BANKES, James, of Malton, Yorks.
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Family and Education
Prob. 2nd s. of Thomas Bankes of Bank Newton by Elizabeth or Alice, da. of William Clapham of Beamsley. m. Alice, da. of one Hewet.1
On 11 Feb. 1555 Henry, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, received licence to convey his possessions, except the office of sheriff of Westmorland, to Sir Thomas Dacre, Leonard Dacre, Christopher Monckton†, James Bankes and William Ardyngton as trustees. Monckton was to sit for Appleby in 1559 and 1563, and there can be little doubt that the James Bankes with whom he was here associated had done so in October 1553 and that both owed their election to the earl.2
Beyond that, Bankes is not easy to identify. The connexion with Cumberland suggests that he belonged to the Bankes family of Bank Newton, six miles west of Skipton, in whose pedigrees (defective as these seem to be) the only James Bankes to appear is described as of Malton. Of this James Bankes it is possible to make out something on the strength of the pedigrees’ further statement that he married the daughter of one Hewet. The connecting thread is an association with Roche abbey. In 1546 James Banke was licensed to alienate the site of that abbey, with all its buildings and demesne lands in Roche and Sandbeck, to a London clothworker named Thomas Hewet: the vendor may well have been the James Bankes who had been receiver of the abbey’s rents, at a fee of 20s. a year, at the time of its surrender six years earlier and who, having afterwards acquired the property, was transferring it to one of his wife’s relatives. The abbey also serves to link him with the James Bankes, a London skinner, whose will, made on 4 Feb. 1571, was proved on 19 June 1574. Among its beneficiaries were the children of the testator’s sister Isabel Chadburne, to whom he left £40 in Saddleworth, in the West Riding, and elsewhere in Yorkshire. As the portion of Saddleworth known as Friars Mere had belonged to Roche, it may be inferred that the man who had parted with the abbey in 1546 was either the skinner himself or one of his kinsmen, perhaps his father. Such a man, of local origin but domiciled in London and with resources at his command, would have made an appropriate trustee for the financially embarrassed Earl of Cumberland in 1555 and a suitable nominee for Appleby 18 months earlier. Of Bankes’s part in the proceedings of the Commons nothing is known save that he was not among the Members who ‘stood for the true religion’, that is, for Protestantism.3