Robert William Hudson
Robert William Hudson was born in West Bromwich, the eldest son of Robert Spear Hudson who had founded a soap-flake manufacturing business. Hudson managed his father's company until it was taken over by Lever Brothers Ltd
Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers was a British manufacturer founded in 1885 by William Hesketh Lever and his brother, James Darcy Lever . The brothers had invested in and promoted a new soap making process invented by chemist William Hough Watson, it was a huge success...

 in 1908.

He built a house called 'Bidston Court' on Bidston Hill
Bidston Hill
Bidston Hill is of heathland and woodland that contains historic buildings and ancient rock carvings. It is located on the Wirral Peninsula, near the Birkenhead suburb of Bidston, in Merseyside, England...

 in Birkenhead
Birkenhead is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in Merseyside, England. It is on the Wirral Peninsula, along the west bank of the River Mersey, opposite the city of Liverpool...

 in 1891 in Birkenhead. It was designed by Edward Ould
Edward Ould
Edward Augustus Lyle Ould was an English architect.Ould was a son of the rector of Tattenhall, Cheshire. He became a pupil of the Chester architect John Douglas and in 1886 he joined in partnership with the Liverpool architect G. E. Grayson. His early work was influenced by Douglas,...

, who also designed some of the houses in Port Sunlight
Port Sunlight
Port Sunlight is a model village, suburb and electoral ward in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Merseyside, England. It is located between Lower Bebington and New Ferry, on the Wirral Peninsula. Between 1894 and 1974 it formed part of Bebington urban district within the county of Cheshire...

 Village, it was inspired by 16th century Little Moreton Hall
Little Moreton Hall
Little Moreton Hall is a moated 15th and 16th-century half-timbered manor house southwest of Congleton, Cheshire. It is one of the finest examples of timber-framed domestic architecture in England. The house is today owned by the National Trust. It has been designated by English Heritage as a...

 in Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

. Germany's Crown Prinz Wilhelm
William II, German Emperor
Wilhelm II was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. He was a grandson of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe...

 was so impressed with the house that in 1913 he built a similar house, the Cecilienhof
Schloss Cecilienhof is a palace in the northern part of the Neuer Garten park in Potsdam, Germany, close to the Jungfernsee lake. Since 1990 it is part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site....

 in Potsdam
Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel, southwest of Berlin city centre....

. The house was sold in 1921 to Sir Ernest Royden and in 1928 it was moved to its present site at Royden Park, brick by brick, finally being completed in 1931. There it was renamed Hill Bark
Hill Bark
Hill Bark is a large country house to the south of the hamlet of Frankby, Wirral, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building...

. The original site of the house on Vyner Road South was given to Birkenhead Corporation and became a public park in 1969.

Hudson moved to Danesfield House
Danesfield House
Danesfield House in Medmenham, near Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England, in the Chiltern Hills is a former country house now used as a hotel and spa...

 in Buckinghamshire where he became High Sheriff
High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire
The High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, in common with other counties, was originally the King's representative on taxation upholding the law in Saxon times...

 in 1903. His first marriage was to Gerda Frances Marion Bushell (d 1932). Among their offspring was Robert Spear Hudson, 1st Viscount Hudson. He married Beatrice Sabina Gaudengio, daughter of Laurenzo Gaudengio, in 1932.
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