MARTYN, Christopher (c.1617-78), of Plympton Erle, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



25 Feb. 1647

Family and Education

b. c.1617, 1st s. of John Martyn of Plympton Erle by Mary Mudge. m. 15 Dec. 1653, Jane (bur. 13 Mar. 1674), da. of John Snelling of Chaddlewood, Plympton Erle, and coh. to her nephew Francis, at least 1s. 3da. suc. fa. 1643.2

Offices Held

Churchwarden, Plympton St. Maurice 1640; j.p. Devon 1647-July 1660; commr. for militia, Devon 1648, Mar. 1660, Exeter 1659, assessment, Devon 1649-52, 1657, Jan. 1660, maj. of militia ft. 1651; commr. for scandalous ministers, Devon and Exeter 1654; mayor, Plympton Erle 1663-4.3

Capt. of ft. (parliamentary) by 1643; gov. Pendennis Jan.-Mar. 1660.4


Martyn came from an obscure branch of a widespread gentry family of 14th century date, one of whom sat for Plympton in 1363. He served with distinction in the Civil War, and was elected to the Long Parliament as a recruiter for the borough. ‘Of known integrity and good affection to Parliament’, he resumed his seat in the Rump after some hesitation, and was selected to represent the county in Barebones Parliament. He did not sit with the secluded Members, but was re-elected to the Convention for Plympton. He was named to no committees and made no speeches. Presumably an Independent and an opponent of the Court, he was removed from the commission of the peace and did not stand again. He appears to have engaged in the Newfoundland trade after the Restoration. He was buried at Plympton St. Mary on 26 Jan. 1678. His son was living in 1693, but nothing further is known of the family.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Abstained after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 16 Apr. 1649.
  • 2. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 694; Eg. 2764, pp. 55, 59, 107, 108; C10/130/40; Plymouth City Lib. MTD3/53, 75, 92; Exeter City Lib. 48/13/1/113.
  • 3. Devon Protestation Returns ed. Howard, 236; CSP Dom. 1651, p. 388; 1659-60, p. 322; Trans. Devon Assoc. xxix. 642.
  • 4. R. N. Worth, Hist. Plymouth, 110; CSP Dom. 1659-60, p. 322.
  • 5. Western Antiquary, viii. 48; Vis. Devon, 553; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 218, 316; Cal. Comm. Comp. 152; Jnl. of James Yonge ed. Poynter, 112; Eg. 2764, p. 55; Plymouth City Lib. MTD3/92.