Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Markham, John (d.1409)

MARKHAM, JOHN (d. 1409), judge, came of a family long settled in a village of that name in Nottinghamshire, and for two generations closely connected with the law (Foss, Judges of England, iv. 172). His father was Robert Markham, a serjeant-at-law under Edward III, and his mother a daughter of Sir John Caunton. Markham is said, on no very good authority, to have received his legal education at Gray's Inn, and became a king's serjeant in 1390 (ib.) He was made a judge of the common pleas on 7 July 1396, and sat on the bench until February 1408. Markham was chosen as one of the triers of petitions in the two parliaments of 1397, and in those of Henry IV, from 1401 to 1407 (Rot. Parl. iii. 338, 348, 455, 486, 522, 545, 567, 609). He was a member of the commission whose advice Henry of Lancaster took, in September 1399, as to the manner in which the change of dynasty should be carried out, and which at nine in the morning of 29 Sept. received Richard's renunciation of the crown in the Tower (ib. iii. 416; Adam of Usk, p. 31). His name does not appear on the rolls of parliament among those of the seven commissioners who next day pronounced sentence upon Richard in the name of parliament (Rot. Parl. iii. 422), but Chief-justice Thirning, in announcing the sentence to Richard on behalf of his fellow- commissioners on Wednesday, 10 Oct., enumerated Markham among them (ib. p, 424 ; Knighton, in Decem Scriptores, ii. 2760; Chronique de la Traison et Mort de Richart Deux, ed. Williams, p. 219). Markham is doubtfully stated to have been the judge who is credited with having sent Prince Henry to prison (Francis Markham, Manuscript History of the Family, 1606; see art. Gascoigne, Sir William). Retiring from the bench, it would seem, in 1408, he died on 31 Dec. 1409, and was burled in Markham Church, where his monument still remains (Foss, v. 173; Fœdera, viii. 584. By his first wife, Eliiabeth, daughter of Sir John, and sister and coheir of Sir Hugh Cressy, he had a son Robert, ancestor of William Markham, archbishop of York 1777-1807 [q. v.], and apparently also the son John (d. 1479) who is separately noticed, although some modern authorities make Markham's second wife, Millicent, widow of Sir Nicholas Burdon, and daughter and coheir of Sir John Bekeringe, his mother. After her husband's death she married Sir William Mering, and died in 1419.

[Information kindly supplied by C. R. Markham, esq., C.B.; Rymer's Fœdera, original ed., Capgrave's Chron. p. 272, and Du Illustribus Henricis, p. 113; Adam of Usk. ed. Maunde Thompson; Thoroton's Nottinghamshire, ed. Thoresby; other authorities in the text.]

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