Hanks and Company was the second in a string of three token-issuing businesses involving members of the Hanks and Lloyd families. The sequence is described in toto below:
J.G. Hanks joined A. Lloyd to open a business at 319 George Street in 1855. The same year Hanks and Lloyd must have received their first tokens, as the partners used them as commemoratives for the opening of the first Sydney Railway in1855, an excellent publicity opportunity.
Hanks and Lloyd were expecting another shipment of tokens in 1857, but the ship that was carrying them, the Dunbar, was wrecked at the Gap, in the Sydney Heads. Samuel Peek, another token issuer, and his wife Caroline were on board the Dunbar and drowned when it sank. Although replacement tokens were ordered, they did not arrive until 1858. By the time the replacements arrived, the company had changed name, becoming Hanks & Co., at the same location, now known as 478 George Street. It seems that Lloyd was still participating in the business, but he had always been the junior partner. Hanks and Lloyd received tokens proclaiming the new company name at almost the same time as the replacements for the lost Hanks and Lloyd tokens.
In 1861 the founder's son, John L. Hanks, opened another 'Tea and Coffee Merchants' business at 558 George Street, trading as J. G. Hanks & Co. The next year he moved to number 520. The junior Hanks' business endured at this address until almost the end of the nineteenth century. J.G. Hanks left his original business in 1863 and joined his son's enterprise.
William F. Lloyd (thought to be the son or nephew of A. Lloyd) and Thomas Metcalfe opened a business in 1863, known as Metcalfe and Lloyd, at Hanks & Lloyd's original premises, 478 George Street. When Lloyd retired in 1866 the new partner's name was included in the title of the renamed business, Metcalfe and Foss. Metcalfe and Foss ceased trading in 1868, but members of the Lloyd family continued in the tea and coffee trade until the 1960s, 'their last shop was in the old Royal Arcade (now demolished).'
An advertisement in The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 April 1857, suggests that J.G. Hanks may have had another business outside of his partnership with Lloyd during 1857. The advertisement informed readers that Mr. J.G. Hanks had taken up a Grocery Store in 'Pitt St., Redfern.'
In the period immediately after John L. Hanks opened his business in 1861, it seems that the profusion of businesses bearing the family name caused some confusion. During April and May 1861, his father's business published advertisements every day in The Sydney Morning Herald, as follows: 'Hanks and Company, Australian Tea Mart, 478 George-street, opposite the Markets. - H. & Co. beg to inform the public that they have not removed their business, nor have they connection with any house of the same name which has done so.' This suggests that the commencement of John L. Hanks' business, or possibly information about its removal from 558 to 520 George, had caused his father some disruption in his business.
Samson's National Directory of New South Wales for 1867 listed Hanks and Co. business at 520 George Street.
May, T. (1988). 'Tokens of George Street.' Australian Numismatist, (Special Bicentennial Edition), pp.21-36.
Samson's National Directory of New South Wales for 1867-1868.
Advertisement, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 April 1857, p.1
Advertisement, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 June 1854, p.1
Andrews, A. (1921). Australian Tokens and Coins, p.16.
Advertisement, The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 May 1861, p.6.
May, T. (2005). 'The Sydney Firm of Hanks and Lloyd, and its Associated Variations', unpublished MSS, 3pps.