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Clements R Markham

india, plants, cinchona and people

MARKHAM, CLEMENTS R., C.B., F.R.S., in early life was a midshipman in the British navy, and served in the Arctic Expedition of 1850-51. He was for twenty years in the India Home Office, serving in the Geographical Department front 18(37 to 1877, where he had opportunities for promoting the well-being of the people of the East Indies, devoting himself from 1859 to the introduction there of species of cinchona. He had previously travelled in S. America, and had become acquainted with the people and their languages, the Spanish and Quichua ; and in 1860 he proceeded to the cinchona regions, accompanied by Mrs. Mark ham, who, at Arequipa, directed the work of the other collectors whilst her husband was in the forests of the Andes; and he twice proceeded to India to secure the suitable treatment of the plants and seeds which he had collected. He was ably assisted by 3f r. John Weir, Dr. Spruce, Mr. Robert Cross, Mr. Pritchett, and Mr. Ledger, and, in India, by Mr. M'Ivor.

By the year 1880 there were 12,667 acres under cinchona cultivation on the hills of S. India and Ceylon, and in Sikkim ; and the bark from British India sold in London in 1879-80 was 1,172,060 lbs., selling at from 9s. 1d. to 15s. 84. per lb.

The introduction of the cinchona had cost £129,628 up to 1876, and £173,046 had been realized. Considering the value to the people of the febrifuge, and to the planters as an agricul tural product, it is one of the largest boons bestowed on India..

In 1875 he selected Mr. Robert Cross to pro

ceed to Central America to collect India rubber plants of the genus Castilloa • and in the following year a supply of those obtained was forwarded to India. Again, in 187G, Mr. Cross was sent to South America, this time to collect plants of the genera Manihot and Hevea, supplies of which also were sent to India, Ceylon, and Burma.

India is also indebted to Mr. Markham for the Cuzco variety of maize, for the quiuua, and for the true Peruvian cotton, a perennial species which takes a high place as a cotton-yielding plant.

He published (1862) his Travels in Peru and India, while superintending the collection of chinchona plants and in 1880, Peruvian Bark, a Popular Account of the Introduction of Chinchona Cultivation into British India. Ile published a Memoir on the Indian Surveys ; Memoir on the Irrigation Works of Eastern Spain ; the Narratives of Bogle's Mission to Tibet, and of Manning's Journey to Lhassa, with an Introduc tion and Biographical Notices; also a History of the Abyssinian Expedition • a History of Persia ; a Life of Lord Fairfax. And among other works, etc., of public importance he was secretary to the Royal Geographical Society and to the Ilakluyt Society ; lie wrote, for 1871-72 and 1872-73, the Moral and Material Reports on India, and edited, for the Hakluyt Society, a translation of the Embassy of Clavijo to the Court of Timur.