• Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a gorgeous deluxe book-format packaging, including approximately 100 pages featuring lyrics to all 50 tracks, additional interlinking text, a host of beautiful pictures and illustrations throughout, as well as a comprehensive list of credits and acknowledgements. This wonderful and unique presentation, designed by Helen Temperley at www.winkinbitsy.com has been a true 'labour of love' and is a fascinating and real work of art in its own right.

    All pre-orders will receive a FREE bonus CD - 'Fair Flowers Among Them All (The 'Mad Martins' Instrumentals)', with artwork designed to match the style, and to serve as a rare and exclusive 'companion piece' to 'Mad Martins' .

    Includes unlimited streaming of Mad Martins via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 90 days

      £30 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      £1 GBP  or more



Jonathan left the Navy when his ship was broken up in 1810, returning to Norton, near Stockton-on-Tees, where he worked as a tanner and married his first wife, Martha, who bore him a son, Richard, in 1814. Jonathan’s time in the Navy, however, had given him a love of roving, “which prevented him from settling down to regular employment”.

After his parents died, he became a Wesleyan preacher in 1814, strongly denouncing the Church of England and gaining a reputation for disrupting church services. His passionate religious fervour led him to indulge in frequent fits of rage against the clergy, coming to a head with his plot to assassinate the Bishop of Oxford, Edward Legge, at a confirmation service in Stockton in 1817, for which he was arrested, tried and committed as a lunatic at West Auckland asylum.

Jonathan described the Bishop of Oxford thus, “I was astonished at the wonderful size of the bishop. I had never seen so corpulent a man before. Surely he hath drunk a great deal of wine for his stomach’s sake.”



Who has come to disturb my sleep,
These three nights?
And rouse my antipathies festering deep,
These three nights?

A heavenly visitor,
Bow in hand;
Come to deliver
God's fierce command.

First night:
He smiled sweetly;
He looked upon me kindly,
He glanced upon me tenderly,

And he said:
Shoot the Bishop!”

But I did nothing,
I said nothing;
I was embarrassed and perplexed.

Who has come to disturb my rest,
These three nights?
And put my earnestness to the test,
These three nights?

God’s holy messenger,
To set out my mission
Against the sins of the clergy,
And their lack of contrition.

Second night:
He did not smile;
He gazed upon me mournfully,
He stared upon me sorrowfully,

And he cried:
Shoot the Bishop!
Shoot the Bishop!”

I loaded my pistol,
But resolved nothing;
I was strengthened, yet unwilling.

“I passed another miserable day;
I wanted to do what was right
- I was afraid of doing what was wrong,
And another night came.”

Third night:
He was displeased;
He frowned upon me angrily,
He glared upon me dreadfully;

And he thundered:
Shoot the Bishop!
Shoot the Bishop!
Shoot the Bishop!”

My scruples were removed,
My purpose was now clear;
To betray the scriptures and do murder.

I talked of blood and the field of Armageddon;
It was clear that I was to be the hand,
that was “To pour out the cup of the wine
Of the fierceness of the wrath of God”.

I confided in my wife,
But to my plan she then attested;
Betraying me to the magistrate,
Who then had me arrested.

Yet, as they led me to my cell,
Sure as a doom-laden bell,
Once more the mandate fell,
As I heard the angel yell:

Shoot the Bishop!
Shoot the Bishop!
Shoot the Bishop!
Shoot the Bishop!”

(Lyrics & Music: Gary Miller / incorporating quotes attributed to Jonathan Martin)


from Mad Martins, releases September 4, 2017
Gary Miller - Lead & Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Iain Petrie - Piano, Keyboards, Glockenspiel, Electric Guitar, Drum Programming, Atmospheric Sound Effects, Backing Vocals
Jennie Beasty - Fiddle
Glenn Miller - Electronically Distorted Accordion
Mick Tyas - Backing Vocals
Barbara Petrie - Harmony Vocals



all rights reserved


Mad Martins England, UK

'Mad Martins' is a unique project by poet Keith Armstrong and songwriter Gary Miller featuring original songs, poetry and spoken word narration depicting the extraordinary life and times of the notorious Martin brothers, William, Jonathan and John, who were born in the late Eighteenth Century in the South Tyne area of Northumberland. ... more

contact / help

Contact Mad Martins

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code