Marten, Maria Anna (1929 -2010)

Marten, Mary Anna (1929 -2010)

Mary Anna Marten was born Mary Anna Sibell Elizabeth Sturt, the daughter of Napier Sturt, 3rd Baron Alington, and Lady Mary Sibell Ashley-Cooper, daughter of the 9th Earl of Shaftesbury. Mary Anna went to school in Lancaster Gate and later attended Cheltenham Ladies' College. Upon the death of her father, Baron Alington in active service in the RAF in 1940, Mary Anna inherited the Crichel House Estate in Dorset. Mary Anna was married to Lt.-Cdr. George Gosselin Marten (1918-1997) on 25 November 1949, the wedding being attended by George VI, Queen Elizabeth (Mary Anna's godmother), and Princess Margaret. The Martens had a son, Napier, and five daughters. Part of the Estate had been compulsorily purchased by the Government in 1938, and the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill later gave an undertaking that when the Government no longer needed the land, it would be sold back to the original owners. When this did not happen, the Martens took on the Government and eventually won back their land. Mary Anna became deeply attached to Iran, which she explored on many visits, often staying with the archaeologist Roman Ghirshman. In 1988, Mary Anna established The Ancient Persia Fund in memory of the distinguished Russian scholar Vladimir G Lukonin. The aim of the fund was to encourage and support the study of Ancient Persia and related areas including Central Asia, in the period before the coming of Islam. On 5 December 1985 she was appointed a Trustee of the British Museum; she was reappointed in 1990 and 1995. Mary Anna was a collector of Chinese works of art, many inherited. She was a collector of jade and of rare books. In 2008 Mary Anna privately published her memoirs entitled As it Was. Mary Anna died on 20 January 2010, and was buried at St. Giles's Church, Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset.
Seat / Residence(s): Crichel House
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Marten, Maria Anna (1929 - 2010) (Stamp 1) Monogram: M M A