Gary Miller Songs

"As a song poet there are few in the world today to match him"
Green Man Review, USA


Maria's Testimony



My name is Maria Martin, née Hudson;
A neat little girl but quite a bit shy:
One Jonathan Martin came me a-wooing
And stole me away in the sweet bye and bye.

In the town of Boston, I was there a-lodging,
In the house of Jane Hindson, a shoemaker's wife;
It was in Boston Church, by God, in a jiffy,
Jonathan Martin made me his wife.

And if anyone doubts me, I charge them to know,
I've been loyal, committed and true;
To one who has forsaken me in his folly,
And faded away like the morning dew.

From Lincoln to York, we lodged with the Lawns,
Where he talked, sang and read, with never a frown;
Whilst planning to shake the soft beds of the clergy,
And see their great churches come rattling down.

In pursuit of this task, to bind me to silence,
He, a thief in the night, my wedding ring stole;
Grieved at his action, yet quietly forgiving;
Like a dutiful mistress confined to her role.

And all you who doubt me, I charge you to know,
I've been loyal, committed and true;
To one who does God's will with all of his might,
His own flesh and blood to butcher and hew.

In the race for his heart, I took second place;
In God's wake abandoned, both me and his child:
If a single rose can endure this cruel tempest,
In the Garden of Eden are weeds growing wild?

And if you must question me as to his doings,
What should I know and what should I say?
Whether he's guilty, of sound mind or mad;
He said, "God moves in a mysterious way”.

And all those who doubt me, I charge them to know,
I've been loyal, committed and true;
To one who claims God’s love beyond all measure,
As the altar of Abraham drips blood anew.

(Lyrics: Gary Miller / Tune: 'Easy and Slow’ - Trad. arr. Gary Miller)

© 2017 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS


Background Text

In May 1828, while in Boston, Lincolnshire, Jonathan Martin met Maria Hudson, a young girl about twenty years his junior. Jonathan visited her many times and she became his second wife when they married in Boston Church on October 19th of that year. They then moved to York, where Jonathan began his plot to burn the Minster. Feeling he would be unable to carry out his plans without Maria’s knowledge, however, as this would entail leaving her for one night; he confiscated her wedding ring, causing much upset, only promising to return it if she vowed to keep her silence. She agreed but Jonathan was still troubled by the matter of her involvement and could find “no rest for his mind until he had accomplished the deed which the will of God had imposed on him.”…

"I was therefore obliged to take leave of her upon the Saturday morning
(January 31st). Upon that occasion I had a sore contest between flesh and blood, so as to part from her. It was a hardish action, I assure you, when she asked me what was to become of her and of my child Richard. I thought she would have nailed me to the spot when she mentioned about the child; but at that moment a passage of scripture struck my ear, and it cried out like a whisper, “What thou doest, do with all thy might”. At the same time I heard another whisper in my ear, saying, “If you prefer your wife to the Lord, he that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me. Leave them all, and come with me.” And I heard a third whisper “Even thine own life.” Upon that I cried out, “O Lord God, let thy will be done.” I then got away from her, but it was like arrows passing through my heart." (Jonathan Martin)

The entire Leeds police force searched in vain for Jonathan. They did, however, locate Maria selling copies of her husband’s autobiography. Expressing surprise at the charge against Jonathan, and denying all knowledge of his criminal intentions or of his whereabouts, she was confined under house arrest, whilst all of Jonathan books and papers were confiscated.



This song is part of the 'Mad Martins' project.

'Mad Martins' depicts the extraordinary lives and times of the Martin brothers, William (self-proclaimed “natural philosopher and philosophical conquerer of all nations”), Jonathan (incendiary of York Minster) and John (eminent painter, engraver, town-planner and host), who were born in the late eighteenth century in the South Tyne area of Northumberland.

Other songs from 'Mad Martins' include : -

'A Painting for Charles', 'A Thin Veneer', 'At the Assizes', 'The Dandy Horse', 'Drainage Scheme', 'Four Bare Walls', 'God and Air', 'In Dreamtime', 'In the Navy (Jonathan's Chantey & Hornpipe)', 'The Leaping Swordsman', 'Madhouse Martin', 'Medals''My 'Life'', 'The Paint and the Pain', 'Pandemonium', 'Picture the Scriptures', 'Searching for the Waters of Oblivion', '"Shoot the Bishop!"', 'Three Mad Martins (Epitaph)', 'Three Mad Martins (Prophecy)', 'Wicked Old World', 'William, You Were Really Something'.


Releases (on Whippet Records unless otherwise stated)


Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.