- Also known as
Robert Montgomery Martin
primary name: Robert Montgomery Martin
- individual; government/regional authority; British; Male
- Life dates
- Robert Montgomery Martin (c. 1801 – 6 September 1868) was an Anglo-Irish author and civil servant. He was the first Colonial Treasurer of Hong Kong (1844-45), and member of the Statistical Society of London (1834), the Colonial Society (1837), and the East India Association (1867).
He was born in Dublin and trained as a doctor. About 1820 he went out to Ceylon, under the patronage of Sir Hardinge Giffard, a friend of his father. He went on to the Cape of Good Hope, where he arrived in June 1823; he joined the expedition of HMS Leven and HMS Barracouta under William Fitzwilliam Owen, to Delagoa Bay. He went in a temporary capacity as assistant surgeon, serving also as botanist and naturalist on the south-east coast of Africa, Madagascar, and Indian Ocean islands. On 10 November 1824 Martin left the expedition at Mombassa, and by way of Mauritius made his way back to the Cape. Later he sailed to New South Wales, and returned to India around the end of 1828, living there for a year, before returning to England in 1830.
Martin became a writer and published on India and the colonies. In 1838 he was assigned an office in Downing Street, and in the course of a year brought out his work on the Statistics of the Colonies, compiled from official sources, but without official support. In 1840 he founded and for two years edited the Colonial Magazine. On 5 December 1837 he presented a petition to the House of Commons for an amended colonial administrative department, and in 1839, as a member of the court of the East India Company, he was active in promoting the appointment of the commission which sat in 1840 on the East Indian trade. In January 1844, Martin was appointed treasurer of the newly acquired island of Hong Kong, where he was also a member of the legislative council. In May 1845 he disagreed with the governor on the question of raising revenue from opium and on being refused six months' leave, resigned in July 1845. After making unsuccessful efforts to induce the Secretary of State to reinstate him, Martin returned to a literary life, near London. In 1851 he went to Jamaica on a mission to report on the affairs of two mining companies operating there. Martin was one of the original members of the East India Association, founded in 1866. He died at Wellesley Lodge, Sutton, Surrey, on 6 September 1868.
A seated Buddha was purchased by the Museum from R. Martin in 1854.
- History of the Antiquities of Eastern India (3 vols.) 1838.
Political, Commercial, and Financial Condition of the Anglo-Eastern Empire, 1832.
British Relations with the Chinese Empire, 1832.
Analysis of the Parliamentary Evidence on the China Trade, 1832.
Ireland as it was, is, and ought to be, 1833.
Past and Present State of the Tea Trade, 1833.
East and West India Sugar Duties, 1833.
Poor Laws for Ireland, a Measure of Justice for England, 1833.
Analysis of Parliamentary Evidence on the Handloom Weavers, 1834–5.
Analysis of the Bible (later translated into Chinese), 1836.
The British Colonial Library, 10 vols. (a new edition of the History of the British Colonies), 1837.
The Colonial Policy of the British Empire, pt. i. Government, 1837.
The Statistics of the British Colonies, 1839.
The Monetary System of British India, 1841.
Ireland before and after the Union, 1844; 2nd edit. in 1848.
Steam Navigation with Australia, 1847.
China, Political, Commercial, and Social, 2 vols. 1847.
Free Trade in Sugar, 1848.
The Hudson's Bay Territories and Vancouver's Island, 1849.
The Indian Empire (illustrated), 5 vols. 1857.
The Rise and Progress of the Indian Mutiny, 1859.