Papers of: Markham, Sir Clements Robert (1830-1916)

Scope and Content

The collection comprises three bound volumes describing Markham's travels in South America in 1852-1853 (beginning his journey in Canada and ending it in Southampton), apparently prepared for publication in Markham's old age but not published in this form (the volumes include inserted material, some of it dating from before the journeys in question, and overall span the period 1845-1915); and a file of letters by Markham, spanning the period 1865-1913 (plus undated material).

Administrative / Biographical History

Clements Markham was born in 1830. He served in the Royal Navy from 1844 to 1851, taking part in the search for Sir John Franklin (1786-1847). In 1853 he entered the civil service, being from 1867 to 1877 in charge of the geographical work of the India Office. During the latter years of the 19th century he lobbied for the resumption of Polar exploration by the United Kingdom, his pressure lying behind the 1875 Nares expedition to the Arctic. He was President of the Royal Geographical Society from 1893 to 1905 and became a Knight-Commander of the Bath in 1896. He died in 1916.


MS.7308 comprises letters by Markham, while WMS/Amer.126 is a set of three volumes concerned with his travels in South America.

Access Information

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

WMS/Amer.126 purchased from T.A. Joyce, 1932 (accession number 65337). MS.7308 purchased from various sources, 1930-1932.

Other Finding Aids

Described in: S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973); Robin Price, An Annotated Catalogue of Medical Americana in the Library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1983); and subsequent typescript supplementary finding aids by Richard Aspin, Christopher Hilton, Keith Moore and Richard Palmer.

Collection level description available on-line on the Wellcome Library website

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

holograph; bound volumes with inserted material, plus a file of loose letters.

Archivist's Note

description compiled by Christopher Hilton based upon those in the Library's published finding aid by Robin Price and subsequent typescript supplementary finding aids by Richard Aspin, Christopher Hilton, Keith Moore and Richard Palmer. Biographical information from the Dictionary of National Biography.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.


Markham described some of the journeys related in WMS/Amer.126 in his Cuzco, a journey to the ancient capital of Peru (London: Chapman & Hall, 1856) and Travels in Peru and India while supervising the collection of chinchona (London: J. Murray, 1862).