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This page contains what we know about the life, in England, of Martha Grover (Crop).

You can see Martha's Ancestry 
Martha Crop was Base Born (Illegitimate) to Hannah Crop. She was Christened  in Kingsley, Hampshire, England. Her mother Hannah did not appear to marry as she was buried as Hannah Crop. Martha married George Grover six months before being tried.
There does not seem to be any obvious reason why Martha would turn to a life of crime. Her husband appeared to be working as a Bricklayer at the time of her arrest and there did not appear to be any dependant children. The only possible clue is contained in the ambiguous wording of the Trial Transcript which describes her as the "wife of George Grover late of the Parish of Alton". This may mean George had died, or it may mean George was previously from the Parish of Alton. If George was dead, this may explain the need to "defraud" in order to survive.
The details of her Crime as described in the Calendar Of Prisoners for the County of Southampton for the Quarter Session (Epiphany) for Monday January 14th 1799 are as follows:
Martha Grover, aged 23, Committed January 10 by William Prowting, Esq. charged on the oath of Thomas Lee, with having obtained and defrauded, under false pretenses, the said Thomas Lee, of fourteen yards of printed calico, six yards of ribbed calimanco, and divers other articles, the property of the said Thomas Lee, at Alton. She pleaded not guilty but was found guilty and transported to Australia for 7 years.  
Calimanco is a glossy woollen cloth on the surface. It is woven with satin twill and chequered in the warp so the chequered pattern is seen on one side only. The design originated in Belgium and was used often in the 18th Century. It was often decorated with flowers and birds. Martha was tried for having 6 yards of Ribbed Calimanco which was worth 8 shillings.
The other articles Martha was tried for were 8 yards of printed Calico worth 1 pound, 1 yard of Irish Linen worth 1 shilling and 8 pence and 2 penny worth of Silk. A total of 1 pound 9 shillings and 10 pence.
There are two copies of the entire Trial transcript on record at the Hampshire Records Office. They differ in two ways, the date of the crime and the list of articles and their costs. This is unexplained at this time. The Full Transcript explains how Martha was able to defraud Thomas Lee the Draper of Alton. She told John Clark (the servant of Thomas Lee) that she had been sent by Avis Christmas to purchase the articles. Avis was well known to John Clark and a customer of Thomas Lee and so the items were handed over. Avis later denied that she had sent Martha to obtain the articles. Martha was therefore taken into custody "with force and arms".
Martha was held in Winchester Prison on a Transportation Order from the time of her Trial in January 1799 until September 1802, a total of 3 years and 8 months. By the time she reached Australia, she had already served over 4 years of her 7 year sentence.
Martha sailed to Australia on the "Glatton". She left England 23rd of September 1802 and arrived in Sydney on the 11th March 1803. The voyage took 169 days. It left England with 271 Male and 130 Female Convicts on board, and arrived in Sydney with 262 Male and 125 Female Convicts, a loss of 9 Male and 5 Female Convicts. The Master of the "Glatton" was Captain Jas Colnett RN and the Surgeon was Jb Mountgarrett.
Martha Grover (Crop) Australia
This page is maintained by Michelle Hornery
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