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Title: The Life of Jonathan Martin, Incendiary of York Minster with Some Account of William and Richard Martin
Description: London, Macmillan & Co. 1944, First Edition. Hardcover with dust jacket, 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Jonathan Martin (1782-1838) was an English arsonist, famous for burning down York Minster in 1829. Martin was born at Highside House, near Hexham, in 1782, one of the twelve children of William Fenwick Martin and Isabella, née Thompson. Among his siblings was the artist John Martin and the philosopher William Martin. After being brought up by his aunt, Ann Thompson, a staunch Protestant with a vivid image of hell, Martin witnessed the murder of his sister by his neighbour, and was sent to his uncle's farm to recover from the shock. Between 1804 and 1810 he served in the Royal Navy, and then became a Wesleyan preacher in 1814, strongly denouncing the Church of England. In 1817, he threatened the assassination of Edward Legge, Bishop of Oxford, for which he was committed to West Auckland Lunatic Asylum, before being moved to the Gateshead asylum. He escaped in 1820, but was recaptured. His wife died in 1821, and he escaped for a second time, becoming a tanner and preacher. The Wesleyan Church refused to take him back, and he published his autobiography at Lincoln in 1826. His second marriage was to Maria Hudson; they had no children, and moved to York in 1828; though they were prosperous, Martin had a breakdown. On February 1, 1829, while attending evening service at York Minster, Martin became upset by a buzzing sound in the organ. He secreted himself in the Minster, and lit a lamp in the bell-tower (disregarded by those who witnessed it). Later that night, he set fire to the woodwork in the choir, and escaped through a window. Smoke was seen coming out of the building at seven the next morning, and at eight the fire was raging through the organ and choir. The fire was brought under control that afternoon, and was extinguished the following day. It was only after the fire had been extinguished that the full extent of the damage was realised. The roof of the central aisle was entirely destroyed from the lantern tower almost to the east window (a distance of 131 feet), as was most of the woodwork in the interior, including the organ and its screen, the tabernacle work, the stalls, galleries, bishop's throne, and the pulpit. It was the most spectacular arson in British history, and the people wanted revenge. Martin was arrested on February 5, and tried at York Castle, defended by Henry Brougham, who had gained notoriety for defending Queen Caroline in 1821. Despite the jury ruling guilty (which would have resulted in hanging), the judge declared him not guilty on the grounds of insanity. He was detained in Bethlem Royal Hospital, where he died on May 26, 1838. His son, Richard, was brought up by Jonathan's brother John, but young Richard committed suicide three months after his father's death. Very Good/Good.

Keywords: Edmund Campion Biography Religion Bible Theology Christianity Scripture Biblical Studies Catholic Church Protestant Martyrs Jesuits Arson

Price: GBP 20.00 = appr. US$ 28.56 Seller: Delectus Books
- Book number: 041110

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