HUDSON, James & SALE, Mary Jane

(1832 - 1918)         (1839 - 1919)

James Hudson (parents John Hudson and Jane - maiden name not known) was born on 29 January 1832, baptized 22 February at St Pancras Old Church, Middlesex, London; the family address was Little Coram Street, London. NOTE: It is interesting that the baptism entry shows no mention of a middle name for James ie Cottrell...?

Jane Hudson, James' mother died sometime in the year 1833. As his father remarried to the widowed Jane Valler a few short months later, she was the only mother he would have known.

His father's remarriage also meant that along with a step-mother James now had half-siblings - the Valler children William Roope, Jane and Sarah Elizabeth. In 1834 John and Jane presented James with a sister - Ann Owen. At this time the family was living at Little Guildford Street, London.

Sadly, James' father died in 1837, and the small boy, together with his mother and half-sister Ann Owen and half-siblings William Roope, Jane and Sarah Elizabeth Valler, emigrated to Australia. At the time James was aged 6.

As shown in the information relating to Jane Hudson, the group travelled on the "PRINCE GEORGE" (2) arriving at Port Adelaide on 17 July 1838.

In 1839 James' mother remarried, once again, to William West - a seaman.

There is a thought that the family may have relocated from South Australia to Tasmania though no actual evidence has been found relating to James, his stepmother Jane or stepfather William.

Why Tasmania, you ask....? It is known that Ann Owen Hudson (married Samuel Barnes) lived her full life in Tasmania as did Jane Valler (married George Burnett). Sarah Elizabeth Valler - married to Charles Wharton [or Walton] - lived and died in South Australia; William Roope Valler returned to the UK. In Tasmania there is an entry which could relate to our James Hudson - a marriage to Eliza Preston Cottrell - see index entry below:

Hudson, James - Occupation Sawyer - to Cottrell, Eliza Preston on 24/12/1852 - both of Adult age - Registration Place Hobart Registration Number: 203/1852 Reference: RGD 37

However, nothing further has been found for this couple - no children, no death, no departure for other places.... If there is a connection it could explain how the name COTTRELL came to be part of the Hudson family line.

If it IS our James Cottrell Hudson, (who at that time was ‘James Hudson’) then we know he returned to South Australia prior to 1860 where he met an English lass named Mary Jane Sale.

A daughter of Thomas Sale and Martha Booth who were married 20 May 1838 in the Church of St Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Her father Thomas was a labourer.

Mary Jane was born 26 June 1839 at Islington, Liverpool, England. The address shown on her Birth Certificate was 12 Thurlow Street, Liverpool. This matches perfectly with the entry for the family on the 1841 census return. There is an entry on FREE BMD for Maria Sale birth registered June quarter 1847 Liverpool, and the 1851 census return shows Thomas, Martha, Mary Jane and Maria living very close to Thurlow Street. There is a death registration for Maria Sale, December quarter 1856, and for Thomas Sale, June quarter 1854, both Liverpool. To date there is nothing to prove either way if these entries relate to Mary Jane's sister or father.

Mary Jane Sale, age 17, domestic servant, residence shown as Gloucester, travelled to Australia on the "BUCEPHALUS" which was a vessel of 1,245 (nm) tons owned by the British East India Company which contracted to the South Australian Company to provide passage for emigrants to South Australia. The ship departed England on the 7th July 1855 with 428 emigrants - 122 women, 214 men, 41 boys and 51 girls under the age of 14 years, overseen by Surgeon Superintendent J. Baird. On the 13th October 1855 after a voyage of 98 days and the deaths of 4 girls the ship arrived at Port Adelaide.

Martha Sale nee Booth
Photograph - Liverpool, England

Mary Jane Hudson nee Sale
Photograph - Norwood, South Australia

Ship "Bucephalus" on which Mary Jane came to Australia
(Shown on Passenger List as Mary Seal)

NOTE: Painting of ship by W. Clealor - website:

James Cottrell Hudson married Mary Jane Sales at St George Church, Woodforde (Magill) on 8 Nov 1860. Parents of James were shown as James Cottrell Hudson (father) and mother (not shown) - James was aged 25, Mary Jane 21. His occupation is shown as Sawyer, residences at time of marriage for both was Company's Tiers. (Scroll down for details on The Tiers). Neither James or Mary could sign their name.

Their first child Mary Ann was born 11 February 1861 at Deep Creek nr The Bluff, SA (District of Nairne).

Around this time an article appeared in the South Australian Advertiser relating to an incident involving James Cottrell Hudson. This event took place 5 months following the birth of his first child in February of that same year.

Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA 1858-1889) Friday 5 July 1861
Tuesday July 2
[Before Mr. Mildred. M.P., S M]

ASSAULT. - Isaac Gepp appeared to the information of James Cottrell Hudson, of deep Creek, charged with assaulting him on the night of 10th June, at the Third Creek. The statement of the complainant was to the effect that he was at Rock Inn on the evening of the day in question; that whilst there he had some drink; that as night advanced he was the worse for liquor, when Gepp came to him and asked him if he was not going. He said no, and asked him to let him have a night's lodging, if only in the stable, as the night was very wet, and he had four miles to go home. This Gepp refused, and taking hold of him by the collar, capsized him out of doors. He afterwards dragged him by the legs on his back away from the house, and then beat him about the eyes. He was so injured that he did not get home till daylight. Witnesses were called, who proved that Hudson was sober when he entered the house; and as to the injuries he had received in consequence of Gepp's violence, incapacitating him from work for several days, and rendering an application to Dr. Taylor necessary. There was a cross action, in which the plaintiff in the last case was charged with refusing to leave the premises of Mr. Gepp when requested to do so, being after hours, and with assaulting him when and after putting him out of doors. Mrs. Gepp was called, who substantiated her husband's statement. They both, however, admitted refusing shelter to Hudson, either in the house or stable. The charge against Hudson was dismissed, and Mr. Gepp fined 40s. and costs. His Worship remarked that he was quite disposed to protect the publican in the proper discharge of his duty; but in this case he considered Mr. Gepp had used unnecessary violence, and ought not to have turned Hudson out against his wish on such a night and at such a distance from home. Mr. Gepp intimated his intention to appeal to the Adelaide Court."

This was not an idle threat as can be seen from the following snippets from the Adelaide newspaper:

South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA 1858-1889)
16 July and 3 September 1861

Details from D Wilson show that Isaac sued James for non-payment of 5 guineas; James was sent to prison for two weeks on 12 Sept 1861 (page 171 Register of persons brought to the Common Gaol).

James and Mary Jane's 2nd child Martha Jane was born 9 July 1862 at New Tiers, Adelaide, SA (Adelaide Hills nr. Woodside).

The name of New Tiers was a bit of a mystery until the following information came to light - the Arbury Park SA, School website describes the early years in the Tiers and New Tiers areas, plus what the splitters and sawyers did; see below:

“Early European Settlement of the Bridgewater District
The original inhabitants of the Adelaide Plains and western slopes of the nearby Mt Lofty Ranges were the Kaurna Aboriginal people. The Eastern slopes of the Mt Lofty Ranges were the country of the Peramangk Aboriginal people. European settlers arrived on the Adelaide Plains in 1836. These people needed shelter and houses so they looked towards the nearby hills and the timber that could be seen in plenty.

From the plains the hills looked like tiers so they became known as "The Tiers". The people who eventually came to live and work in them were known as Tiersmen. By 1837 people were working in the Tiers as cutters, sawyers and splitters, sending their wood to the timber merchants on the plains for building and establishing the new colony. The tall stringy bark eucalypts were ideal for building. The settlers found the timber long and straight and the bark useful for thatching roofs.

The Tiers were remote and dangerous. Escaped convicts from New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, sailors who deserted from ships and ticket-of-leave men settled in the Tiers and made travelling hazardous through their thuggery and thieving. Those willing to work had an occupation in the timber industry. Some of the Tiersmen became notorious and could come and go at will to commit their crimes because of the almost inaccessible gullies and ravines.

The area was thick bushland as described in 1852 by Governor Gawler "This forest is so extensive and of such intricate description that two or three hundred desperadoes might baffle as many as a thousand regular troops attempting to reduce them to order".

In March 1839 David Crafer settled in the Tiers and started his hotel, the Crafers Inn. The hotel was a popular haunt for the Tiersmen, many of who squandered their money on drink. The times were particularly dangerous and many an honest man left after losing his belongings by fire or theft. By 1840 there were horse and cattle thieves, bushrangers, sly grog sellers and murderers, all rubbing shoulders with each other in the safety of the hills.

On Christmas Day 1838 Robert Cock led a party of four men into the Tiers to try and find a route to the River Murray. They eventually made their way through to Lake Alexandrina. Wood splitters and sawyers soon followed Cock's route to the creek then name Cock's Creek (now Cox Creek).

Adelaide has developed a reputation for its poor water, but it was not always so. In 1841 an Inn was established on the Cox Creek called the "Rural Deanery", where it was said to be worth the trip from Adelaide just to taste the water from this clear stream.

The Bridgewater Hotel was established on its present site in 1855 after being moved from the Cox's Creek settlement. In 1858 John Dunn bought the land nearby for just over 600 pounds and the following year the township of Bridgewater was laid out spelling the end of the Cock's Creek settlement. In 1860 John Dunn built a mill with a large water-wheel, known as the Bridgewater Mill.”

Of great interest - but it doesn't sound a lovely place to live...

The 3rd child born to J C and M J Hudson was (yes you guessed) James Cottrell on 10 March 1864, once again at New Tiers, SA (Adelaide Hills nr. Woodside). A 4th child, William Thomas, followed on 7 April 1866 still at the same location.

Work must have taken James to Reedy Creek Mine, Talunga, SA as their 5th child, a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, was born there on 22 June 1868. Then along came no. 6 - John Henry - on 5 January 1872 at Reedy Creek Mine, Nairne. Still at Reedy Creek Mine, child no. 7 - Edwin Charles Valler was born on 23 February 1874.

Another move, another child... No. 8, George Albert Paul was born at Palmer on 5 August 1876.

Around this time the family relocated from Palmer (a town just east of the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia along the Adelaide-Mannum Road, 70 kilometres east-north-east of the state capital, Adelaide and 15 km west-north-west of Mannum) to Norwood, a suburb of Adelaide.

Daughters of James Cottrell and Mary Jane Hudson (nee Sale)
Elizabeth, Mary Ann and Martha Jane

Sarah Elizabeth married David Thomas Davy 16 March 1887 at the Res. of Mrs Davy at Norwood and they had three children Arthur Thomas, Fred and Florence Ivy.

Mary Ann married Gottlieb Wilhelm Schuetze 1 September 1879 and they had eight children. (NOTE: see link below for more on Gottlieb Wilhelm and Mary Ann).

Martha Jane married Alfred Herbert Benson 1 October 1888 at the Clayton Manse in Norwood, SA. Their children were Hilda Maud, married William Chard in 1915, Clarence Herbert married Maglin Jamieson Penney in 1927, Winnifred Myrtle married Frank Mead Blackwell in 1919, Lillian Blanche and Alfred Leonard. Alfred and Martha both died tragically on 12 December 1927 at their home in Enfield, SA in a horrific incident relating to the illness of their youngest son.

Brief excerpt from "West Australian" (1879-1954) Tuesday 13 December, 1927 - [quote] Adelaide, Dec. 12 - A double tragedy occurred at a dwelling at Enfield near Adelaide, this morning when Alfred Benson (61), retired butcher, shot his wife Martha (65) and then shot himself. ------------ According to the neighbours the couple were on the best of terms, and the tragedy was solely attributed to worry. [end quote] (NOTE: over the health of their youngest son who had recently returned home from a mental institution). The matter was reported in a number of newspapers at the time and full coverage can be seen by checking the Australian Historical Newspapers website and locating the articles.

Grave of Alfred Herbert & Martha Jane Benson
and their daughter Lillian Blanche Benson

Clarence Herbert (Bert) worked as an Engineer in the Post Office. He enlisted in the AIF on 11 May 1917 and embarked 2 September 1917 on Transport A55 "KYARRA". As Second Lieutenant 2nd Signal Squadron, he embarked HT "TAGUS" (??)at Port Said on 23 July 1919 en route to UK and was discharged in Adelaide 21 January 1920. He also served in the AIF during WW2 - enlisting on 31 January 1942, at Hackney, South Australia.

Clarence Herbert (Bert) Benson
(eldest son of Albert and Martha Jane Benson nee Hudson)
Served in both WWI and WWII

James Cottrell married Victoria Prudence Brennan 15 Aug 1893 and they had six children. (NOTE: see link below for more on James Cottrell and Victoria Prudence).

William Thomas married Blondine Carolina Neumann 27 Dec 1890 at the residence of the District Registrar in Norwood, Sth. Australia - they had four children - Elsie May, Herbert William Cottrell, Horace Neumann and Reginald William.

John Henry married Emily Elizabeth Benson 24 Apl 1895 at Trinity Church in Adelaide, Sth. Australia - their seven children were Irene May, Emily Ruby, Elsie Myrtle, John Alfred Cottrell, Hilda May, Harold Albert and Leslie.

John Henry Hudson and Emily Elizabeth nee Benson

John Henry and Emily Elizabeth Hudson
And children L-R: John, Elsie, Ruby, May, Harold - Leslie in front

Edwin Charles Valler married Elizabeth Mudge 31 Aug 1896 at the Registry Office in Norwood, Sth. Australia - they had six children - Edwin, Florence Annie, Herbert Hugo Edwin, Mabel May, Harold Frederick and Dorothy Evelyn.

George Albert Paul never married and nothing is known about his life. He died 10 May 1926 aged 50 in Adelaide Hospital. His place of residence at that time was Nildottie, South Australia (which is upstream from Mannum, not far from Swan Reach). He may have remained single but there is an “In Memorium” notice in the Adelaide Advertiser dated 10 May 1930 that reads “In Loving Memory of George A.P.Hudson (George) who passed away in Adelaide Hospital 10th May 1926. To think I could not say good-bye, will always bring regret: But the one who loved you dearly is the one who will never forget.” Inserted by his true friend Em.

Walter Bertie, the youngest son of James and Mary Jane died 23 July 1884 aged 3.

From details in ‘The Australian Connection’ (ref. documents received from D. Wilson) Mary Jane Hudson was a nurse and with 2 other women nursed many people in Norwood. The one Doctor in Norwood paid tribute to their wonderful service to the poor community and said “A record should be written about these three women”.

How Mary Jane survived through the years is not known - the quote above shows a tiny glimpse into her life, and from photos we know she enjoyed her extended family.

As for her husband James, apart from the fact that he seems to have vanished from his wife and family and from South Australia we didn't know anything else about him until he died aged 85 in a mental hospital in Sydney, NSW in 1918.

Thanks to a direct descendant who managed to gain access to the records of James' time in Mental Institutions we now know:


The Beginning:
The hospital records state that he was born in London, father James a barber and mother Jane Cotterell - and that he arrived on the "Prince George" .

(not much there except confirmation of details already unearthed).

The End:
He died at Rydalmere Mental Hospital on 2 August 1918. But he transferred there from Lidcombe State Hospital and Asylum for the Infirm, so there are records from both.

The hospital records all say that he is married and that he was 39 when he married Mary Sailes in Adelaide, but in fact he was 25 according to the marriage cert, so that's a quirk.

In the Lidcombe records, there is a card showing he was admitted 29 August 1905 and discharged 16 October 1909. He was readmitted 27 October 1909 and discharged 14 December 1916. That's when he went to Rydalmere - see below. There's a page from the Register of Admissions and Discharges that shows he was Taken by Brother 14 September 1916, Taken by Son on 3 October 1916, Taken by Friends 14 November 1916 for the day, Absconded 12 December 1916 for a day. There's no record of why he was there, or what he did from 16 to 27 October 1909 - drat!!! The Lidcombe records are very sparse.

But the Rydalmere records are better . . . .

There are two medical certificates that certify him insane and support for his transfer from the 'Rookwood State Hospital and Asylum Lidcombe' to the Rydalmere Mental Hospital. One is dated 8 December 1916 and gives the 'facts indicating insanity' as "Very confused and mentally muddled. States that he has already contributed largely to the upkeep of this institution and that if he can go out, he can go to Cobar and do some assaying and earn money which he is certain to give freely to this institution. That people come and talk to him at night charging him with making accusations against them, of which he is quite innocent. The attendant states that he is very stupid, excitable at times, is then inclined to be violent and fight other patients." The other is dated 6 December 1916 and states "Knows where he is, but does not know why sent here. Thinks he is a great road maker. Has been troubled by voices talking about him and charging him with doing things he has never done. These voices used to wake him up. Attendant Hey, Lidcombe State Hospital [says] patient becomes very excitable and requires careful supervision. At such times inclined to be dangerous."

So he transferred from Lidcombe to Rydalmere on 14 December 1916 (having absconded 2 days earlier!!) Sounds like he was giving them a run for their money.

His Mental State on Admission at Rydalmere is "Answers questions readily and fairly to the point. Rambles a bit at times. For his age his condition is very good." Age is recorded as 83. His General Appearance and Physical State on Admission is "Very old man with sparse grey hair, scrubby beard and mustache. Blue eyes. Scar on right side of top of hair due to tree falling on him". Height 5 ft 7 ins. Weight 9 stone 2 lbs. "No teeth. Skin of face wrinkled". Physical disease: "Arterio Sclerosis".

At Rydalmere there is a single note in the Record of Progress, dated July 1918 "Pt is very shaky on his legs, has been put to bed [because] he falls abt so frequently - otherwise is fairly well".

When he was first admitted to Rydalmere, there was no-one recorded on the Record of Visitors, but on 26 January 1917 they record J Hudson Son of Dunlop Station nr Louth. "Informed of failing by wire 1/8/18. Of death per wire 3/8/18". No visits recorded. [end quote]

So after a long and fairly troubled life James Hudson died alone in Sydney. He is buried at Rookwood Cemetery. There is no known headstone.

James' Death Certificate states that he was born around 1833-35; his parents were James Hudson, occupation Barber, and Jane Caterell. He was "born London" and arrived Australia some time prior to 1860 as this is when he was married to Mary Jane Sale. His occupation was sawyer or splitter and he spent the last 34 years of his life in NSW, previously living in South Australia.

We now know that his father's name was John, not James, maiden name of mother, at this stage, is not known.

We don't know where the middle name Cottrell and maiden name of mother - Caterell - came from...

How and why did Jane Valler, Ann Owen Hudson (and possibly James and their mother Jane and step-father William West) relocate from Adelaide to Tasmania, and how and when did (James we know at least) travel back to Adelaide...?

Why did James leave South Australia c.1884 to go and live in NSW...
What did he do for those 34 years before he died in Rydalmere Mental Hospital in 1918...

Many mysteries remain........!

Not long afterwards - but far apart - James' wife Mary Jane Hudson died in South Australia, her place of residence at that time was Wall Street, Norwood. Date of death was 21 August, 1919, age 77 years. She is buried in the Payneham, SA cemetery.

Mary Jane Hudson nee Sale

Headstone Mary Jane Hudson


A number of family photos are courtesy Phoebe Prime nee Schuetze per her son Ken Prime - entrusted to David Wilson.
Additional photos courtesy G Turner, A Anderson, N Hausler, J Blashek and various family members.
Digital photo restoration - B O'Neil


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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