Nothing is known of Robert Bylot prior to 1610. His first voyage was with Henry Hudson in 1610-1611. To be promoted to mate, and to successfully navigate the starving mutineers out of Hudson Bay and home, Bylot must have already had considerable sailing experience. His role in the mutiny of 1611 is not known, but he was obviously trusted by the merchants of the Muscovy Company as they allowed him to join them as a member of the new North West Passage Company and entrusted him with following up on Hudson's discoveries. Between 1612 and 1613, Bylot sailed with Thomas Button and mapped much of the west of Hudson Bay, proving that there was no open ocean there. His third voyage in 1615, with Baffin as his pilot, could find no outlet from Hudson Bay to the northwest, and in 1616 he sailed around Baffin Bay, discovering many of the straits that were important to the 19th-century explorers. Nothing is known of Robert Bylot after 1616.

John Wilson See also Button, Sir Thomas; Hudson, Henry

Further Reading

Anonymous, Sir Thomas Button, Winnipeg: Manitoba Historic

Resource Branch, 1984 Johnson, Donald S., Charting the Sea of Darkness: The Four Voyages of Henry Hudson, Camden: International Marine, 1993, and New York: Kodansha, 1995 Markham, Clements, The Voyages of William Baffin

1612-1622, London: Hakluyt Society, 1881 Purchas, Samuel, Purchas His Pilgrims— in Five Books, The Third Part, Voyages and Discoveries of the North Parts of the World, by Land and Sea, in Asia, Europe, the Polare Regions, and in the North-west of America, London: Printed by W. Stansby for H. Fetherstone, 1625

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