By John Banks
I was married to John Banks the 28th of the eighth month, 1696, being a widow. I was convinced of God's truth in the time of my widowhood and we were married at Glastonbury and went to live at Meare until the year 1708. Then we came to Street where we continued until he died.
He was afflicted with much weakness in his latter time, but a little before his death he was raised to go to some meetings. On the 5th of the sixth month he went from home to Somerton and the next day to their Monthly Meeting of worship, which was very large, and he had a good meeting, to the satisfaction of Friends. Afterward he had an evening meeting in the town, and went next day to Long Sutton to visit Friends and to some other places and was at the Monthly Meeting at Puddimoore and had a large testimony to Friends. He was also at Yeovil and was well accepted, after which he returned home. Most Friends thought he would not have been able to undertake such a journey, being between twenty and thirty miles, by reason of his weakness, but he could not be satisfied without it.
On the 2nd of the seventh month, as he was walking in the yard, he was taken with a pain in his back which by degrees went downward into his feet and proved to be the gout. It was very painful for several days before his death, yet he would often say, until the last, that notwithstanding all his pain, his soul did praise and magnify the Lord for his goodness towards him, though he thought his pain sometimes sharper than death, and he said, how well it would be if the Lord would be pleased to remove him hence.
Many Friends and others coming to visit him, he had a large testimony to them by way of exhortation, and a few hours before his death, he said how well it was to have nothing to do but to die. At another time he said that he was assured it would be well with him and that he should end in the truth, as he began. He was very sensible to the last and, after all his pains, had an easy passage, on the 6th of the eighth month, 1710, and is gone to rest, aged seventy-three years and two months.
He was a man that feared God, wrought righteousness, loved truth above all, and his friends with all his heart and he served them faithfully to the end. I am satisfied he laid down his head in peace and rested from all his labors. He was a true help-meet to me, and we lived almost fourteen years together, five of which he was under great weakness, which he bore patiently to the end. I cannot but lament my loss of so near a friend, for he was a great strength to me in my weakness, who am poor and feeble of myself, and do desire the prayers of the faithful for my preservation, that I may hold out to the end, who am his mournful widow,
Street, in Somersetshire, the place of my abode, this 4th of the Third month, 1711.