Three brothers from Lancashire, Jonathan, Joseph, and Jesse Hodgson, established a pair of general stores on the Bendigo diggings in 1853, one at Sailor's Gully and the other at California Gully.
Coming to the diggings early in the piece, they are reputed to have participated in prospecting for and establishing a number of mines in the district, although it is not known if 'they received a fair recompense from their ventures, a result that does not always follow, even in Bendigo,' (Gardner). In 1865 their business were listed at the above mentioned address, with Joseph listed as the owner of the California Gully store.
'They carried on business for some eighteen years, until Mr. Jonathan died about 1871 - his brother Joseph following him some twelve or fifteen years later. Mr. Jonathan Hodgson was elected a member of the first Eaglehawk Borough Council directly after its proclamation as a municipality. Both he and Mr. Joseph married and left families, but up to the time that Mr. Jesse left the golden city he had remained a benedict,' (Gardner).
In 1862 Joseph Hodgson was one of the ten people whose name appeared on a notice on the front page, calling for ' the Constitution of a Municipality at Eaglehawk' and a 'PUBLIC MEETING of the resident householders and of he [sic] landowners within such district.' Among the other people whose name appeared in the notice was Robert Grieve, a General Store owner who also issued a token in 1862.
The brothers issued one token in 1862, one of the many tokens struck that year by Thomas Stokes. The obverse gave their name, the location of their two stores, and description, 'Wholesale and Retail Grocers and Produce Merchants.' The reverse showed an emu with the rising sun behind, with the motto 'Advance Victoria,' one of Stokes' stock reverses.
Gardner, F. (1911). 'Trade Tokens and the Firms who Issued Them', The Australian Storekeepers and Traders Journal. 31 May, pp.13-14.
Sharples, J. (1993). 'Catalogue of Victorian Trade Tokens', Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. Vol. 7, December, pp.18-19.
Sandhurst, Castlemaine & Echuca Directory for 1865-1866.
Hope, John (2005). 'Hodgson Brothers (Bendigo)', unpublished MSS, 1pp.