Sir John Banks, 1st Baronet

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Sir John Banks, 1st Baronet

Sir John Banks, 1st Baronet FRS (1627 – 18 October 1699) was an English merchant and MP, who rose from relatively humble beginnings to be one of the wealthiest merchants in London and owner of several properties.


Banks was born the son of Caleb Bankes (died 1669) of Maidstone, Kent, gent, and Martha Dann. He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[1]

About 1657, Banks married Elizabeth Dethick, daughter of Sir John Dethick. They had several children, including Caleb, Mary and Elizabeth.[2] His son Caleb was MP for various constituencies, but predeceased him without issue in 1696.

Banks was created a baronet by King Charles II in 1661. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1668.

He invested in the overseas trade with the East and with Africa and in 1677 was financially involved in an expedition to search for a North-east trade route. He was Governor of the East India Company in 1673–74.[3]

Banks was Member of Parliament (MP) several times; for Maidstone 1654–1659, for Winchelsea 1678, for Rochester 1679–1690, for Queenborough 1690–1695 and again for Maidstone 1695–1698 [4]

On Banks death in 1699 the baronetcy became extinct. He was survived by two married daughters (Mary, who had married John Savile and Elizabeth, who had married Heneage Finch) who were co-heiresses to his estate.


  1. ^ "Banks, John (BNKS644J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Person Page 2730". Retrieved 2010-05-10. [unreliable source]
  3. ^ "Sir John Banks (Pepys' Diary)". Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  4. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Person Page 2730". Retrieved 2010-05-10. [unreliable source]


Parliament of England
unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
Title last held by
Thomas Twisden
Member of Parliament for Maidstone
With: Andrew Broughton 1659
Succeeded by
Thomas Twisden
Robert Barnham
Preceded by
Robert Austen
Francis Finch
Member of Parliament for Winchelsea
February 1678 – March 1678
With: Robert Austen
Succeeded by
Robert Austen
Cresheld Draper
Preceded by
Francis Clerke
Sir Richard Head,Bt
Member of Parliament for Rochester
With: Sir Richard Head, Bt (1679)
Francis Barrell (1679)
Francis Clerke (1681–89)
Sir Roger Twisden, Bt (1689–90)
Succeeded by
Joseph Williamson
Francis Clerke
Preceded by
James Herbert
Robert Crawford
Member of Parliament for Queenborough
With: Robert Crawford
Succeeded by
Caleb Banks
Robert Crawford
Preceded by
Thomas Rider
Sir Thomas Taylor, Bt
Member of Parliament for Maidstone
With: Sir Thomas Taylor, Bt to 1696
Thomas Rider 1696–98
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Marsham, Bt
Thomas Bliss
Baronetage of England
New creation Baronet
(of London)