Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Significant Scots
Hugh Martin and other Martins

Hugh Martin (1822-1885), minister of the free church of Scotland, born at Aberdeen on 11 Aug. 1822, was son of Alexander Martin, and was educated at the grammar school and Marischal College of his native city. He had a distinguished career in the university classes, obtaining, among numerous prizes, the Gray bursary, the highest mathematical reward at Marischal College. He graduated M.A. in April 1839, and subsequently attended the theological classes at King's College, Aberdeen. He was in his student days opposed to the 'non-intrusion' party, which in 1843 became the free church; but at the general assembly of the church of Scotland in 1842 he was converted by a speech of Dr. Cunningham to free church principles. Licensed as a minister in 1843, he was appointed in 1844 to Panbride, near Carnoustie, in the presbytery of Arbroath, to build up the free church charge after the disruption. Martin remained at Panbride till 1858, when he was called to the important charge of Free Greyfriars in Edinburgh. This position he held till June 1865, Avhen he retired owing to ill-health. In 1866-8 Martin acted as examiner in mathematics for the degree of MA. in the university of Edinburgh, which conferred upon him in 1872 the degree of doctor of divinity. In the debates in the general assembly of the free church Martin was a frequent and an able speaker. On his retirement from Greyfriars, Martin took a house at Lasswade, near Edinburgh, where he occupied himself with music and mathematics. He died 14 June 1885.

Martin was a frequent contributor to the 'British and Foreign Evangelical Review', and the 'Transactions of the London Mathematical Society.' His works comprise: 1. 'Christ's Presence in the Gospel History,' 8vo, London, 1860. 2. 'The Prophet Jonah, his Character and Mission to Nineveh,' 8vo, London, 1866. 3. 'A Study of Trilinear Coordinates,' 8vo, Cambridge, 1867. 4. 'The Atonement,' 8vo, London, 1870. 5. 'National Education,' 8vo, Edinburgh, 1872. 6. 'Mutual Eligibility,' 8vo, Edinburgh, 1872. 7. 'Relations between Christ's Headship over Church and State,' 8vo, Edinburgh, 1875. 8. 'The Shadow of Calvary,' 8vo, Edinburgh, 1875. 9. 'The Westminster Doctrine of the Inspiration of Scripture,' 8vo, London, 1877 (this work reached a fifth edition in the same year). 10. 'A Sequel to "The Westminster Doctrine of the Inspiration of Scripture,"' 8vo, London, 1877.

[Information obtained from Dr. Martin's son, the Rev. Alexander Martin, M.A., one of the ministers of Morningside Free Church, Edinburgh.]

James Martin (fl. 1577), philosophical writer, a native of Dunkeld, Perthshire, is said to have been educated at Oxford. A James Martin, whose college is not mentioned, commenced M.A. at Oxford on 31 March 1522 (Oxf. Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., i. 124). He was professor of philosophy at Paris. In 1556 he was proctor of the Germans in the university of Paris (Du BOULAY, Hist. Univ. Paris, vi. 490), and in May 1557 was chosen by the same nation to negotiate with the king concerning a tax which he desired to impose on the university, much to its disgust (ib. pp. 490, 518). He subsequently is said to have become professor at Turin. Burton (The Scot Abroad, p. 296) says he was professor at Rome, but this is probably a slip. He was dead by 1584.

Martin wrote a treatise in refutation of some of Aristotle's dogmas entitled 'De prima simplicium & concretorum corporum Generatione. . . disputatio,'  4to, Turin, 1577. Another edition, with a preface by William Temple, M.A., of King's College, Cambridge, was published at Cambridge in 1584, 8vo, and again at Frankfort in 1589. A reply by Andreas Libavius appeared at Frankfort in 1591.

Other treatises by Martin are vaguely mentioned by Tanner, viz.: 1. 'In Artem Memorise,' Paris. 2. 'De Intelligentiis Motricibus,' Turin. 3. 'In Libros Aristotelis de Ortu et Interitu,' Paris, 1555, but none of them appear to be now extant.

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. 1718, p. 515.] G.G.

Sir James Martin (1793-1874), surgeon, son of the Rev. Donald Martin, was born in 1793 at Kilmuir, Isle of Skye, and received his school education at the Royal Academy of Inverness. In 1813 he became a student of St. George's Hospital, and in 1817, having become a member of the College of Surgeons in London, he obtained an appointment as surgeon on the Bengal medical establishment of the East India Company. He first spent three years in Orissa. The governor-general in 1821 made him surgeon to his body-guard, and he served in the first Burmese war. In 1826 he married a daughter of Colonel Patten, C.B., began civil practice in Calcutta, and soon attained success. He was made presidency surgeon in 1830, and also surgeon to the general hospital in Calcutta. He published at Calcutta in 1837 'Notes on the Medical Topography of Calcutta' which gives a readable account of sanitary advantages and disadvantages from the time of the 'large shady tree' under which Job Charnock sat in 1689, down to 1837, followed by a clear general account of the diseases of Bengal and their remedies. He left India after publishing two important memoirs 'On the Draining of the Salt-water Lake' and 'On the Reoccupation of Negrais Island,' and settled in practice in London, where he lived for some time in Grosvenor Street. The Royal College of Surgeons elected him a fellow in 1843, and the Royal Society in 1845. He became inspector-general of army hospitals and a member of the army sanitary commission.

He wrote with Dr. James Johnson in 1841 a work 'On the Influence of Tropical Climates on European Constitutions.' On its reaching in 1856 a seventh edition Martin completely rewrote this voluminous book. It contains many interesting records of cases and shows extensive reading in the medical books of its own period. Another edition appeared in 1861. He published for private circulation in 1847 'A Brief Topographical and Historical Notice of Calcutta,' and also wrote the article on 'Hospitals' in Holmes's 'System of Surgery,' as well as some pamphlets on subjects connected with the medical service of the army. In 1860 he was made C.B. and was knighted in the same year. He was one of the first surgeons who used injections of iodine for the cure of hydrocele. He became somewhat deaf in old age, but discharged official duties till a fortnight before his death, which was due to pneumonia, and took place at his house in Upper Brook Street, London, 27 Nov. 1874.

Martin Martin (d. 1719), author, born in the Island of Skye, became factor to the Laird of Macleod and, mainly at the request of Sir Robert Sibbald [q. v.] the antiquary, travelled over the western islands of Scotland, collecting information regarding the condition and habits of the islanders.

In 1697 he contributed a short paper on the subject to the Royal Society's 'Philosophical Proceedings,' xix. 727. This was elaborated and published, with a map, in London in 1703, under the title of 'A Description of theWestern Islands of Scotland.' It has been wrongly stated (Toland, notes, infra) that for this work Martin was made a fellow of the Royal Society. Several editions of the book were published, and it has been reprinted, the last reprint being issued in Glasgow in 1884. On 29 May 1697, in company with the minister of Harris, he sailed in an open boat to St. Kilda, and in the following year appeared his 'Voyage to St. Kilda,' describing the island and its inhabitants. It reached a fourth edition in 1753, and it too has been reprinted (PATERSON, Voyages, &c.) In the 'Philosophical Transactions' xxv. 2469, there is a second paper by him on 'A Relation of a Deaf and Dumb Person who recovered his Speech and Hearing after a Violent Fever.' 'Martinus Martin, Scoto-Britannus,' entered Leyden University G March 1710, and graduated M.D. there (PEACOCK, Index of Leyden Students, p. 65). He died in London in 1719.

Martin's 'Description of the Western Islands' was given to Dr. Johnson to read by his father, and roused the doctor's interest in Scotland, which afterwards resulted in the famous tour. Although Johnson was interested in the work and took it with him to the highlands, he had a poor opinion of its literary merits. 'No man,' he said, 'now writes so ill as Martin's account of the Hebrides is written.'

Peter John Martin (1786-1860), geologist, was born in 1786 at Pulborough, Sussex, where his father, Peter Patrick Martin, a native of Scotland, was a practitioner of medicine. He was chiefly educated by his father and an elder brother, and studied medicine, first at the United Hospital, as it then was, of Guy's and St. Thomas's, and afterwards at Edinburgh. Father and sons alike had literary tastes, and the former ultimately retired from practice and resided in Paris, where he died at the age of ninety.

Martin as a boy had written in a periodical called 'The Preceptor.' As he became older his love for literature suffered no check by the growth of an enthusiasm for science. At Edinburgh his mind had been directed to geology. On settling down at Pulborough as M.R.C.S. to join his father in practice he devoted himself more especially to the study of the neighbouring district, and contributed several papers to the publications of the Geological Society, of which he was elected a fellow in 1833, and to the 'Philosophical Magazine.' He was hardly less interested in the archaeology of Sussex. An account of a British settlement and walled tumulus near Pulborough was contributed by him to the 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' (ix.109), and a paper on 'The Stane Street Causeway' (ib. xi. 127). In 1833-4 he delivered three lectures, afterwards published, to the Philosophical and Literary Society of Chichester, on 'A Parallel between Shakespeare and Scott, and the Kindred Nature of their Genius.' He was also a musician and an enthusiastic gardener, writing often under the signature of 'P. P.' in the 'Gardener'sChronicle,' chiefly between 1841 and 1845.

He was very successful in his profession, and was generally respected and trusted as a friend and adviser in matters other than medical. In 1821 he married Mary, daughter of Adam and Eliza Watson of Dunbar, and died on 13 May 1860, after an illness of some duration, leaving a family of three daughters and one son, who was an M.D. of Cambridge and physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. Martin's geological writings consist of a series of papers 'On the Anticlinal Line of the London and Hampshire Basins,' published in the 'Philosophical Magazine for 1829, 1851, 1856, and 1857, the longest, that of 1851, being mainly a paper read before the Geological Society in 1840, and unaccountably mislaid by its officials till 1848. Three communications on Sussex geology were also published by that society in 1834, 1842, and 1856. But Martin's most important work was a separately published 'Geological Memoir on a part of Western Sussex, with some Observations upon Chalk Basins, the Weald Denudation and Outliers by Protrusion,' a thin quarto volume, with a map and four plates, 1828. As a geologist Martin belonged to the school whose motto was 'catastrophe and cataclysm,' and these ideas so far pervade his writings that they are now rarely consulted.

He was, however, right, though he went a little too far in insisting that the tertiary 'basins' of London and Hampshire were not originally separated, but that the severance was the result of subsequent earth-movements. To these movements he attributed, in common with W. Hopkins, the valleys of the Weald. That these are fractures in any proper sense of the word few would now venture to assert with Martin, but the course of the streams may have been directed to some extent, and their action facilitated, by lines of weakness due to the upheaval of the district. Judicious remarks are often scattered through his writings, but his strength as a geologist seems to have lain in the direction of accurate observation rather than of inductive reasoning.

[Obituary notices in Gent. Mag. 1860, ii. 198, in the British Medical Journal, 1860, p. 402, and in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 1861, Proc. p. xxxii.] T. G. B.

Return to our Significant Scots page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus