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Additional info for Benjamin Martin: Author, Instrument-Maker, and ‘Country Showman’

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He added that, if elected (but presumably not otherwise), he would present a new portable air-pump to the Society, 'which I'll venture to say is ye last degree of improvement ye machine is capable of'. Apparently, he was not familiar with the Society's election procedure, which required that a certificate signed by several Fellows 35 4 Itinerant Lecturer, 1740-55 should be displayed in the meeting room for some months in case objections should be raised; he thought that the Duke would simply propose him at the next meeting, seconded by Sir Hans, and that would be that.

R E, E! ON, DiJDSLE Y, and N E L DIl A 1,t, Bookfdlcr~ in LomIoJ,; :\1r. 1"1. v1cff. ,Aul(,ug/J; 1\-11. U,\" in \,-//flmi); Mr, fRJ,bIl>"lCK at But};; Mr. CRAICIIl 0;-;' in J/,/wir/;; and Mr. u'UI). IVIDCCXLlIl. Fig. 4. Title page of Martin's Course of Lectures textbook, his first publication relating to his lecturing activities. ' It provides us, for the first time, with positive evidence on the subjects covered by his standard course, and incidentally confirms that he really was an itinerant lecturer at this date.

Mary's Church, Reading, sells all sorts of millenary goods, as, lace and edgings, ... muslins ... velvets ... silk, and other handkerchiefs; fan mounts ... ' Though there is no proof that this was Benjamin's wife, the inference is strong that the Academy failed to attract sufficient (or perhaps any) pupils, and that Mary had to open a millinery shop to keep the family while Benjamin reverted to lecturing 'from town to town in ye country'. The rate books of St Mary's parish for August 1742 and February 1743 (the only ones for the early 1740s to have survived) contain an entry for 'Mr.

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