MARKHAM, John (1761-1827), of Ades, nr. Lewes, Suss.
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Family and Educationb. 13 June 1761, 2nd s. of Rev. William Markham (d. 1807), head master of Westminster Sch. and later abp. of York, and Sarah, da. of John Goddard, English merchant of Rotterdam; bro. of Osborne Markham†. educ. Westminster 1768-75. m. 27 Nov. 1796, Hon. Maria Rice, da. of George Rice† of Newton, Carm. and Cecil, 2nd Baroness Dinevor, 3s. 1da. d. 13 Feb. 1827.
Entered RN 1775, capt. 1783, half-pay 1786-93, r.-adm. 1804, v.-adm. 1809, adm. 1819.
Ld. of admiralty Feb. 1801-May 1804, Feb. 1806-Apr. 1807.
Markham’s ancestors were originally from Nottinghamshire and claimed descent from the Markhams of Markham and Cotham. After three generations of straitened circumstances in Kilkenny, Markham’s father, a future church leader and tutor to the prince of Wales, had begun to restore the family fortunes through his own endeavours and a prudent marriage to a wealthy heiress. The second of his 13 children was born within the precincts of Westminster School, of which he was headmaster, 1753-64, and automatically became a pupil at the age of eight. Following a dazzling naval career and important service as a lord of the admiralty, in 1807 Markham more or less retired to the back benches of the Commons, where as Member for Portsmouth on the interest of the Carter family he voted with opposition when present.1 In 1818 he had withdrawn in face of a challenge with from the admiralty candidate Sir George Cockburn*, but at the 1820 general election he was persuaded out of retirement by John Carter* and returned after a contest.2 A very lax attender, inaccurately described as having ‘attended regularly’ by a commentary of 1825, his only known votes in this period were in the opposition minorities for the reception of Nathan Broadhurst’s petition protesting against his treatment in Lancaster gaol, 7 Mar. 1821, for further tax reductions, 21 Feb., returns on naval pay, 11, 22 Feb., and in the majority for abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 2 May 1822.3 He paired for parliamentary reform, 25 Apr. 1822, 24 Apr. 1823, and Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr. 1825. He is not known to have spoken in debate in this period and he retired from Parliament at the 1826 dissolution, the last naval officer to represent Portsmouth until 1910.
Markham lived out his remaining days on his estate at Ades, near Lewes, which he had purchased in July 1802 for £9,826. In April 1826 his doctors ordered him to winter in a milder climate. He left on 16 Sept., accompanied by his eldest son John and daughter, and, travelling by easy stages, in January 1827 reached Naples, where he died next month with his daughter at his bedside.4 His will, dated 4 May 1826, provided legacies of £8,000 for his sons William and Frederick and his daughter Maria, presumably charged on landed property, since his personal estate was valued under £7,000. His Sussex house and the residue passed to his son John.5