Donaldson-Hudson was born as Donaldson, the son of John Donaldson of Wigton Cumberland, and his wife Catherine Halliley, daughter of Anthony Halliley. He was educated at Merton College, Oxford and after the death of his uncle Thomas Hudson in 1852 assumed the additional surname Hudson by Royal Licence in 1862, as his uncle had no issue. In 1870 at the age of 30 he inherited his uncles estates at Cheswardine according to the terms of his uncle's will. He was a J.P. for Shropshire and Staffordshire and in 1876 was elected a member of the London School Board. In 1876 Donaldson-Hudson had built Cheswardine Hall designed by John Macvicar Anderson. He later gave generously to the rebuilding of the church of St Swithun.
In August 1878 Donaldson-Hudson stood unsuccessfully for Parliament at a by-election for Newcastle-under-Lyme. He was appointed High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1880. At the 1880 general election he was elected as one of the two Members of Parliament (MPs) for Newcastle-under-Lyme. He held the seat until 1885, when the borough was reduced to one seat under Redistribution of Seats Act and he did not stand again. He suffered a serious injury to his head whilst out hunting in North Shropshire, and this effectively brought his Parliamentary career to an end.
Donaldson-Hudson died at the age of 53.
Donaldson-Hudson married Sara Marie Streatfeild, daughter of Major Sidney Streatfeild in 1870.
- Court of Chancery - Law Reports Vol X
- Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1881
- John Newman, Nikolaus Pevsner Shropshire
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 218. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
- "No. 24818". The London Gazette. 27 February 1880. p. 1700.
- "No. 24830". The London Gazette. 6 April 1880. p. 2389.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "N" (part 1)
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Charles Donaldson-Hudson
- Cheswardine Manor
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Samuel Rathbone Edge
William Shepherd Allen
|Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme
1880 – 1885
With: William Shepherd Allen
William Shepherd Allen