Frederick Markham

Birth: 1806


Frederick Markham (1806-1855), lieutenant-general, youngest son of Admiral John Markham, and grandson of William Markham, archbishop of York, was born at his father's house, Ades, in Chailey parish, near Lewes, Sussex, 16 Aug. 1805. He was sent to Westminster School, where he was an active cricketer and oarsman, and acted Syrus in the 'Adelphi,' the Westminster play of 1823. He was expelled for a boating scrape in 1824, and on 13 May of that year obtained an ensigncy by purchase in the 32nd foot, in which regiment he became lieutenant in 1825, captain in 1829, major in 1839, and lieutenant-colonel in 1842, buying all his steps.

When the 32nd was in Dublin in 1830, Markham was second to Captain Smyth, then of the regiment (afterwards General Sir John Rowland Smyth, K.C.B., d. 1873), in a fatal duel with Standish O'Grady, a barrister, arising out of a fracas in Nassau Street, Dublin, on 17 March. Smyth and Markham were tried for their lives, and sentenced each to a year's imprisonment in Kilmainham gaol. Judge Vandeleur was careful to assure them that the sentence implied no reflection on their conduct in the affair. Markham served with his regiment in Canada, and received three wounds when in command of the light company covering the advance in the unsuccessful attack on the rebels at St. Denis in November 1837, during the insurrection in Lower Canada.

He went out in command of the regiment to India; commanded the 2nd infantry brigade at the first and second sieges of Mooltan during the Punjab campaign of 1848-9 (he was wounded 10 Sept. 1848); commanded the division at Soorajkhoond, when the enemy's position was stormed and seven guns taken; commanded the Bengal column at the storming of Mooltan, 2 Jan. 1849, and was present at the surrender of the city on 22 Jan. and the capture of the fort of Cheniote on 2 Feb., and, joining Lord Gough's army with his brigade on 20 Feb., was present with it at the crowning victory of Goojerat (C.B., medal and clasps), He was afterwards made aide-de-camp to the queen.

Markham, who was a wiry, active man, was all his life an ardent sportsman. When at Peshawur in April 1852 he made a long shooting excursion in the Himalayas in company with Sir Edward Campbell, bart., an officer of the 60th rifles on the governor-general's staff. They visited Cashmere and Tibet, penetrating as far as Ladak, and bringing back trophies of the skulls and bones of the great Oms Ammort the burrell, gerow, ibex, and musk-deer. Markham published a narrative of the journey, entitled' Shooting in the Himalayas - a Journal of Sporting Adventures in Ladak, Tibet, and Cashmere . . . with Illustrations by Sir Edward Campbell, Bart.,' London, 1854.

Markham returned home on leave, and in March 1854 was sent back to India as adjutant-general of the queen's troops. In November he was promoted major-general and appointed to the Peshawur division, but when within two days' journey of his command was recalled for a command in the Crimea. On 30 July 1855 he was appointed to the 2nd division of the army before Sebastopol, with the local rank of lieutenant-general. He commanded the division at the attack on the Redan, 8 Sept. 1855.

He was just able to witness the fall of Sebastopol, when his health, which had suffered greatly by his hurried journey from India, broke down. He returned home, and died in London, at Limmer's Hotel, 21 Dec. 1855. He was buried in the family vault, Morland, near Penrith, beside a small oak-tree he had planted before leaving for the Crimea. A monument to him was put up in Morland parish church by the officers of the 32nd foot, now 1st Cornwall light infantry.

[A Naval Career during the Old War (Life of Admiral John Markham), London, 1883, pp. 275, 284-7; Gent. Mag. 1856, pt. i. p. 83.]


Henry Manners Chichester, Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 36. pgs. 165-166.

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