Henry Martyn

(1665—1721) essayist and economist

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Martin, sometimes also Martyn, was born at Aldbourn, Wiltshire, probably around 1665, and died at Blackheath, Kent on 25 March 1721. His father was a gentleman of Wiltshire; his younger brother, Edward Martin, was Gresham Professor of Rhetoric from 1696–1720. Martin matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford in 1684 and graduated BA in 1687 and MA in 1690. He then entered the Middle Temple and was called to the bar in 1692. Contemporaries regarded him as a very able lawyer, but he also suffered from ill health which greatly hampered his legal practice. He was also a scholar and essayist, and made several contributions to the Spectator; the number of these is uncertain, but their quality was such as to earn him the praise of Richard Steele. He was appointed bailiff of Southwark before 1701. In 1713–14 he was one of the most important writers who contributed to The British Merchant, the Whig response to Defoe’s Mercator and to the proposed Anglo-French commercial treaty; other contributors I included Charles King, Sir Theodore Janssen, Sir Charles Cooke and James milner. In 1715 he was appointed inspector-general of imports and exports, holding both posts until his death.


From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Economics.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.