Martha was a farmer's daughter born in Overton in 1845. Yet incredibly, some 26 years later, the 1891 census shows her as a "coachbuilder" living at 24 Cottage Grove, Southsea. Her husband Alfred had died in 1885 leaving her with 12 children to bring up alone. In an age when young belles were taught how to discretely manoeuvre a fan in the drawing room Mrs Linington took over the leading firm of coachbuilders in the South. She learned how a bellows in the smith's shop operated as well as how to bring up her family alone.
Martha was described in a Portsmouth News Supplement as a determined and energetic widow, "the flower of English womanhood" and "no mere ornament". The credit for Linington Brothers long and successful future span was entirely hers. She gained the esteem and admiration of all around her, including her competitors remaining in control of the company until her death.