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Martinborough founder, John Martin, dies - 1892

Hon. John Martin

Evening Post, 17 May 1892

It is with great regret that we have to record the death of the Hon. John Martin, which occurred at his residence, Fountain Hall, today, about noon, after a brief illness. The causes of death was pneumonia.

There were few men better known in Wellington than Mr. Martin, one of its earliest settlers. He worked hard in a humble way at the start, and rose to become one of Wellington's wealthiest citizens and to fill a seat in the Legislative Council.

Mr. Martin passed through all the vissitudes of colonial life, and worked well in all. He was a steady, shrewd, and far-seeing man, and deserved the success which attended his efforts.

Mr. Martin was of North of Ireland parentage, but was born at Maghera, near Dublin.

He arrived in Wellington in the ship Lady Nugent in 1841, accompanied by several brothers, who afterwards went to Otago, where two of them are still alive. Three others died in Otago. Tho young men wore sent to New Zealand by their uncle, Dr. Espey, to make their way by their own exertions.

Just three months ago Mr. John Martin lost his wife, and he seemed greatly shaken by the blow.

He leaves a large grown-up family, consisting of six sons (Dr. Albert Martin being one) and four daughters — Mrs. R. O'Connor, Mrs. J. E. George, Mrs. Cameron, and Mrs. Tweed.

It is only a few weeks since Mr. Martin returned from a mouth's visit to the Hot Lakes, accompanied by Mr. Tringham, and he appeared on his return to have benefited greatly by his trip.

On Thursday last he was seized with a severe cold, which settled on his lungs, and he was unable to rally. He was conscious to within a few minutes of his death, and recognised and spoke to Mr. Tringham, who was present.

Mr Martin was a large landowner in tha Wairarapa. His ago was 70.

In politics the deceased gentleman was a Liberal, and always voted on that side in the Council. He rarely spoke in the Council, but was a regular attendant.

Mr. Martin was one of the early promoters of steamship enterprise in New Zealand, and did his utmost to keep the headquarters of that enterprise in Wellington.

He was one of the principal directors of the Circular Saw Line.

Some fourteen years ago Mr. Martin presented to the city the drinking fountain which bears his name.

His unexpected death will be very generally regretted. The funeral takes place on Thursday morning.

Evening Post, 19 May 1892
All that was mortal of the late Hon. John Martin was interred in the Presbyterian portion of the new cemetery at Karori this morning, and the respect in which the deceased gentleman, who had resided in Wellington for over 50 years, had been held, was evidenced by the large number of citizens who took part in the obsequies, the funeral being one of the largest seen in the city for some years. 
The cortege started for Karori about half-past 9, but before that time a short service was conducted in the deceased's late residence in Ghuznee Street by the Rev. C. S. Ogg, of St. Andrew's.  
Amongst those present were the Premier (Hon. J. Ballance), Sir Robert Stout, the Very Rev. Dr. Watters, Revs. J. K. Elliott and H. Van Staveren, Drs. Ewart and Mackenzie, Messrs. W. McLean, M.H.R., H.J.H. Eliott (Undersecretary for Mines), G. Hutchison, M.H.R., J. C. Gavin (Assistant Auditor-General),and a large number of others.  
There were 27 carriages, and the procession was nearly half-a-mile long. The chief mourners were the deceased's sons (Dr. Albert Martin and three brothers residing in the Wairarapa), Mr. R. O'Connor (son-in-law), and Mr. Chas. Tringham, an intimate friend of the deceased. The service at the grave was conducted by tho Rev. Mr. Ogg.

Evening Post, 31 May 1892
Will of the Honourable John Martin. M.L.C.
The following is the literal text of the will of the late Honourable John Martin :—  
I direct that all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses shall be paid as soon as may be after my decease  I appoint my son Albert and my son Arthur to be executors and trustees of this my will and who and the survivor of them and the trustees for the time being of this my will are hereinafter referred to as my trustees I give devise and bequeath unto my trustees the whole of my real and personal property whatsoever and wheresoever situate upon trust as to my property in the Wairarapa known as the Otaraia estate subject to the encumbrances thereon for my son Arthur    All the rest residue and remainder of my estate whether real or personal I direct my trustees to hold upon trust for my daughter Elizabeth (Mrs. O'Connor) my daughter Sarah (Mrs. George) my daughter Jessie (the wife of Dr. Tweed of Ashburton) my daughter Minnie (the wife of Captain Cameron now residing in Liverpool England) and my sons, Robert Edward, John, William, and Albert, share and share alike as tenants in common.  
The will concludes by revoking all previous wills, and was signed in the presence of W. H. Quick, solicitor, and C. O. Rosenberg, law clerk, on 18th February last.

Further reading:
John Martin (Dictionary of New Zealand Biography)


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