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Vincent Ivanhoe "Rhyging" Martin
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Birth: 1924
Saint Catherine, Jamaica
Death: Oct. 9, 1948
Kingston
Kingston, Jamaica

Outlaw and Jamaican Folk Hero. In the late 1930's a young man from the Jamaican countryside arrived in Kingston hoping to make a new life for himself. Jamaica was then, as it is now, marked by crushing poverty for most of its citizens. Vincent Ivanhoe Martin was born in the tiny village of Linstead in the Parrish of St Catherine, Jamaica. Upon arriving in the capital city he settled in the slums of Western Kingston. Living on the street at the age of 14 he began having run-ins with the law. A Kingston magistrate sentenced him to a dozen lashes with a whip for "a vicious attack" in 1938. In 1940 he faced a 30 day sentence for "wounding" but instead paid a fine of 30 shillings. Three years later he was sent to jail for six months for the offense of breaking and entering. After his release Martin formed some sort of criminal gang and went by the self-styled moniker "Capt. Midnight". It seems that even at this early age he understood the value of a good PR campaign. Naturally this new enterprise landed Martin in jail again, and as a multiple offender he now faced seven years in prison. After serving two years of his sentence, the man now known as Rhyging managed to escape from a maximum security penitentiary. It was at this point that he came to the attention of the Jamaican public. Cornered by police who had been tipped off as to his location, Rhyging clad only in his underwear, shot his way out of the trap, and in the process killed one deputy and injured another. Following his escape from justice Rhyging went looking for the man he believed had tipped off the police. Not finding his intended quarry, Martin got his vengeance by shooting and killing the man's girlfriend. Over the next few weeks Ryhging seized the attention of the Jamaican lower classes by writing threatening letters to the police (which were subsequently published in the daily papers). He also held up a photo studio where he forced the photographer to take glitzy pictures of him brandishing his revolvers. These pictures were then mailed to the newpapers which promptly published them, and of course Rhyging's popularity skyrocketed. If Jamaica ever had a Robin Hood character, Martin was it! But the wheels of justice were beginning to turn and the Jamaican Constabulary pulled out all the stops in its effort to end its own public humiliation by bringing Martin to justice. Over the next several weeks he was pursued from hideout to hideout with several close calls and shootouts along the way. Finally on the morning of October 9, 1948 police were informed that Rhyging was hiding on a little islet outside of Kingston Harbor known as Lime Cay. Having sworn to not be taken alive Martin was as good as his word and met the police on the beach, with revolvers in hand. He was no match for the pursuing constables armed with British Enfield rifles, and the 24 year-old ne'r-do-well died in a hail of police bullets. When word of his demise reached the Jamaican public, there were thousands who showed up at the morgue hoping to catch a glimpse of Jamaica's most famous "rude boy". In 1972 Rhyging's story was popularized in the film The Harder They Come starring Jimmy Cliff. Meanwhile, Vincent Ivanhoe "Rhyging" Martin lies in an unmarked grave in Kingston's May Pen Cemetery.

 
 
Inscription:
Grave unmarked per government directive
 
Burial:
May Pen Cemetery
Saint Andrew, Jamaica
 
Created by: Tony Middleton
Record added: Oct 21, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 119065187
Vincent Ivanhoe Rhyging Martin
Added by: Tony Middleton
 
Vincent Ivanhoe Rhyging Martin
Cemetery Photo
Added by: jennifer hart
 
 
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You can get it if you really want it...
- Tony Middleton
 Added: Oct. 21, 2013
 
 
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