This “bio-bibliography”—a chronology of principal events in Malkin’s life and incorporating a list of his publications—was prepared many years ago for an abortive web project. It is presented here with additions and amendments, but remains a work in progress.
Benjamin Heath Malkin, antiquary and author, born in London in 1769, was headmaster of King Edward's School, Bury St Edmunds for many years, and later, more briefly, Professor of History at London University. He lived part of each year in Cowbridge, his wife’s home in the Vale of Glamorgan, from where he pursued his interests in local history and topography, and died there in 1842.
G.E. Bentley Jr. suggests that Malkin made the acquaintance of William Blake in 1803, soon after Blake returned to London from his three years in Felpham. But it is also possible that the two men were previously acquainted through the publisher Joseph Johnson for whom Blake had worked. William Godwin reports meeting Malkin at dinner at Horne Tooke’s in 1796 and 1797 and at Fuseli’s Milton Gallery in 1800, which suggests that Blake and Malkin may have shared some political and artistic sympathies. Malkin also lived close to Blake’s patron Thomas Butts in Hackney, and knew George Cumberland, another friend.