Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Although his family were all of 'normal size', Hudson became known as Lord Minimus owing to his height of 19 inches. Hudson's father was keeper of the Duke of Buckingham's baiting bulls, and on his 7th birthday, Jeffrey Hudson was given as a present to the Duchess of Buckingham. One evening the Duke and Duchess were entertaining Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, when a pie was served which Hudson stepped out of. The Queen was delighted and the Duchess of Buckingham offered Hudson to her as a gift. He now joined the Royal Court's 'curios' of a monkey called Pug, a giant, and several 'Negro attendants'.
Hudson's wit and intelligence gauranteed him a priveleged place in the court and in 1630 he represented the Queen on a trip to the Caribbean. Hudson's ocean travels were often dangerous. He was twice kidnapped for ransom by pirates. The second time he was sold into slavery in an African harem.
In 1642 when the Civil War started, Hudson fought on the side of the royalists, but was eventually cast aside. He died, penniless and alone.
Hudson's life has been written about extensively. The most complete recent biography was written by Nick Page in 2002. It is titled Lord Minimus : The Extraordinary Life of Britain's Smallest Man.
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