By J.R. Millburn
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Additional resources for Benjamin Martin: Author, Instrument-Maker, and ‘Country Showman’
The whole tone of the tract (which Home apparently tried to supress when he reached more mature years) was flippant and satirical. Footnotes made it clear that he was referring to Martin's Course of Lectures textbook of 1743; the passage partially quoted by De Morgan continues: ... , and makes a most lamentable outcry against ignorant and empyrical pretenders, of whom he says, "there are many gone out, with a spurious apparatus". His opinion of the case in hand [the nature of attraction] is, Lect.
The publication of his Micrographia Nova at Reading later in 1742 was probably a deliberate move in that direction, but to no avail. No doubt with an eye to healing the breach with the Duke of Richmond, Martin dedicated the book to him, using as an excuse the 37 4 Itinerant Lecturer, 1740-55 Duke's extensive collection of flora and fauna at Goodwood (which by implication formed a rich field for microscopical investigations). Martin's failure to gain admission to the Royal Society must have been a great disappointment to him.
No other category reached double figures, but as only thirty per cent of the subscribers gave an occupation, these proportions may not be strictly significant. Despite Martin's farming background, no subscriber admitted to an occupation connected with the land, such as husbandman or farmer, but again this may not be significant; Thomas and George Martin of Worplesdon, for example, gave no occupation but were almost certainly farmers, so it is likely that many others who simply gave their names as 'Mr ...