The Family of Frederick Seymour Banks (1845 – 1932) of Holborn, London

Family Chart

04 FSB Master of Butchers Co.jpg06 FSB and  EB 60th Wedding 1930.jpgFrederick Seymour Banks , master of the Butchers’ Company, in 1907 and Frederick and Elizabeth Belsham at 4 John Street, 7 May 1930, their diamond wedding anniversary.

Frederick Seymour Banks was born 2 September 1845 at Willingdon, Sussex. He was registered without names by William Banks his father, a stable keeper of Grays Inn Terrace, Holborn London. His mother was Mary Woodland Banks, formerly Woodland [but really Seymour]. The birth occurred in Willingdon because it appears that Mary had gone to visit her dying uncle, Joseph Seymour, and chose the name Seymour to commemorate him. Frederick was baptised 6 November 1846 at St Andrew Holborn (Grays Inn Terrace, horse dealer). Frederick was baptised 6 November 1846 at St Andrew Holborn (of Grays Inn Terrace, father a horse dealer).

In the 1851 census of 11 Grays Inn Terrace, Holborn, at home with his parents, Frederick S. was aged 5 and born at Willingdon, Sussex.

In 1861, at home with his parents at 4 John Street, Holborn, he was aged 16 and born at Willingdon, Sussex.

Frederick married Elizabeth Belsham (the adopted niece of Lucy Eliza Lucy late Collins formerly Lee) on 7 May 1870 at St Andrew Holborn, London. He was a bachelor and a commission agent of John Street, Bedford Row, a son of William Banks, a commission agent. Elizabeth was a spinster, of the parish of Streatham, a daughter of James Belsham, a florist. Both were of full age. The witnesses were John George Watts and Frances Elizabeth Belsham.

In 1871, at 32 Doughty Street, London, he was aged 25, a commission agent (horses) and born in Sussex.  His wife, Elizabeth, was aged 22 and born in Essex.  There was one general servant, Harriet Andrews, aged 26 and born in Buckinghamshire.

Frederick Seymour was admitted to the Freedom of the Butchers Company on 2 May 1872 and was of 32 Doughty Street, London.

Between 1872 and 1874 Frederick Banks enjoyed considerable success entering lop-eared rabbits in agricultural and other shows around the country.  The following are reports that appeared in newspapers.


In late June, at the Royal Counties (Hants and Berks) Agricultural Show at Windsor, he (Fred Banks 32 Doughty Street) received a ‘highly commended’ in Class 29 for the longest ears (Reading Mercury 29 June 1872).


In 1872 at the Leicestershire Agricultural Show which was held at Market Harborough 28-29 August, Frederick Banks of Doughty Street, Mecklenburg Square, London was highly commended in Class 40 for lop-eared rabbits (Leicester Journal 30 August 1872).


In November 1872 he was living at 32 Doughty Street, Foundling, London and had entered 2 Peris rabbits in the Grand Open Show of the Cambridge Poultry, Pigeon and Rabbit Society.  This second annual show was held in the Corn Exchange, Cambridge and the results were reported in the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal for 30 November 1872.  Frederick Banks of London was awarded a 2nd prize and a highly commended in class 41 for lop-eared rabbits.


At Southampton, at the Royal Counties (Hants and Berks) Agricultural Show he (Mr Frederick Banks Foundling, London gained both the first prize (15s) and the second prize (7s.6d) in class 31 for the longest ears, and he also won second prize (5s) in class 33 ’for variety’ (Hampshire Advertiser 18 June 1873).


At the Leicestershireshire Agricultural Society Show reported in the Leicester Journal for 1 August 1873, Mr Frederick Banks of Doughty Street, Foundling, London, was awarded £1 first prize for the best buck or doe in Class 40 for lop-eared rabbits and a highly commended in class 41 for any other breed.


In the Bedfordshire Agricultural Show at Bedford, summer of 1873, he (Mr Fred Banks, 32 Doughty Street) he won the first prize of 10s for lop-eared rabbits (Northampton Mercury 2 August 1873).


The Huddersfield Chronicle for 23 August 1873 reported that J. (sic, a mistake for F surely) Banks of 32 Doughty Street at the Woodsome Horticultural and Agricultural Show, won the second prize for lop-eared rabbits.  The ears measured 22½ inches (tip to tip) by 4½ inches and the comment was made that he deserved a prize as he had brought them all the way from London to compete.


He (F Banks 32 Doughty Street, Foundling, London) also competed in the Hillhouse Floral, Horticultural and Agricultural Society show when not only was his lop-eared rabbit the winner of its own class but carried off the silver prize medal given by Mr George Taylor.  The ears measured 23½ inches by 5 inches (Huddersfield Chronicle 25 August 1873).


In its edition of 18 June 1874, the Sheffield Telegraph reported that F. Banks of 32 Doughty Street, won 1st prize for a lop-eared buck and 3rd prize for a lop-eared doe at the Thorne Agricultural Society’s Annual Meeting.


In June 1874 at the Royal Counties (Hants and Berks) Agricultural Show at Reading, he (F Banks, 32 Doughty Street) won the first prize of 15s for class 31, the longest ears, and the second prize of 5s for Class 33, for variety, (Hampshire Advertiser 24 June 1874).


At the Alford Poultry and Dog Show Fred Banks of Doughty Street won the first prize for lop-eared rabbits with broken colour and the second prize for those of self colour (Stamford Mercury 31 July 1874).


At about the same time in late July 1874 at the Leicestershire Agricultural Show, held at the Race Course, Fred Banks of Doughty Street won the first prize of £1 for class 32, lop-eared rabbits (Leicester Journal 31 July 1874).


Between 1875 and 1891 Frederick Seymour lived at Leslie Lodge, Croydon, Surrey.  (In 1877 Frederick was living at Leslie Lodge Croydon, and in 1885 when he was an executor for Lucy Eliza Lucy, and when he was selling his billiards table in late winter 1891.)


He was a member of Croydon Farmers Club for at a meeting reported in the Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter for 20 February 1875 Mr F. T. (sic) Banks (Leslie Lodge) was proposed for membership.

Frederick Seymour Banks owned 1-30 Kings Mews.

Between 1875 and 1891 Frederick Seymour lived at Leslie Lodge, Croydon. Frederick Seymour Banks owned 1-30 Kings Mews, London.

In the 1881 census of Lower Addiscombe Lane, Croydon, Frederick S was aged 35, a horse commission agent born in Sussex. His wife, Elizabeth, was aged 32, and born at Epping, Essex, and their children were George, aged 8 and Maud M, aged 6, both born in London, and an infant son [William Seymour], aged 1 month, born at Croydon. With them was a niece, Elizabeth West, aged 23, born at Epping and three domestic servants.

In 1885 Frederick, who was living at Leslie Lodge, Croydon, was an executor, with John George Watts, of Lucy Eliza Lucy, who died 12 May 1885.  The residue of her estate, which appeared to be about £15,200, was left to Elizabeth Banks, her 'adopted niece'.


Following the death of his father, William Banks (died 22 August 1886), Frederick Seymour and William Woodland Banks jointly ran the business, and following the death of his mother (died 17 January 1890) Frederick moved into 4 John Street.  This was in the late winter of 1891 for in the Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter for 31 January 1891 he (of Leslie Lodge) was advertising for sale a billiards table and its accessories, in excellent condition, for £25.


In 1891, at 4 John Street, London, Frederick S. Banks was aged 45, an assistant horse commission agent, an employer and born at Jevington, Sussex.  Elizabeth, his wife, was aged 42 and born at Tawney, Esssex.  Their children were George, aged 18, an assistant horse commission agent ('ditto'?), employed and born at St Pancras, Fred, aged 17, an assistant horse commission agent ('ditto'?) and born at St Pancras, Maud, aged 17, and born at St Pancras, Mabel, aged 15, and born at Croydon, Surrey and Arthur, aged 8 and born at Croydon, Surrey. There were two servants, Martha Swain, aged 28 and born at Cheshunt, Herts and Louisa Abbey aged 21 (?) and born at Tetbury, Gloucs.


In 1891/2 Frederick presented the Banks Cup to Whitgift School, where his son, Frederick Lakeman was educated.  This commemorated the achievement of Fred Lakeman, at Bisley in 1891.  At the Public Schools Meeting at Bisley in that year, he was a member of the Whitgift VIII that shot in the Ashburton Shield Competition, when Whitgift were l5th out of 21 schools competing.  He won the Spencer Cup, however, which was competed for by individual competitors, nominated by each school to fire 7 shots at 500 yards.  Banks won with a total of 33 out of 35, shooting with a Martini, thus emulating the previous Whitgift winner of the Cup, J. Hayne, who in 1881 won with a score of 28, but shooting with a Snider.  Banks was awarded the gift of a pair of field-glasses by Lt. Col. Freeland (of the Queen's, perhaps?).  (It appears that since that time alterations have been made in the conditions of the Spencer Cup Competition, which was later, it is believed, awarded for the highest individual score in the Ashburton Shield by a competitor from any school.  It was last won - although by this time it was called the Spencer-Mellish Cup - by a Whitgiftian in 1953, J S Whybrow).  The Banks Cup was still awarded (1978) to the cadet who made the highest score for Whitgift in the Ashburton.  Its first winner, in 1892, was Lance-Corpl Reed, with a score of 63/70 (33 & 30 at 200 & 500 yards respectively.  In 1893 it was won by Lt Brodie with 57 (26 & 31).  In 1894 Corpl Malden was top-scorer for Whitgift with 52 (27 & 25), he also shot for the Spencer but scored only 22, being 15th out of 24.  In the Cadet Trophy (a pair who shoot at 200 & 500 yards), in which Whitgift were 5th out of twelve, Private G C Hampton scored 52 (29 & 23).  It seems, then, that Malden and Hampton were deemed to have done equally well, and so the Banks Cup was shared.


On 31 December 1893 Frederick Seymour Banks dissolved his partnership with William Woodland Banks, previously trading as W and F Banks, commission dealers in horses at Kings Mews, Theobald Road, London.  The business was subsequently operated by Frederick alone.


In 1895 he presented to the Butchers Company a silver punch bowl, chased on four feet and weighing 164 oz and became Master in 1907.  At the time of his death he was its wine warden.


In the 1901 census of 4 John Street, Holborn, London, Frederick S. was aged 55, a horse commission agent, born at Willingdon, Sussex.  His wife, Elizabeth, was aged 52, born at Stapleford Tawney, Essex.  Their children were Frederick L. aged 27, an assistant commission agent and his twin Maud M. aged 27, both born in London, Mabel L., aged 25, and Arthur S., aged 18, a commission agent’s clerk, both born at Croydon.  There were also two servants, both single, Mary Harper, aged 26, a domestic cook, born at Framlingham, Suffolk and Emily Woodgate, aged 31, a domestic housemaid, born at Poplar, London.


In 1911, at 4 John Street, Bedford Row, London, in 14 rooms, Frederick S Banks was aged 65, a horse commission agent, an employer working at home, born in Jevington, Sussex.  His wife, Elizabeth, was aged 62 and born at Stapleford Tawney, Essex.  She had been married for 40 years and had had 8 children of whom 3 had died [William Seymour + 2 others].  With them were their children George, married, aged 38 (married for 12 years), an employer (grocers engineer) and born in St Pancras; Frederick L. single aged 37, , born St Pancras; Mabel L aged 35 and born at Croydon, both assistants to horse commission agent and working at home.  There were also 2 servants, a cook, Mary Jost (?) a widow aged 51 and born in Glasgow and a housemaid, Mary Dugan single and aged 27, born in Dublin.


In the 1915 Post Office London Directory, at 4 John Street (Bedford Row) was Frederick Seymour Banks.  In Kings Mews (Theobald Road) the only entry is Fred Banks, commission stables.


Frederick Seymour was a passenger on the London, Brighton and South Coast railway and involved in a railway accident in which some people were killed.


In September 1918, he and his family were living at High Wycombe, to escape the air raids on London.  They had also been at Bishops Stortford.


On 30 June 1919, on behalf of Lord Woolavington (James Buchanan, a whiskey baron) for the nation, Frederick bought at auction (Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, 34 and 35 New Bond Street) ‘The Log of HMS Victory’ from the famous collection of the late T.J. Barratt Esq, for £5,000. 


In December 1921, Frederick Seymour Banks was listed as owning the freehold of the following properties, which were to be registered with the Land Registry: land, dwellinghouse, stabling and garages at 4 John Street, 1-24 inclusive Kings Mews and 3 and 5 Little James Street, in the parishes of St Andrew Holborn-above-the-bars and St George the Martyr.


On 14 December 1924 a cartoon was published in the 'News of the World' showing personalities at the Smithfield Cattle Show, which included Frederick.


In 1930, Frederick and Elizabeth celebrated their diamond wedding, when he was 85 years old.  He was of Kings Mews and 4, John Street.  He bought and sold thoroughbred horses.  This was recorded in a newspaper article.


Frederick Seymour Banks died 22 September 1932 after 3 months of illness in his 88th year (he was actually 87).  His death was reported in the Times and the Sporting Life.  He lived at 4 John Street almost all his life.  His business of horse dealing was founded by William Banks in 1812 (not true).  He belonged to Tattersall’s Club and was a member of Kempton Park, Sandown and Newbury Clubs.  At one time he owned several racehorses.  Lord Woolavington was an old friend of 50 years standing and Frederick formed his famous collection of sporting pictures.  Frederick was a real enthusiast in all fields of sport.  His parents celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary too (comments in a newspaper obituary).


Frederick’s will was dated 10 December 1929 and witnessed by Fred. W. King, a builder, of 95 Savernake Road, Hampstead and Alfred Beckinsale, a foreman, of 21A Kings Mews WC.  He was of 4 John Street, esquire.  He appointed his wife, Elizabeth Banks, his son George and Lancelot Edey Hall, solicitor, as his executors and trustees.  He left his executors, who proved his will £100.  He left £100 to his daughter in law, Mary, the wife of George Banks.  He left a £100 annuity to his good friend Julia Younger, the widow of Dr Edward Younger.  He then left his residuary estate to his wife, and if she were to predecease him then to his three children George Banks, Maud Mary Robinson and Arthur Seymour Banks.  Probate of his will was granted at London, 10 December 1932 to George Banks, engineer and Lancelot Edey Hall, solicitor.  His effects were valued at £45,930. 3s 6d, revised to £46,384. 2s. 4d.


Elizabeth died 13 December 1934.


Elizabeth’s will was dated 10 December 1929 [the same date as Frederick's] and witnessed by Fred. W. King, a builder, of 95 Savernake Road, Hampstead and Alfred Beckinsale, a foreman, of 21A Kings Mews WC.  She was described as the wife of Frederick Seymour Banks, of 4 John Street, Bedford Row, London.  Her executors were her husband, Frederick Seymour Banks, her son, George Banks and Lancelot Edey Hall, solicitor.  She left her personal effects to her husband and the income from her residuary estate.  She left legacies to her niece Elizabeth Russell (Mrs G. Russell, who had apparently married into the family after whom the lupins are named) (£200 + £20 annuity), her niece May Blackney (£100), her daughters-in-law Mary Banks, wife of her son George, (£50) and Gertrude Banks, wife of her son Arthur Seymour Banks, (£50) and her daughter Mabel Lucy Marsh (an annuity of £104).  The residue was to be divided equally between her children George Banks, Maud Mary Robinson and Arthur Seymour Banks.  Probate of her will was granted in London on 8 March 1935 to her executors George Banks, engineer and Lancelot Edey Hall, solicitor.  Her effects were valued at £45,554.2s.1d, personalty £28,211.


Frederick was buried Monday, 26 September 1932 at Highgate New Cemetery.  Amongst the mourners were George and Arthur Banks, Mr W and Mr A Robinson (nephews), Miss Ewins and Miss May Robinson.  There were floral tributes from Miss Annie Robinson, Mr and Mrs Fred Robinson, and 'Bogey'.  Elizabeth was later buried with him.  The monument (4 ft high) is of dark grey marble on a limestone slab on top of a brick and concrete plinth.  The plot number is 41832.  The inscription reads ‘In affectionate memory of Frederick Seymour Banks died 22 September 1932 aged 87 years.  F.L. Banks L.R.B. Killed Ypres 1915 aged 41 son of F.S. Banks.  Also his wife, Elizabeth, died 13 December 1934 aged 86 years’.  The monumental masons were Becketts, 70 Baker Street, W1.

Frederick Seymour and Elizabeth's children were:

  1. George, born 3 July 1872 and baptised 25 September 1872 at St Andrew Holborn.
  2. Frederick Lakeman, born 20 January 1874, the twin of Maud Mary, and baptised 24 April 1874 at St Andrew Holborn.
  3. Maud Mary, born 20 January 1874, the twin of Frederick Lakeman, and baptised 24 April 1874 at St Andrew Holborn.
  4. Mabel Lucy, born 24 June1 1875 at Croydon.
  5. William Seymour (1881 – 1881), born February/March 1881 at Croydon. His death was registered in the September quarter of 1881 in the Croydon district, aged 0.
  6. Arthur Seymour, born 18 December 1882 at Croydon.

Home Page

Posted March 2017