We love the Regency era novels of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion for the same reasons we like the Edwardian era dramas of Gosford Park and Downton Abbey. These are stories that take place in stratified societies with rules the plot must heed like lodestones. If they stray too far they will offend the reader.
It sounds like a recipe for boredom and might well be–but for the persons that threaten to upset one’s beautiful world. Characters like George Wickham, Mrs. Clay, Mr. Parks and Tom Branson.
This post is an introduction to four brothers of the Regency, whose contributions, some dubious, enriched and horrified the Beau Monde.
The Martin boys were among twelve children born to William Fenwick Martin and his wife Isabella in Northumberland. The family was decidedly lower class, the father being somewhat peripatetic in both lodging and trade. He had at one time been a fencing master but also built coaches, tanned hides and kept taverns.
Such an unstable environment was perhaps unsuitable for raising children and they were sent to live at various times with relatives before both parents died in 1813.
The sons were as follows:
The Tinker: William– the oldest. An inventor and philosopher who “tinkered” with machines and ideas.
The Painter: John — the youngest. An artist and historical painter to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg.
The Soldier: Richard — the second oldest. A quartermaster in the Guards, serving in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo.
The Arsonist: Jonathan – the third oldest. Arguably the most famous of all.
They entertained the ton, existing in the beautiful world that was all around them, but forever out of reach.
Perhaps their stories will entertain you as well.
Very intrigued by the arsonist (though the others sound interesting as well).
He had a rather eventful life even before going to York Minster.
They all sound interesting. Much interaction between them?
There’s some–one brother has to bail the other out. Good to hear from you, Gerri!
Now you have my attention. I can’t wait to find out about these men. Blog on!
I shall! Thanks for stopping by!
Very interesting. You’re twitter button is missing.
Hmmm… I need to look into that–thanks!
John’s descendants are fascinating daughter Zenobia married Peter Cunningham F.S.A. son, Leopold Charles married Eliza M. Tenniel the sister of Sir John Tenniel cartoonist of ‘Punch’, Charles married his second cousin Mary Ann Wilson and their only son Thomas Carew Hunt Martin was charges with embezzlement and forgery in 1910, daughter Jessie married Joseph Bonomi sculptor and egyptologist
Fascinating. Thanks for adding to an interesting English family.