BANKS, Caleb (1659-96), of Aylesford, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 18 Sept. 1659, 1st s. of Sir John Banks, 1st Bt. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1675; G. Inn 1675; travelled abroad (France) 1677-9. m. Elizabeth, da. of Samuel Fortrey, clerk of the Ordnance, of Chatteris, Cambs., s.p.1
Capt. of militia ft. Kent by 1683-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-d., dep. lt. 1683-Feb. 1688, Oct. 1688-d., j.p. 1689-96, commr. for assessment 1689-90; asst. Rochester bridge 1693-d.2
Committee, E.I. Co. 1683-4.3
Banks’s only claim to distinction was as a pupil of Locke, who was recommended to his father by the Earl of Shaftesbury (Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper) and accompanied him to France as tutor and medical attendant. But Banks absorbed none of his preceptor’s political principles, and his health remained delicate throughout his short life. He was under age when he stood for Winchelsea in February 1679 on his father’s interest; but he was successful at Queenborough in 1685. He was not active in James II’s Parliament, being named only to the committees to recommend remedies for the fall in prices of wool and corn and to consider the bill to provide Rochester and Chatham with fresh water. To the questions on the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act, he replied: ‘He cannot give a resolution to it until he hears the debates of the House. ... He will assist to the election of loyal and good men.’ He was removed from local office, though in the same month the King’s electoral agents reported that he had a ‘good interest’ at Queenborough and ‘the most apparent interest’ at Maidstone, three-and-a-half miles from his father’s home. During the Revolution he signed the deputy lieutenants’ letter at Faversham, and he defeated Sir Vere Fane at Maidstone in the general election. He voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, but was probably appointed to no committees in the Convention. His holding in the East India Company at this time did not exceed £1,000. He remained a Tory under William III, but died in his father’s lifetime on 13 Sept. 1696, and was buried at Aylesford.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Basil Duke Henning
This biography is based on D. C. Coleman, Sir John Banks.