HUDSON, John &
(1) Jane UNKNOWN (2) VALLER, Jane
(c.1800 - 1837)         (c.1800 - 1833)         (c.1800 - ??)


In March this year (2010) a Hudson descendant and researcher created a flurry of activity by calmly remarking that “It would be good to learn more about the background of the oldest James Cottrell HUDSON”.

A few of us took up the cudgel and now we can look at what we know about him...

Well where to start...? Although James Hudson born 1832 was not baptised with the middle name of Cottrell, if we count him (and of course we will!) then there were 4 generations with a son named James Cottrell Hudson.

From knowing hardly anything, thanks to many hours of research and some inspired guesses which turned out to be correct, a lot more has been learned and the family can now be traced back to its English origins.

But rather than start with James (Cottrell) Hudson (b. 1832) we can now look another generation back to his parents.

John Hudson married Jane Unknown, with their first child (that we know of) born in London in 1830. John and Jane had three known children all baptized at St Pancras Old Church, Middlesex.

An engraving of St Pancras Churchyard 1815

St Pancras Old Church 2005

FROM WIKIPEDIA - Documentary evidence for the early history of the church is scanty, but it is believed to have existed since A.D. 314. Remnants of medieval features and references in the Domesday Book suggest it pre-dates the Norman Conquest. It was known simply as St Pancras Church until - as a result of 18th and 19th century urban expansion - St Pancras New Church was built a little over half a mile away on the main Euston Road.

Originally, the parish of St Pancras stretched from close to Oxford Street almost to Highgate. However, in the 14th century the population abandoned the site and moved to what is now Kentish Town. The reasons for this were probably the vulnerability of the plain around the church to flooding (the River Fleet, which is now underground, runs through it) and the availability of better wells at Kentish Town, where there is less clay in the soil. The old settlement was abandoned and the church fell into disrepair. It lost its status as the parish church when the New Church was consecrated in 1822, and it became a chapel of ease. Throughout the rapid urban expansion of the 19th century additional churches opened within the bounds of the original St Pancras parish at regular intervals, and by 1890 where there had once been only one, there were now 33 ecclesiastical parishes.

By 1847 the Old Church was derelict, but as the local population grew it was decided to restore it. There are still traces of Norman masonry, but the building seen today is basically a Victorian structure. A replacement tower was built and the building was lengthened, though it remained quite small. There have been further restorations since, particularly in 1948 following Second World War bomb damage. The building was designated a grade II listed building on 10 June 1954.

On 19 November 1830 John Thomas was born, baptized 30 January 1831 - address at the time was James Street. Next child born was James, on 29 January 1832, baptized 22 February - address was Little Coram Street. Then along came Charles, born 9 April 1833 and baptized 28 April. The address shown on the Parish Register is now Little Guildford Street. On all of the Parish record entries parents are John and Jane Hudson, occupation of father - Hairdresser.

What an interesting occupation - what did he do, who were his clients....? This was during the reign of George IV who was on the throne for the ten years 1820-1830.

In his evidence below at the trial of George Fursey, John Hudson certainly appears to be well educated. Wigs, ringlets - ladies, gentlemen - did he operate from a shop or visit his clientele to do their cutting and styling in private...?

The following GOOGLE map shows the current locations of Coram, James and Guildford Streets.

It is interesting that the baptism entry for James in 1832 shows no mention of a middle name ie Cottrell...?

John Thomas Hudson (first known child of John and his wife wife Jane) died aged 10 months and was buried on 16 September 1831, Parish of St George, Bloomsbury, Borough of Camden, County of Middlesex. Home address was Little Coram Street. This sad event was followed a couple of years later when his brother Charles died aged just 2 months. He was buried on 14 June 1833 - same details as those of his brother John Thomas, except that family address was Little Guildford Street.

Sometime following the birth of Charles in April 1833 John Hudson's wife Jane died - no details have been found relating to her - maiden name, birth, marriage or death.

There is a very interesting record of a trial at the Old Bailey - Old Court on Thursday, July 4th, 1833.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Gaselee.
A brief excerpt follows - “JOHN HUDSON. I am a hair-dresser, and live at No. 17, Little Guildford-street, Russel-square. I went to this meeting a few minutes after two o'clock - I suppose at that time there were one thousand persons collected, men, women, and children - I went in consequence of reading a proclamation forbidding the meeting; I went to see what kind of a thing they had forbidden; that was the first thing that induced me to go - I saw the van drive up a little before three o'clock; I presume it was a quarter to three o'clock - it was at the end of Calthorpe-street, opposite Mr. Stallwood's house”.

The full transcript can be seen by going to and reading the many pages relating to what was an important trial: two policemen were killed in a riot at Calthorpe Street and John's testimony appears to be an important element in the acquittal of George Fursey. The case was painted as an example of police brutality and references to it can be found in a number of newspapers and magazines of the day.

John Hudson's above adventure took place just one month following the death of his son Charles and possibly the death of the mother of his sons.

A few short months later he remarried to Jane Valler (widow).


Jane Williams was married to William Valler, Parish of St George, Bloomsbury, Middlesex, London, England - occupation Goldbeater - on 8 October 1818 - he was a bachelor and she was a spinster. Witnesses were John Williams and Sarah Williams - all parties signed their names.

William and Jane's children were William Roope born 18 July 1819 baptised 12 September 1819, Jane born 31 March 1821 baptised 3 June 1821, Thomas John born 21 December 1822 baptised 26 January 1823 (died 27th December 1824 and buried on 29th) and Sarah Elizabeth born 20 July 1824 baptised 20 March 1825. All baptisms were in St Pancras, Middlesex, UK. Occupation of father was Gold Beater.

Addresses for the family during these years were: 1819 King Street, St Georges, Bloomsbury - 1821 Boswell Court, St George the Martyr - 1823 Cromer Street, St Pancras and 1825 Euston Mews, St Pancras.

William Valler died in 1824 (buried 19 September at St George the Martyr, Middlesex) leaving Jane a widow with young children. Place of abode at that time New North Street, London. As stated earlier his widow then remarried.

The marriage between John Hudson and Jane Valler took place in the Parish of St Mary, Lambeth, County of Surrey on 31 December 1833. Witnesses were Thos. Hudson and Jas. Longman Gawler (2nd name is possibly an official).

St Mary Church, Lambeth, London, England
IMAGE ON LEFT: Print by Thomas Shephard (From website)

A daughter - Ann Owen HUDSON was born to John HUDSON and his new wife Jane (previously VALLER nee Williams) on 27/4/1834, she was baptized 19/10/1834, Parish of St Pancras, County of Middlesex. Little did John know at the time that it would not be long before he would depart to meet his maker. John Hudson, hairdresser, died at noon on 12/10/1837 at 24 Southampton Street, Somers Town, County of Middlesex. He was 37 and died of a Bowel Complaint. Informant was his wife Jane Hudson of 24 Southampton Street, Somers Town.

The death of her husband and two sons no doubt led to Jane making the decision to emigrate to Australia.

The trip to Australia in 1838 was thus undertaken by Jane in the company of her 19 year old son William Roope and daughters Jane 18 and Sarah Elizabeth 15 from her first marriage as well as her step-son James aged 6 and 4 year old daughter Ann Owen. The Pike Douglas Index to the Register of Emigrant Labourers Applying for free Passage to S/A 1836-1841 shows: Application No. 2754 Embarkation No. 1501 Date 17/7/1838, Hudson Jane - Dairywoman, Arrival date - 26/12/1838 Address 9 Wood St. St Pancras, ship "PRINCE GEORGE" Widow 39yrs - Children M 6yrs F 4yrs Agent: Superintendent of Emigration. This was also the address given by William, Jane and Sarah Valler.

(A search of the 1841 UK census for people living at 9 Wood St., St Pancras does not reveal any details of interest at this stage although there is a Sushanah Hudson aged 65, Milliner, not of the London Parish. There are no street numbers so this entry may have no bearing whatsoever).

Four months after their arrival in Adelaide, on 21/4/1839 - Jane Hudson of St Pancras, London remarried in the Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide to William West, Seaman, of Ramsgate, Kent - Rev. Charles Beaumont Howard officiated. Witnesses to the Marriage were Stephen and Emma Hedgecock who also arrived on the ship "PRINCE GEORGE". Of the 4 signatories, Jane was the only one who was literate. To date no births of children to Jane and William West have been located in South Australia, NSW, Vic. or Tasmania. Nor has a substantiated death for Jane or William been located in those same states.

Mention has been made by a researcher in the past that the "patriarch" of the Valler family was in some way involved with the sea or ships, and took his family to Tasmania, settling in Ross. Knowing that both John Hudson (hairdresser) and William Valler (gold beater) were both deceased by the time Jane Hudson, William Roope, Jane and Sarah Elizabeth Valler plus James and Ann Owen Hudson made the journey from UK to Australia - it is quite possible that Jane's 3rd husband William West may have been this "patriarch". It is almost taken for granted that all of the Valler and Hudson children would have viewed him as their father or at the least, step-father, so it is feasible that he could be that person.

Time will tell....hopefully! Research is ongoing - so check back often for updates.


Click here for Hudson Descendant Chart

Click here for details and photos of the family of James Cottrell Hudson and his wife Mary Jane nee Sale.
* Click here for details and photos of the family of Mary Ann Hudson and her husband Gottlieb Wilhelm Schuetze.
* Click here for details and photos of the family of James Cottrell Hudson and his wife Victoria Prudence Brennan.
      * Click here for details and photos of the family of James Cottrell Hudson and his wife Amy Annie Jones.
      * Click here for details and photos of the family of Arthur William Hudson and his wife Augusta Olive Mathews.
      * Click here for details and photos of the family of Clarence Percival Hudson and his wife Elizabeth Ellen Nicol.
Click here for details and photos of the family of Ann Owen Hudson and her husband Samuel Barnes.



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