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: 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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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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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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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: Magdalene undergraduate was the world's top batsman

It is not surprising that the record for the highest individual score in cricket does not get broken very often. In the first-class game, Brian Lara's unbeaten 501 for Warwickshire has stood since 1994. But it may be surprising to learn that the record was once held (unofficially, at least) by an undergraduate at Magdalene College Cambridge. 

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More Havering History Cameos

This file is based upon weekly local heritage columns contributed to the Romford Recorder from November 2016 to June 2016.

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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

This discussion of nineteenth-century Magdalene grew out of my interest in the education of Charles Stewart Parnell, who entered the College in 1865 and was rusticated (briefly expelled, but he never returned) in 1869. Originally posted here in 2015, the text was re-spaced in May 2020, with additional material at Endnotes 131 and 181.

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