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Bathsua Makin (–1675)

Author of An essay to revive the antient education of gentlewomen

Includes the names: fl Bathsua Makin

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Bathsua Makin, née Reginald, was born in Southwick, Sussex, the daughter of a schoolmaster, which might explain how she obtained an excellent 17th-century classical education. She knew Greek, Latin, Hebrew, French, and other languages, which earned her the title of "England’s most learned lady." It also enabled her to earn a living. In 1621/22, she married Richard Makin, who had a position at court, and had several children. Bathsua Makin became an outspoken advocate of proper education for girls and women. During the years of the English Civil War, she tutored the daughters of King Charles I, notably the young Princess Elizabeth Stuart, whom she instructed in foreign languages and mathematics. Bathsua Makin also corresponded with the Dutch scholar Anna Maria van Schurman and became part of a network of European female scholars. After the death of the princess, Mrs. Makin obtained a position with Lucy Hastings, Dowager Countess of Huntingdon, whom she taught foreign languages. Later Mrs. Makin ran her own school at Tottenham High Cross, London. She's best remembered for her Essay to Revive the Antient Education of Gentlewomen (1673). Bathsua Makin was also the sister-in-law of John Pell, the famous mathematician (not his sister, as some have claimed). See her biography Bathsua Makin: Woman of Learning, by Frances Teague (1998).
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