This wholesale soft-goods firm began as a retail drapery business in 1850, founded by F.J. Sargood. It expanded in the 1850s as Sargood, King, with premises in Flinders Street, established an office in London, and moved into New Zealand from 1863. In 1879 the firm amalgamated with that of Butler & Nichol; F.T. Sargood, later a well-known politician, became senior partner. New premises were built in London in 1883, and the Melbourne headquarters were rebuilt in Flinders Street after destruction by fire in 1897. By 1901, when it was importing fancy goods, bronzes, cutlery, plate and glassware, crockery, stationery, pianos, and Japanese, Chinese and Indian ware, Sargood, Butler and Nichol employed 6000 hands.