Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Edward Banks

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Sir Edward Banks (1770-1835), builder and contractor

1770 January 4th. Born near Richmond, Yorkshire.

Started as an agricultural labourer and left home with two shillings and two shirts and could not read. Went first to Scotland an laboured on the canals and worked his way up.[1]

1789 He became involved with the first of many construction projects, undertaking sea banking and draining in Holderness, Yorkshire.

1791 Became contractor on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

1793 Under John Rennie (the elder) he worked on the Lancaster Canal and the Ulverston Canal. Rennie later recommended Banks for many future projects.

1793 Married Nancy (d. 1815), daughter of John Franklin, with whom he had five sons and three daughters.

1795–7 Banks worked on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, the Peak Forest Canal, and Ashton-under-Lyne Canal.

1800 he worked on several Derbyshire canals under William Jessop, tram roads and turnpikes,

Began a trade carrying coal and limestone, with thirty barges.

1803 Banks extended the Surrey Iron Railway from Croydon to Merstham, where Colonel Hylton Jolliffe MP had an interest in the limeworks.

Banks formed a partnership with Col. Jolliffe, supplying building materials to London - which became Jolliffe, Banks and Co

1807 the Revd William John Jolliffe (1774–1835) replaced his brother in the partnership, which rapidly became a major building contractor, including Cardiff marshes (1808), a lighthouse at Heligoland, and constructing Howth harbour in Dublin Bay.

1811 Jolliffe and Banks reconstructed the Limehouse entrance to the West India Dock

1811 Jolliffe and Banks became contractors for Rennie's Waterloo Bridge, London

1813 They carried out various dock projects

1814 Contractors for Southwark Bridge, the largest cast-iron bridge built

1817 Built a cut to drain the Bedford Level of the fens, followed by similar drainage projects elsewhere.

1821 Married Amelia (d. 1836), daughter of Sir Abraham Pytches of Streatham.

1822 They contracted for the canal and locks which created the port of Goole on the Humber.

1822 Knighted

1824 under the younger John Rennie, built the new granite London Bridge

Edward founded Banks Town (later Sheerness-on-Sea) as a speculation, instituting a tri-weekly service from London by steamboat (built by Jolliffe, Banks and Co).

1824 With Jolliffe, Banks was a founder of the General Steam Navigation Co.

1828 the partners built the saltpetre warehouse on the south side of the Blackwall basin, West India Dock.

1834 The partnership was dissolved, the year before both Banks and Jolliffe died.

1835 Died

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Railway Navvies by Terry Coleman. ISBN: 13579108642