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Bathsua Makin (Reginald)

Also Known As: "Bathsua Reginald Makin"
Birthplace: London, England
Death: circa 1675 (58-75)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Henry Reginald or Reynolds
Wife of Richard Makin
Sister of Ithamaria Tamar Pell

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Bathsua Makin

Bathsua Reginald Makin was born around 1600, probably in London, England, and died after 1675. She was a scholar, writer, educator and early feminist.

Parents: Henry Reginald / Reynolds / Reginolles [1] [2] of London and unknown. Her younger sister Ithamaria married the mathematician John Pell.

  1. Married: in 1621 to Richard Makin (d. 1659), with whom she had eight or nine children.

From her biographer

Fran Teague, University of Georgia

I particularly like Makin because she was a bit of a smart aleck. Here is an example of what I mean from her essay on educating women:

  • Objection: If we bring up our daughters to learning, no persons will adventure to marry them.
  • Answer: . . . Many men, silly enough (God knows), think themselves wise and will not dare to marry a wise woman lest they should be over-topped. . . .
  • Objection: Women do not desire learning.
  • Answer: Neither do many boys . . .

Wikipedia Summary

Bathsua Makin was a proto-feminist, middle-class Englishwoman who contributed to the emerging criticism of woman’s position in domestic and public spheres in 17th-century England. Herself a highly educated woman, Makin was referred to as “England’s most learned lady,” skilled in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, German language, Spanish, French and Italian. Makin argued primarily for the equal right of women and girls to obtain an education in an environment or culture that viewed woman as the weaker vessel, subordinated to man and uneducable. She is most famously known for her polemical treatise entitled An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen, in Religion, Manners, Arts & Tongues (1673).

Genealogical Note

Makin's identity as the daughter of Henry Reginald has been confirmed by recent scholarship.[1] Up until the 1980s mistakes and oversights identified Makin wrongly as sister to John Pell and Thomas Pell. The evidence from the writings of Sir Simonds D'Ewes, a pupil of Reginald (Reynolds), was also lost to sight.[2]


  • [1] Teague, Frances. “The Identity of Bathsua Makin.” Biography 16:1 (1993). 1-17.
  • [2] His next teacher was a Mr. Henry Reynolds, 'dwelling in St. Mary Axe parish in London,' whom he describes as a mere pretender, and whose reputation had been won for him by his daughter, Bathshua, a young woman of extraordinary ability who had 'much more learning than her father.'
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Bathsua Makin's Timeline

London, England
Age 67