BANKES, Henry (1700-76), of Broadchalk, Salisbury, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1741 - Nov. 1762

Family and Education

bap. 2 Nov. 1700, 2nd s. of John Bankes, M.P., of Kingston Lacy, Dorset by Margaret, da. of Sir Henry Parker, 2nd Bt., of Honington, Warws. educ. Eton 1715-20; King’s, Camb. 1720, fellow 1723-9; L. Inn 1720, called 1726, K.C. 1747. m. (1) Eleanor, da. of Richard Symonds of London, s.p.; (2) 11 June 1753, Margaret, da. of John Wynne, bp. of Bath and Wells, sis. and coh. of Sir W. Wynne, judge of the P.C.C., 2s. 1da. suc. bro. to Kingston Lacy estates 26 Jan. 1772.

Offices Held

K.C. to duchy of Lancaster 1738-61; dep.c.j. of S. Wales 1745-9; commr. of customs Dec. 1762- d.


The Bankes family controlled one seat at Corfe Castle. Returned on his brother’s interest, Henry Bankes was classed ‘pro’ by Newcastle in 1747, ‘doubtful’ by Dupplin in 1754, and in Bute’s list as ‘Pitt, quaere’. In November 1762 he was offered, through his neighbour John Calcraft, a commissionership of customs (at £1,000 p.a.), in return for his seat; and on 17 Nov. Henry Fox wrote to Bute:1 ‘We shall get his borough, and the nomination of it for your Lordship as long as he stays at the custom house. He was not yours when in the House. So surely this is a good bargain. He is gone down express to his brother to fix it.’ On 4 Dec. Bankes was appointed commissioner of customs, and on 6 Dec. Bute’s friend John Campbell of Calder was returned at Corfe Castle.

No speech by Bankes is reported, but on 3 Feb. 1762 James Harris noted him among ‘all the lawyers’ who spoke, ‘some of one mind and some of another’, on the Tamworth election debate.

Bankes died 23 Sept. 1776.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Bute mss.