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No. XV. REV. DR. ROBERT MARKHAM,
a native of Cheshire, was educated at St. John'sCollege, Cambridge, where he took the degree of B. A. 1748, and that of M. A. 1752. He removed afterwards to Brazen-nose College, Oxford; where he was incorporated, 1753; and elected a Fellow of that Society, which in 1768 presented him to the rectory of Whitechapel. This respectable Divine, and most exemplary Parish Priest, was remarkable for affability, humanity, and suavity of manners. In 1768, he also took the degree of B. and D. D. He died Sept. 24, 1786; and was buried at Whitechapel.
A Sermon was preached on the Sunday after his interment from James i. 4, by his Curate, Mr. Robson, which was printed at the request of the parish, but never formally published *
"Benevolence," says the Preacher, "was, I think, the basis of his character. Never man studied the happiness of his fellowchristians more, never man laboured more to promote it. Public charities, and private miseries, found in him a liberal support and ready relief. I see many, very many now before me, whose grateful tongues can bear testimony to what I say, who have tasted of his bounty, and who have heard him wish that the quantity of his alms had been even doubled; thus enhancing the value of a beneficent action by the manner of doing it. But the benevolence of his disposition was sublimed into Christian charity. He thought no evil of any one, neither of any did he speak evil. He knew how to forgive injuries, and did forgive them. Perhaps it has been the lot of few men to reckon so small a number of enemies as he did, if indeed he could reckon any. None could maltreat him, save the brutal and the envious; but there was a lenity, a forgiveness about him, which obviated and overcame even brutality and envy. For ever averse from strife, and studious of avoiding contention, wrath and resentment gave way before his face-he was indeed a peace-maker, and blessed are such. The disputes which molest half the world, created no
It is almost superfluous to add, that Dr. Markham stood deservedly high in the esteem of his parishioners, at whose expence an elegant monument was erected to his memory in 1788, executed by Mr. Banks, and representing Piety weeping at the tomb of Benevolence. The figure of Piety is very beautiful, and full of the expression of grief; it reclines against a large sarcophagus-like urn, which is taken from that of Cecilia Metella in the Campo Vaccino at Rome,
disquiet in his breast. His was a tolerant spirit. He could be steady in his own opinions, without hating those who dissented from him. His principles in religious matters were strictly those of the Church of England. He did not live upon the revenues of a church whose tenets he could not approve of, or acquiesce in; but, while he abhorred this base temporizing practice, he knew how to give their due shure of honour to those who have given up their ecclesiastical incomes that they may enjoy liberty with peace of conscience.
"But one controversy have I ever heard that he had, and that was in defence of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and the Deity of HIM who in the beginning was with God, and was. God. His love for his parish was boundless. He lived among you -and like a faithful servant and observant follower of Christ Jesus, he went about doing good. His life was irreproachable as his doctrine was sound. He kept back nothing. He preached the Gospel whole and entire. He extolled not faith without works, neither did he recommend works without faith. He flattered neither the sinner nor the saint. But, resting salvation upon these two pillars, faith and morality conjoined, he knew that his doctrine was impregnable, and urged it with that earnestness which a man always will do, when he knows that Truth and he contend on one and the same side. In the little parochial disputes, which now and then even the best meaning men may fall into, he was always a moderator; the real interest of the parish was continually his object, and he was always happy when he could select the adviseable measures of both parties, and, by combining them, gratify both, by the adoption of at least the wisest part of their plans, and thus render both of utility to the parish at large. Every one's interest he consulted, save his own. He was contented to receive his own rightful dues, as the law of the land and the usage of his predecessors had settled them, and to hand them down, uninjured by fraud or violence, to his successors. A true son, and faithful minister of the Church of England as he was, he was loyal to the Head of the Church uuder Christ. The king had not a more dutiful or more affectionate subject, nor the constitution a friend who revered it more. He was no more a favourer of republicanism, than he was an apologist for
and is marked out for the tomb of Benevolence, by a small medallion on the pedestal exhibiting the charity of the good Samaritan, The whole is supported by a tablet which receives the inscription, and is backed by a slab of grey marble, which gives a pleasing relief to the rest of the monument.
absolute monarchy. He disdained to court noisy popularity by affecting republican principles; and reverenced too much the rights of mankind, to be an advocate for despotism. He was satisfied with being a zealous and sincere lover of his country's form of government-which is the happy mean between a commonwealth and an uncontrouled monarchy.
"He was a friend to the poor, a friend to mankind, a sincere friend to the Church of England, a zealous pastor of this his numerous flock, a loyal subject to his sovereign, and a real lover of his country. These are the great lines in his character; and indeed I have not trenched upon panegyric in all I have said. I have only spoken the truth. The more minute parts are just as amiable. As a companion, his manners were bland and easy, yet pure and unaffected. There was nothing of moroseness, nothing of darkness in him. Chearful as a good and benevolent mind could make him, he carried his heart in his hand. He was the delight of many; the comforter of many. Polite and affable, he never wounded the feelings of any one; he never said cruel, or shocking, or unpleasantly blunt things. He was an ornament to our common Christianity, truly adorning the religion which he professed.
"He was a kind and an affectionate husband; and consulted the ease, comfort, and happiness of her, who with us mourns for him, in every thing. He was a considerate and a mild mas▾ ter of a family, attentive to the circumstances of his servants, imposing light services, and even in these easily satisfied.
"No man ever made a better use of the health and spirits with which God long blessed him; they were employed in glory to God, in promoting peace on earth, and preserving good-will amongst men. And, when sickness overtook him, the words of the text were continually in his mouth:-" Let patience have her perfect work." His patience was perfect and entire. He submitted to every expedient which friendly, rational, and experienced medical skill could devise; submitted even when the cold hand of death was already upon him, and medicine could only palliate, not remove, his disorder. I myself was an eye-witness to his last moments. I myself heard his last sigh. His death was that which we might expect in so good, so gentle, so pious a man. He took leave of his attendants with a blessing. He felt no pangs of body, he had no perturbations of mind. May we die the death of the righteous, and may our last end be like his !"
"Sacred to the memory of the Rev. ROBERT MARKHAM, D. D. Chaplain in ordinary to his Majesty George III. and Rector of this Parish,
who died Sept. 25, 1786, aged 59 years.
of the high esteem in which they held his
as a zealous Pastor of a numerous Flock,
as a truly pious and benevolent Man, as a Peace-maker, and a spiritual Father and Friend, his Parishioners
have erected this monument.
The righteous shall be had in everlasting
There is a portrait of Dr. Markham, a private plate, and an excellent likeness.
XVI. LETTERS OF THE REV. WM. COLE TO DR. DUCAREL, &c.
1. "SIR, King's College, Cambridge, Feb. 4, 1750-51. "The favour of yours I received: and though it is out of my power to give you my thoughts upon the Baptistery at Luton in Bedfordshire, having never been there; yet I am glad I am able to give you the observations of my friend and able Antiquary, Mr. Blomefield, upon that subject: though I could wish in a more ample manner. He visited this Church about 20 or 30 years ago, and made the following remarks upon the subject of your enquiry; which I shall give you in his own words; being printed many years ago in a quarto volume, and given by him to me, though they have never been published. "In the South aile, towards the West end, stands a fine old font, all inclosed in a chapel of free stone, of antient work, beautifully carved, and raised as high as the arch between the two pillars would permit on the top of all, is a large bason, where the consecrated water used to be kept, which was let down out of it by a pipe at the priest's plea
sure into the font. On the inside, at the top, is a representation of a vine, a dragon, and the Holy Lamb, which defends the vine from the injury of the Dragon, signifying that Baptism defends us from the Devil; and that, by the assistance of the Lamb of God, that Evil-one shall not have power to hurt the Church (of which the vine is an emblem), but that we shall be safe under its branches." From hence you will perceive that your information was wrong as to the situation of this font, which is placed, as very commonly they are, towards the West end of the South aile; and not in the midst of the middle aile, which would be, as you rightly observe, a very unusual situation. I am sorry, when Mr. Lethieullier was there with Mr. Frederick, that the draft of it was omitted: which might have rectified another disagreement in your description, where you mention a lion and a dragon in the cieling if ever I should be at any tolerable distance, won't fail looking upon it myself, when I may be able to say more of it to the purpose; but, however that may be, shall by no means let slip so favourable an opportunity of embracing the offer of your correspondence, and at the same time of assuring you of the pleasure it will give to, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant, and scholefellow, WM. COLE." 2." DEAR SIR,
Blecheley, March 31, 1754.
"Though the arguments you make use of to encourage me to lend my assistance to the work you are engaged in, are very forcible ones; yet I have a more urging one in your favour than those of Schoolfellow and Brother Antiquary: I mean, my own strong natural bent and inclination to forward all works of the sort you are about; where the biographical history of our kingdom is any ways concerned: and especially as it coincides with a favourite branch of that history; in treating of the ecclesiastic affairs and persons of your profession, which is so blended with Church matters, as not easily to be separated one from the other: for formerly the Professors of the Civil Law were altogether in a manner Churchmen. The design you are about is quite news to me: for I don't remember you yourself ever mentioned it to me, and I never heard it from any other quarter: and, had I known your plan, I might possibly have been of further service: for I have large collections in the biographical way; tending chiefly to the History of the Cambridge Writers; which, I suppose, I shall make very little use of; it being a work of that compass and extent, that has utterly frightened my indolence to go on with: but these are all left at Cambridge. I am heartily glad you have undertaken a work, which, I am sure, must give pleasure to all lovers of Antiquity and English History, and that must also be of use to illustrate a particular branch of it, hitherto unattempted, in your appendix concerning the Chancellors of each Diocese. Though I have large collections, as you observe, relating to Cambridgeshire, yet they have hitherto laid in great confusion: but, on your request, I have collected together all that relates to your subject; and for this purpose was obliged to make an index to one book, which wanted one, in order to gratify