Button, Sir Thomas
Sir Thomas Button, seaman, explorer (b in Wales; d probably at Worleton, Eng 1634). In 1612 he was chosen to command an expedition to determine the fate of Henry HUDSON
, though no mention of this was made in his written instructions, which directed him to search out the NORTHWEST PASSAGE
. With the Resolution
he sailed through Hudson Strait and across Hudson Bay to a point he called "Hopes Checkt." He wintered at the mouth of a river he named for Robert Nelson, master of the Resolution
, who among others had perished there. In the spring he examined the west coast of the bay and discovered Mansel Island, which he named for a friend. Frustrated in his hope of finding an outlet from the bay, he sailed home. For years Hudson Bay was called Button Bay. Button served ably and with courage throughout his career and was made "Admiral upon the Irish Coast."
Links to Other Sites
Exploration of the Northwest Passage
An overview of European expeditions to Canada’s northern Arctic region from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. Brief bios, illustrations, maps, and other reference material. An Industry Canada website.
A superb online exhibit about the search for the Northwest Passage. Historic maps and images from books show how the Inuit assisted foreign led expeditions into the Canadian Arctic and how European explorers gradually accepted Inuit techniques of travel and survival. Contemporary maps show the lasting achievement of the expeditions: the mapping of the Canadian Arctic. From the Toronto Public Library.
Sir Thomas Button
A brief biography of Sir Thomas Button, admiral and explorer. From the Welsh Biography Online.