Bill Hudson’s line

Joseph William Hudson (1891-1953)
Annie Walden

Joseph William Hudson (known as Bill) was born in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria in 1891, at the southern edge of the Lakes District (marked as A on the map). His parents were Joseph Thomas Hudson and Sarah Willetts. At the time of the 1891 census (5th April) they were living at 23 Telford St, Barrow-in-Furness, and Joseph Thomas was a Railway Porter. By the 1901 census (31st March) they had moved south to 8 Church St, Smethwick, a town located on the map just below the first letter “m” of the city Birmingham on the map below. Joseph Thomas was then described as a House Keeper at Mineral Water Works and later in 1917 as a Hosier. As far as is known, Bill was their only child.

In the 1911 UK census the family had settled at 11 Bennetts Hill Birmingham, an address that Bills parents stayed at for some time. Bill was described as 19 years old, an Estate Agent’s Clerk and Evening Student at Technical [School]. He was described henceforth as an accountant, so presumably he completed his evening school studies.

Joseph Thomas Hudson was born in Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, in the second quarter of 1862. His family had lived in Upper Heyford for many years – there is a good website, maintained by Christine Clement in New Zealand, that outlines the family back to the early 1600s. (Be sure to click the link to Jeremey and Sarah’s many relations at the bottom of the page and move through to the Hudson family.)

Sarah Willetts was born in Netherton, Worcestershire in 1861 and married Joseph Thomas Hudson in the first quarter of 1890. No records have yet been found of their death.

Bill Hudson first married Alice Mary L. Rich between January and March 1917. Alice had been born in Totnes, Devonshire between July and August 1897. Exactly a year before another Alice M.L. Rich was born in Totnes and died aged 0, so Bill’s Alice must have been a much welcomed daughter. Unfortunately, Bill’s new wife herself died towards the end of 1917 (Totnes, Devonshire, V5b P183).

Bill quickly married Annie Walden (6th July 1918 in the Register Office at Birmingham). At the time Bill’s address was 16 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham and he described himself as a Widower and Estate Agent. Annie’s address was 217 Selly Oak Rd Kings Norton, and she described herself as a Barrister’s Clerk. (She always claimed to her grandchildren that she was the first female court reporter in the UK.)

The family know that Annie’s birth date was 7th January, that her mother’s name was Clara and that Annie died in Sydney NSW in 1979, aged 84, giving her birth year as 1896.

There is a birth of an Annie Walden registered in Birmingham to a Henry and Clara Walden on this date. At the time Henry was a Manufacturer and Carter. Henry and Clara lived at 127 Peel St. Clara’s maiden name is stated on Annie’s birth certificate to be Howes:

Annie and Bill lived in New York during the 1920s (more later). In 1922 Clara Walden travelled on the Adriatic arriving from Liverpool on 3rd Dec 1922 to join her daughter. In the ship’s manifest she identified herself as aged 68, born in Handsworth, Staffordshire. Her last address was given as 217 Selly Oak Rd, Kings Norton, and her next-of-kin a son, Mr H Walden, of 35 Aberdeen St, Winsor Green, Birmingham. She was planning to stay “always”, that is, permanently. Her age suggests she born in the twelve months leading up to 3rd Dec 1854. It is probable that the son’s first name was also Henry.

A Clara Howes was certainly christened at St James Church in Handsworth on 27 June 1854, her parents shown as George and Ann:

There was an 1854 birth indicated in the 1861 census (dated 7th April) for a Clara in Handsworth to a George and Ann, but that record appears to state their surname as House. One other researcher has entered a correction to the official records suggesting the surname was misinterpreted as Howse (see below). If this is the right family of Annie’s mother Clara, it shows she had three brothers and two sisters.

Henry Walden married Clara Howes in the Warwickshire region. The family know that Annie had a sister May a couple of years older than her (who also died in Sydney), and the shipping records indicated a brother whose first name commenced with H (possibly Henry). The only family we can find to fit this profile is one that exists in a number of family trees on the web, but these have Clara’s maiden name as Hartland. We believe it should be Howes.

In the 1901 census, only 5 years after the birth of Annie Walden, there is a Henry and Clara Walden with an Annie, May and Henry listed among their children, with correct birth years and living at 85 Lansdowne St, Birmingham, only a few doors from the 1896 address at Peel St. This suggests that the family may have moved to a nearby larger house to accommodate the larger family. Annie started to call herself Nancy prior to 1911, because in the census of that year (click here to view this entry, 571KB), she appears as Nancy (aged 15) living with her widowed mother Clara (aged 57), her sister May (aged 17) and two brothers, Walter (aged 23) and Joseph (aged 19). The address then was 37 Blackford St, Winson Green, but again, an address only a few houses away from the Peel St and Lansdowne St homes.

Map of the Birmingham area occupied by the Walden family.
The red flag is located at 121 Peel St (1896)
To the right is 85 Lansdowne St (1901)
To the left is 37 Blackford St (1911)
Parallel is 35 Aberdeen St (1922)

In the 1911 census, Walter was described as Motor Driver, Brassfounder; Joseph as Stamper, Lamp Maker; Annie and May both as Clerk, Jewellers (or more likely Jewellery, since there is an area of Birmingham named Jewellery about 2 km east of where they lived). Annie will be called Nancy, or Nan, in much of the following.

In the 1891 and 1901 censuses Henry Walden gives his birth place as Henley in Arden, Warwickshire. His birth year appears in the Jul-Sep quarter of 1851 – Vol 16 P 573. However, he was baptised (FHL Film Number: 557151) on 29 Jun 1851 at Wootton Wawen (a village and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon district of Warwickshire, England, about 20 miles from Birmingham, about 2 miles south of Henley-in-Arden and about 6¹⁄₂ miles north of Stratford-upon-Avon).

The death of a Henry Walden is registered in the final quarter of 1908 in Birmingham, Warwickshire. The age has been deciphered as [35]8 and this results in a misleading estimated birth year. Magnification of the image shows this to be 58, which is a year too old if this is our Henry.

Henry was the oldest of three children to Richard Walden (b. 1813 in Wiggington, Oxforshire, died 1896 in the Stratford upon Avon area) and Rose Ann Griffiths (b. 1829 in Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, d. 1880 in the Stratford Upon Avon area). In 1861 the Waldens were living at the Toll Gate House, Henley-in-Arden; in that census Henry’s birthplace was given as Hall End, Warwickshire. Wiggington was a stronghold of the Walden family in the 1800s.

Nan (Annie) had five brothers and two sisters:

01. Henry Griffiths (b. 1878)
02. William Richard (bap. 16 May 1880)
03. Thomas Albert( b.  06 Sep 1885, d. 28 Aug 1917)
04. Walter (b. 15 Jul 1887}
05. Rose Clara (b. 28 Oct 1889)
06. Joseph (b. 27 Jun 1892)
07. May (b, 30 May 1894, d. 1967 in Sydney, NSW)
08. Annie (b. 07 Jan 1896, d. 1979 in Sydney, NSW)

The two oldest children were born before the 1881 census, at which time they lived at 6 Court 12 House Suffolk St Birmingham; Henry was then a Porter (Railway). In 1901 census Henry Sn was described as a Carter to Brass Works, William a China Warehouse Porter, Thomas a Paper Warehouse Boy, Walter a Steam Gauge Maker; the other children were 13 and younger. By then Henry had left home. In the 1911 census Clara was a widower, Walter (aged 25) a motor driver for a brassfounder, Joseph (aged 19) a stamper for a lampmaker, May (aged 17) and Nancy (aged 15) both clerks.

Nan always claimed that her brothers had died in WWI. We have found a record for only one of their deaths at this time. (Note, however, the following advice from the National Archives Office: Although five million soldiers from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales fought in World War One, around 60 per cent of the service records for these soldiers were destroyed during a German bombing raid on the War Office in London in September 1940. There was a William Richard Walden killed in action on 05 Sep 1918; he was a private in the Princess Charlotte Of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment) and formerly of the 8/11595, Devon Regiment. His birth place however was stated as Blockley, Worcs, some 43 miles from where our man was baptised. There was also an H. G. Walden who survived WWI; if this is the oldest son he would have been 15 when he enlisted in 1893:

Thomas Albert Walden enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery and Army Service Corps and died in France in an accidental road accident whilst travelling in a side car on 28th Aug 1917. He married Ada Madge in 1911, and they had three children (information from Makaela Parkes whose husband is a descendant).

There is a marriage of a Walter Walden to Rose Morgan in Birmingham in the first quarter of 1915 (record 6d 348). If this is our Walter Walden, it appears there were three children at least: Violet (born Jan 1915 in Birmingham), Ivy M (born Sep 1916 in Birmingham) and Walter W (born 1919 in Birmingham). Walter passed away in the first quarter of 1967, aged 79. Rose was possibly born on 01 May 1889 and died in Dec 1972 in Coventry, aged 83.

Annie (Nan, Nancy) Walden

On 13th Dec 1919 Bill and Annie gave birth to their only child, a daughter Sheila Hudson. At the time they lived at 19 Holly Rd Edgbaston. Bill was described as an Estate Agent and Ex-army. By that time Annie had already begun to call herself Nancy. It may be true that he served in the army (the family were told so) but no definitive records of this have been located.

Soon after Sheila’s birth, Bill sailed from Southampton for New York on the Olympic, arriving on 24th November 1920. He gave his wife as next-of-kin, living at 6 Station Ave Edgbaston. Nan and Sheila soon joined him, sailing from Liverpool on the Saxonia and arriving in New York on 21st Jan 1921. With them was a travelling companion named Amy Gill, born in West Bromwich, who gave as closest relative a friend Dick Edmonds, Queens Hotel, Birmingham. The address given where they planned to stay (permanently) was Mr Hudson, 367 West 22nd St, New York.

Nan and Sheila returned to Southampton on the Aquitania arriving Feb 14 1922. The purpose seems to have been to organise for Nan’s mother Clara Walden to join them, as described towards the top of this page. Nan and Sheila returned from Liverpool to New York arriving on 24 April 1922 on the Celtic. Clara arrived just over six months later on the Adriatic which departed from Liverpool on 25 Nov 1922. Her record (ticket number 2170520) is the final one on this page; her age is shown as 68 (giving her birth year as 1854) and her address as 121 Icknield Port Road, Birmingham, UK (1km from the 35 Aberdeen St address). The final column indicates that the USA was to be the “Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence”, however a footnote on the page defined that to mean “residence for a year or more”.

By 1922 Bill was employed as an accountant at The Roosevelt Hospital, West 59th St New York. During that time he intervened in a robbery which was reported as follows:

HOSPITAL CASHIERS Defy Bandits’ Guns in Defense of Payroll, Their coolness Equaled Only by Robbers’

Cool Defense Robs Hospital Bandits of Half Their Loot

Audacious Crooks Get $10,000 of Roosevelt Payroll in 3-Minute Clockwork Hold-Up, but Cashier’s Daring Saves $11,000

Seven youthful bandits, including one who nonchalantly read a news-paper while he waited outside in a stolen sedan with its motor running, at 9.30 o’clock yesterday morning executed a daring payroll hold-up in the Roosevelt Hospital, in 59th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, which netted them about $10,000 in cash.

The quick daring of Joseph W Hudson, hospital cashier, who swept all the pay envelopes to the floor despite the hold-up men’s menacing revolvers, robbed the bandits of $11,000 which fell behind a mail stack unseen.

Nurses and other employees on monthly payroll already had received $3,000, and this too was lost to the robbers.

The hold-up was marked by the amazing coolness of both the perpetrators and the victims.

The bandits’ plan of attack moved (?) to completion like clockwork and the hold-up was over in three minutes. Yet in that time, in the face of murderous-looking guns, Hudson had saved more than half the cash, Robert E. Heler, Assistant Superintendent of the hospital and chief clerk, had nearly succeeded in slipping past the robbers’ guard to call help, and Miss Edith Ware, the hospital switchboard operator, had all but managed to summons police under the bandits’ very noses.

The robbery occurred in one of the city’s most thickly populated areas and was audacious in its very inception.

Two policemen from the West 47th Street Station patrol Ninth and Tenth Avenues, respectively, from 57th to 59th Street, meeting half way down the block, or almost directly in front of the hospital entrance. Two West 68th Street Station men similarly patrol Ninth and Tenth Avenues above 59th Street, meeting on the north side of the block opposite the hospital.

All were on duty at the time. There was also a man from Traffic B at Tenth Avenue and 59th Street, and in addition the hold-up men had to take the chance – always good – of meeting a patrolman inside the hospital with an ambulance case. This likelihood of being discovered by persons passing the street or entering the hospital added to the daring of the scheme.

Two of the six men who entered the hospital stood guard in the corridor, their guns drawn but so held as to escape notice. Three turned a corner which hid them from view of anybody coming in the street entrance and rushed up to the office cage by one door, while the fourth chose another entrance farther down the hall, vaulted the cage and surprised the office force from the rear.

Hudson risked being shot or clubbed by sweeping all the money to the floor with an instinctive first-second gesture. Miss Ware stuck to her switchboard, leaving all the keys open in the hope that some one calling would hear the commotion and notify police headquarters. At the same time she tried to summon help in a low voice, but one of the bandits leaped across the room and jabbed his gun against her head.

“None of that, dam you!” he snarled.

In the confusion Heler tried to slip unobserved into the hall. A blue steel barrel crunched into his ribs, nearly breaking them.

“Try that again and your address will be a morgue instead of a hospital” snapped the man back of the gun.

S. de Baranovsky, assistant cashier who had attempted a similar ruse was being clubbed and prodded until he all but folded up in a corner telephone booth. Employees standing in line to be paid cowered before the curses and violent gestures of the bandits.

Their work completed the robbers left quickly, covering the retreat of the man with the loot by a rear guard of two. Whether the latter were in the bandit car as it sped east over 59th Street and vanished, or whether they melted into the crowd, no one at the hospital knew. The stolen sedan later was found abandoned with the empty payroll box at Tenth Avenue and 51st Street.

A score of policemen and detectives were at the hospital within ten minutes or less, but the bandits were long gone. The loss is covered by insurance.

By 1924 the family had moved to Hillendale Ave, Little Neck, Long Island. They spent a holiday on Bermuda, returning to New York on 18th August 1924 on the Fort Saint George and naming a Mr JW Stock as (their nearest relative or) friend living in the United States. Again, they stated their intention to stay indefinitely. Clara was not listed on the ship’s manifest, although a place holder exists in a photo album indicating that she was present there, aged 71.

Photos of “Mr and Mrs Hudson” (Bill’s parents) taken on Connecticut Ave, Washington D.C. in about 1924.

Bill must have returned to England to visit his family, departing for New York on 11 Aug 1925 on the Berengaria and arriving on 11 Aug 1925. His most recent address was given as his father’s, Mr. T. Hudson, 16 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham. He returned to New York on the Aquitania, departing from Southampton on 29 Aug 1925; the address written in these records was 115 Croydon Rd, Erdington, Birmingham. In each record his profession is listed as cashier.

In 1927 the family again holidayed on Bermuda, returning on 23rd July on the Fort Saint George, their Little Neck address listed as Douglaston.

The next photo shows three Walden generations, taken at Hillendale Ave in 1924; Clara (née Howes) on the day of her 70th birthday, Sheila and Annie. The next photo was taken in 1923 when Sheila was 4.


Family folklore has Bill Hudson not only a cashier in the Roosevelt Hospital in New York but something of a bootlegger during Prohibition. On learning that he was to be arrested, he fled with his family to Canada and migrated to Australia. That story is unlikely, but the family did visit Canada, as photos exist of their trip. In addition, there is a shipping record of a Joseph William Hudson, an accountant aged 36, arriving (alone) in Liverpool from St John, New Brunswick, Canada on the Melita on 29 January 1928. His intended address was given as 115 Croydon Rd, Erdington, Birmingham; he stated that he intended to live both in the UK and in the United States.

At this stage we have not found a shipping record for Nan, Sheila or Clara returning to England. We believe that Clara Walden died in Dec 1935, aged 81, in Birmingham (record 6d 209).

Bill sailed from London for Sydney on 15 May 1928 on board the Largs Bay, giving his residential address as 44 Beaufort Rd, Edgbasten, Birmingham. Nancy and Sheila followed on the Esperance Bay which sailed from London on 16 July 1928 (Nancy gave the same Edgbaston address as Bill). The liner had some previous notoriety. The Barrier Miner of Broken Hill reported in its edition of Wed 13 Jun 1928 the following:

London. June 12;

According to the Bisley rifle team the final stage of the Esperance Bay’s voyage was anything but model ship life. Some members of the team allege that members of the crew and the stewards got completely out of.hand. The passengers were treated contemptuously and had food shovelled in front of them. The crew were obviously glad to finish their connection with the line, and did not care twopence for the Commonwealth Government management.

The stewards declared that as a deck piano had been provided by themselves for their entertainment, they declined to give their successors the benefit of it, and therefore threw the piano overboard before reaching Hull. The malcontents throughout studiously refrained from doing anything justifying prosecution or imperilling their repatriation passages.

During the voyage to Sydney this event occurred ,as reported by Perth’s Sunday Times on Sun 12 Aug 1928:

A Foolish Passenger

When the Esperance Bay was a day’s steam from Colombo, a lady passenger left a bag containing jewellery valued at £350 and £75 in Australian notes on her bunk during her absence, only to find them gone on returning a few minutes later. The bag with the jewellery was found in the lavatory but the notes had disappeared.

The theft was reported to the Fremantle police on the liner’s arrival.

In 1930 Bill and Nancy were registered as voters living in Coogee, the Occupation for Nan being Home Duties and for Bill Accountant. They moved twice. In the 1933 to 1937 rolls their address was Carlisle, 15 Baden St, Coogee. From 1943 their address was 4 Deepdene, Stafford St Double Bay.

An ad on the Sat 29 Jul 1950 in The Sydney Morning Herald gives a sense of the last location, Deepdene.

Double Bay

A MODERN BLOCK OF TWELVE (12) SELF-CONTAINED FLATS, completed in November 1938, and constructed of Face Brick roofed with Tile, each Flat having hall, Lounge-room (gas fire), Breakfast-room, with cooking recess replete with gas stove, refrigeration, and hot water. 2 Bedrooms, Sunroom, or 3rd Small Bedroom,
Tiled Bathroom.

The Coke Boiler, coke storage, and incineration is housed on the ground floor.
Laundry on the roof.

THE TWO GARAGES, which were converted into an Air-raid Shelter, require reconverting.

Included in Sale are all blinds and carpets to Vestibule, Stairs, and Landings.

estimated at 12/- per week or £31/2/- per ann. PLAN of building on view.

NOTE: The property is subject to a mortgage of £6500 at 4 1/2 per cent. interest,
expiring 30th June, 1954…


Bill, and his launch, which he occasionally moored at Double Bay. Below are photos of the family.

Again, the family folklore has Bill part of a successful accounting firm in Sydney. From an article in The Sydney Morning Herald on Wed 06 Jan 1937, it appears that when Bill arrived in Australia he commenced working for Taxation Services of Australia. He and three others evidently left to join a rival firm. Taxation Services of Australia took out an interim injunction to restrain them from working with any previous client for a period of six months.

(Before Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer.)
Taxation Services of Australia, Ltd., v Hudson and others.

An application was made by Taxation Services of Australia, Limited, against four former employees for an Interim injunction to restrain them from soliciting serving or acting for any person or company, who were clients of the plaintiff during six months prior to the termination of the employment of the defendants.

The plaintiff company carried on business as accountants and auditors, and prepared income tax returns for clients. The defendants, It was stated, sent in their resignations on November 7 last, and these took effect on November 21.

The defendants were Joseph William Hudson, Frederick Cox, John Henry Graham, and Herbert George Jones.

The case of Hudson was taken first. The application stands part heard…

What follows is a long series of legal maneuverings. Barely two months later came this flurry:

The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 13 March 1937:


Taxation Services of Australia, Ltd., applied for liberty to issue a writ of attachment for contempt in disobeying an order of the Court against Joseph William Hudson.

Mr. Hudson was employed by the plaintiff company, but resigned as from November 21. He had executed an agreement by which he covenanted that after termination of such employment he would not for a period of 12 months directly or indirectly solicit, serve, or act for any person or company who were clients of the plaintiff company during a period of six months prior to the termination of his employment by Taxation Services.

The plaintiff company, which carries on business as accountant and auditor, and engages in the preparation of income tax returns, had commenced in December a suit for injunction against Mr. Hudson, and on January 5 moved for interim order before Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer. His Honor then made an order, until the hearing or further order, restraining the respondent from knowingly committing breach of the covenant.

Plaintiff now alleged that breach had been committed, and submitted affidavit evidence in support of its application for attachment. Respondent denied that since January 6 he had directly or indirectly solicited any person or company who were clients of plaintiff during six months prior to November.

The hearing was interrupted by the adjournment. Mr. Dudley Williams, …

The Sydney Morning Herald on Tue 16 Mar 1937:


The hearing was continued of the application of Taxation Services of Australia, Ltd., for an order giving liberty to issue a writ of attachment against Joseph William Hudson for contempt in disobeying an order of the Court. The grounds of this application were summarised in Saturday’s law report. Argument was interrupted by the adjournment. Mr. Dudley Williams…

The Sydney Morning Herald on Thu 22 Apr 1937:

(Before the Chief Judge, Mr. Justice Long Innes. )

Taxation Services, Ltd , v Hudson

Application was made on behalf of Taxation Services of Australia, Ltd., for leave to issue a writ of attachment against Joseph William Hudson for contempt in disobeying an order of the Court.

Mr. Hudson, who had been employed by the plaintiff company, resigned as from November 21. He had executed an agreement of service by which he covenanted that after termination of such employment he would not for a period of 12 months, directly or indirectly, solicit or act for any person or company who during a period of six months prior to the termination of his employment, had been clients of Taxation Services.

The plaintiff company, which carries on business as accountant and engages in the preparation of income tax returns, commenced a suit for injunction against Mr. Hudson, alleging breach of the foregoing covenant. On January 5 the plaintiff moved for interim in- junction before Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer, and by consent an order was made restraining respondent from knowingly committing a breach of the covenant.

Two acts were relied upon as constituting a breach of the injunction. The first was that the respondent supplied an employer, whose service he entered after leaving Taxation Services, with a list of persons whom he was not at liberty to serve as accountant. It was stated that as a result some of these persons were canvassed for the new employer. His Honor was not at all sure that the evidence established this, but whether it did or not he did not think that the action complained of was necessarily a breach of the injunction to refrain from knowingly indirectly soliciting the clients of Taxation Services. Respondent might have been actuated by an honest feeling that it was his duty to inform his new employer of the names of these clients, in order to prevent them, should they become clients of the new employer, from being assigned to him. On the other hand, it was equally possible that he might have been attempting to evade obedience to the Court’s order. On the evidence, however, his Honor could not arrive at a definite conclusion, and took the view that the plaintiff had not weighed down the scales in its favour. The second act relied on was the despatch of a circular letter by the respondent to 115 persons who were clients of Taxation Services. In that letter the respondent, after pointing out that an injunction had been granted against him, and stating its effect, went on to say that “I am hopeful that when this embargo on my business activities ceases I shall be able to render you any services which you may call upon me to perform tor you.” It was submitted that this was wilful solicitation for employment as an accountant when the period of the injunction expired. Against this it was contended that the writer was not expressing hopefulness that the addressee would call upon him to perform services, but merely hope that he should be able to perform a service if called upon. His Honor felt that, though the letter was susceptible of two interpretations, he could not hold that it constituted contumacious or wilful disobedience.

The motion was dismissed. No order as to costs. Mr. Dudley Williams. K.C., …

The Sydney Morning Herald on Fri 04 Jun 1937, in a court case immediately following that of another former employee of the Australian Taxation Services, William Hiron Townsend:

(Before the Chief Judge, Mr. Justice Long Innes.)

Taxation Services v Hudson.

The suit of the same plaintiff company against Joseph William Hudson was then called. In this case, in which an interim injunction had been granted by consent, in January last, the covenant relied on by the company was the same as that which came before Mr. Acting Justice Maughan for consideration in the proceedings against Mr. Townsend.

His Honor pointed out that as a decision had been given by a Judge of first instance, he would follow that decision.

Counsel for defendant said that if the cases were parallel he could offer no objection, but he submitted they were not. Mr. Townsend, whose agreement with the company had been considered by Mr. Acting Justice Maughan, had been employed in the capacity of a manager by Taxation Services, his position being much more responsible both to the company and its clients, than that of Mr. Hudson. He submitted that a covenant which was necessary for protection of the company’s business in respect of a man in Mr. Townsend’s position in its service might be unnecessary, and oppressive in respect of one in a subordinate position.

The hearing proceeded on this basis. Argument had not concluded at the adjournment. Mr. Dudley Williams, K.C., …

The Sydney Morning Herald on Thu 10 June 1937 reports the (temporary) conclusion of the case:

(Before the Chief Judge, Mr. Justice Long Innes.)

Taxation Services v Hudson.

Argument was concluded in the suit for enforcement of a covenant in an agreement of service entered into by Taxation Services of Australia, Ltd., and Mr. Joseph William Hudson.

Mr. Hudson had been employed by Taxation Services, Ltd. (which carries on business in four States) as an accountant at Sydney, and in an agreement executed by the company and himself he had covenanted that after ceasing to be so employed he would not within one year solicit, serve, or act for, in any work of the nature undertaken by the company, any person, firm, or company who had been a client of the company at any time during a period of six months immediately preceding the termination of his employment.

Taxation Services sought enforcement of this covenant by injunction. The suit was opposed on the ground that the covenant was unreasonably wide and unnecessarily restrictive for the protection of the plaintiff company’s business. The covenant was considered by Mr. Acting Justice Maughan in Townsend’s case, in which Taxation Services, Ltd., was plaintiff in December last, and he upheld the validity of the covenant as a whole as against that defendant. During the vacation Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer heard a motion for injunction until the hearing against the present defendant and after argument made the order asked for.

In the course of judgment his Honor said that so far as he could see practically all of the arguments which had been addressed to him had been put to Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer, before whom it had been strongly contended – as it had been again – that owing to the difference in the positions occupied by the present defendant and Mr. Townsend, the defendant in the other proceedings, the judgment of Mr. Acting Justice Maughan did not apply.

“For my own part,” continued his Honor, “I am somewhat surprised that if the parties felt that these judgments were erroneous advantage was not taken of obtaining a speedy decision from the Court of Appeal by turning the motions into motions for decree and regarding the trials as trials of the suits. According to Mr. Acting Justice Maughan’s judgment (37 S.R. 98), the motion before him was treated as the hearing of the suit so far as the question of validity of the covenant was concerned, and an appeal to the Full Court would have lain whether his judgment was in the nature of interlocutory or final judgment.

“It is not the duty of a Judge of first instance to refuse to follow Judges of equal standing, also of first instance, particularly in cases where the very question coming before him has been determined by the other Judges. If matters were argued before him which had not been argued before the other Judges, and which he was of opinion would have caused those Judges to have come to a different conclusion if they had heard them, then It might be his duty, in cases where he considered the judgments of the others patently wrong, to exercise his own judgment and give a different decision. It has not been suggested that the judgment of Mr. Acting Justice Maughan as to the validity of the covenant as applied to Mr. Townsend is wrong, although Mr. Collins has guarded himself from admitting that it is right.

“He has, however, pointed out that Mr. Acting Justice Maughan stressed the fact that the position occupied by Mr. Townsend was that of manager of the New South Wales branch of the plaintiff company’s business and a high officer on the company. Mr. Collins then contended that the fact of the present defendant being merely one inspecting accountant among 10 or 11, and not likely, as Mr. Townsend was, to be acquainted with the names of customers of the company in different States, was sufficient to distinguish this case from the other. It is true that the evidence before me has been more particular than that which was submitted to Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer, but I cannot see that it was different in character. Mr. Collins says that there was one point argued before me which he did not argue before Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer, but I do not think that that point was absent from the mind of the Judge when he delivered judgment. I am unable to see that he was patently wrong.

“It is possible that another Judge might have taken a different view, but I am not to be regarded as expressing any opinion to the effect that I think I would have taken a different view. The question was arguable, but after full argument Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer decided the matter in a particular way, and I think I ought to decide in the same way, merely expressing the view that the considerations urged before me are not sufficient to enable me to hold that Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer would have held differently had they been addressed to him.

“I pro forma adopt the judgments of Mr. Acting Justice Maughan and Mr. Acting Justice Windeyer, and I hold that the covenant as regards the present defendant is good in toto. I adopt the judgment of Mr. Acting Justice Maughan with one slight exception. I do not think that in the judgment, as reported on page 106, the words beginning ‘ and Long Innes. J., in Marquett v Walsh (3D S.R., 208) thought, . . ,” are correct. I think that they are incorrect.”

Decree for injunction restraining the defendant from breach of the covenant during a period of twelve months beginning November 26, 1936. Inquiry as to damages. Costs up to and inclusive of decree to be paid by defendant. Consideration of further costs reserved.

It had been agreed that the suit should be regarded us a test case in respect of suits instituted by the same plaintiff for injunctions against three other defendants – Messrs. Cox, Jones, and Graham. In the event of an appeal against judgment being commenced, the parties will await decision and then apply for judgment accordingly. If appeal is not commenced within 21 days liberty to move for decree…

This must have been a blow to Bill, and there must have been some difficulty in meeting court costs. An extension of time allowed for an appeal was reported in the Sat 03 Jul 1937 edition:


On June 9, his Honor gave judgment in the suit for injunction instituted by Taxation Services of Australia, Ltd., against Mr. Joseph William Hudson. He found in favour of the plaintiff company, and granted an injunction restraining defendant, for a period of 12 months, from November 21, 1936, from acting in any work of the nature undertaken by the plaintiff company, for any person, firm, or company who had been a client of the company at any time during a period of six months immediately preceding the termination of his employment.

Application was now made for extension of the time within which an appeal might be lodged. The ground of the application was that the plaintiff company’s memorandum of association did not confer upon it power to carry on the business of rendering such services as defendant had been rendering on its behalf, and which the injunction granted had restrained him from carrying on in respect of certain persons.

Extension of time was granted, costs of motion to be paid by defendant, injunction to remain in force until appeal disposed of.
Mr. C. M. Collins …

No such appeal has yet been uncovered, however Australian Taxation Services took Bill to court as a creditor in an action that took place on Tue 26 Jul 1938; a sequestration order was issued against him. Bill was granted a discharge order on (The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 25 Nov 1939).

Bill died on 06 Jan 1953 after a short stay in hospital. The family had believed that he died quite rich, but at probate his estate was valued at just on £1000 – not surprising given his legal history. From The Sydney Morning Herald on Wed 07 Jan 1953:

HUDSON, Joseph William.— January 6, 1953, of 20 Stafford Street, Double Bay, dearly beloved husband of Nancy, and loved father and father-in-law of Sheila and Edgar (Mrs. and Mr. E. R. O’Neil), and dear grandfather of Philip, Michael, Nancy, Christopher, aged 61 years. At rest. By request no flowers.

Nan suffered from a Dupuytren’s contracture or an extreme rheumatoid arthritis hand that made writing slow and difficult. She spent the last few years of her life in nursing homes, slipping gradually into senile dementia. She died in 1979 at age 84. She willed her body to The University of Sydney medical school.

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