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 (if any such people exist) even though they remain unfinished, lacking the final polish needed for conventional academic publication.

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

Geography and Governance: The Problem of Saint John (New Brunswick) 1785 - 1927

This essay was written as an attempt to explore the influence of location and political culture in New Brunswick, with particular reference to the province’s chief port and its largest city. Readers should be warned that it has developed into a book-length discussion, but still concludes that many issues must be regarded as unresolved.

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Time to retire Canada's Fathers of Confederation?


Ged Martin, December 2015

An Outsider Intrudes

The categorisation of 36 nineteenth-century politicians as Canada’s ‘Fathers of Confederation’ no longer serves any worthwhile purpose, and should be abandoned, certainly by historians.

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Geoffrey Bolton 1931-2015: A Tribute


News of the death of Geoffrey Bolton, on 4 September 2015, prompts much sadness and many reflections.

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The Cambridge Training College for Women Teachers:

the founding decade 1885-1895

The Cambridge Training College was a pioneering institution for the training of educated women to enter teaching as a profession. Founded in 1885 by Frances Buss, headmistress of North London Collegiate School and her deputy, Sophie Bryant, its first Principal was Elizabeth Phillips Hughes. Initially kept at arm's length by the University of Cambridge, which welcomed neither women nor professionalism, it was eventually recognised as an associated institution in 1949, changing its name to Hughes Hall. In the rapidly changing higher world of the 1960s and 1970s, Hughes Hall was opened to both women and men, in all fields of research and advanced studies, achieving full membership of the University as one of Cambridge's four graduate colleges in 2006. This study formed the basis of the first four chapters of the handsomely illustrated commemorative volume, Hughes Hall Cambridge 1885-2010 (London: Third Millennium International, 2011). It is republished here to focus on the founding decade of the Cambridge Training College.

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"Housen" -- evidence for the survival and decline of an Essex dialect plural

This essay deals with the persistence and survival in Essex of "housen" as a dialect plural for "house".

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More Havering History Cameos

This file is a continuation of the weekly local heritage columns contributed to the Romford Recorder ...

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Havering History Cameos

In 2012, I was invited to contribute to a local history column in the Romford Recorder, the weekly suburban newspaper serving the Borough of Havering, in the Essex suburbs of Greater London. Havering History Cameos collects together around 130 columns published to November 2015 in one book-length file.

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Magdalene College Cambridge in Mid-Victorian Times

Ged Martin                 August 2015

Prologue: Parnell's College

I: A Transpontine Refuge for Fallen Undergraduates?

II: Magdalene College, October 1865

III: The Magdalene Irish

IV: Endnotes

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Fredericton versus Saint John: The New Brunswick Seat of Government, 1785-1882

Ged Martin

In November 1785, Governor Thomas Carleton proclaimed that the seat of government of the recently created province of New Brunswick would be established at Fredericton, around 120 kilometres upstream from the emerging city of Saint John on the Fundy coast.

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The Essex parish of South Weald and the Doddinghurst List

Ged Martin

The Doddinghurst List was an anomalous eastward extension of the Essex parish of South Weald across the boundary between Chafford and Barstable Hundreds. Its separate existence ceased to matter around 1850, after the New Poor Law and the creation of a county constabulary made it irrelevant, and it is long forgotten.

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