emigrated to Canada in 1833 and founded a family there.
Martin was widely known for his love of animals and for his readiness in duelling. In spite of considerable opposition from such men as Canning and Peel, he succeeded in carrying into law an act 'to prevent the cruel and improper treatment of cattle' (3 Geo. IV, cap. 71), 'the first modern enactment in Great Britain for protecting the rights of animals; 'it received the royal assent on 22 July 1822, and was amended in 1835. While in London he brought before the magistrates every case which he thought to come within its provisions. He was one of the founders of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1824), and his half-length portrait, the gift of Mrs. Ratcliffe Chambers, hangs in the society's board-room in Jermyn Street, London. He laboured strenuously to abolish the punishment of death for forgery, and brought in a bill to allow counsel to prisoners charged with capital crimes. His own account of his duels with 'Fighting Fitzgerald' and with Eustace Stowell are printed in Sir Jonah Barrington's 'Personal Sketches' (1869), ii. 261-73, 296-8. His benevolence was unbounded, and his memory is still revered in Galway. He is said to have been the original of Godfrey O'Malley, uncle of the hero in Lever's 'Charles O'Malley.' He twice declined an offer of a peerage.
Martin's only surviving son by his first wife, Thomas Barnewall Martin, of Ballin ah inch, who sat for Galway county from 1832 to 1847, broke the entail for the sake of his only child, Mary Letitia Martin [q. v.], and the property was mortgaged to the Law Life Assurance Society. In the famine years the rents were not paid, and he died on 23 April 1847 of famine fever, caught when visiting his tenants in the Clifden workhouse. The insurance society soon took possession, and the estates, said then to consist of 197,000 acres, were sold under the Encumbered Estates Act for very inadequate prices.
Martin's eldest daughter by his second wife, Harriet Letitia (1801-1891), was born in London on 5 July 1801, and died at Dublin on 12 Jan. 1891. When staying in Paris with John Banim and his wife, she wrote a tale entitled 'Canvassing,' which was appended to Michael Banim's novel of 'The Mayor of Windgap, 1835. Emboldened by the success of this venture, she published in 1848 a novel called 'The Changeling, a Tale of the Year '47.' Miss Martin was an accomplished linguist, and had travelled much in Europe and America.
[Genealogy of Martin Family of Ballinahinch, printed for private circulation by Archer E. S. Martin of Winnipeg, 1890 ; Western Law Times (Winnipeg), ii. 55-8 ; Animal World (with portrait), 1 Sept. 1871 ; Gent. Mag. 1834, pt. i. pp. 654-5 ; Webb's Compendium of Irish Biog. p. 586; Notes and Queries, 7th ser. iii. 328, 417, 522-3, viii.427, 478, ix. 14; Burke's Vicissitudes, ed. 1883, i. 322-9; Hansard for 1822, vii. 758-9, 873-4; Jordan's Men I have known, pp. 312-21 ; Barham's Life of Theodore Hook, i. 233 ; Hood's Ode to Richard Mai tin.]