Martin, Thomas

, an eminent civilian, the son of Thomas Martin, was born at Cerne, in Dorsetshire, and educated at Winchester school, whence he was admitted fellow of New college, Oxford, in 1539. He applied himself chiefly to the canon and civil law, which he likewise studied at Bourges, and was admitted doctor. On entering upon practice in Doctors’ Commons, he resigned his fellowship; and in 1555, being incorporated LL. D. at Oxford, he was made chancellor of the diocese of Winchester. This he owed to the recommendation of bishop Gardiner, who had a great opinion of his zeal and abilities, and no doubt very justly, as he found him a ready and useful assistant in the persecution of the protestants in queen Mary’s time. Among other instances, he was joined in commission with Story in the trial of archbishop Cranmer at Oxford. His proceedings on that occasion may be seen in Fox’s “Acts and Monuments” under the years 1555 and 1556. His conduct probably was not very grosser tyrannical, as, although he was deprived of his offices in Elizabeth’s reign, he was allowed quietly to retire with his family to Ilfield in Sussex, where he continued in privacy until his death in 1584. He wrote two works against the marriage of priests; but that which chiefly entitles him to some notice here, was his Latin “Life of William of Wykeham,” the munificent founder of New college, the ms. of which is in the library of that college. It was first published in 1597, 4to, and reprinted, without any correction or improvement, by Dr. Nicholas, warden of Winchester, in 1690, who does not seem to have been aware | how much more might be recovered of Wykeham, as Dr. Lowth has proved. This excellent biographer says that Martin seems not so much to have wanted diligence in collecting proper materials, as care and judgment in digesting and composing them. But it is unnecessary to say much of what is now rendered useless by Dr. Lowth’s work. Dr. Martin bequeathed, or gave in his life-time, several valuable books to New college library. 1

1 Atb. Ox. vol. I. new edit, by Bliss. Dodd’s Ch. Hist Pits and Bale. —Strype’s Cranmer, p. 53, 330, 352, 371—373, 316. Strype’s Paricer, p. 504.