In 1842, Cooke and Staddon were trading in confectionery – a wide assortment of lozenges, jams, candied peel, syrups and drops, including nonpareils, more commonly known these days as hundreds and thousands. Sydney Morning Herald – 14 September 1842.
Some hundreds or thousands of pounds went to the wall the following year when Robert Bray Cooke, Thomas Frederick Staddon and their partner John Rostron faced the court having had their goods sequestered in lieu of debts owed.
Over a decade later, Cooke was facing insolvency again. Things really had gone sour for him by then as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald. He was trading as a vinegar manufacturer.