John's father, Robert Martin of Overbury Court, was the son, brother, and father of Members of Parliament and once was High Sheriff of Worcestershire. Robert Martin married Mary Anne Biddulph, daughter of John Biddulph of Ledbury in 1837. John was the second son and born at Eaton Square. He was baptized Aug 29, 1841 in Chislehurst, Kent, England.
John was treasurer of Charing Cross Hospital and London Orthopedic Hospital and Life Governor of St. George’s Hospital. He was a donor to the Hospital for Sick Children on Great Ormond St. He belonged to the Athenaeum Club, Society of Arts, and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. He was a Fellow of the Zoological Society and a member of the Political Economy Club and the City Church Preservation Society. He was Church Warden of St. Mary Woolworth, Lombard St. He contributed to his wife's magazine, the Humanitarian both under his own name and under a pseudonym.
His wife Victoria C.W. Martin wrote: “The last few months of his life were embittered by a fresh outbreak, more particularly in America of the cruel persecution. . . . In consequence of his failing health, his wife’s enemies thought he was no longer able to defend her . . . . Last November he was seized with a dangerous illness, and though he rallied from it a little, he was never the same man again. As soon as he was well enough to travel, his doctors advised a trip to the Canary Island, and he left England in February last. In cause of her own ill health and shattered nerves his wife was unable to accompany him, and thus it happened that, for the first time for the 18 years of the married life, they were separated for more than a few weeks.”
He reached Las Palmas on March 16. He died of pneumonia at 3 p.m. on March 20 at the Santa Catalina Hotel, Las Palmas, Grand Canary Islands. He was cremated at Woking on April 17.
John was described as gentle, thoughtful, shy, and reserved. He had cut out clippings about his wife before he ever met her.
The source for some of this information is The Humanitarian, Vol. X, No 5 May 1897, published by his wife Victoria C.W. Woodhull. She was married to John longer than any of her other husbands.
Victoria California Claflin Woodhull
1838–1927 (m. 1883)