Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 03.djvu/130

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Bankes
Bankhead
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eight days' siege, during which eleven men were killed. By order of parliament the castle was ‘slighted’ The massive fragments of mediaeval masonry which still occupy its site bear witness at once to the difficulty of the task and the thoroughness with which it was accomplished.

Lady Bankes was allowed to depart with her children in safety, leaving, however, all her household effects behind. She now petitioned the sequestrators to be allowed her jointure, which, along with Sir John's property, had been sequestered. Her petition, being 'a case of difficulty,' was referred to headquarters, but appears to have remained unanswered until Cromwell's accession to power, when, on payment of large sums by herself and her children, the sequestration was removed (Corfe Castle, pp. 123, 244). She was not further molested during the Commonwealth. In the church of Ruislip there is a monument dedicated by Sir Ralph Bankes, her son and heir, which tells us that 'having had the honour to have borne with a constancy and courage above her sex a noble proportion of the late calamities, and the happiness to have outlived them so far as to have seen the restitution of the government,' she 'with great peace of mind laid down her most desired life 11 April 1661 ' (Lysons). Posterity has willingly endorsed this brief summary of her career. Lady Bankes had four sons and six daughters. Several noble families, as well as the Bankes of Kingston Lacy, near Corfe, claim her as an ancestress (Notes and Queries, 1st series, iii. 458).

[Lysons's Middlesex, p. 211; Hutchins's Dorset, i. 284; Vicars's Parliamentary Chronicle, iv. 372; Sprigge's Anglia Rediviva; Mercurius Rusticus, No. xi.; Lloyd's Memoires, 586; Bankes's Story of Corfe Castle; Notes and Queries, 1st series, iii. 458.]

G. V. B.


BANKES, WILLIAM JOHN (d. 1855), traveller in the East, was second but eldest surviving son of Henry Bankes [q. v.], of Kingston Hall, Dorsetshire, and elder brother of the Right Hon. George Bankes [see Bankes, George, 1788-1856]. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge; was B.A. 1808, and M.A. 1811. From 1810 to 1812 he represented Truro in parliament. In 1821 he was returned for Cambridge University, but was defeated in 1825 by Lord Palmerston and Sir J. Copley. In 1829-31 he sat for Marlborough, and was returned by the county of Dorset to the first reformed parliament, but lost this seat in 1825, after which he did not again enter parliament. On the death of his great-uncle, Sir William Wynne, he succeeded to Soughton Hall in Flintshire, and on his father's death in 1835 he came into the family estates in Dorsetshire. Byron, his contemporary, describes him as the leader of the set of college friends which included C. S. Matthews and Hobhouse. Bankes was Byron's friend through life. Byron gave him letters of introduction when he was starting on an eastern journey in 1812. Bankes afterwards visited Byron in Venice. Byron speaks of him with affection. Several letters to him are given by Moore. Rogers says in his 'Table Talk' (ed. Dyce, p. 291) that he had known Bankes eclipse Sydney Smith by the vigour of his talk. He was known to the literary world by his travels in the East. He inspired or wrote a review of Silk Buckingham's work on Palestine, which appeared in the 'Quarterly Review ' for January 1822. He afterwards published a letter to Hobhouse, repeating charges against Buckingham, who had accompanied him in Syria, of appropriating his drawings. Buckingham obtained a verdict of 400l. damages for the libel, 26 Oct. 1826. He also translated from the Italian in 1830 an autobiographical memoir of Giovanni Finati, with whom he travelled in Egypt and the East. In 1815 he discovered an ancient Egyptian obelisk in the island of Philae, and had it brought to England for the purpose of erecting it in his own grounds at Kingston Hall. He died at Venice 15 April 1855, leaving no issue, and was succeeded by his brother the Right Hon. George Bankes.

[Gent. Mag. August 1855; Burke's History of the Landed Gentry; Bankes's Life of Giovanni Finati.]

G. V. B.


BANKHEAD, JOHN (1738–1833), Irish presbyterian minister, was born in 1738 of a family said to have come from Bank Head in Mid-Lothian, and settled near Clough, co. Antrim. He is said to have graduated at Glasgow, but his name is not found in the college register. He was licensed by Ballymena presbytery (before 29 June 1762), and called 13 Feb. 1763 to the congregation of Ballycarry (or Broadisland), co. Antrim. This, the oldest presbyterian church in Ireland, was founded by Edward Brice in 1613 [see Brice, Edward], and had been vacant since the death of James Cobham (22 Feb. 1759). Bankhead subscribed (26 July 1763) the confession of faith in the following cautious form: 'I believe the Westminster Confession to contain a system of the christian doctrines, which doctrines I subscribe as the confession of my faith;' and was ordained by Templepatrick presbytery, 16 Aug. 1763. A unanimous call was given him in July 1774 by the richer congregation of Comber, co. Down ; but he remained at Ballycarry all his days, and made a considerable fortune out of a grazing farm.