MARKHAM, Osborne (1769-1827), of Rochetts, Essex.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



17 Feb. 1806 - Mar. 11807

Family and Education

b. 27 May 1769, 6th s. of William Markham, abp. of York, and bro. of John Markham*. educ. Westminster 1778. Christ Church, Oxf. 1787; L. Inn 1790, called 1794. m. (1) 10 June 1806, Lady Mary Thynne (d. 24 Feb. 1814), da. of Thomas, 1st Mq. of Bath, 1s. 1da.; (2) 28 June 1821, Martha Honora Georgina, da. of Capt. William Henry Jervis Ricketts, RN, 1da. surv.

Offices Held

Chancellor of diocese of York 1795-1818; commr. of bankrupts 1796-1804.

Vol. London and Westminster light horse 1797, lt. 1798, capt. 1800-17.

Commr. navy board Aug. 1803-July 1805, of barracks Apr. 1807-16, comptroller Dec. 1816-d.


Markham’s legal training fitted him for the variety of minor official posts which he held. His father set the ball rolling by making him chancellor of his diocese soon after he had qualified. His elder brother John held a seat at the Admiralty board in Addington’s administration and on 24 Aug. 1803 Lord St. Vincent selected Osborne for the navy board. He thereupon gave up his profession, but retained his ecclesiastical sinecure.1 St. Vincent thought well of his services. His brother resigned with Addington, but Osborne remained at the board until in January 1805 (on Addington’s reconciliation with Pitt) his removal was announced, ‘on account of indiscretion’. His indiscretion consisted of quarrelling with Sir Andrew Hamond* and he was promised ‘in consideration of his services ... some other office of equal value’. In May his removal to the transport board was reported in a reshuffle, but the arrangement fell through. On 22 Sept. 1805 his father complained loudly of his son’s ‘degradation’, through no fault of his own.2

It was doubtless in the hope of remedying this that Markham entered Parliament on the advent of the Grenville ministry for the family seat vacated by Lord Henry Petty*, who presumably made the arrangement. He supported the ministry on the repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806. In his only known speech he defended St. Vincent’s record at the Admiralty, 14 May 1806. Like his brother he was listed adverse to the abolition of the slave trade and on 6 Mar. 1807 was one of its diehard opponents. On 21 Mar. Lord Grenville recommended him to the King as one of the three commissioners for the department of barrack master general. As such, he had by 24 Mar. vacated his seat. The change of ministry delayed the confirmation of his appointment until after a new Member had been returned in his stead, but on 8 Apr. Markham informed the Speaker that his appointment was ‘not likely to take place’, but that he would not attempt to ‘stir any question upon it’.3 The appointment was subsequently ratified. Markham was secure for life. He died 22 Oct. 1827.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Authors: M. G. Hinton / R. G. Thorne


  • 1. St. Vincent Letters (Navy Recs. Soc. lxi), 223; Markham Corresp. (Navy Recs. Soc. xxviii), 25.
  • 2. Markham Corresp., 26; Horner Mems. i. 281; Buckingham, Court and Cabinets, iii. 403; HMC Fortescue, vii. 249; Morning Chron. 24 May 1805; PRO 30/8/156, f. 19.
  • 3. Geo. III Corresp. iv. 3401; Parl. Deb. ix. 176; PRO 30/9/34, Abbot diary.