Portrait of George Hudson

Made:
1840-1849

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Portrait of George Hudson. Engraved and painted by James Andrews. With signature

George Hudson was a railway promoter who became known as the ‘Railway King’ because of his substantial railway interests. Born near York in 1800, he helped promote the York & North Midland Railway, securing the city’s place as a major railway junction. He became company chairman in 1836.

Hudson reached the height of his influence in the mid-1840s, overseeing the formation of the Midland Railway and appointed its chairman in 1844. He also became chairman of several other railways, including the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway and the Eastern Counties Railway, giving him significant control over lines connecting the north-eastern England with London. He was elected MP for Sunderland in 1845, allowing him to advance his railway interests.

Hudson gained notoriety for his fraudulent handling of railway finance; this emerged from multiple investigations, and he resigned from his railway positions in 1849. Heavily in debt and pursued by his creditors, Hudson fled abroad after losing his Sunderland seat in 1859. Returning to fight for Whitby during the 1865 election, he was arrested and briefly imprisoned twice. Towards the end of his life, Hudson received an annuity in acknowledgement of his services and died in London in 1871.

Details

Category:
Art
Object Number:
1943-161
Measurements:
overall (inch): 20 in x 14 1/2 in
overall (mm): 508 mm x 368.3 mm
type:
print
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
Phillimore Collection