The Life of Sir Clements R. Markham.

Pure hagiography by his cousin, also a naval officer. Clements had a short but early naval career which included service as the only midshipman on the Assistance on its 1850-51 search for John Franklin. He contributed to the Aurora Borealis and other papers of the voyage.

p. 114: During his spare time Markham carefully read every Arctic book that had been published, and was regarded as quite an authority among his messmates on Arctic history; so that he was frequently consulted regarding the work accomplished by Arctic explorers from the earliest times. Prior to his departure from England, he had made himself familiar with the instructions that had been given to Sir John Franklin for his guidance.

p. 120-21: The monthly journal known as the Aurora Borealis continued its circulation, and retained its popularity to the end. Markham wrote a series of articles for it on the “History of Griffith and Cornwallis Islands,” commencing with the trilobites in the Silurian Age. This was completed in five numbers. In addition to the numerous articles which he wrote for the Aurora Borealis, he was also a frequent contributor to the Illustrated Arctic News, a journal brought out on board the Resolute under the joint editorship of Sherard Osborn and McDougal. He was also involved in the Minavilins, a more covert paper on the Assistance which like its Resolute counterpart, The Gleaner, was confiscated and suppressed altogether.

p. 123: During the winter he [Markham] read carefully many historical books besides Southey’s poems and Shakespeare’s works. Prescott’s “Conquest of Peru” always fascinated him; in fact, in his spare time he wrote a tragedy in blank-verse on the fate of Tupac Amaru, the last of the Incas. He also translated the first of Virgil’s Eclogues, and wrote an essay on Pastoral Poetry. He was a great student, too, of Arctic history, and devoured every work connected with it that he could get…. By great good luck he found that Dr. Donnet, the surgeon, had a Quichua grammar on board, which he had picked up at Lima. Markham borrowed it, and was thus enabled to acquire a smattering of the language of the Incas.

p. 130: Markham after the voyage published a defense of Captain Austen against various press attacks; published as “Franklin’s Footsteps.” Markham later accompanied the Nares expedition as far as Disco before returning to England.

p. 1868-69, covers marriage to Minna Chichester, later Lady Markham, and birth of daughter May in 1859. Rest of the book is about his work for exploration, Royal Geographical Society, Hakluyt Society, Navy Records Society, etc., and his involvement in support and preparation for Scott’s expeditions, etc.

p. 361, on Markham’s death: On the 29th [Jan 1916], having been confined to his room for some days by an attack of gout, he was sitting in bed reading, by the light of a naked candle, a book printed in old Portuguese. It is assumed he was holding the candle close to the book, the better to decipher the letterpress, when by some accident the bedclothes became ignited, probably by the fall of the candle. His call for assistance was instantly responded to, and the fire extinguished, but alas! the great shock was too much for a man of his years. He remained mercifully unconscious for about twenty hours, when he passed peacefully away.