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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Edward Knox, c. 1855

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
Gift of Dr Peter Halliday in memory of Norah Knox 2010

Accession number: 2010.123

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Sir Edward Knox (age 36 in 1855)

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

Dr Peter Halliday (3 portraits)

Related information

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.