03 June 2022

Eli Hudson, 1877 - 1919

Eli Hudson

Flautist and founder member of the London Symphony Orchestra and New Symphony Orchestra.

Hudson was born Eli Hudson Rennison, the illegitimate son of John Capstack Hudson and Emma Rennison, nephew of violin maker George Hudson, and grandson of Richard Hudson, known as "Dick o' Newlaith", one of the group of amateur Lancashire musicians called the "Larks of Dean".

John Capstack Hudson was a musician in Skegness and it was there that Eli grew up and was soon, even as a child, recognised as a piccolo virtuoso. At the age of fourteen, in the 1891 census, his occupation was given as "musician". A few days after the census, his parents were finally married in Ilkley. A year later Eli's sister Winifred ("Winnie") Dagmar Hudson was born in Skegness.

In 1895 Eli won a scholarship to study flute at the Royal College of Music in London, This lasted three years and he left with an ARCM. While there he met fellow student Eleanor Tydfil Jones, a soprano from Merthyr Tydfil, and they were married in in Chelsea in 1899. Eleanor's career did not come to an end, and she continued to sing as Eleanor Jones-Hudson.

Eleanor Jones-Hudson

Eli and Eleanor had three sons: Richard Henry John Hudson (1900-?), Hubert David Rennison Hudson (1902-1957) and Alfred George Dunning Hudson (1904-1989).

In 1904, Eli became a founder member, and flautist, in the new London Symphony Orchestra. In the same year he made his first flute and piccolo recordings for the Gramophone Company, taking part in concerts where the recording was played and followed by a live performance.

The following year, 1905, Eli and the clarinettist Charles Draper also became founder members of the New Symphony Orchestra. Another gramophone concert was given in December 1906 in the Royal Albert Hall including Patti, Melba and Caruso on record, and Eli in person. The recordings were amplified using the compressed air auxetophone.

The year 1907 saw the issue of a new record featuring Eli and his sister Winnie both playing piccolos in the "Concert Polka". The same year saw him advertised widely as the "King of Flautists".

January 1909 brought a new venture, planned for some months. Eli and Eleanor were already used to touring the country and, on occasions, performing in music halls. The Hudson Trio, comprising Eli, Olga (Eleanor) and Elgar (Winnie), made their first appearance at the London Coliseum. This was the first of many similar appearances the trio made across the country.

'Eli, Elgar and Olga'

On 30th April 1914 at the Holborn Empire, the Hudson Trio gave the first performance of the song The Sunshine of your Smile.

The outbreak of the Great War a few months later didn't greatly affect Eli, but on 3rd January 1917 he enlisted as Private 764433 in the 28th Battalion of the London Regiment (Artists Rifles) at Chiswick Town Hall. On 31st August he was appointed Second Lieutenant, 46th Anti Aircraft Company of the Royal Garrison Artillery.

The end of Eli's life came quickly in the months after the end of the war. He died of carcinoma of the  liver or stomach at Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital, Millbank, Westminster, on 18th January 1919. He was buried at Highgate Cemetery East two days later.

On Eli's death, Eleanor gave up her career and returned to live for the rest of her life at 13 Cromwell Street, Merthyr Tydfil. She died there in 1945.

In November 1919 Winnie Hudson married Timothy Adolphus O'Sullivan in Liverpool Register Office. She had already borne a child in 1917, the father being Ernest Richard Oscar Ferguson. Winnie and Timothy were divorced in 1921 and she died in London in 1957, using the surname Ferguson.

The loss of the 'Anna Helena', 13th November 1890

The Crew

George Crosby, 17, apprentice, of Wivenhoe
William Goodwin, 42, Master, of Wivenhoe
Frederick Hubard, 42, A.B., of London
Charles Kitching, 16, apprentice, of Whitby
John Langlands, 17, apprentice, of Gateshead
August Ludquest, 25, O.S. of near Copenhagen, Denmark
William Stonhold, 35, mate, of Wivenhoe

Hampshire Independent - Saturday 22 November 1890


On Friday afternoon last week an object was discovered, just awash, between the Nab and Owers light ships. Upon examination it proved to be the topmast of a submerged vessel.

Information of was promptly reported to the Coastguard, and the authorities at once placed a beacon on the spot to caution mariners of the danger to passing vessels.

The captain of the Java steamer which arrived at Southampton on Sunday reported having seen the mast of a sunken vessel when about four miles to the southward of the Putter buoy, which is in close proximity to the spot buoyed by the Trinity authorities.

In response to a telegram, the Trinity schooner Mermaid left Cowes on Saturday morning for the scene of the disaster. Two of the masts showed above water, and from soundings made by the Mermaid, it was evident that a collision had occurred, and that the sunken ship was cut in two. The wreck lay in eight fathoms of water, four-and-a-half or five miles S.S.E. of the Nab light.

The exact position of the wreck was about midway between the Boulders shoal and the Bullock patch, but to the southward of them, and, in all probability, the lost vessel was steering a course for some port inside the Solent. The steamer Schmiditan arrived in the Thames having been in collision with a sailing vessel, name unknown, to the south-west of Selsea Bill.

On Tuesday it was reported that bodies had been seen floating, and it was reported that one of these was a lady. The topgallant yard and square sail were picked up and left at the Portsmouth Custom House, the sheet measuring 27ft. by 11ft. and having the word "Glasgow" stamped upon it.

The ill-fated craft eventually proved to be a brigantine, which apparently had been in collision and cut down by a steamer. On Wednesday the Trinity Schooner Mermaid proceeded to the spot from Cowes, and with a charge of 120lbs. of powder blew up the wreck, which was a danger to navigation, the mast and other spars being towed into Cowes.

The crew consisted of eight hands, and as none of them have reported themselves it is feared they all perished. The Mermaid returned to Cowes at midnight. The wreck is the brigantine Anna Helena, of West Hartlepool, laden with coal. Her destination is unknown. The boats are missing from the wreck, and there is a faint chance that some of the men may have been picked up.

East Anglian Daily Times - Monday 24 November 1890


A disquieting rumour is in circulation as to the supposed drowning of Captain William Goodwin, of Wyvenhoe, whose vessel, the Anna Helena (brigantine), of Hartlepool, became a total wreck near the port of Cowes. It to hoped, however, that the captain together with William Stonhold, the mate, who is a Colchester man, have been rescued by some outward-bound vessel.

Southend Standard - Thursday 27 November 1890

Three Essex men, W. Goodwin (Wyvenhoe), W. Stonehold (Wyvenhoe), and G. Crosby (Colchester) were drowned on Friday by the foundering of the Anna Helena.

Stockton Herald - Saturday 29 November 1890


Further information received by Messrs Leonard and Danby, of West Hartlepool, goes to confirm the impression that their vessel, the Anna Helena, was run down, probably by a steamer. The wreck lies in two pieces off the Nab Light, and right in the track of vessels passing down channel. The ill-fated vessel had arrived within nine miles of Portsmouth, her port of destination, when the disaster happened, and the blow which sent her to the bottom must have also carried away her boats, as there were no signs of any boats near the sunken wreck. The chances that the crew escaped in a passing vessel are remote, as if this had been the case the probabilities are that they would have been heard of before now.

Essex Standard - Saturday 6 December 1890


Sir, — I beg the favour of space in your columns to inform the public that a fund has been instituted for the relief of the family of the late William Goodwin, of Wyvenhoe, master of the above-named vessel, which was lost in a gale while on a voyage recently from Hartlepool to Portsmouth, having been found on or about the 12th November, 1890, sunk at her anchors near the Nab Lightship.

The widow, who is in a very delicate state of health and suffers from heart disease, is left entirely without means, and with a family of eight children, the eldest being under 16 years of age and the youngest an infant, all of whom may be said to be dependent on the widow, as the two elder ones only are earning small wages.

It is intended to apply any fund which may be raised to the relief also of the widow's mother, Mrs. Stonhold, of 4 Morgan Cottages, Bourne Pond, Colchester, who is 75 years of age and an imbecile, and has been supported solely by her son, who sailed as mate in the ill-fated vessel, and was lost in her at the same time. The widow is thus doubly bereaved by losing her brother with her husband.

I sincerely hope this sad case may commend itself to the public as being in every way worthy of their aid, and that they will contribute generously to the fund.

Mr. Claude E. Egerton-Green has consented to act as treasurer, and cheques and postal orders may be made payable to "Goodwin Family Relief Fund," and crossed "Round, Green, Hoare and Co., Colchester."

A list of subscribers and balance sheet will be published as soon as possible after the closing of the fund, showing the disposition or investment of the money subscribed, as may be determined upon by the Committee.

— l am, &c,

D. HAM, Hon. Sec.

The Quay, Wyvenhoe, Essex,

Dec. 3. 1890.

Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 12 December 1890

A fund is being raised for the relief of family of the late William Goodwin, of Wyvenhoe, master of the Anna Helena, which was lost in a gale while on a voyage from Hartlepool to Portsmouth. The widow, who is in a very delicate state of health, is without means, and has eight children dependent upon her. Her brother was lost on the same ill-fated vessel, and he leaves a widowed mother, who is 75 years of age and an imbecile, without support.

Essex Standard - Saturday 13 December 1890

The Loss of the Anna Helena.

Captain Ham of Wyvenhoe, has received from the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society a donation to be applied to the temporary relief of the relatives of the captain and mate of the Anna Helena, which was recently lost at sea.

Essex Standard - Saturday 13 December 1890

Loss of the Anna Helena.

On behalf of the fund for the relatives of W. Goodwin, of Wyvenhoe, and W. Stonhold, of Colchester, an attractive entertainment is to be given on Thursday next, Dec. 18, at the Board Schools, Wyvenhoe, by Colchester amateurs. Tickets and programmes may be had of Mr. Goodwin, Post Office, Wyvenhoe; Mr. H. L. Griffin, High Street, Colchester; Mr. Ernest S. Beard, Church Street, Colchester; or at the Essex Standard Office. Admission: Front seats, 2s.; Second seats, 1s.; back, 6d.

Essex Herald - Saturday 20 December 1890

On Wednesday evening an entertainment was given at the school in aid of the fund being raised for the widow and orphans of the late Wm. Goodwin, captain of the Anna Helena, recently lost at sea. The sum of nearly £4 will be handed over to the fund.

The Misses Owen and Miss Gale opened the proceedings with a pianoforte trio Young England, and later on the Misses Owen played a pianoforte duet. Songs were given by Mrs. Pettifer, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Phillips, Mr. H. Peacocke, Mr. Chell and Mr. Hoather. Dr. Pettifer played two viola solos, and the Misses Harvey and Barttelot sang duet. Variety was given by Miss Parker reciting Sims' Life boat and Mr. Owen reading The wreck of the Hesperus and The station master’s story. Messrs. Chell (piano), Phillips (1st violin), Cosgrove (2nd violin), and Hoather (’cello), played a lively polka, by Coote. The accompaniments were played Miss K, Owen, Mrs. Smith, and Mr. Chell.

Essex Standard - Saturday 27 December 1890

The loss of the Anna Helena

Death of Mrs Stonhold

With reference to the fund being raised for the relief of the late Wm. Goodwin, of Wyvenhoe, master of the Anna Helena, of West Hartlepool, which was lost in a recent gale, it was intended by the Committee who are interesting themselves in the matter to apply the fund also to the relief of the widow's mother, Mrs. Stonhold, of 4 Morgan Cottages, Bourne Pond, Colchester. Mrs. Stonhold, however, died on Monday, Dec. 22, so that the fund will now be applied entirely to the relief of the widow and family. Mrs. Stonhold, who was 75 years of age, was an imbecile, and had been for some time supported solely by her son who sailed as mate in the ill-fated vessel and was lost in her at the same time.

An autopsy on the body of the Duchess of Richmond, 16 October 1702

The Duchess of Richmond, by Sir Peter Lely

Frances Teresa Stewart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox (8 July 1647 – 15 October 1702) was a prominent member of the Court of the Restoration and famous for refusing to become a mistress of King Charles II. For her great beauty she was known as La Belle Stuart and served as the model for an idealised, female Britannia. She is one of the Windsor Beauties painted by Sir Peter Lely.

This item was originally published in the Lancaster Gazette, Saturday 9 July 1892

From the Hornby Anthology, Miscellaneous papers, including the Will of the Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, and other items consequent upon Her Grace's death, copied by her old steward, John Dowbiggin.

Observations att the Embalmeing of the late Dutchess of Richmond the 16th October 1702

First, upon the Inner side of the peritoneum was found two glandulous bodies both of them preternaturall and uncomon; that upon the left side weighed 2 pounds wanting ½ an ounce; that on the right side was aboute the bigness of one's fist and had a considerable bigg vessell in itt, which upon separating from the peritoneum emitted a greate quantity of blood. 

2. There was noe omentum or caute only the vestiges of itt where itt adhereth to tbe stomack spleene &c did faintly appeare. 

3. Upon the sides of the peritoneum besides the gladalous [glandulous] bodies already mencioned there were a greate many others whose number and quantity grew greater and greater towards the lower parte.

4. The Intestines were here & there covered with a greate many glands adhereing to them some of which were as large as a big nutmeg; some hydatides or bags filled with water like bladders were mixed up and down amongst them and they stuck by soe weake a thread to the Intestines that I tooke them of withoute breakeing and with little or noe resistance. 

5. The Ventriculus or stomach was of a quite different figure from that comonly found in others, insomutch that it rather appeard like to one of the Intestines, and soe little though in the same condition as itt used to be, I believe when shee was in health that itt hardly could wey above an ounce and a halfe. I never did see or heare of such a thing in my life for itt was not shrunke. 

6. The kidneys were in good condicion withoute ever soe mutch as a graine of sand and yett gravell was always voided a greate deale during life. 

7. The spleene was as to consistene and collour verry well, but short nay almost fower cornered.

8. The Liver was monstrous; itt look'd as if itt had been boyled; its figure quite different from the ordinary, for itt was cylindricate, only the ends globular noe tissues lobe or the like annatomists speak of to bee seene: nay, though hard, and looking like a boyld one yet properly speaking itt was not schirrous. 

9. Noe vesicula-fellis or Gaule bladder was seen as is ordinary but in place thereof there appeared on the surface of ye Liver withoute any protuberances a blueish skin ½ an inch broade and aboute an inch and a half longe which when opened did containe aboute ½ a drachnie of glewy substance, brown and of the consistence of honey; 2 stones were also found in itt, but the largest aboute the bigness of a great cherry stone only. 10. 

The partes towards the lower parts were very odd . . . . 

11. Omitted. [presumably details of uterus, etc.]

12. Omitted

13. The heart a little flaccid otherwise good; the lungs when incision was made issued oute a whiteish kind of humor like as is usuall in consumptive people the right lobe towards the back & lower region a little inflamed and towards the thorax a little schirrous.

14. The right side of the pleura was hard and there spotted redd. The quantity of humor taken oute of the abdomen & breast was aboute 12 quartes, all ye lower parte, I meane next to ye back itt was nothing but mixt with a very little serum only. The rest was all tinged and that which was taken oute of the breast was allmost all pure blood.

I forgot that the mesentery was in a good state save only in one parte where itt was something schirrous.


Whitehall, 16th October, 1702.