please wait, site is loading

About the College

About The College

La Martinière is a non-denominational public school in India (Calcutta and Lucknow) and in France (Lyon).

La Martinière Schools were founded posthumously by Major General Claude Martin in the early 19th century. Martin had acquired a large fortune while serving the Nawab of Awadh Asaf-ud-Daula and bequeathed a major part of his estate to establish the schools. His will outlined every detail of the schools, from their location to the manner of celebrating the annual Founder's Day. The seven branches function independently, but maintain close contacts and share most traditions.

La Martinière College, Lucknow was awarded a Battle Honour - 'Defence of Lucknow' for the part the staff and pupils played in the Defence of the Residency at Lucknow during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 - the only school in the world so distinguished.

La Martiniere Calcutta and La Martinière Lucknow consist of separate girls' and boys' schools, while the three in La Martinière Lyon are co-educational. The Colleges are day schools, but Calcutta and Lucknow have boarding facilities as well. Extra-curricular activities, including sports and community service organizations, are emphasized, and music and dance are included in the general curriculum.

About the Founder –Claude Martin

Claude Martin was born on 5 January 1735 in Lyon, France. He came to India when he was seventeen. After the French influence declined in India, he served in the British East India Company and rose to the rank of Major-General. After taking up residence in Lucknow, he occupied an important position in the court of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah and later his son, Asaf-ud-Daula.

During this period he accumulated a fortune of about 4,000,000 rupees. He built the palace of 'Constantia' and his fine house of Farud Baksh, both of which he equipped with luxuries that included a library of some 4,000 volumes written in many languages and a picture gallery containing a collection of works of art.

He breathed his last as Major-General Claude Martin in Lucknow on September 13, 1800. According to his will, he was buried in the vault prepared for his remains in the basement of the college in Lucknow.[1]

The major portion of his monies and estate were left for founding three institutions, one each at Lucknow, Calcutta and his birthplace Lyon in France. Claude Martin had willed these for the education of children in India without specific mention to race and creed, however, the attitude of British rulers in India changed to a Victorian and imperialist outlook, resulting in the formation of a school meant for European Christians, though permitting Catholics, Armenien Christians and those of other denominations. It was only in 1935 that native Indians were permitted to join the school. It took 30 years to dispose of the litigation arising out of Claude Martin's will. Finally, as the result of a Supreme Court decision, La Martinière Schools opened in Calcutta, on 1 March 1836.