This website is a collection of the writings of the Rev. J. Martin Hattersley, Q.C., an Edmonton lawyer and Anglican minister. It has been assembled and curated by one of Martin’s grandsons from his many decades of active writing, preaching, and lecturing. A generous spirit fills Martin’s work, and it was my desire to breathe life back into these writings, making them accessible to readers new and old. The site’s header image is a view from Martin’s old law office looking out across east Edmonton.

The book version is available here.

If you have any questions or comments, please email:
martinsfifthcolumn [at] gmail [dot] com



Martin Hattersley was born in Yorkshire, England, in November 1932. His parents immigrated to Alberta in 1953, while he remained in England to complete his military service and education in Economics and Law at Cambridge. Martin came out to Edmonton in 1956, where he articled in a law firm, and also sang in a church choir where met his future wife, Florence.

Martin shared his parents’ interest in the Social Credit movement, and between 1962 and 1964 worked on the House of Commons staff as Personal Secretary, researcher and speechwriter for Robert Thompson M.P., then leader of the Social Credit Party (incidentally earning him a Wikipedia entry). He returned to the practice of law in Edmonton, and continued his involvement in the Church, becoming an ordained Anglican priest “in secular employment” in 1974.

One of the tragedies of his life has been the loss of his daughter Catherine Greeve to a homicide in August 1988, at the age of 29 years, leaving two young sons aged 4 and 6, both now married and parents themselves. This led him to take an increasing interest in crime and the Justice system, where until recently he was Chairman of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee of the Edmonton Institution. Retired in 2006, he became the Treasurer and Secretary of the Victims of Homicide of Edmonton Support Society, a qualified facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project, and the Honorary Assistant at St. Matthias Anglican Church in Edmonton.

Martin maintained two regular monthly columns for 25 years (1987 to 2012): one in the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton’s “Messenger” and another in “Gemini,” the newsletter for the Greater Edmonton Mensa Society that he belonged to. His role in the Church also gave him ample opportunity to deliver many sermons, and he gave public lectures in his fields of interest whenever opportunities arose. This multitude of writings included many gems deserving a public face, and the book (and companion website) are the result.