Gervase Markham

For the Mozilla Foundation employee, see Gervase Markham (programmer).
Gervase Markham by Burnet Reading, after Thomas Cross

Gervase (or Jervis) Markham (ca. 1568 – 3 February 1637) was an English poet and writer, best known for his work The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and Outward Virtues Which Ought to Be in a Complete Woman first published in London in 1615.


Markham was the third son of Sir Robert Markham of Cotham, Nottinghamshire, and was probably born in 1568. He was a soldier of fortune in the Low Countries, and later was a captain under the Earl of Essex's command in Ireland. He was acquainted with Latin and several modern languages, and had an exhaustive practical acquaintance with the arts of forestry and agriculture. He was a noted horse-breeder, and is said to have imported the first Arabian horse. Very little is known of the events of his life. The story of the murderous quarrel between Gervase Markham and Sir John Holles related in the Biographia (s.v. Holles) has been generally connected with him, but in the Dictionary of National Biography, Sir Clements R. Markham, a descendant from the same family, refers it to another contemporary of the same name, whose monument is still to be seen in Laneham church. Gervase Markham was buried at St Giles's, Cripplegate, London, on 3 February 1637.[1]


Manuscript for The cavallarie, or knowledge belonging to a captaine of horse, 1626

Markham was a voluminous writer on many subjects, but repeated himself, and sometimes reprinted books under other titles. His booksellers procured from him a declaration in 1617 that he would produce no more on certain topics.[1] Markham's writings include:

Markham edited the Book of Saint Albans sometimes attributed to Juliana Berners, under the title of The Gentleman's Academy (1595); and produced numerous books on husbandry, many of which are catalogued in William Thomas Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual (Bohn's ed., 1857–1864).[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Chisholm, 1911


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