Charles Dudley arrived in Lyttelton on the Labuan on 13 August 1851. On the passenger list he was listed as a doctor, and brought with him his wife Agnes and his two children, Charles aged five years, and Agnes aged four years. He came from Worcestershire, England, was educated in Edinburgh, Paris and London.
His brother John Dudley (Broome Farm) also arrived on the Labuan and they both bought land in the Richmond district. Charles purchased a section in north-east Richmond (RS 182) near Richmond Park. He purchased 50 acres at a cost of £150. Here he built his home, a thatched roof cottage with dormer windows.
Dr Dudley practised in Lyttelton for five years, then in 1857 he went to Kaiapoi to practise. He became involved in local politics and served on the Kaiapoi Road Board and the Kaiapoi Borough Council. He was Mayor of Kaiapoi from 1870 to 1871.
On 16 September 1881 he died of bronchitis and was buried in the Kaiapoi Anglican Cemetery.
Dudley Creek, which flows through Bishopdale, Papanui, Shirley and Richmond before entering the Avon River was named after him.