Martineau family

Coat of arms of Colonel Ernest Martineau, son of Sir Thomas Martineau
The Blue Plaque

The Martineau family is an intellectual, business and political dynasty associated first with Norwich and later also London and Birmingham, England. The family were prominent Unitarians, to the extent that a room in London's Essex Hall, the headquarters building of the British Unitarians, was named after them.

In Birmingham, several of its members have been Lord Mayor of England's second city.[1] They worshipped at the Church of the Messiah,[2] where they mingled with other dynastic families of that denomination, such as the Kenricks and the Chamberlains, with much intermarriage occurring between them.[3] Several of the Martineaus are buried in Key Hill Cemetery, either in the family grave or separately.[4]

Huguenot beginnings

The Martineaus came from a Huguenot immigrant background, and were noted in the medical, intellectual and business fields.[5] Gaston Martineau, a surgeon in Dieppe, moved to Norwich after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes of 1685.[6] Initially Calvinist dissenters, they raised their children to be bilingual in French and English.[7]