Ernest and Bertha Leviny
Bertha Hudson married Ernest Leviny in 1864.
Bertha Hudson (1844-1923) was born in England and sailed with her family for Australia in 1850, aged five years. They lived in Melbourne for a couple of years before moving to Launceston, Tasmania. Bertha was well educated for a young lady of that era, being accomplished in French, drawing and piano among other things.
In 1864 at the age of 20 she married Ernest Leviny and they had 10 children, all of whom were born in the family home at Buda: Louis Ernest, Alfred Eugene, Mary Florence, Ernest Arthur, Francis Herbert, Ilma Edith, Beatrice Kate, Gertrude Olga Louise, Bertha Dorothy and Hilda Geraldine. Two of the boys, Alfred and Francis, died in childhood.
Despite the commitments of raising a large family, Bertha was active in local charities, such as the Anglican Church and the Castlemaine hospital, and lead a busy social life. After Ernest died in 1905, she remained at Buda with her unmarried daughters until her death in 1923.
Buda historic house and garden in Castlemaine contains a rich legacy of the creative spirit of the Leviny Family, who lived there for over 118 years. The Leviny daughters were encouraged to pursue their artistic interests at a time when women were being given more opportunities to study art and take up careers. They worked across a range of media including painting, woodcarving, metalwork, needlework and photography.
It was largely due to the foresight of last surviving sister, Hilda, that Buda was preserved as a house and garden museum when she sold the property to the Castlemaine Art Gallery in 1970. Her sisters, Mary and Kate, left a broader civic legacy through their involvement in establishing the Castlemaine Art Gallery in 1913, and assisting with the development of the gallery’s fine collection of prints in the late 1920s.
Text adapted from the booklet Buda and the Leviny Family, Lauretta Zilles (2011)