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.  

Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: Robert Edgar Hughes, the Yachting Don, and the Baltic Campaigns (1854-55)

The Reverend Robert Edgar Hughes was a Fellow of Magdalene College Cambridge from 1846 until 1856.[1] For the last three years of his tenure, he was also Junior Tutor, sharing in student administration, during which time he also served twice as a University examiner. Thus far, we have the profile of a typical clerical don of Victorian times.[2] But it was precisely in this period, in 1854 and 1855, that Robert Edgar Hughes also took his yacht, the impossibly tiny Pet, on two long summer cruises to the Baltic.[3]

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: Walter John Whiting and the Battle of Chillianwala (1849)

The British people – around the world -- needed a hero after the shock of Chillianwala. For a brief moment, the role was filled by a clergyman happily packaged as "Whiting of Magdalen".

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: S.S.Nehru (1905-8)

Shri Shridhar Nehru was a student at Magdalene College Cambridge from 1905 to 1908, overlapping with his cousin Jawaharlal Nehru, later first prime minister of independent India, who was at Trinity from 1907 to 1910.

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The Cambridge Academic Record of Charles Stewart Parnell

Charles Stewart Parnell spent five and a half terms as an undergraduate at Cambridge between 1865 and 1869. What sort of a student was he?

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: Pompey the Little and Mid-Eighteenth Century Magdalene

The History of Pompey the Little: or, The Life and Adventures of a Lap-Dog was a popular satirical novel, which passed through two editions and several printings during the two decades after its first publication in 1751.[1] The author, Francis Coventry, matriculated at Magdalene College Cambridge in 1745-6, and graduated early in 1749.

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The Reverend William Palin (1803-1882), the Essex village of Stifford and the Grays Steamboats

William Palin was Rector of Stifford from 1834 until his death in 1882.

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Sootigine: Marketing a Failed Victorian Fertiliser

While reviewing commercial activities in Romford in 1886, as listed in Kelly's Directory of Essex, I came across an intriguing entry, which described one Thomas F. Burbrow as "sootigine agent". I had never heard of sootigine – nor, it seemed, had the Oxford English Dictionary.

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Charles Stewart Parnell: Economics and Politics of a Building Trade Entrepreneur

In 2011, one hundred and twenty years after Parnell's death, Paul Bew published a biography, with a revealing single-word main title, Enigma.[1] The notion of mystery, of paradox, is an enduring theme around Charles Stewart Parnell.

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: The Steeple Ashton Connection

For more than three centuries, Magdalene College Cambridge has had a connection with the Wiltshire village of Steeple Ashton. This note outlines the background, and attempts to say something about the clergy whom the College appointed to serve the parish. I am sure that a more detailed account of the relationship could be written from local sources at both ends. It would be a useful addition to English social history.

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: James Bradbury and the Battle of Almanza (1708)

It is the odd nugget of quirky gossip that redeems the genealogical and manorial detail of Philip Morant's massive History of Essex, published between 1763 and 1768.[1] Writing of the travails of the Bradbury family, squires of Wicken Bonhunt since the sixteenth century, he noted that one son, James, had been 'educated at Magdalen college in Cambridge' before becoming an Army chaplain. 'He adventuring further than the duty of his place required, during the war in Spain, received a wound of which he dyed'.[2]

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