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Papers of Sir Theodore Martin

Call Number: MS E184


This collection consists of a bound volume containing a printed play (Madonna Pia, inlaid); sketches for costumes; a portrait photograph tentatively identfied as Sir Frederic William Burton; and some loose materials that have been physically separated, including a letter and pencil sketch.


  • Creation: approximately 1855-1860


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Theodore Martin

Theodore Martin, born in 1816 in Edinburgh the son of a solicitor, followed in his father's legal footsteps. Practicing first in Edinburgh, he moved to London and became senior partner in the firm Martin & Leslie. He additionally wrote popular humorous works, including a Book of Ballads with W.E. Aytoun, as well as translations of works by such authors as Dante, Goethe, and Danish poet Henrik Hertz. Queen Victoria commissioned him to write a Life of the Prince Consort after the death of Prince Albert. Martin married Helene Faucit in 1851 and died in 1909.

Biography of Frederic William Burton

Born in Ireland in 1816, Burton attended Dublin Society's Drawing Schools and began his career painting miniature portraits. He traveled around Ireland with antiquarian George Petrie, painting abandoned sites, and spent time studying in Germany before moving to London. Burton was notable for painting solely in watercolors. In 1874 he was appointed director of the National Gallery in London. Retiring in 1894, Burton died in 1900.


1 volume (1 volume + 1 folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The volume is a second edition of a play by Sir Theodore Martin, printed in London for private circulation in 1860, first published in 1855. It concerns the 13th-century Pia dei Tolommei mentioned by Dante. Included in the volume are watercolors of costumed characters, with brief notes regarding costuming; and while these items are unsigned, information from the letter listed as item 3 at MS E184 indicates that the watercolors are very likely from the hand of Irish painter Sir Frederic William Burton. Also included in the volume are a letter, notes, and a salt print photograph that has been tentatively identifed as Burton. Loose material formerly laid in the volume has been physically separated and is housed at MS P207.

Physical Location

MS E184

Physical Location

MS P207

Custodial History

The volume was conceivably owned by Lady Helena Saville (Faucit) Martin, [1817-1898] ? One bookplate states Sir Theodore Martin,K. C. B. (armorial) [after 1880, when Kcb; before 1896, when, Kcvo-Dnb]. Another bookplate states Belmont Corn, Jr. [artist: Bank B. Gordon]. A note on the last blank leaf states Phillip S. Franklin r sale 52 E 82d St Nyc, Nov 8, '38. "Binders stamp": Sotheran & Co.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Argosy, 1962/1963.

Guide to the Sir Theodore Martin Collection
Papers of Sir Theodore Martin
Finding aid prepared by alh, January 14, 1975; revised by ksc, January 5, 2009. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2005; revised by skt, 2010. Revised by mwh, 2018.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Sir Theodore Martin Collection, Department of Special Collections, MS E184, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States