Albert Hastings Markham

Birth: 1841


Sir Albert Hastings Markham (1841-1918), British admiral and Arctic explorer, was born at Bagneres, France, Nov. 11 1841, the son of a naval captain. Entering the Royal Navy in 1856, he served during the next 16 years in the Far East (where he took a prominent part in reprisals upon the Japanese of Kagoshima for the murder of an Englishman) and on the Mediterranean and Australian stations.

In 1873 he shipped as A.B. on a whaler for Davis Straits and Baffin Bay with a view to investigating that route for polar research; he took an active share in the work of the vessel, and wrote a fascinating narrative of the voyage (A Whaling Cruise to Baffin's Bay). In 1875 and following years he commanded H.M.S. "Alert" on the Arctic expedition under Nares, and at the head of a sledge-party he reached the highest latitude attained up to that time (83° 20' N.).

Subsequently, after further service in the Pacific and as captain of the "Vernon" torpedo school, he visited Novaya Zemlya with Sir H. Gore-Booth, and also Hudson Strait and Bay, upon which he reported to the Canadian Government as to their suitability for a commercial route. In 1886 he was appointed to command the training squadron; he was promoted rear-admiral in 1891, and in 1892 became second-in-command of the Mediterranean squadron under Sir George Tryon.

His flagship was the "Camperdown" when she was rammed and sunk by the "Victoria"; he was acting under superior orders and was not censured. Subsequently he was placed in command at the Nore. He was created K.C.B. in 1903 and retired in 1906, devoting himself thereafter to literary work (including a biography of his cousin Sir Clements Markham), to the furtherance of polar exploration, and, during the World War, to the mine-sweeping service. He died in London on Oct. 28 1918.


1922 Encyclopaedia Britannica pg. 850.

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