Bankes Reunion, 18 June 2011: Bankes Bingo Notes

 This page contains the text used by Helen Mitchell for the game of Bankes Bingo that took place at the Reunion of John Bankes’ Descendants at Coulsdon on 18th June 2011.

Index and Links to Sections.

1.  Sarah Ellen Collyer
2.  Arthur Ackland Hunt
3.  Eleanor Brannan
4.  Bankes Mitchell
5.  David Price
6.  James Jacobson
7.  Thomas Ashman, scale maker
8.  Thomas Hunt, Baptist minister
9.  Rev David Herbert, MA
10. Frances Elizabeth Herbert
11. William Hughes Bankes Price

  1.       Sarah Ellen Collyer

Born 1824, daughter of John Collyer (carver & guilder) & Mary Powell. 4 x great granddaughter of Mary Mitchell. Died 15 Feb 1847.

Sarah died 15 Feb 1847 aged 22 after taking some medication that had been prescribed for her by Dr Dennis Cronin. This medicine contained bitter almond water which, in certain concoctions, was a deadly poison. The question debated at length at the inquest was whether Cronin’s prescription had caused Sarah’s death, or whether the fault lay with the chemist who supplied the medicine. The outcome of the inquest was that Dr Dennis Cronin was charged with manslaughter.

Dr Cronin was tried for the manslaughter of Sarah Ellen Collyer at the Old Bailey in April 1847. He was acquitted.

2.     Arthur Ackland Hunt

Born 12 May 1841 in Herne Bay, Kent, eighth known child of Thomas Hunt (surgeon, specialising in skin diseases) & Martha Mary Colam. 3 x great grandson of Mary Mitchell. Married Emma Sarah Blagg 24 July 1879 in Cheadle, Staffs. Died 19 Apr 1914, Blackheath.

Arthur A Hunt + Emma Blagg

These images of Arthur Ackland Hunt and Emma Sarah Blagg are reproduced by kind permission of Richard Bradley

Arthur Ackland Hunt was a painter who specialised in group scenes and landscapes.

Little is known about his early life but we do know that in 1857 (aged 16) he was a student at Kings College School, London. He was a member of the Royal Academy from 1865 (aged 24) to 1902 and also had pictures exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy. By 1881 he was also an instructor in freehand drawing at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

Arthur appears to have lived with his parents until his marriage at the age of 36. We are lucky enough to have a very detailed account of their wedding from the local Cheadle newspaper:

 “the bride entered the church leaning on the arm of her brother, Mr Charles John Blagg, attired in ivory satin… as the bridal party left the Church a number of little maidens, with gaily ornamented baskets, strewed flowers down the path to the gates where the carriages were waiting… The happy pair, amidst a shower of rice and satin slippers, left about half-past-two on a tour of the Lakes in Cumberland.”

Arthur Ackland & Emma Sarah Hunt had two children, Amy Winifred Hunt, born at Kidbrooke in 1880 & Cecil Ackland Hunt, who was born at that Kidbrooke in 1883. Cecil Ackland Hunt would go on to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an artist.

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3.     Eleanor Brannan

Born abt 1809 in Westminster, daughter of Matthew Brannan & Mary Yaxley. 2 x great granddaughter of Anne Deane. Married Thomas Crow 20 May 1830 and Charles Benzoni 08 Feb 1832 in Chelsea. Died 1889 in Lambeth.

Eleanor had what must have been a very turbulent early life. Her mother, Mary Yaxley, died when she was around 3 years old. By the time she was around the age of 7 her father had remarried, been widowed again, and married again for a third time. In 1822, aged around 13, she was granted a £40 Apprenticeship grant from the John Bankes trust – we do not know what kind of apprenticeship this would have been.

Her adult life sadly started much the same way. She was married to her first husband Thomas Crow for just 13 months before being widowed. She remarried – just eight months later – Charles Benzoni, an Italian born in Como, Lombardia.

Thankfully Eleanor had better luck in her second marriage, which endured until the couple died in their 70s and produced at least four children.

Charles Benzoni had a varied career – as a lodging house keeper, a commission agent and an interpreter.

One of the couple’s sons, Charles Thomas Benzoni, was a sergeant in the army hospital corps, and was variously posted to China, India, North America and New Zealand. He eventually settled in New Zealand at the end of his army career. On his death an obituary was published in a local New Zealand paper which revealed that he was ‘educated in St Albans, Hertfordshire’. Their son Francis was a porter & shopman and their other son Albert was a sailor and, later in life, a painter and decorator. It is not known what became of daughter Frances.

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4.     Bankes Mitchell

Born abt 1720, son of Robert & Elizabeth Mitchell. Grandson of Mary Mitchell. Married twice, to an unknown spouse and then to Hannah Attwood in 1754. Died 1763 at sea.

Nothing is known about Bankes’ early life. We know he was married at least twice but do not know the name of his first wife. At the time of his marriage to Hannah Attwood, she was a widow and he a widower. As far as we are aware, Bankes Mitchell did not have any children and it would appear from his probate record that his wife Hannah died before he did.

By 1744, Bankes Mitchell was a watchmaker. However, some time before 1763, he joined the navy as an able seaman. This appears to be a rather inexplicable change of career for a watchmaker in his forties – but we have reason to suspect he may have been press ganged.

Information from Royal Navy records tells us that during 1763 he served on three vessels – the Temeraire, the Alcide and the Hampton Court. He transferred from one ship to another, and seems to have served for short periods on each.

We know that Bankes was a smoker, as the navy records show deductions from his wages for tobacco. We were relieved to see that there were no deductions from his pay for the treatment of venereal disease!

On the day that Bankes Mitchell died, 18 August 1763, the weather was cloudy and windy. The ship was on its way back to England, travelling back from the seas around Cuba, and was within 150 miles of arrival at its home port. The vessel docked within a couple of days of Bankes’ death. He was buried at sea on 10 o’clock on 18th August 1763. His wages, payable at the end of the voyage, amounted to £6. 18s. 0d.

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5.     David Price

Born 20 Oct 1774 in Cardiganshire, son of Joseph Price (Yeoman) & Esther Evans. 2 x great grandson of Joseph Rand. Married Sarah Sharpe 24 May 1801 at All Hallows the Great, London. Died 02 Mar 1840 in London.

David Price is said to have left Wales for London in his youth to become an “usher” (i.e. teacher) at the school of John Price (perhaps an uncle) and is said to have made the journey on foot. This possible early teaching career may explain why he was somewhat older than usual when he began an apprenticeship to a certain Thomas Davis, a member of the Haberdashers’ Company, at the age of 19. To fund this he received a £40 apprenticeship grant from the Bankes Trust. After serving a 7 year apprenticeship he became a Freeman of the Haberdashers’ Company in 1800 – in the same year he received a £100 business grant from the Trust, followed by a further £40 5 years later. He later went on to serve as a member of the Court of Assistants of the Haberdashers’ Company and was elected as Warden in 1829.

The following year after ending his apprenticeship, David married Sarah Sharpe, who was the stepdaughter of a certain Mr William Pearson. Some time before 1820, David was to go into business with a member of the Pearson family to form Pearson & Price, a warehousing company. It appears that they were primarily storing imported wool – one directory entry specifies Spanish wool – and for a long period they were based at an address known as Steel Yard. The Steelyard was a trading area of London, just where Canon Street Station is now sited. It dated from Medieval times, and had its own warehouses on the river Thames, its own weighing house etc. Because David traded at the Steelyard, stories have been passed down through the family that David Price made his fortune in the steel business, but this was not the case.

Pearson & Price would seem to have prospered – William Pearson, David’s father in law, appears from his Will and Death Duty registers to have been quite a wealthy man, and David Price appears to have been in a good position to support his family, sending back gifts of poultry and other goods to his family in Wales. Family stories say that he built a house back home in Wales for his widowed mother – Doldrement – and that part of the property he bought near Doldrement also included two farms. David’s daughter Mary was said to have been sent from London to live at Doldrement for her health; it is said that she may have had a slight stoop.

David’s sons John and Joseph Price followed him into the Haberdashers’ Company and it would appear that the warehousing business passed to John on or shortly before his father’s death in 1840. However, John himself died only six months after his father and it is not known what happened to the business after that.

As well as his business interests, David was involved in his local council, being listed as a “Common Councilman” for Dowgate Ward from 1816 – 1830, and a Deputy for the same ward from 1831 – 1838. After his death the City Council in London presented his family with a certificate attesting to the good works he had done – this is in the possession of a Bankes Descendant.

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6.     James Jacobson

Born around 1692, son of Esco (a shipwright on the Royal William) & Mary Jacobson. Married 5 Jul 1722 Mary Mitchell, niece of John Bankes at St Benet Pauls Wharf. Died about June 1759, probably in Peckham, and buried at St Giles, Camberwell.

Nothing is known of James Jacobson’s early life. He is variously described as being a ‘broker’ or a ‘pawnbroker’ but we have been unable to find any records of him having been licensed as a broker in the City of London.

James seems to have been a central figure within the family, supporting various other family members at different points in his life.  Some time before 1734 he became the guardian of his niece, Elizabeth Jacobson, whose parents had previously died.

In 1739, at the time of her death, Mary Mitchell (nee Rand), John Bankes’ sister and James’ mother in law appears to have been living with the couple in King Street, near Tower Hill.

James and Mary Jacobson had four known children – William, a draper, Elizabeth and James who died in infancy, and Mary, who married Thomas Hunt, a Lawyer.

However James made his money, he seems to have been a man of considerable property, and following his death in 1759, he made a number of generous bequests to members of his family – several of which revealed that he had loaned money to many of his relatives. He had loaned £700 to his son William and his business partner, £50 to his nephew George Budd and an unspecified sum to Joseph Collyer – all of which debts he waived in his Will.

It appears from this and other documents that he had been lending money to Joseph Collyer over a period of at least 10 years – when Joseph Collyer claimed Insolvent Debtor’s Relief in 1749, his list of creditors included James Jacobson.

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7.     Thomas Ashman, scale maker

Born 04 Feb 1816 & baptised at St Leonard Shoreditch. The son of Thomas Ashman, bookbinder & Eliza Margaret Hymas, great granddaughter of Anne Deane. One of 7 known children.

Married 17 Aug 1840 to Mary Ford; they had 8 known children.

Throughout his life he was described as a ‘scale maker’ and for most of his life his address was listed as ‘Land of Promise’ – this was a substantial chunk of land between Hoxton Street and
Kingsland Road.

He died some time after the 1881 census, as did his wife.

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8.     Thomas Hunt, Baptist minister

Born 1762 in Middlesex, son of Thomas Hunt, lawyer & Mary Jacobson, granddaughter of Mary Mitchell. Married 22 Oct 1795 Maria Edwards at St Peter, St Albans. Died at Upper Clapton 27 Oct 1844.

As a young man, Thomas attended the Baptist Church at Prescot Street, Goodman’s Fields, and was taken under the wing of the Minister there – Abraham Booth. Encouraged by Booth, Thomas became a Baptist Minister in 1791. He began his first ministry, at Watford, in September 1793.

Whilst at Watford, in 1795 he married Maria Edwards who was a member of the Baptist Church at St Albans.

Four years later, in 1799, he moved to Ridgmont, Bedfordshire where he lived in the house adjacent to the Baptist meeting house. While there he added a building containing a large washhouse and a room over it.

Between 1796 and 1805 Thomas and Maria Hunt are known to have had 4 children, 2 sons and 2 daughters. Their son John died at the age of 27, but the other 3 children lived to a good age, two of them marrying and producing children.

Thomas stayed at Ridgmont until 1809, when he left following a number of disputes with other members of the church.

The records of Ridgmont Baptist Church paint a picture of a somewhat inflexible character. As time went by, Thomas Hunt found himself increasingly at odds with other members of the church. He required regular attendance at church and when this was not adhered to, the offender was visited by senior members of the church, and called to account.

On a number of occasions Thomas Hunt was in favour of punishing members of the congregation when other church elders wanted to show leniency – this culminated in him leaving the church, despite several attempts to get him to stay.

After leaving Ridgmont, he subsequently moved to Dunstable, as minister of the Baptist Church there, until 1814, when he moved to be minister of a Baptist Church at Tring. His final ministry was at Wingrove, Buckinghamshire. Following his retirement he often preached at the Baptist church at Bow, in London.

Thomas died at his home at Upper Clapton on Sunday 27 October 1844. He was buried at the Cemetery at St Thomas Square, Hackney the following the Saturday.

Thomas was said to have a ‘happy expression of countenance (and) snowy, silken locks’, and to be a worthy man, but not inspirational, having an ‘inflexible adherence to the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel’.

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9.     Rev David Herbert, MA

Born 1762 in Llanarth, Cardiganshire, son of William and Judith Herbert. Married 1796 Mary Price, 2 x great granddaughter of Joseph Rand. Died 5 Dec 1835 aged 73.

David Herbert took his degree at Wadham College, Oxford, and was ordained by the Bishop of Rochester at St Peter’s Westminster. It is said that he spent time preaching in England, possibly Essex or Sussex, then returned to Wales where he became Curate of Llansantffraid, on the Cardiganshire coast. After a few years there he was appointed Vicar, a position which he fulfilled until his death in 1835. He was said to be a gifted preacher, with considerable influence over his parishioners, a “penetrating mind” and “conciliatory power”.

Rev D Herbert grave, Llansantffraid

Rev D Herbert grave, Llansantffraid church, Cardiganshire

He married Mary Price in 1796 and they had five known children together, two of whom died in infancy.

Their eldest son William (1796-1893) followed him as the vicar of Llansantffraid, where he officiated from 1836 to 1884. Their only surviving daughter Mary also married a vicar, by the name of David Parry. Their other son also followed in his father’s footsteps, as Curate at Llansaintfraid, officiating at 3 burials during 1822-1823. He was received into the church in1828 and went to Ohio to teach at Kenyon College, but died two years later. ” Founded in 1824, Kenyon is the oldest private college in Ohio. The small, all-male college originally educated clergymen for frontier America.

David Herbert was buried 5th December 1835 at Llansantffraid.

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10.     Frances Elizabeth Herbert

Born 26 Mar 1829 in Glasbury, Radnorshire, Daughter of William Herbert, vicar & Elizabeth Morice and twin sister of David William Herbert. 4 x great granddaughter of Joseph Rand. Died 9 October 1895.

Despite being the unmarried daughter of the local vicar, in late 1862, aged 33, Frances Elizabeth became pregnant.

At some point it would appear that she was sent to London to hush up the pregnancy; on 7 June 1863 she gave birth to a son, Evan Edward Evans, in Bermondsey.

The infant was christened two months later at St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey. Although his birth was registered with the surname Herbert, at his baptism, his parents’ names were given as “Evan & Frances Elizabeth Evans of Clapham”, with the father’s occupation being given as “schoolmaster”.

Frances subsequently returned to live with her parents and remained there, unmarried, for the rest of her life.

Evan Edward appears to have spent his early childhood close to his mother, within the parish of Llansantffraid. On the 1871 census he appears aged 7 as the grandson of Daniel and Margaret Evans, who farmed at Gilfach. We do not know whether Evan Edward really was the grandson of Daniel and Margaret or not. Daniel and Margaret did have a son called Evan of around the right age to be Evan Edward’s father, so it is possible he was. It appears also that these Evanses may have been related to John Nathaniel Evans, husband of Frances Elizabeth’s sister Mary Ann.

By the 1881 census Evan Edward is found studying at Christ’s College, Brecon.

He later became a customs officer and lived in Kent and Hertfordshire, dying in St Albans in 1926. It appears he, like his mother, never married.

Herbert  Plaque Llansantffraid Church

Herbert Family wall plaque in Llansantffraid church, Cardiganshire

Frances’ father’s will in 1892 shows that he left her all his household furniture, plate, linen, china and other household effects to use throughout her life.  This included feather beds, bedding, table linen, two wardrobes, an urn and a tea chest. She was also to receive income from his investments until her death. She was not to live alone long – she died 9th October 1895, 3 years after her father and 2 years after her mother, who lived to 99 and 97 respectively.

In her own will she made a number of bequests to various members of her family, including her son, to whom she left £1000 upon Trust.

She ordered that the sum of £500 out of her estate was to be paid out in charitable bequests and left £20 to each of her 3 servants.

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11.      William Hughes Bankes Price

Born 1861 in St Mellons, Glamorgan, Son of John Bankes Price, vicar & Lucy Elizabeth Price. 4 x great grandson of Joseph Rand. Married 5 April 1894 at All Saints, Marylebone Mary Elizabeth Owen. Died 1911 in Bristol.

William Hughes Bankes Price was the eldest son of John Bankes Price, Rector of Llandwrog, Caernarvon.

He studied at Jesus College, Oxford from 1881 and graduated with a BA degree in 1884 aged around 23. He then studied Law and passed the final examination of the Incorporated Law Society on the 1st and 2nd of November 1887.

At the time of the 1891 census he was listed as a Solicitor and was staying as a visitor in the house of a William Medlicott, solicitor, in Shropshire. We presume this was a friend or relative of his mother’s family – his mother Lucy Elizabeth Price hailed from Clun in Shropshire.

In May 1893 his career took a turn in another direction, when he was appointed as the British Vice Consul in Chicago.

Just under a year later, 23 Mar 1894, William landed at Liverpool from New York on board the Britannic, marrying Mary Elizabeth Owen by special licence at All Saints Marylebone. His residence was listed as the Strand Hotel and hers as the Euston Hotel. This was a very advantageous match for William – Mary Elizabeth Owen was, it appears, the daughter and only child of one William Thearsby Poole, who seems to have been a very rich man. Interestingly, although he is not listed as deceased on his daughter’s marriage certificate, he had in fact died in November 1893, five months before the marriage. Probate on his Will was granted on the 14 April, just 9 days after the marriage took place, with the now Mrs Mary Elizabeth Bankes-Price being the sole executor of his estate which amounted to over £63,000. By way of comparison, William’s own father left just under £6,000 in his Will a few years later.

After the marriage, William and Mary Elizabeth appear to have gone back to Chicago together, for their son John Thearsby Bankes Price was born there the following year.

Unsurprisingly, given the fortune his wife had just inherited, William appears not to have worked for much longer – by 1901, aged just 40, he is listed on the census as a retired British Vice Consul.  He died just 10 years later however, in the Bristol area, aged 50.

John Thearsby Bankes Price, the son born in Chicago, appears to have been the couple’s only child; he too had an eventful life as a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Air Service, flying biplanes in the first world war. He was present at what has been described as “the most historic and significant episode in naval aviation” – the first ship-launched airborne torpedo attack on a ship on 12 August 1915. After many near misses he was killed on 17 September 1916, when after engaging enemy aircraft over Turkey, his Schneider seaplane, for no clear reason, burst into flames, killing the pilot.

  • This page was last updated on Tuesday November 29th, 2011.