Joshua Bates, an English banker, born at Weymouth, Mass., in 1788, died in London, Sept. 24, 18G4. At the age of 15 he entered the counting-house of William R. Gray in Boston, and bv his remarkable capacity soon attracted the notice of Mr. Gray's father, who sent him to the north of Europe to protect his interests there. In 1820, through the influence of Messrs. Baring Brothers and company, he formed a house in London, in connection with Mr. John Baring, son of Sir Thomas Baring, under the firm of Bates and Baring. On the death of Mr. Holland these gentlemen were both made partners in the house of Baring Brothers and company, of which Mr. Bates remained till his death an active member. In 1854 Mr. Bates was appointed umpire in the English and American commission which had been arranged by the two governments to settle claims held by the citizens of one country against the government of the other. In 1852 he chanced to read the official report of a plan for establishing a free public library in Boston, and wrote immediately to the mayor of Boston offering to contribute $50,000 toward the scheme, on condition that the income of his fund should annually be spent in the purchase of books of permanent value, and that the city should always provide comfortable accommodations for their use, both day and evening, by at least 100 readers.
The building was dedicated in 1858, and up to that time he had given to the library between 20,000 and 30,000 volumes over and above all that had been purchased by the resources of his fund. Mr. Bates was married in 1813 to Lucretia Augusta Sturgis, by whom he had one surviving child, Madame Van de Weyer, wife of an eminent diplomatist of Belgium.