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The Martins of "The Brand"

by Robert Martin

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By the late 19th century the Martin family had been living in Anstey for about 400 years. Robert Frewen Martin had health problems, and the ever-expanding Leicester was beginning to engulf their home, Anstey Pastures, near the present-day County Hall. The Ellis family, who built The Brand in Woodhouse Eaves, decided that they preferred city life and moved back into Leicester. The Martins first rented The Brand from them in 1888 and in 1892 bought it (with 7 staff cottages) for £11,000. Robert F Martin served on St Paul’s Church Council for many years. So began the family’s association with Woodhouse Eaves and St Paul’s.

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Anstey Pastures

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The Brand, 1887

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Charles (with dog!) and Robert at Mountsorrel Quarry with their men, 1917

In 1875, Robert formed the Mountsorrel Granite Company from an earlier existing company, employing 154 quarrymen from Mountsorrel. After his death in 1912, his two sons, Robert Edmund and William Francis, and nephew, Charles Hamilton took over the running of the Company, which thrived. William died in WW1 and after recovering from injuries sustained in the war, Robert and Charles returned to oversee the Company. In 1918 the oldest employee had been employed there for more than 75 years!

Throughout the 20th century, members of the Martin family had distinguished careers both in the military and in public service, being instrumental in developments at Loughborough College (University) and Bradgate Park, helping to protect Charnwood Forest as an area of natural beauty, to be enjoyed by all.

Sir Robert (1914 – 93), Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, could often be seen riding out on his grey horse ‘Huntsman’. He was an enthusiastic supporter of scouting, youth clubs, fundraising for facilities and opportunities for young people

Two memorial plaques and the family burial plot can be seen at St Paul’s. Robert and Janie Martin still live at The Brand, the 23rd consecutive generation of the family to live in Leicestershire.

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Col Sir Robert Andrew St George Martin

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The Martin family crest