William Martin

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 2
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameCharles William•Martin
Used nameWilliam•Martin
Born25 October 1828 in Rouen, Seine-Maritime (FRA)
Died25 February 1905 in Paris VIIIe, Paris (FRA)
AffiliationsCVP, Les Mureaux (FRA) / Yacht Club de France, Paris (FRA)
NOC France


William Martin was the grandson of James Cole Martin of Shefford, England, who moved to France and established the Saint-Sever foundry in Rouen. James became a French citizen in 1817 and passed the business on to his son Charles, who made it prosperous and served as president of the local Chamber of Commerce. Charles was naturalized in 1827 and made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur that same year. William studied engineering in England at a factory owned by Sir William Fairbairn, but eventually returned to France to run the family foundry until 1880. He later formed his own enterprise, the Déville gas company, and served as president until his death.

William Martin took part in six sailing events at the 1900 Paris Olympics. He had the most success in the two ½-1 Ton races, finishing the equivalent of silver in the first and bronze in the second, both times alongside Jacques Baudrier, Jean Le Bret, Félix Marcotte, and Jules Valton. He was sixth and seventh in the two 3-10 Ton races and also competed in the open class races, but failed to finish either. He is the Olympian with the earliest known date of birth.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1900 Summer Olympics Sailing FRA William Martin
Open, Open (Olympic) Crabe II DNF
Open, Open (Olympic) DNF
½-1 Ton, Open (Olympic) Crabe II 2 Silver
½-1 Ton, Open (Olympic) Crabe II 3 Bronze
3-10 Ton, Open (Olympic) 6
3-10 Ton, Open (Olympic) 7