'THE RAILWAY KING'
YEARS 1800 - 2000
Money and new social standing was to change his life. One early move was from
College Street to the large mansion in Monkgate (see left).
Hudson made a major investment in Railway shares with the North Midland
Railway. This did not satisfy his needs so he formed a new company to build a line
to link his adopted City to the towns of the West Riding, completed in 1839. Hudson
is best recognised as a Railway Promoter, someone who 'hyped' railway shares to get the
railways built. He was also respectable being a Director of a joint stock bank.
The new Railways were eating up capital at a great rate and making rather
unsubstantiated promises of returns, dividends sometimes being paid from
capital. Hudson believed that expansion was more important than competition so built
up and amalgamated Railway companies.
A vast new workforce was being utilised in the mobile labouring force needed to
build the railways. We know that aided by the Catholic Emancipation Act of
1829 many of these new labourers were to be Irish Catholics who formed a new
settlement group in York in the Walmgate area.
Hudson's next move was rather shady. He got involved in an investment in
the Great North of England Company who were trying to complete the line from York to
Newcastle upon Tyne. At that time a lot of political clout was required, and this
took the form of a large amount of bribery. The project was completed.
A further Hudson project was the forming of the Midland Railway Company.
Hudson personally guaranteed an unrealistic dividend of 6% to the investors, to ensure the
necessary capital for the route between the Midlands and Scotland. A vast project
for the time which we rather take for granted now, though decimated in the 1960's when a
part of the great inheritance fell to the axe of Dr Beeching.
page is compiled by Timothy J. Owston of York, England.
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Page written July 2000, Edition 3.