Diary : 1779 - 1800.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .M36G4D5
Category: Family
Creator: Martin, George.
Description: 1 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            George Martin was the son of Samuel Martin (d.1778), a Virginia landowner and wealthy Whitehaven (England) merchant, and grandson to John Martin who had emigrated from Dublin, Ireland, to Virginia in 1730. John Martin acquired a considerable amount of real estate in Virginia and married Martha, the daughter of Lewis Burwell of Carter's Creek. George Martin studied law in England and became a solicitor at Lincoln's Inn, London. Both father and son owned property in America and in England, at least ten vessels, and carried on an extensive trading enterprise. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, the Martin property in Virginia was confiscated and sold in 1779 by the General Assembly of Virginia. Samuel Martin lost not only his estates in America, but he was forced to assign all his property in England to discharge his debts which had been contracted as a result of trade with the colonies between 1773 and 1776. This property included the well known Somerset House which passed into the hands of the Littledale family. In addition to his estates in America and the property in England, the Martins lost ten vessels, six of them by capture and the rest destroyed. The Martin's were not the only family ruined by the war: Joseph Younger, Henry Ellison, Peter How, John Wilkinson and others were similarly affected.            
            The 'Diary' of George Martin was found in 1948 with rubbish and old books at St. Begh's Roman Catholic Church in Whitehaven by Rev. B.P. Lyon, St Mary's Kells, Whitehaven. For one hundred and fifty years the Diary's existence had been unknown until its remarkable discovery. The term 'Diary' does not describe the manuscript correctly for it is a record of a number of claims for compensation for the losses sustained by the Martin family as a result of the American Revolution. The documents contain information about the Martin estates in Goochland and Albermarle (now Fluvanna) in Virginia as well as the family's shipping losses during the war. The claims are directed to both the Commissioners of Claims in Great Britain and to the General Assembly of Virginia. An article concerning the Diary and the losses the family suffered, which was originally published in the Whitehaven News, is included in the microfilm on pages 59 - 61. The Diary itself has 153 pages.            
Originals: The original records are held by Rev. B.P. Lyon, St. Mary's, Kells, Whitehaven,Cumberland, England.
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Finding Aids:
            An introduction by Professor Walter E. Minchinton of the University of Exeter, which gives a brief history of the Diary, biographical information on the Martin family, comments on the Diary, and a bibliography, has been microfilmed at the beginning of the reel.             
Electronic Finding Aid Record:
Notes: The Diary of George Martin, 1779-1800, is one of several titles in the series, British Records Relating to America in Microform, which are published under the auspices of the British Association for American Studies by Microform Limited.

The background material provided by the author of the Introduction has been a source of much useful information in the preparation of this Inventory description.

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