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Henry Marten Edit Profile

Lawyer , politician

Henry Marten was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons in two periods between 1640 and 1653.

Background

Henry Marten was born at his father's house on 3 Merton Street, Oxford, England.

Education

Marten matriculated on October 31, 1617, as a gentleman commoner from University College, graduating BA in 1620.

Career

He first became prominent in 1639 when he refused to contribute to the general loan for the Scottish war, and in April and again in November 1640 he was elected to Parliament as a member for Berkshire. There he spoke in favour of the proposed bill of attainder against the Earl of Strafford and used such frank language about the King that Charles demanded his trial for high treason. When rebellion broke out, Marten did not take the field, although he was appointed governor of Reading, but in Parliament he was very active. In 1643, on account of some remark about extirpating the royal family, he was expelled from Parliament, but in the following year was made governor of Aylesbury. Allowed to return to Parliament in 1646, Marten again spoke against the King, attacked the Presbyterians, and supported the army against the Parliament. He was one of the most prominent of the King’s judges and signed the death warrant. In 1649 he was chosen a member of the Council of State, but he took no part in public life during the Protectorate. He resumed his seat in the Long Parliament in 1659 and surrendered himself as a regicide in June 1660. He was imprisoned and died on September 9, 1680.

Achievements

  • Henry Martin was a leading parliamentary judge in the trial of King Charles of England and the signer of his death warrant.

Politics

His political views throughout his life were constant: he opposed one-man rule and was in favour of representative government.

Personality

Although a leading Puritan, Marten enjoyed good living. He had a contemporary reputation as a heavy drinker and was widely said to be a man of loose morals.

Connections

Henry Marten married twice during the 1630s. His first wife was Elizabeth Lovelace, with whom he had three daughters. After Elizabeth's death, he married a widow, Margaret Staunton, and had a son and four daughters. Also he had an open and lengthy relationship with Mary Ward, a woman not his wife, by whom he had three daughters.

father:
Sir Henry Marten, Sr.

Sir Henry Marten, Sr. was an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1625 and 1640.

mother:
Elizabeth Marten (Harding)

mistress:
Mary Ward

sister:
Mary Marten

sister:
Jane Marten

sister:
Elizabeth Marten, Jr.

sister:
Agnes Marten

wife:
Margaret Staunton (West)

wife:
Elizabeth Marten (Lovelace)

daughter:
Jane Marten

daughter:
Frances Marten

daughter:
Mary Parker (Marten)

daughter:
Anne Marten

son:
Henry Marten, Jr.

Brother:
George Giles Martin

Brother:
George Marten