Martin

Martin

Martin, or Martyn, is one of the most numerous names in Ireland, England, and Scotland. The name is also an abbreviation of Gilmartin. The Martins came to Ireland with the Anglo-Norman invasion and became prominent in the west where they were one of the Tribes of Galway. One of the Martin family in Co. Galway claims direct descent from Olyver Martin, who was a Crusader under King Richard II.

Martins have been prominent in the arts. Edward Martyn, who lived at Tulira Castle, Co. Galway, was a founder of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in 1896. Violet Martin was born at Ross in Co. Galway and teamed up with her cousin Edith Somerville to produce wonder fully amusing tales of Anglo-Irish life, including Some Experiences of an Irish RM.

Richard Martin (1754-1834) was known as Humanity Dick; he founded the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. His family owned Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara, where his estates stretched for thirty miles from his front door, giving him the longest avenue in Europe. The Martin castle is now a hotel.