Martinalia

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.  

Gladstone, Canada and calibration: Part 1 of Gladstone and Canada

"Gladstone, Canada and calibration" forms the first part of a two-part essay examining Gladstone's involvement with, and attitudes towards, British North America.

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Why did Parnell avoid Ottawa in 1880?

Surely Charles Stewart Parnell should have visited Ottawa during his North American tour of 1880? The capital of Canada, where the parliament of the autonomous Dominion of Canada was actually in session, would have offered an obvious platform for the leader of Ireland's Home Rule movement to vaunt the advantages of a devolved legislature in Dublin. Was it simply news that a general election had been called in the United Kingdom that hurried him home?

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"Mrs G. was practically his keeper": John A. Macdonald on Gladstone

John A. Macdonald (Sir John from 1867) was the dominant figure in late nineteenth-century Canadian politics. He held office in the province of Canada for most of the years from 1854 until Confederation in 1867, when he became the first Prime Minister of the Dominion. Although forced to resign in 1873, he won re-election in 1878 and died in harness in 1891.[1] Despite the fact that his premierships overlapped with most of Gladstone's first ministry and all of his second and third terms in Downing Street, the two men rarely met. Their most intense conflict, the negotiations for the 1871 Treaty of Washington, was conducted indirectly and at long range. Macdonald's perceptions of his notable contemporary were profoundly hostile.

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: names and spellings

Magdalene College, Cambridge has existed in two incarnations, under several names and various spellings.

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Gladstone and the limits of Canadian self-government, 1849: the Rebellion Losses Bill in British politics

"The Canadian Rebellion Losses Bill of 1849 in British Politics" appeared early in 1978, published in the slightly delayed Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vi (1977), 3-22. The article sought to interweave several themes around the central question of the lack of definition in the limits of colonial autonomy, raised by Canada's recent transition to responsible government.

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Lecky dip? Gladstone's reading of Irish history

A note on Gladstone's use of academic writing on Irish history as part of his campaign for Home Rule.

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Mackenzie King at 150: December 17th 2024

December 17th is a Canadian landmark that probably very few Canadians recognise, and fewer still would wish to celebrate. It was the birthday, in 1874, of William Lyon Mackenzie King, the country's longest serving prime minister – a record that is unlikely to be broken.

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The Gladstone Streets of Ireland: a short note

In 2022, both Clonmel, in County Tipperary, and the city of Waterford have a Gladstone Street.  They reflect a wave of support for the leader of Britain's Liberal party that swept Ireland in the aftermath of the defeat of his first Home Rule bill.

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The appointment of Sir Francis Head as lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada in 1835

This article was published in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, iii (1975), 280-91. 

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How Queen Victoria named British Columbia -- and Queensland

"The Naming of British Columbia" has a special place in my affections, as I recall in an Afterword. The original article was published in 1979, in Albion, the journal associated with the Conference on British Studies in the United States (x, 257-263) It appears here in a slightly revised form that takes account of material that has become available over the past forty years.

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