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Edward Knox
, c. 1855

by an unknown artist

daguerreotype (case: 14.0 cm x 10.3 cm, image: 10.7 cm x 8.5 cm)

Sir Edward Knox (1819–1901), businessman and banker, grew up in Denmark and as a teenager joined his uncle’s London mercantile firm as a clerk. Aged 20, he decided to seek his fortune in Australia and arrived in Sydney in 1840. Within a few years he had purchased a sugar refinery and distillery, was trading in real estate, and was becoming well known in the business community. From 1845 until his death 56 years later, Knox was a director of the Commercial Banking Co. of Sydney; but he is best known as the founder, in 1855, of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, with which business he also remained associated until his death. The colonial sugar market was lucrative and the business flourished under Knox’s leadership, expanding to include refineries in New Zealand, Queensland, and Fiji. Knox also had interests in property and many other businesses as well as being very active in the Anglican church and community organisations such as the Benevolent Society and the Sydney Infirmary & Dispensary. Knox served as a member of the first Legislative Council of NSW (1856–1857) and again as an MLA from 1881 until 1894. He was a founding member of the Union Club and its President from 1882 to 1901. Edward Knox was knighted in 1898.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Dr Peter Halliday in memory of Norah Knox 2010
Accession number: 2010.123