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GERVASE MARKHAM (or JERVIS) (1568?-1637)

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 735 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GERVASE MARKHAM (or JERVIS) (1568?-1637), English poet and miscellaneous writer, third son of Sir Robert Markham of Cotham, Nottinghamshire, was born probably 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 Arab. Very little is known of the events of his life. The story of the murderous quarrel between Gervase Markham and Sir John Holies related in the Biographia Britannica (s.v. Holies) 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 the 3rd of February 1637. He was a voluminous writer on many subjects, but he repeated himself considerably in his works, sometimes reprinting the same books under other titles. His booksellers procured a declaration from him in 1617 that he would produce no more on certain topics. Markham's writings include: The Teares of the Beloved (1600) and Marie Magdalene's Teares (16o1) long and rather commonplace poems on the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, both reprinted by Dr A. B. Grosart in the Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies Library (1871); The most Honorable Tragedy of Sir Richard Grinvile (1595), reprinted (1871) by Professor E. Arber, a prolix and euphuistic poem in eight-lined stanzas which was no doubt in Tennyson's mind when he wrote his stirring ballad; The Poem of Poems, or Syon's Muse (1595), dedicated to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Philip Sidney; Devoreux, Vertues Teares (1597). Herod and Antipater, a Tragedy (1622) was written in conjunction with William Sampson, and with Henry Machin he wrote a comedy called The Dumbe Knight (,6o8). A Discourse of Horsemanshippe (1593) was followed by other popular treatises on horsemanship and farriery. Honour in his Perfection (1624) is in praise of the earls of Oxford, Southampton and Essex, and the Souldier's Accidence (1625) turns his military experiences to account. He edited Juliana Berners's Boke of Saint Albans under the title of The Gentleman's Academie (1595), and produced numerous books on husbandry, many of which are catalogued in Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual (Bohn's ed., 1857–1864).
End of Article: GERVASE MARKHAM (or JERVIS) (1568?-1637)

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