Mr John Herbert Hankins was born at Swindon, Gloucestershire, in 1846. He came to New Zealand in 1863 with his parents and nine brothers and sisters on the "Canterbury". He married Agnes Dalrymple in Hokitika in 1872 and left in 1882 to set up practice as a barrister and solicitor in Palmerston North. Later, he took William Lockhart Fitzherbert and Martyn Abraham into partnership with him. W.L. Fitzherbert married one of his daughters. Mr Hankins died around 1928 and after his death the name Hankins was dropped from the name of the firm. A building, which has since been demolished, was built for Mr Hankins in 1905 after he left Stoney Creek. He is the namesake of the 'Hankins' Shield' for rugby in Palmerston North.