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John Markham, “Apothecary” and Richard Rawlinson

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John Markham, “Apothecary” and Richard Rawlinson
by Pamela Hutchison Garrett, Feb 2020
markjohn1146uk; wt_Markham-7591; fs_M3XS-5R4

Link to John Markham in wikitree profiles.

John Markham had a lengthy friendship with the antiquarian, Richard Rawlinson. This interesting gentleman was a younger son of Sir Thomas Rawlinson who served as Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1705-6. Richard Rawlinson was “educated at St Paul's School, at Eton College, and at St John's College, Oxford. In 1714 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, where he was inducted by Newton.” Over his lifetime Rawlinson made “very diverse collections of manuscripts, coins and curiosities, his books alone forming three libraries, English, foreign and Classical.”

There are several evidences of John Markham’s friendship with Richard Rawlinson. The website, Early Modern Letters Online, a project of the University of Oxford and Bodleian Library, includes three letters exchanged between Rawlinson, John Markham, and Markham’s son, Samuel Markham.

When Richard Rawlinson wrote his Will he named John Markham as his executor, along with John Locker and Edward Umfreville. The Will, written about 1750 and probated in 1755, is an amazing document, running over twenty pages, including codicils. “At his death Rawlinson left to the Library 5,205 manuscripts bound in volumes that include many rare broadsides and other printed ephemera, his curiosities, and some other property that endowed a professorship of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford.” The settlement of the estate must have been a tremendous undertaking.

The largest portion of Richard Rawlinson’s Will is devoted to the disbursement of his collections. About midway through the document he names several family members, including his brother Constantine Rawlinson. There are several mentions in the Will of John Markham on a more personal level, and they have invited the thought that Rawlinson and Markham might have a family connection, but it is not made clear:

To his brother Constantine Rawlinson, ". . . all the family paintings (except that of my father painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller now at Mr John Markhams Apothecary in pator noster Row) which last I hereby give and bequeath to the Worshipful Company of Vintners London of which my esteemed father was a member)."

". . my said Brother Constantine Rowlinson my sistor Mary Rawlinson my sistor Ann Andrews and to Mr John Markham and Elizabeth his wife Equally shared and shared alike . ."

" . . do give and bequeath unto John Markham the sum of one hundred pounds sterling upon condition that the said John Markham do settle and adjust to the satisfaction of my Sister Ann Andrews seperate and apart from her husband . . all the amounts between them and pay or retreive the ballance with in . . failure of his performance of this . . to him and his family be void . .” [1]


  1. Rawlinson, Richard., (1755)., The Deed of Trust and Will of Richard Rawlinson, of St. John Baptist College, Oxford, Doctor of Laws Containing His Endowment of an Anglo-Saxon Lecture, and Other Benefactions to the College and University. Oxford University. Retrieved from Google e-Books (here;) Accessed 28 Sept 2022.

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