Welcome to Martinalia. An academic career generates material which for one reason or another does not get into print. There are public lectures and keynote addresses. Some are never intended for publication. Others are commissioned for projects which never get off the ground. There is material prepared for teaching, which may be useful to colleagues and students involved in similar courses. Some projects seem worth sharing with interested readers even though they remain unfinished, lacking the final polish needed for conventional academic publication. Since 2014 I have used Martinalia to publish essays and research reports. 

The term “Martinalia” was coined by my friend Jim Sturgis.  

James Smith, eccentric tourist on Australia's First Fleet: a tentative identification

A paying passenger somehow joined the fleet of convict ships sent to colonise New South Wales in 1787-88. This note tentatively traces James Smith to the Essex village of Messing. Historians of Essex and of Australia are invited to test the hypothesis.

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'Our Lady of the Snows': the Canadian context and reactions to Kipling's poem of 1897

In April 1897, Rudyard Kipling published 'Our Lady of the Snows', a poem of six verses, written over a weekend in response to the announcement by the Canadian government of a reduction in tariffs on imports from Britain.[1] Although dating from almost the same time as his most enduring poems, 'If' and 'Recessional', 'Our Lady of the Snows' did not secure the same enduring place in popular esteem, not least because Canadians disliked the clichéd association of their country with winter. However, Kipling was a great phrase-maker, and this poem became memorable if only for his influential summary of Canada's relationship with Britain: "Daughter am I in my mother's house / But mistress in my own."

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Why we say West HAM, and not West'um

This article was contributed to the Newham Recorder in July 2020. It argues that the pronunciation of West HAM (not West'um) reflects the continuing influence of an Anglo-Saxon four-letter word. 

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A tribute to East Ham

In 1965, East Ham became part of a London Borough with the invented name of Newham. It is generally overshadowed by its better-known neighbour and partner, West Ham. This light-hearted invocation of its history and identity was written for the Newham Recorder during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.

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Coronavirus: the 1914 comparison

This brief comparison between the 2020 pandemic and the outbreak of War in 1914 originated in a letter to a newspaper (which did not publish it). It is published here in case others wish to carry the argument further.

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: Louisa Duffy, bedmaker and linguist

Louisa Duffy was a bedmaker at Magdalene College Cambridge in the late Victorian period. Her challenging life and her unusual talents and achievements deserve to be remembered.

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Street-surfing in Victorian and Edwardian Havering

This note is based on two Heritage columns published by the Romford Recorder on 14 and 21 August 2020. As part of the general call for holidays-at-home during the Covid-19 crisis, it outlines ways of exploring Havering's past through its architectural legacy.

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The Cambridge fever: the closure of Cambridge University during the Easter Term of 1815

During the Easter Term (April and May) 1815, the University of Cambridge effectively closed down as an undergraduate institution, in response to a local epidemic, loosely referred to as the "Cambridge fever". This essay explores the course of the outbreak, and examines the decision-making processes through which the University determined its responses. Reference is made to later health crises, such as the outbreak of typhoid at Gonville and Caius College in 1873. Some parallels are suggested with the challenge of 2020.

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Whatever happened to Chadwell Street? Notes on the history of an Ilford high road settlement

This study explores the history of Chadwell Street (sometimes simply Chadwell), a community alongside the Essex high road near Ilford in Essex. 

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Lockdown in Havering: exploring old maps and photographs online

This slightly edited version of a guide to online maps and old images formed two Heritage columns published in the Romford Recorder on 3 and 17 April 2020.

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