Justus Hudson

Justus Wilson Hudson (1804 - 1878)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Justus Wilson Hudson
Born in Lancashire, Englandmap
Brother of and
Husband of — married in Warrington, Lancashire, Englandmap
Husband of — married in Port Macquarie, NSW Australiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Vegetable Creek, NSW, Australiamap
Profile last modified | Created 20 Dec 2012
This page has been accessed 1,718 times.

Categories: Sesostris 1826 | Port Jackson Penal Colony | Convicts from Lancashire | Convicts After the Third Fleet.



Marquis Cornwallis
Justus Hudson was a Convict sent to Australia After the Third Fleet.
Join: Australian Convicts and First Settlers Project

Justus William Hudson

Justus William Hudson, one of 150 convicts transported on the Sesostris, 23 November 1825

Known aliases: none

Convicted at: Chester Session of Pleas for a term of life on 07 April 1825

Sentence term: Life

Ship name: Sesostris

Departure date: 23rd November, 1825

Place of arrival: New South Wales


Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 305 (154)

Quoted from Hudson Book Chapter 1 Justus Wilson Hudson in England Birth - We know Justus Wilson Hudson was born in 1804 in Lancashire, England. It is believed he was christened on the 5th of February in the small mining town of Tyldesley in Lancashire. His parents were likely to have been William and Mary Hudson. The christening was conducted by Minister G. Richardson and took place in the township's local chapel, under a religion of Lady Huntingdon's. No other christenings of Hudson children. to William and Mary can be found for this town. This may be because the lists are not complete; the family was only in the area for a short time; or perhaps the death occurred of one or both of Justus' parents before more children were born.

Tyldesley -Tyldesley. was a small village with one main street of shops and houses, and as it grew, streets of houses were built running off from either side. The Chapel was built in the centre of the village and to the back of the chapel, was the local Colliery (known as the Gin-Pit), where coal was mined. Tyldesley is quite raised up. part of it was known as Tyldesley Banks, and another part was Shackerley. On a nice clear day there was a good view of the Lancashire Plains and at night it was possible to see the lights for miles. There was a workhouse and a weaving mill. Miners would be brought in: some came from Wales and Devon (out of work tin-miners), Derbyshire (copper, Blue John's) and from Lancashire.

The Lady Huntington Connection - Selina Hastings. Countess of Huntington (1707-91) was left a wealthy widow in 1746. She was already a member of a Methodist society. and after the death of her husband, she theca herself into the Calvinist branch of the movement. She found work for local unknown preachers, and built chapels at Bath, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells and other resorts of the upper class of society.

Bareknuckle Boxing There has always been a family rumour that Justus had been a prize "bare-knuckle" boxer. The story is known in a number of the branches of the Hudson Family. Possibly, one of the best stories has been related by Alan Hudson, who remembers his father, Justus Hudson Jnr. joking about taking a copy of the "Boxiana" (a very old Boxing Magazine), to the local Pub to have a lark with his mates. Justus Jnr. showed the article, and was trying to get his mates to think the report was about himself? No doubt a good joke when you think about it! Especially when the feat would have been considered quite remarkable. The article supposedly reported that a - Justus Hudson - and another Pugilist were both still on their feet after 52 rounds. Justus lost the fight on points. He was sponsored by an English gentleman, and if this story was indeed true, it would have occurred between 1822-1825. Justus would have been 18-21 years old. This was the first of many family rumours which sent me on a long, enticing search, in the hope of proving, or disproving. the information. Initial research found that the era of bare-knuckle boxing does indeed coincide with the 1719's to the 1844's. I was put in touch with a Mr. Reg. Mitchell, a Boxing historian from Sydney. who thought a Boxing Magazine, named the Boxiana, had existed in England at some time in the past. I was put in contact with the Boxing Clubs in England, and they confirmed that the Boxiana had existed in Justus era and that some copies still existed in the British Archives. My excitement, had grown considerably by now as each inquiry proved to match in with our Justus. However, at this point I had to shelve this line of research for some two and half years, due to the expense of hiring an international researcher to spend long hours in England's archives. In 1996 my brother, Jamie went to England for a working holiday, and reluctantly agreed to undertake this part of the research. He and a friend searched through copies of the Boxiana that exist. They came up with a - Joshua Hudson - who was well known in boxing from 1750 - 1780's, but unfortunately this was a little before our time frame. One of the question that has haunted me, was - how would Justus Jar. have obtained a copy of the Boxiana from England, and have it in his possession some 120 years later? It would have been unlikely, to have survived Justus' 20 years as a convict. The most likely, scenario would have been that Justus obtained a copy while on leave during the 1914-18 war. (At this time the article would have been some 100 years old, making it difficult to purchase or obtain a copy.) UNLESS - Justus Jnr. was put in touch with old family relations or friends who may have kept a copy, and felt that giving it to Justus Wilson Hudson's great-grandson's name-sake would have been very appropriate. Justus letters home certainly mentioned staying with people who reminded him it was "just like home". (Or. perhaps, Justus went searching in the archives for it himself.) Another, rumour about Justus' boxing comes from Neil Fisher who also remembers the older members of his family talking of his, Justus boxing prowess. However, Neil's impression was that the events occurred in Australia. Again, research undertaken has yielded little result. (Family researchers tend to develop a keen imagination to assist with trying to fill in the possible scenarios with very limited information, and then try to prove or disprove a possible event. A good imagination tends to become a necessary skill - to be able to break through the endless barriers that occur while researching family history.)

Justus Hudson & Ellen Duckworth - Justus married Ellen Duckworth on the 4th Dec. 1824. Justus was 20 years of age. They were married by Jonathan Topping who was the Curate to the parish priest, Church of England at St. Elphins Church in Warrington, Cheshire. The ceremony was conducted in the presence of John Yarwood and William Webster. (To date there doesn't appear to be any family connection with the two witnesses - and it is not known if any other members of the family were present.) Their intention to marry was announced by banns - and these were read out in the church for 3 consecutive Sunday services prior to the wedding. Justus signed his name, and Ellen placed an 'X' as her mark. (It would have been unusual for Justus to have been able to read and write and this may indicate that Justus came from a reasonably well-to-do family who could afford the time and money to have Justus educated.)

The Trial - During the fifteen-year search, three documents have come to light which report on Justus' trial. The first is the official court document, which provides official details and the judgement delivered. (I have included a photo-copy of the original - however as this is at times difficult to read, I have chosen to transcribe it below.)

quote: Ags. JUSTUS WILSON HUDSON late of Parish of Symm in the County of Chester. Sib that he on the 28th day of December in the 5th year of our Reign, about the hour of twelve in the sight of the same day with force and armed at the parish afs (afor said) in the county afs. the Dwyhouse of one Mary Domvile there did feloniously and burglariously did break and enter with intent, the goods and chattels of the said Mary Domvile in the same Dwyhouse to steal, take away and carry away and then and there with force and armed, *two silver tablespoons of the value of 20p * two silver teaspoons of the value of 5p *four other spoons of the value of 20p *ten keys of the value of 5p *seven shillings of the current coin this...*ten pieces of silver money called sixpenny pieces the value of 5p *two pieces of silver money called half crownpieces the value of 5p

  • One promissory note for the payment of the sum of $1 *And one Banknote for the payment of the sum of $1 of the goods and chattels movies promissory notes and bank notes of the said Mary Domvuille in the same Dwyhouse then and there being then and there feloniously and burglariously did steal take and carry away ag.... the peat...PLEADS NOT GUILTY JURORS SAY GUILTY JUDGEMENT DEATH Respited on condition of being transported to the coast of New South Wales or some one or other of the islands adjacent for.... owing the term of his NATURAL LIFE. Ags the same that he on the 24th day of December in the 5th year he at Bollington in the County of Chester with force and armes one quarter of a pound weight of tobacco of the value of 6 then and there being found felony did steal take and carry away a haaec... e. NOT TRIED ON THIS unquote (Document supplied via Heather Butler) A somewhat heart sinking, curt official report. The accusation of the stealing of the tobacco is again, very incriminating, indicating a history of theft. However, before you loose heart please read the two following newspaper reports. Newspaper Reports of the Trail The report in the English Gazette on the 12th Apr, 1825 supplies a little more background and - expresses disgust at 'a most atrocious burglar' (heinous_ gross). It highlights the facts that Justus' wife was working for Mrs Domville at the time of the burglary and that the two assailants proceeded up stairs without a light and went directly to the place where the silver and money was kept. Facts which certainly indicate a prior knowledge of the valuables whereabouts, as well as a very good knowledge of the house layout, and furniture positions. Possibly, the robbers had had previous experience on walking through the house. (It would be reasonable to assume Justus made visits to his wife on a number of occasions. at least as far as the kitchen. which would presumably be located downstairs.) Justus' trial for burglary appeared to be conclusive of his guilt. However, his trial caused enough interest to be reported in The London Times newspaper in more detail. Copies have been duplicated for your interest. (I recommend you read it thoroughly a number of times.) It would appear Justus was convicted of the Burglary of Mrs Domvilles' house because of three major factors. 1) Justus' new wife resided with Mrs Domville as a servant .(Ellen Duckworth and Justus had recently married). 2) The 2 thieves who entered the house apparently had a good idea of where Mrs Domville kept her valuables, and 3) Mrs Percival (Mrs Domville's only neighbour) testified that she distinctly saw Justus' face 'out the front' of Mrs Domville's place; and again, when he was running away from the scene with his two accomplices after the burglary. Many questions arise from the Trial Report that appeared in the London Times - and this could throw doubt on Justus' guilty verdict. As the trial lasted from 9am until 4.30 pm the same day, (this would have been considered an exceptionally long time for a trial in those days), it would seem there was some considerable doubt of his guilt. Some Points to Consider: 1 } It would appear that there was some considerable ill-feeling created by the belief that Justus' wife, a servant, may have provided "inside" information to the men who did the burglary. This, no doubt, would have created a great deal of uneasiness for those who were wealthy enough to afford servants. Justus, when found guilty, would have been made - an example of - to deter similar occurrences. 2) Certainly, if Justus was guilty, then the burglary would have been well planned before-hand and Ellen would not only have provided the information, but would also have remained in her bedroom, on her own, while her mistress was being attacked and robbed. Mrs Domville testified that Ellen did not cry out, nor did her voice "sound alarmed". (And yet we know Ellen was free up to the time of the trial, and as far as we know, was never charged as an accessory or transported to Australia.) 3) It would also appear that three men approached the area singing and whistling; loud enough to bring Mrs Percival from her home at 2 am. (Not a very bright thing to do just before a 'planned' burglary). Mrs Percival stated than she had been waiting up for her husband to return home from the local club - inns closed at approximately 6 pin. Also that at about 2.30 am she again went outside and saw the prisoner in front of Mrs Domville's house. Quote: "he came from towards the back part of the house. He turned his back towards me, and drew his hat over his face and walked away". This was behaviour that should have raised concern straight away. However, Mrs Percival apparently went back inside her home. (Justus must have realised Mrs Percival could have recognised him, and yet did not arrange for an alibi - other than witnesses who testified he went to bed at 12 am, and that he was in bed when he was called at 6 am). Exactly where Justus resided is unknown and therefore we do not know if it was within a short walk to Mrs Domville's. 4) Mrs Percival stated she distinctly saw Justus' face - at 10 yards; at 2 am; in a remote, unlit area; with a hat on his head and his collar turned up, on a winter's night. He was hanging around outside Mrs Domville's home; and yet again when he was running away from the house - at 20 yards; through her bed room window; at 4.20 am. (She apparently did not put Justus' name forward until some 2 - 3 days later). (In those days, with no street lighting, and in such an isolated area in the north of England, which tends to have dismal weather day and night for a large portion of the year, it must have been a rare_ clear night. And Mrs Percival must have had extremely good eyesight). One paragraph in the Times report alludes to Mrs Percival accusing Justus of the burglary apparently before his arrest. Unfortunately it is a bit confusing as the retelling of the conversation is not detailed in full. Quote: On New Year's day she saw the prisoner, and he began talking about the robbery, and about a witness seeing the men. Then she told him he was one of them! He was the man! Justus had said he hoped not. Mrs Percival said it would soon be found out when they began searching for the spoons: But Justus observed they never would be found, as they would have been put away. and that those who committed the robbery knew well the situation of the house, and the whereabouts of the money. It appears that Justus lawyer's cross examination of Mrs Percival was prolonged. He made great effort to shake her testimony. However. Mrs Percival continued immovable_ Then she added - "on one occasion Richard Duckworth and the prisoner's wife came to her, and told her that she (Mrs Percival) would be murdered if she gave evidence against the prisoner". (It would seem that Mrs Percival came across Justus possibly in the local inn or in the market place as he was discussing the burglary, and was saying he possibly saw the robbers - maybe hanging around the house on previous occasions, as he. Justus, was also a frequent visitor). At first Justus must have taken Mrs Percival's accusation that - HE WAS THE MAN - lightly. Almost jokingly he had replied that -HE HOPED NOT! When Mrs Percival had put forward- that a search of Justus possessions or abode would turn up the spoons, Justus did not protest his innocence, but continued to put forward logical scenarios regarding the burglary. that the spoons - never would be found. as they would have been put away, and that those who committed the robbery and that the robbers knew the situation of the house, and where the money was kept. (In stating the obvious facts. Justus was indeed describing himself as a possible suspect - considering his wife was a servant. If Justus was guilty, and knowing he had possibly been seen on the night. Justus should have been on the alert to deflect suspicion from himself. Raising those issues would have been a foolhardy act.). I was disappointed that the newspaper reports had virtually no details of the evidence put forward on Justus' behalf. While he had witnesses to appear in his defence, it would seem that the evidence provided on his behalf was not convincing - or failed to sway the Judge. It seems that Justus paid particular attention to the court proceedings and the evidence given. (This was behaviour to be expected from a man who believed that his day in Court, and the providing of the true facts of the case, would allow justice to prevail for an innocent man.) While the Gazette reported that, quote - "everyone in Court appeared deeply affected by the learned Judge's solemn address, it seemed to have little effect upon the prisoner", the description in The London Times of Justus' physical reaction to the GUILTY verdict is priceless. Justus was clearly surprised and shocked; and we can almost visualise our Justus standing in the dock facing death: with just 14 days to live at the tender age of 20 years; and only having been married for a few weeks. It is stated - quote - "The prisoner evinced great firmness throughout the whole of his trial, and was very attentive to the evidence." Yet when the verdict of GUILTY was returned, a dreadful change took place in his demeanour. his colour fled: he stood to the front of the docks like a drunken man; many were apprehensive that he would have fainted. Whilst the Judge was passing sentence, he implored mercy; and at the conclusion of his address Justus faintly articulated "Oh! I'm as innocent as the child unborn". unquote (It is only family rumour however, it is believed Justus protested his innocence until he died.) He supposedly refused an inheritance from his father, because his father did not come to his defence at the time of his trial. Neil Fisher also remembers his elderly relations talking of Justus as having received a full pardon, because many years later, someone confessed to giving false evidence at the trial - supposedly because Justus was a bit of a 'ladies' man and had had his eye on a young lady of the upper class. Justus' trial took place at the Lent Assizes in Chester. The burglary of which he was convicted occurred on the 29th Dec, 1825. From Mrs Percival's testimony it would seem that Justus was not arrested until shortly after New Years Day. (I presume Justus would have remained in custody until the trial some 4 months later, arranging his defence from his prison cell. Conditions would have been very poor, and his family would have had to have paid the jailers to sneak in extra food or privileges. After his guilty verdict and death sentence, Justus would have been returned to prison. It was a common occurrence in this era, for a death sentence to be commuted to - TRANSPORTATION FOR LIFE. (If this occurred as a result of pleas by family and friends, to date the paper work has been able to be traced).

The Hulks We know from Hulk Registers, that on 25th May. 1825. Justus was transferred to Portsmouth, which was at the other end of England; and that he was held in the old ship of "York". Prior to this. Justus would have remained in Chester near his wife and friends for a further 7 to 8 weeks. For Ellen to visit Justus in Portsmouth it would have meant undertaking an expensive, long and arduous journey. She may have been able to make this trip once, possibly twice in the five months that Justus was imprisoned in the York to deliver any extra provisions she could bribe the guards to pass on. If they had been able to have time together, it would have been under very crowded and appalling conditions. (I wonder what words of endearment were uttered; and promises of well-meant commitments these two young lovers made to each other. Or. if it was decided that each needed to consider the other gone and lost forever. For Justus to simply survive would be all that could be hoped for, and for Ellen to try to start life again, to forget him. or did they hope that Ellen would be able to make her way to Australia at a later time. From the Surgeon's report we know Justus physical condition was reported as - good - and his behaviour had become - indifferent! H027/29 Criminal Register, Chester 1825: Justus Wilson Hudson, Lent Assizes, Burglary, death R (i.e.. Reprieved) H09/9 Hulk Register: "York", Portsmouth: Received from Chester 25 May 1825, Justus W. Hudson, No. 5062, other details as in H08/b. H08/6 Quarterly Register of Hulks, (December, mst likely error in recording month)1825 "York" at Portsmouth: 5062 Justus Hudson, 21,Burglary, tried Chester 7th April, 1825, life, Surgeon's Report: healthy; Behaviour: indifferent; to N.S.W. 16th November. Idex to "York" Hulk: J. W. Hudson: (surgeon's report): goad H01 116 Transportation Register: "Sesostris ", 150 to N. S. W 23 November, 1825: Justus William Hudson, Chester Session of Pleas 7th April, 1825, lifer (As the register indicates Justus was Transported out of England on the 16th of November, 1825, never to see his new bride, family, friends and beloved England again.) Justus Bound For Botany Bay - AUSTRALIA Justus was placed on board the Sesostris, a convict transport ship which sailed from Portsmouth, on the 5th of Nov. 1825. It sailed for Australia on the 16th of Nov. 1825. The voyage took some five months to complete, and arrived in Australia on the 22nd of March, 1826. Justus turned 22 years of age during the voyage. The voyage to Australia was largely uneventful, with predictable severe blowy weather and arrived in December. The Medical Journal for the voyage reported on a few deaths. The most common complaints from the convict passengers tended to be colds, sore throats, constipation, slight fevers and headaches - which were usually treated with - a brisk purgative! Severe Fevers were treated with - purgatives and sponging the patient with vinegar and water! Relaxed bowels treatment was with - Rhubarb and Magnesium, and for the seriously ill (after their failure to respond to the usual purgatives) it was - an applied blister to the chest. or, - a draught of Bark and Port Wine"! The Medical Superintendent reported daily on his charges but minor illnesses of convicts were not individually named. Justus was not reported as being severely debilitated and as his arrival record showed, his complexion was fair and fresh. It would seem he fared well during the voyage.


  • Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 305 (154)

  • England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
Wilson Hudson
Gender: Male
Christening: Feb 5 1804
Lady Huntingdons, Tyldesley With Shakerley, Lancashire, England
Father: William Hudson
Mother: Mary
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C09457-1
System Origin: England-ODM
GS Film number: 0560904 (RG4 1165)



  • WikiTree profile Hudson-2206 created through the import of family tree files use this.GED on Dec 19, 2012 by Phillip Clark. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Phillip and others.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored by MyHeritage

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

Search for your ancestors:
Who are you looking for?
Roughly when were they born?
DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Justus by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Justus:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 5
Justus Hudson
Justus Hudson

Hudson and Hinder memorial plaque Image 1
Hudson and Hinder memorial plaque Image 1

Justus Hudson Article in Police Gazette
Justus Hudson Article in Police Gazette

List of convicts on the Sesostris
List of convicts on the Sesostris

Marriage Details
Marriage Details

  • Login to edit this profile.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Ella Lennon and Denise Perkins. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

Justus is 24 degrees from Chet Atkins, 27 degrees from Edie Kohutek and 20 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

H  >  Hudson  >  Justus Wilson Hudson