Robert Francis Martineau
Robert Francis Martineau known to his family and friends as Frank-
He was the favourite nephew of the internationally famous journalist, author, economist, social scientist and propagandist for liberal progressive causes including anti-
His first appearance in public life seems to have been in 1862 when he was the Secretary of the local fund for relief of Lancashire cotton workers who as a consequence of the American Civil War were in severe distress. The workers, like Frank, had an anti-
He saw long service on the Public Health Committee, involved in such issues as the clearance of the unsanitary Park Street Burial Ground and as a Trustee of Mason’s College the collegiate forerunner of Birmingham University. He was also Chairman of the Technical School Committee and saw the Midland Institute as his “second home” where he supported the teaching of science. With his sister Susan he was involved in Birmingham’s Homeopathic Hospital and served as its Secretary. Frank Martineau’s strong liberal convictions can be seen in his support of Josephine Butler, the Suffragist and campaigner against child prostitution and then as a critic of the conduct of the Boer War when he opposed the granting of the Freedom of the City of Birmingham to Lord Roberts the Commander of the British forces in South Africa.
When Joseph Chamberlain’s pro-