Edward Banks (builder)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sir Edward Banks (William Patten Junior)

Sir Edward Banks (4 January 1770 – 5 July 1835) was an English builder.

Born at Hutton Hang near Richmond, North Yorkshire. After spending two years at sea, Banks began as a day labourer in 1789. He worked under the engineer John Rennie the Elder on the Lancaster Canal and Ulverston Canal and rose to the chief control in his partnership Jolliffe & Banks, contractors for public works.

Banks and Jolliffe were responsible for building bridges, dockyards, lighthouses and prisons. Among his undertakings were Staines bridge, the naval works at Sheerness dockyard, and the new channels for the rivers Ouse, Nene, and Witham in Norfolk and Lincolnshire. They were the builders of the Waterloo, Southwark, and London bridges. He owed his fortune principally to these contracts, which he took under the superintendence of the Rennies.

Edward Banks first married in 1793 to Nancy Franklin with whom he had five sons and three daughters. She died in 1815 and Banks married again in 1821 to Amalia Pytches, William John Joliffe's sister in law. Banks lived in Adelphi Terrace, Westminster. He also owned rural estates centred on Oxney Court, Dover and Sheppey Court, Kent.[1] With William Joliffe, Banks was also an investor in the General Steam Navigation Company in 1824.[2]

In June 1822 Banks was knighted for building the Waterloo and Southwark bridges. He died at Tilgate, Sussex, the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Gilbert East Jolliffe, on 5 July 1835.[3] The story that whilst working as a day labourer upon the early 19th century Merstham tram-road, he had been struck with the beauty of the neighbouring small village of Chipstead, choosing to be buried there for that reason in its quiet churchyard, is a myth as suggested by oral tradition; Lewis Topographical Dictionary says he chose it as the Jolliffe family were patrons of that church, in-law relations and his business associates.[4][5]


  1. ^ Bonhams, Lotnotes for the portrait of Edward Banks, by William Patten Junior. Url visited on 26 April 2013.
  2. ^ Cornford, L. Cope (1924). A Century of Sea Trading 1824-1924: The General Steam Navigation Company Limited. London. pp. 1–4.
  3. ^ Port, M. H. (2004). "Banks, Sir Edward (1770–1835)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1294. Retrieved 31 October 2010. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  4. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1029042)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 March 2015. Banks Tomb, Hooley, Chipstead, Surrey.
  5. ^ 'Parishes: Chipstead', in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3, ed. H E Malden (London, 1911), pp. 189-196 Available online at British History (The University of Portsmouth and Others) Accessed 20 March 2015.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Banks, Edward". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.