Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Malkin, Benjamin Heath

1445740Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 35 — Malkin, Benjamin Heath1893Thompson Cooper

MALKIN, BENJAMIN HEATH, D.C.L. (1769–1842), miscellaneous writer, son of Thomas Malkin of St. Mary-le-Bow, London, born in 1769, was educated at Harrow School, whence he was removed to Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1792, M.A. 1802). From 1809 till 1828 he was head-master of the grammar school at Bury St. Edmunds. He maintained the high position of the school, and sent many distinguished scholars to the university. On 3 March 1810 he was incorporated of St. Mary Hall, Oxford, and there, a few days later, he graduated B.C.L. and D.C.L. (Cat. of Oxford Graduates, 1851, p. 432). He was also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. In 1830 he was appointed professor of history, ancient and modern, in the university of London. He died at Cowbridge, Glamorganshire, on 26 May 1842. A handsome monument was erected to his memory in the church of St. James, Bury St. Edmunds, at the expense of many of his former scholars. It contains a medallion profile of him taken from a bust by Chantrey. His portrait, painted by W. Blake, has been engraved by Cromek.

His eldest son, Sir Benjamin Heath Malkin, fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, was a friend of Macaulay, and judge of the supreme court at Calcutta, where he died on 21 Oct. 1837, aged 41. His second son, Frederick Malkin, also fellow of Trinity, who died on 22 May 1830, aged 28, was author of a ‘History of Greece’ published in 1830 by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Another son, Thomas Williams Malkin, whose exceptional precocity his father recorded in ‘A Father's Memoir of his Child,’ London, 1806, 8vo, with a design by William Blake, died at Hackney on 31 July 1802, aged six years and nine months.

His works are:

  1. ‘Essays on subjects connected with Civilization,’ London, 1795, 8vo.
  2. ‘Almahide and Hamet. A tragedy [in five acts and in verse]: to which is prefixed a Letter on Dramatic Composition,’ London, 1804, 8vo. This tragedy, which was never acted, is founded on Dryden's ‘Conquest of Granada.’
  3. ‘The Scenery, Antiquities, and Biography of Wales; from Materials collected during two Excursions in the year 1803,’ London, 1804, 4to, embellished with views by Laporte and a map of the country; 2nd edit. 2 vols. London, 1807, 8vo. An extract, an ‘Account of a new Tour in Wales,’ is printed in Pinkerton's ‘General Collection of Voyages,’ 1808, &c., vol. ii.
  4. ‘Classical Disquisitions and Curiosities, critical and historical,’ London, 1825, 8vo, Cambridge, 1830, 8vo.
  5. ‘An Introductory Lecture on History, delivered in the University of London,’ London, 1830, 8vo.

Malkin also translated ‘The Adventures of Gil Blas,’ 4 vols. London, 1809, 4to, with numerous engravings from the designs of R. Smirke, reprinted in 1816, 1822, 1849, 1866, and 1881, and contributed biographical articles to ‘Rees's Cyclopædia,’ 1818, &c.

[Addit. MS. 19167, ff. 187, 263; Baker's Biog. Dram. 1812, i. 479, ii. 20; Biog. Dict. of Living Authors; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, No. 6810; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886, iii. 905; Gent. Mag. June 1830 p. 572, August 1842 p. 211; Graduati Cantabr.; Ipswich Journal, 4 June 1842; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn) pp. 1343, 1457; Cat. of Oxford Graduates.]

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