Mad Martins

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Jonathan's Departure from Maria



I was therefore obliged to take leave of her upon the Saturday morning (January 31st). Upon that occasion I had a sore contest between flesh and blood, so as to part from her. It was a hardish action, I assure you, when she asked me what was to become of her and of my child Richard. I thought she would have nailed me to the spot when she mentioned about the child; but at that moment a passage of scripture struck my ear, and it cried out like a whisper, “What thou doest, do with all thy might”. At the same time I heard another whisper in my ear, saying, “If you prefer your wife to the Lord, he that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me. Leave them all, and come with me.” And I heard a third whisper “Even thine own life.” Upon that I cried out, “O Lord God, let thy will be done.” I then got away from her, but it was like arrows passing through my heart.

(Words: Jonathan Martin / Tune: ‘The Fair Flower of Northumberland’ - Trad. arr. Glenn Miller)

© 2017 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS


Recording Credits

Keith Armstrong - Recitation
Glenn Miller - Accordion


Additional Text

In May 1828, while in Boston, Lincolnshire, Jonathan had met Maria Hudson, a young girl about twenty years his junior. Jonathan visited her many times and she became his second wife when they married in Boston Church on October 19th of that year. They then moved to York, where Jonathan began his plot to burn the Minster. Feeling he would be unable to carry out his plans without Maria’s knowledge, however, as this would entail leaving her for one night; he confiscated her wedding ring, causing much upset, only promising to return it if she vowed to keep her silence. She agreed but Jonathan was still troubled by the matter of her involvement and could find “no rest for his mind until he had accomplished the deed which the will of God had imposed on him”.