Thomas Bryan Martin

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For other people named Thomas Martin, see Thomas Martin (disambiguation).

Colonel Thomas Bryan Martin (1731–1798) was an early American jurist, legislator, and prominent landowner.


Martin was born in England to Denny Martin and his wife, Frances Fairfax (1703–1791), sister of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1692–1781), and arrived in Virginia from England in 1751. The following year, Martin was appointed land agent by his uncle, Lord Fairfax, of the Northern Neck Proprietary. Upon his becoming a land agent, Martin took up residence with Lord Fairfax at Greenway Court in the Shenandoah Valley near present-day White Post in Clarke County, Virginia.

In 1758, Martin and George Washington were elected as burgesses to the House of Burgesses for Frederick County, Virginia. Martin also presided as the first judge of Hampshire County, Virginia (now in West Virginia) beginning in 1757.

Martin granted 100 major leases for the Northern Neck Proprietary from 1759 to 1775 and 225 additional leases from 1783 to 1793.

The city of Martinsburg in Berkeley County, West Virginia was named for Martin by his long-time friend, General Adam Stephen when it was chartered in 1778.


  • Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, Encyclopedia of Virginia biography. Volume 1. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915. 5 volumes. OCLC 229136302. Page 285.