BANKS, William I (c.1636-76), of Winstanley, Lancs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



27 May 1675 - 6 July 1676

Family and Education

b. c.1636, 3rd but o. surv. s. of William Banks of Winstanley, being o.s. by 2nd w. Sarah, da. of Walter Jones of Chastleton, Oxon. m. 23 Oct. 1656, Frances, da. of Peter Legh of Bruch Hall, Lancs., 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. 1666.1

Offices Held

Dep. lt. Lancs. c. Aug. 1660-2, ?1663-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-74, corporations 1662-3, jt. farmer of excise 1665-74, j.p. 1665-6, 1670-d.; freeman, Liverpool by 1670; v.-adm. Lancs. 1673-d.2


Banks’s grandfather, a London goldsmith of Wigan origin, bought the Winstanley estate in 1596. His father, whose property at the Restoration was estimated at £500 p.a., seems to have avoided office and political commitment. But Banks acquired an independent income of £500 at his marriage, and in 1660 succeeded his brother-in-law, Piers Legh, who had been involved in Booth’s rising, as Member for Newton. Presumably a court supporter, he was added to the committee of elections and privileges on 19 July, and appointed to the committee for the restoration of the dukedom of Norfolk in the second session, but left no other certain trace on the records of the Convention, though he kept a brief journal of its proceedings.3

Banks was rejected by the King as deputy lieutenant as being ‘of insufficient quality’, but the nomination was pressed by the 8th Earl of Derby, and eventually accepted. There may also have been political objections, for until the Five Mile Act came into force he maintained as tutor to his children the Presbyterian Adam Martindale, who found his employer ‘very civil and liberal’. From 1665, in partnership with his brother-in-law, he farmed the county excise. During the minority of Derby’s heir, he acted as one of the trustees of the estate, and it was on the Stanley interest that he was returned for Liverpool in 1675. He probably did not take his seat until the autumn session, travelling up to London with the court Members Roger Kirkby, (Sir) Roger Bradshaigh I and (Sir) John Otway. A moderately active Member, he was appointed to five committees, of which the most important was to prevent abuses in the collection of hearth-tax. At the end of the session Sir Richard Wiseman described him as

a fair man in temper; and I hope he will not be led by Mr [Thomas] Cholmondeley and Sir Henry Capel as he was last session ... for upon his going out of town he seemed to me to be otherwise inclined.

His name was added to the list of government supporters, but he did not live to confirm or deny Wiseman’s impression. He died during the long recess on 6 July 1676, and was buried at Chastleton. His will, making provisions for daughters and younger sons to the tune of almost £5,000 suggests a financially successful career.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. lxxxiv), 26; N. and Q. clxix. 26-27.
  • 2. Lancs. RO, QSC 62-79; SP29/61/157; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 426, 639; iii. 833; HMC Ormonde, n.s. iii. 367; W. Beamont, Hale and Orford, 100, Ind. 24557.
  • 3. VCH Lancs. iv. 87-88; SP29/61/85; Lancs. RO, DDBa.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1661-2, pp. 443, 483, 495, 524; 1663-4, p. 69; 1675-6, p. 558; Life of Adam Martindale (Chetham Soc. iv), 178; HMC Ormonde, n.s. iii. 366-7; Par. Colls. (Oxf. Rec. Soc. ii), 85; PCC 135 Bence.