Martin Hamlyn was born as Martin Heinlin on 25th December 1886. His father had moved from Bavaria some years previously to escape Prussian oppression in the new Germany.
Martin attended Alleyus School, Dulwich and also Camberwell Art School. After the First World War he was living with his wife Marjorie in number 17 Mecklenburgh Square near Kings Cross until 1923. His son, also named Martin, was born here in 1919.
The next move was to Lexham Gardens in Kensington where he lived from 1923-27 (see picture left). The family then moved to Totteridge in North London finally settling in Highgate N6, prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.
He became a commercial artist and produced many striking travel posters and finely detailed drawings for book covers and brochures for country houses and large London department stores. At this time he had a studio at 104 Shoe Lane, London, EC4A.
He was a member of the Langham Sketch Club, the London Sketch Club and the Wapping Group of Artists of which he was a founder member. He painted in oils and water colours and his Thames side scenes capture the spirit of a London that has long disappeared with wharfs, cranes and lighters very much in evidence.
He also painted many other water colours with his subjects shown relaxing over a glass of wine in cafes or couples engaged in everyday domestic settings. Another set of watercolours are pastoral and feature people in 18th century costumes beside trees and lakes.
Not very well know are a series of woodcuts, most done in the 1920s, which are a mixture of views of the Thames and some country scenes.
He married Marjorie Hamilton and they had two children, Martin and Kitty. Interestingly the family name was only changed from Heinlin in 1984. His son Martin Hamlyn became a successful antiquarian book dealer and was President of the Antiquarian Book Association (ABA) in 1972-3 and is still alive age 96.
Martin Frederick Hamlyn passed away in 1966 aged 80 in Southwood Lane, Highgate, London.