship by Hudson and his associates
were sold, and worn by some of the company that wanted clothes.
The ship's carpenter never used such speeches, to his knowledge. [This seems
to refer to Staffe's question, "Would they be hanged when they came to
Philip Staffe, the carpenter, went into the shallop of his own accord,
without any compulsion; whether he be dead or alive, or what has become of
him, he knoweth not.
No man, either drunk or sober, can report that Hudson and his associates
were shot at after they were in the shallop, for there was no such thing
He was under the deck, when Henry Hudson was put out of the ship, so that he
saw it not, nor knoweth whether he were bound or not, but saith he heard he
Henry Grene, and two or three others, made a motion to turn pirates, and he
believes they would have done, if they had lived.
He denieth that he took any ringe out of Hudson's pocket, neither ever saw
it except on his finger, nor knoweth what became of it.
Such beds and clothes as were left in the ship, and not taken by Hudson and
the rest into the shallop, were brought into England, because they left them
behind in the ship.
There was no watchword given, but Grene and the others commanded the said
Hudson and the rest into the shallop, and upon that command they went.
He told Sir Thomas Smith the manner how Hudson and the rest went from them,
but what Sir Thomas said to their wives he knoweth not.
There was no mutiny, but some discontent, amongst the company; they were not
victualled with any abundance of rabbits and partridges all the voyage. He
doth not know the handwriting of Widowes, nor hath he seen what he put down
(Signed) ROBERT BYLETH.
* * * * *
Admiralty. Oyer and Terminer. 41.
13 _May_, 1617.
Frances Clemence, of Wapping, mariner, aged 40, says that Henry Hudson, the
master, and 8 persons more were put out of the Discovery into the shallop
about 20 leagues from the place where they wintered, about 22d of June shall
be 6 years in June next, as he heard from the rest of the company, for this
examinate had his nails frozen off, and was very sick at the time.
Henry Grene, William Wilson, John Thomas and Michael Pearse were slain on
shore by the savages at Sir Dudley Digges Island, and Robert Ivett [Juet]
died at sea after they were slain.
Philip Staffe, the ship's carpenter, was one of them who were put into the
shallop with the master and the rest; whether he is dead or not, he knows
The master displaced some of the crew, and put others in their room, but
there was no mutiny that he knew of.
Henry Hudson was pinioned, when he was put into the shallop. (With other
answers as in the previous examinations.)
Reproduced from Thos. Janvier's Henry Hudson, 1909, available in its
entirety from the Gutenberg Project:
www.gutenberg.org/etext/13442. Other reference documents are reproduced