Henry Marten (politician)

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Sir Henry Marten also recorded as Sir Henry Martin (c. 1562 – 26 September 1641) was an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1625 and 1640.


Sir Henry Martin (akas Sir Henry Marten, Sir Henry Martyn) was born at Stoke Poges, Stoke Poges is an affluent village and civil parish in the South Buckinghamshire district of Buckinghamshire, England.[1]

By another account he was probably born in London, supposedly the son of Anthony Marten, a merchant of London, originally from Wokingham, Berkshire, and his wife Anne Jacob, daughter of John Jacob of Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.

By a second account[2] Sir Henry Marten was baptised on 2 Aug. 1562, and was the second of John Marten (died 1563), baker, of London and his wife Rose.

He was educated at Winchester College and matriculated at New College, Oxford on 24 November 1581, aged 19. He became a fellow of the college in 1582 and studied civil and canon law. He graduated BCL in 1587 and DCL in 1592, and was admitted a member of the College of Advocates on 16 October 1596. He developed a large practice as a barrister in the admiralty, prerogative, and high commission courts, and was appointed official of the archdeaconry of Berkshire.[citation needed]

He was elected MP for Wilton in 1586/7 and for Wootton Basset in 1604 (serving until 1611).[3]

Marten was made King's advocate on 3 March 1609 and in March 1613 was sent abroad in connection with the marriage settlement of the Lady Elizabeth. In 1616, he was made chancellor of the diocese of London. He was knighted at Theobalds on 21 December 1616.[4] and in 1617 became a judge of the admiralty court. Later he was appointed a member of the court of high commission and dean of the arches. Marten started investing in land in Berkshire buying firstly property at West Challow in the Vale of White Horse, secondly Longworth House at Longworth which he bought for £9,500 in 1618, and thirdly Hinton Waldrist Manor.[citation needed]

In 1625 Marten was elected Member of Parliament for St Germans [5] and supported Sir John Eliot in attacking the Duke of Buckingham. His tone was described as studiously moderate. While parliament was prorogued in 1626, he was involved in the committal of Sir Robert Howard by the high commission, and when he was re-elected MP for St Germans in 1626,[5] an attempt was made to exclude him because of the case. He pleaded ignorance of the distinction between prorogation and dissolution and was allowed to take his seat. In 1628 he was elected MP for Oxford University, taking part in the debates on the Petition of Right and sitting until 1629 when King Charles I decided to rule without parliament for eleven years.[5]

In April 1640, Marten was elected MP for St Ives in the Short Parliament.[5] He did not stand for the Long Parliament which fined him £250 for his part in the case of Sir Robert Howard.

Marten married Elizabeth Weld and had two sons and three daughters. He was father of the regicide Henry Marten, and of George Giles Martin who became Lord Mayor of Belfast and an early colonist of Barbados. Sir Henry Marten died on 26 September 1641 at Bray, Berkshire, England and was buried at Saint Mary's Church, at Longworth, Oxfordshire, England with his wife Elizabeth Webb de Marten who preceded him in death on 19 June 1618.

By a second account Sir Henry Marten (Martin) married Elizabeth Webb daughter of Sir Henry Richmond Webb and Elizabeth Christian, and their five children were, George Giles Martin, Henry Marten, Jane Martin, Mary Martin, and Elizabeth Martin.[6]

A portrait of Sir Henry Martin hangs in Trinity Hall, Cambridge.[7][lower-alpha 1]

Sir Henry Marten is a direct descendant of Sire Martin de Tours, Lord Combe Martin. Lord Kemys, a general officer for William the Conqueror.[8]


  1. The portrait is captioned "Sir Henry Martin (c.1562–1641), DCL, Fellow of New College, Oxford, Judge of Admiralty Court (1617–1641) by British (English) School. Date painted: c.1630 Oil on panel, 66.04 x 50.8 cm. Collection: Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge"


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Sir Henry Marten is a direct descendant of Sire Guillaume Martin de Tours, Baron 1020-1094 and as sucj is a member of the Society of Sire Guillaume Martin de Tours, Baron 1020-1094 [1]

External links

Parliament of England
Preceded by
(Sir) John Coke
Sir John Stradling
Member of Parliament for St Germans
With: (Sir) John Coke 1625
Sir John Eliot
Succeeded by
Thomas Cotton
Benjamin Valentine
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Edmonds
Sir John Danvers
Member of Parliament for Oxford University
With: Sir John Danvers
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for St Ives
With: William Dell
Succeeded by
Lord Lisle
Francis Godolphin
  1. http://societyofsirmartindetours.tribalpages.com/tribe/browse?userid=societyofsirmartindetours&view=0&pid=26&randi=908250894