Born in about 1793 in the parish of Gilcrux in Cumberland, he married Frances KESWICK in her parish of Plumbland in 1813. They had 7 children, 2 dying in infancy. His occupation varied on the parish register of baptisms, being a labourer in 1813, a coal miner in 1819, husbandman in 1821 and 1824, and a farmer's labourer on his convict record.
In 1827, at the Westmoreland Assizes, he was convicted of uttering forged notes [a first offence], sentenced to life, and transported to Hobart Town on William Miles. As he said he had worked under Mr Macadam the roadmaster near Cockermouth, he became a sub-overseer on the roads in Van Diemen's Land. I wonder if this also influenced the life sentence he received, as road-building skills would have been very useful in Van Diemen's Land at that time?
In 1829, he applied for his family to join him and also volunteered to go out to reconcile the aborigines in 1830 during the Black War.
Edward received his Ticket of Leave in July 1832 and became free to make his own living although he still had to report to the authorities.
In March 1834, Edward and his elder son William advertised that they had rented a property called Abbotsfield, near Glenorchy, renaming it Ashburton. However Edward was declared insolvent in January 1837 and "all the growing crops on the farm occupied by Mr Edward Wilson Hodgson, at New Town, consisting of forty acres of potatoes, wheat, barley oats etc" were auctioned on the premises, New Town Road, opposite the Race Course.
He received a full pardon in February 1841 and moved to Victoria where he became involved with a Mrs Quarrie, fighting a duel and becoming a sensation at the time. He went to Adelaide in 1843 or 1844 and spent some time there, returning to Melbourne in 1848. He died there in January 1849 after being run over by a dray.