Robert William Hudson (1856–1937) was 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 in 1908.
He built a house called 'Bidston Court' on Bidston Hill in Birkenhead in 1891 in Birkenhead. It was designed by Edward Oult, who also designed some of the houses in Port Sunlight Village, it was inspired by 16th century Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire. Germany's Crown Prinz Wilhelm was so impressed with the house that in 1913 he built a similar house, the Cecilienhof in Potsdam. 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 'Hillbark'. 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 in Buckinghamshire where he became High Sheriff. His first marriage was to Gerda Frances Marion Bushell (d 1932). Among their offspring was Robert Spear Hudson, 1st Viscount Hudson.