Bankes, Henry (DNB00)


BANKES, HENRY (1757–1834), politician and author, was born in 1757, the only surviving son of Henry Bankes, Esq., and the great-grandson of Sir John Bankes [q. v.], chief justice of the common pleas in the time of Charles I. He was educated at Westminster School and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1778, and M.A. in 1781. After leaving Cambridge he sat for the close borough of Corfe Castle from 1780 to 1826; in the latter year he was elected for the county of Dorset, and re-elected in the general election in the same year, but was rejected after a severe contest in 1830. In politics he was a conservative; he gave a general support to Pitt, but preserved his independence. He took an active but not a leading part in nearly every debate of his time, and closely attended to all parliamentary duties. He was a trustee of the British Museum, and acted as its organ in parliament. Bankes published 'A Civil and Constitutional History of Rome, from the Foundation to the Age of Augustus,' 2 vols. 1818. He married in 1784 Frances, daughter of William Woodward, governor of the Leeward Isles, and left a large family. His second son was William John Bankes [q. v.], and his third George Bankes [q. v.]. His daughter married the Earl ot Falmouth. Bankes died at Tregothnan, Cornwall, 17 Dec. 1834, and was buried in Wimborne Abbey.

[Gent. Mag. iii. new series, p. 323; Parliamentary Debates, 1780–1829; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

A. G-n.