Gertrude Laura Martin

Female Abt 1882 - 1952  (~ 70 years)


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  • Name Gertrude Laura Martin 
    Born Abt 1882  Thornton Heath, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Address:
    6 Belle Vue Park 
    Christened 18 Jan 1882  London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Address:
    St Peter's Church, Dulwich 
    Gender Female 
    _UID A61AC6EA33CC40BDA32C242179ABE9FD8A66 
    Died Feb 1952  Brixton, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Address:
    St James Crescent 
    Person ID I12789  Treefive
    Last Modified 24 Sep 2015 

    Father George Thomas Martin,   b. 1847, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Harriett Helen Stotesbury,   b. Abt 1855, Southwark, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1875  London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Address:
    Lambeth 
    Family ID F4373  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 


    • This brief biography of Gertrude Martin is based on the article by Frances Bevan dated 8 Jul 2012 at http://swindonhistory.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/gertrude-martin-master-mosaicist.html

      Gertrude Martin - master mosaicist

      Records for the ancient manor of Lambeth Wick date back to the 12th century when it was granted to Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury. In the mid 17th century the manor was divided into twenty small parcels of land comprising approximately 230 acres. At the beginning of the 19th century this prime building land was let to Richard Vassall 3rd Baron Holland and development took off in 1829. Henry Currey, architect and surveyor, planned the layout for St James's Road (now called St James's Crescent), Millbrook Road and Barrington Road and building lots came on the market in 1843.

      In 1911 number 24 St James's Crescent was occupied by George Martin, a retired Insurance Brokers Clerk, and his wife Harriett. At home on census night were sons Alban 26; Garth 25; George 22 and Laurence 20 who were all employed as clerks. Fifteen year old Patrick was presumably still in education. Two of the couple's five daughters were also at home, Agnes 34 and Gertrude 29 a painter. Her father adds in parenthesis 'artist' to clear up any misconception that Gertrude might be painting walls for a living. In fact Gertrude went on to become one of an elite group of women master mosaicists.

      Gertrude was born at 6 Belle Vue Park, Thornton Heath, the fourth of George and Harriett's ten children. She was baptised at St Peter's Church, Dulwich on January 18, 1882 and spent her childhood at various addresses in Croydon.

      Along with her sisters Margaret and Dora, Gertrude was apprenticed to George Bridge, an artist and worker in mosaics, who had a business premise in Mitcham Park and a studio in Oxford Street.

      In 1902 George and his 26 women mosaicists began an extended period of work in Westminster Cathedral. Gertrude is pictured here in 1913 working on the prophet Isaiah mosaic.

      Gertrude studied mosaics in Ravenna, Milan and Venice, and along with her sister Margaret was employed on some prestigious commissions. In the 1920s the sisters worked on two arched panels in the Central Lobby in the Houses of Parliament. Designed by Robert Anning-Bell the mosaic depicting St Andrew was completed in 1923 and St Patrick in 1924. Between 1928-1932 Gertrude and Margaret worked at St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, designing and producing mosaics in the Baptistry, the Chapel of Holy Spirit, the tympanum above the West Doors and the mural of St Patrick above the entrance to the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.

      There is a photograph of the five sisters held at the Lambeth Archives and published (on the website) with thanks to Jenny Bedson and Rosie Pearce. It was taken in the back garden of No 24 abt 1910. The rear of the houses are similar to others in Brixton still standing during the childhood of the author, Frances Bevan.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4891] Findmypast 1911 England, Wales & Scotland Census Transcription, Lambethl London: Martin, George Thomas and family.

    2. [S4910] Findmypast 1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census Transcription, Lambeth, London: George T Martin and family.

    3. [S4911] Findmypast 1891 England, Wales & Scotland Census Transcription, Croydon, Surrey: Martin, George T and family.

    4. [S4916] BAC406 Martin, Gertrude - master mosaicist on Swindon history website, 21 September 2015; Gertrude Martin - master mosaicist.

    5. [S4436] FreeBMD England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915, Lambeth Mar 1882 vol 1d p. 580: Martin, Gertrude Laura.

    6. [S4390] FreeBMD England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 (ancestry.com), Lambeth Sep 1875 Martin, George Thomas and Stotesbury, Harriett Helen.