MARTYN, Henry (c.1564-1626), of Eastcott and Upham, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press




Family and Education

b. c.1564, s. of William Martyn of Burderop, Wilts. and Dorothy, da. of Anthony Fettiplace of Wanborough, Wilts.1 educ. St. John’s, Camb. 1579, BA Christ’s 1583; G. Inn 1581.2 m. c.1586, w. unknown, 3s. 1da.3 d. 15 July 1626.4 sig. Henry Martyn.5

Offices Held

Servant to Henry Herbert, 2nd earl of Pembroke c.1585-1601.

J.p. Wilts. by 1598-d.,6 Berks. by 1601-d.;7 commr. subsidy, Wilts. 1608, 1621-2.8


Martyn, a cousin to the Admiralty Court judge Sir Henry Marten*, entered the service of Henry Herbert, 2nd earl of Pembroke, soon after leaving Oxford.9 Perhaps because of his legal training, he was selected by Pembroke to sit for Wilton. He became a tenant of Pembroke’s property at Devizes Park, and was later nominated an overseer, though not a beneficiary, of the earl’s will, drafted in 1595.10 After Pembroke’s death in 1601, it is likely that Martyn earned his living as a lawyer. In 1601 he purchased the manors of Eastcott and Westcott from John Pleydell†, properties which lay in the parish of Swindon, only a few miles from Wootton Bassett.11 Appointed a magistrate for Wiltshire, Martyn regularly attended the sessions held at Marlborough and Devizes.12 In 1604 he joined several other justices in criticizing the 1st earl of Hertford, then lord lieutenant of Wiltshire, for appointing Josias Kirton muster-master for the county.13 In 1607 he was said to have a smaller estate than other justices on the bench, although further property purchases and an increase in his subsidy tax assessment from £6 in lands in 1587 to £20 in 1611 suggests that his legal practice was lucrative.14

Martyn was one of the few Wootton Bassett Members in the early Stuart period who was a local man. During the 1604-10 sessions, with Alexander Tutt, his fellow borough Member, he was named to committees for considering the bill to remove benefit of the clergy from cattle and sheep stealers (21 Apr. 1604), for assuring various lands and tenements to the dean and chapter of Windsor (21 Apr. 1604), and for Thomas Mompesson’s estate bill (added 11 Dec. 1606).15 It is likely that the more prominent lawyer Richard Martin made all the speeches and committee nominations attributed to ‘Mr. Martin’ during these sessions.

Little is known of Martyn after his service in Parliament. He died intestate in July 1626, possessing his Swindon estate together with other lands in Upham and Aldbourne.16 His sons sold the Aldbourne property in 1634 for £500, followed by Eastcott manor in 1640. None of his descendants sat in Parliament.17

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Henry Lancaster


  • 1. Wilts. IPMs ed. G.S. and A.E. Fry (Brit. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 395; Wilts. N and Q, iii. 270.
  • 2. Al. Cant.; GI Admiss.
  • 3. Aubrey, 370.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Wilts. RO, A1/110, f. 79.
  • 6. Wilts. RO, A1/150/2, f. 3; C66/1549.
  • 7. C66/1549.
  • 8. SP14/31/1, f. 47; C212/22/21-2.
  • 9. Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 43-4.
  • 10. PROB 11/98, f. 10.
  • 11. Wilts. RO, 348/1, no. 4.
  • 12. Wilts. RO, A1/150/3-5.
  • 13. Earl of Hertford’s Ltcy. Pprs. ed. W.P.D. Murphy (Wilts. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 38-9, 176-7.
  • 14. STAC 8/278/11, f. 18; E179/270/18; 179/198/325.
  • 15. CJ, i. 181b, 182b, 329b.
  • 16. Wilts. IPMs, 395; DL4/57/63.
  • 17. Wilts. Arch. Mag. xlix. 483; Wilts. N and Q, ii. 270; VCH Wilts. ix. 122.