Name: NICHOLAS MARTIN
Given Name: NICHOLAS
Birth: ABT. 1550 in Athelhampston,Dorsetshire,England
Death: 1595 in Athelhampton, Dorsetshire
Had four daughters among whom his estate was divided. page 498 Colonial Families of America
Have a virtual tour of
Athelhampton House and Gardens
at their website.
The Memorial Brass to Nicholas Martyn dated 1595 at St Mary's Church, Puddletown, Dorset. This 16th Century brass depicts Nicholas Martyn, bare-headed, in armour, kneeling before an altar on which is an open book. Behind him are his three sons, who all predeceased him. On the right is his wife, Margaret (daughter of John Wadham), whose brother Nicholas Wadham, in 1613, founded Wadham College, Oxford. Behind her are their seven daughters. Above them are the arms* of Martyn (Arg. two bars gules) impaling Wadham (Gules a chevron between three roses arg.): above is the Martyn crest (a Martyn (ape) proper, chained to a stump of a tree or, sejant, holding in his paw a mirror azure). Nicholas was the last of the Martyns and died without male issue in 1595. His estate was divided amongst his four surviving daughters, of whom Elizabeth, the eldest, married Henry Brune; and their son, as heir to his mother, lived at Athelhampton Hall. His great niece, Marie Brune, married Sir Ralph Bankes, son of Sir John Bankes and 'Brave Dame Mary' of Corfe Castle.
* A tablet in memory of a member of the Martyn family with the same crest is on the East Wall of the South transept at Crewkerne.
Athelhampton House has quite a complicated name history. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it appears as simply Pidele, one of several estates named from the River Piddle on which it stands. From the mid-13th century, the name of an early owner Aethelhelm is added, in forms like Pidele Aleume or more fully Pidele Athelhamston, that is 'Aethelhelm's (estate on the) Piddle', from the Old English personal name Aethelhelm, ('noble-protector') and Old English tun. Finally, from the end of the 13th century, the Pidele comes to be dropped from the name, giving spellings like Athelhameston in 1303, Athellamston in 1327, and numerous other later variations like Addlemaston on Saxton's map of 1575.
Clearly the -p- of the modern spelling is quite unhistorical (it first makes its appearance in the 14th century). It is interesting, too, that the same name survives in a different form in South Admiston within the parish: Admiston is probably a more reduced and 'popular' form of the name Athelhampton itself.
Ghost Stories about Athelhampton House:
The Martyn family were owners of the house for over 300 years and during that time, one of the Martyn daughters had a pet monkey. As a result of an unhappy love affair, the young girl decided she would kill herself in one of the hall's secret rooms. As she made her way up the
secret staircase and into the room, she slammed the doors behind her. She was unaware that not only had she locked herself in, but her monkey too. The faithful pet soon died of starvation and since then its ghost has been seen on the secret staircase and the sound of its claws have been heard trying to scratch its way through the floor.
A 'Gray Lady' has been seen in the Tudor Room along with two mysterious ghosts who re-enact their duel in the Great Chamber. A priest in long robes and a hood has also been seen at the Hall and is thought to be the ghost of a priest who was once writing a book about the area.
Father: ROBERT MARTIN b: 1539 in Athelhamson House, England
Mother: ELIZABETH KELWAY
- ANNE MARTIN MARTYN b: ----------- in Athelhampton, Dorsetshire
- ELIZABETH MARTIN MARTYN b: -------------
- JANE MARTIN MARTYN b: ABT. 1590 in England
- FRANCES MARTIN MARTYN b: ABT. 1579