James Hosie came to Melbourne in 1853 from Leith, Scotland. The Public Records Office of Victoria Immigrants index shows one James Hosie arriving on the 'Koh-I-Noor' in December 1852.
Hosie initially worked as a shoemaker, in Melbourne at the Western Markets and at the gold fields at Mount Blackwood. He returned and opened a shop where the entrance to the Royal Arcade stands, in Bourke Street. His father, a baker by trade, opened a pie shop next door and his success led James to follow suit. He was successful enough to move to better premises and then open both a hotel (the Baths Hotel) and Hosie's Baths, which were both successful businesses.
James Hosie, bootmaker, is listed for the first time in an 1855 directory at 29 Western Market and 42 Queen Street. He shifted premises and trades repeatedly over the next fifteen years, as follows:
1857: Bootmaker, 40 Bourke Street West
1858: Bootmaker, 12 Bourke Street East and 40 Bourke Street West
1859: Bootmaker, 12 Bourke Street East
1860: Bootmaker, 10 Bourke Street East and
1860: Coffee and News room, 8 Bourke Street East
1861: Coffee and News room, 8 Bourke Street East
1862: Coffee and News room, 8 Bourke Street East
1863: Scotch Pie Shop, 12 Bourke Street East and 28 Hanover Street, Fitzroy
1864: Not listed
1865: Confectioner 38 Bourke Street East
1866: Confectioner 38 Bourke Street East
1867: Confectioner 38 Bourke Street East, private residence Great Dandenong Road, Gardiner
1868-1870: Confectioner, 36 Bourke Street East, private residence Lennox Street, Richmond
It is also interesting to note that although Hosie only listed his business as a Scotch Pie Shop for a single year (1863), it was the year immediately after he issued his tokens (1862). Although Hosie issued some six varieties of tokens in 1862, he used checks (non-circulating tokens) for a number of years afterwards, and he referred to his shop as 'The Scotch Pie Shop' on his checks.
Hosie invested heavily in land speculation at places such as Apollo Bay and Altona Bay. Unfortunately the boom burst and he had to go back to the mainspring of his wealth: selling pies. His last shop was in Little Collins Street. He died on March 31 1899, having made and lost a fortune, still running his pie shop.
Hosie's tokens, both his many varieties of pennies and his half-penny, were struck by Thomas Stokes in 1862.
Gardner, F. (1910). 'Trade Tokens and the Firms who Issued Them', The Australian Storekeepers and Traders Journal, 30 June, Australia, p.9.
Public Record Office of Victoria. Printout from internet index to Unassisted Immigrants to Victoria 1852-1923. Series 7666
Sharples, J. (1993). "Catalogue of Victorian Trade Tokens", Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. Vol. 7, December, pp.43-45.
Melbourne Directories, 1851-1870, Collection of the State Library of Victoria.
Hope, John. (2005). James Hosie, unpublished MSS, 4 pps.