Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/274

This page needs to be proofread.
Marten
Marten
268


king's death. 'I am sorry to see so little repentance,' observed the solicitor-general.' If it were possible,' replied Marten, 'for that blood to be in the body again, and every drop that was shed in the late wars, I could wish it with all my heart.' This qualified expression of regret was far from satisfying the court, and the chief justice in his charge to the jury commented on his lack of proper penitence, adding, 'I hope in charity he meant better than his words were.' Marten concluded his defence by professing his resolution to submit peaceably to the government for the future, if the king was pleased to spare his life. 'I think,' he said, 'his majesty that now is, is king upon the best title under heaven, for he was called in by the representative body of England.' At this implied denial of the king's hereditary claim the solicitor-general again protested. Marten's conduct throughout was marked by courage and self-possession.

The jury convicted Marten, but, as had been agreed, execution was suspended, and he was imprisoned. In the second parliament of Charles U, which met in May 1661, a bill for executing' the nineteen regicides who had been respited passed the House of Commons. While it was under discussion in the House of Lords Marten and his companions were fetched from their prisons to be examined. To the question what he could say for himself why the act for his execution should not pass (7 Feb. 1601) Marten replied by pleading his surrender in obedience to the king's proclamation. 'That honourable House of Commons, that he did so idolise, had given him up to death, and now,' said Marten, 'this honourable House of Peers, which he had so much opposed, especially in their power of judicature, was made the sanctuary for him to fly to for his life' (Lords' Journals, xi. 380). The lords spared their old enemy, and the bill was dropped. The remainder of Marten's life was passed in prison. In July 1662 he was removed from the Tower and transferred to the charge of William, first baron Widdrington, at Berwick. In May 1065 he was removed to Windsor and placed under the custody of John, baron (afterwards viscount) Mordaunt (d. 1675) [q. v.], but proving an 'eyesore to his majesty,' was finally sent away to Chepstow Castle. At Chepstow, on 9 Sept. 1680, he died (Cal. State Papers, Dom 1661-2 p. 446, 1665 p. 374, 1607 p. 465).

Marten was originally buried in the chancel of Chepstow Church, but a subsequent incumbent, thinking the site too sacred for a regicide, moved him into the body of the church. Archdeacon Coxe [see Coxe, William, 1747-1828], in his 'Historical Tour in Monmouthshire,' collected some traditional anecdotes about Marten's life in prison. The same work contains a view of the tower in which Marten was confined, a facsimile of the inscription on his tombstone, and a portrait of him in the possession of the neighbouring family of Lewis of St. Pierre. His epitaph, 'by way of acrostic on himself,' is also printed by Wood (Athenæ, iii. 1242). Southey visited Marten's prison, and wrote a sonnet on him, which Canning parodied and applied to Mrs. Brownrigg (Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, ed. Edmonds ). Marten's character is very favourably judged by Aubrey in the notes which be supplied to Anthony à Wood. 'He was a great and faithful lover of his country . . . not at all covetous . . . not at all arrogant . . . a great cultor of justice, and did always in the house take the side of the oppressed' (Letters from the Bodleian Library, iii. 435). Burnet could see nothing but Marten's vices (Own Time, ed. 1833, i. 291 ). Forster's 'Life of Marten,' published in 1837, is an uncritical panegyric. Carlyle characterises him, with more justice : 'A right hard-headed, stout-hearted little man, full of sharp fire and cheerful light ; sworn foe of cant in all its figures; an indomitable little Roman pagan if no better' (Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, ed. 1871, iii. 168). He was too much of the 'Roman pagan ' to succeed as a leader of puritans.

By his wife Margaret, widow of William Staunton, Marten had a daughter Mary, who married Thomas Parker, afterwards the last Lord Morley and Monteagle [q. v.] He had also a son Henry, who seems to nave died young, and three other daughters, Jane, Anne, and Frances (Hist MSS. Comm. 13th Rep. iv. 398-9 ; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1636-7, p. 275 ; Le Neve, Pedigrees of Knights, p. 372).

Marten published one speech and several pamphlets: 1. 'A Speech delivered at the Common Hall in London, 28 July 1643, concerning Sir William Waller,' &c, 4to, 1643. 2. 'A Corrector of the Answerer to the Speech out of doors, justifying the worthy Speech of Mr. Thomas Chaloner . . . Edinburgh, as truly printed by Evan Tyler, printer to the King's most Excellent Majesty, as were the Scottish papers, anno 1646,' 4to, n.d. This, which was printed in London in 1646, is anonymous. The Bodleian copy is noted by Barlow as 'supposed to be writ by Mr. H. Martin,' and the style justifies the supposition. 3. 'The Independency of England endeavoured to be maintained against the Claims of the Scots Commissioners,' 4to, 1647. This, which is Marten's best pam-