Described as “a Dorsetshire Man” in the announcement of his death in the Leamington Spa Courier of 7th May 1915, Edward Nugent Bankes was actually born on 3rd October 1875 in Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire, and his father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all born in London. However, Edward’s great-grandfather, Henry Bankes, was MP for Corfe Castle for almost 50 years, and Edward’s grandfather, George, was also MP for the same district for some 13 years.
Edward was a 6x great-grandson of Mary, Lady Bankes (1598-1661), who defended Corfe Castle against Parliamentary troops for two years during the English Civil War 1643-5. The castle was demolished by order of Parliament in 1645 but the fortunes of the Bankes family were restored with the return of Charles II in 1660. Rather than restore the ruined Corfe Castle, the family seat for the next 400 years became a newly-built property at Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, Dorset (which has been in the care of the National Trust since 1981).
The local connection with the Bankes family is that, in 1906, Edward Nugent Bankes married his first cousin once removed, Lettice Adelaide Digby (1882-1953), eldest daughter of Charles Wriothesley Digby (1859-1908), of Meriden Hall, Warwickshire. Charles’s mother, Adelaide, was a younger sister of Edward’s father, Henry Hyde Nugent Bankes.