Return to the Markham Project


Here is a further update on the award winning Markham Project posts.

Dr Roman has come up with some more information. It seems that the original article was republished in another magazine with some details added and a reader sent in a letter to the following issue.

The Markham and Maybury Academy of Correctional Education is specialist institution that caters for young women of good standing who wish to further their own education by more traditional means or as is more often the case learn about methods for the education of other young ladies.

The academy is currently located in a private house in London, which we do not identify. Therefore they are unable to receive more than a dozen students at a time. In a time when young ladies seem given to unseemly behaviour, such as drinking, dancing to jazz and calling on unsuitable men, it must to its credit that the Markham and Maybury Academy of Correctional Education offers this unique training opportunity.

But whom you may ask dear reader would be willing to train at such an institution? It seems that although native English girls are indulging in increasingly loose behaviour or cousins and sister colonist around the Empire are not so minded. Therefore, many young women in these difficult times are taking themselves off to work as governesses and teachers in far off lands.

The chief instructress at the academy is the formidable Miss Markham. Do we understand that you train young women in chastising students we asked her? She assured us that among many other things she did.

And how is this accomplished? Well naturally the young ladies are chastised themselves.

The rest is much as was previously posted. However, the next issue carried this letter from a lady reader and former student.

I was delighted to read that Markham and Maybury were still at work. I attended a short course with Miss Markham many years ago before I married as part of my preparation to become a governess in India.

At the time I was against becoming subject to her training but my aunts had only made provision for my passage out to my post if I underwent sufficient training.

I was horrified I can tell you when I had to submit to the birch for the least infraction of the rules. So much so that at one point during the first week I made to leave. Miss Markham was actually quite kind and lectured me on fortitude and courage when she heard I was to dismiss myself from her classes. After talking me around and letting me see that I would benefit from her instruction she then birched me soundly and set me in a corner for quite two hours for my childish tantrums.

As I say at the time I found all this quite a trial. Suffice to say that the training did stand me in good stead for my years in India. Most of my students were beyond school age and were quite unmanageable. I took great satisfaction in humbling a spoilt miss or two whose education had previously been lacking.

I remember one army major had even objected to my birching his daughters. I had been about to protest his interference with my methods when he informed me that the only rightful correction for his daughters was the cane. He had administered this like a Tatar before my arrival by all accounts. I took some of his advice, but generally preferred to birch as I had been trained to do.

His daughters, who were quite young women by then, were always docile with me after that, as they preferred a harsh birching from me rather than the cane from him as both were administered in the old fashioned manner.

One Response to “Return to the Markham Project”

  1. 1 Stacy


    Very interesting about the father.

    I was caned by my dad as recently as the 1980s. He was in the army and was very strict. He didn’t start until I was in my late teens when my mum gave up spanking me. I don’t know why she didn’t, I don’t think I was any better behaved.

    I got it ocasionally from 15, when he was around, which wasn’t much. But I got a bit rebellious from 17 and backtalked my mum, stayed out late, once a boy I was with stole a car and we went joy-riding. Needless to say dad whacked me.

    I didn’t really resent it. I have looked for men like dad ever since, or wouldn’t be on this blog.

    My point is, I wonder if it is an army thing, the cane and adult daughters?

    I got twice after I was 19. The last time when I was 27!

    I told a girl friend at work this once and she didn’t believe me.


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