Martha Grover nee Crop was born 1776 in Holybourne, Hampshire, England to Hannah Crop (1745-1805) and died 7 June 1843 Richmond, New South Wales, Australia of unspecified causes.

Martha Grover - convict on the Glatton in 1802

Martha was the illegitimate daughter of Hannah Crop. Hannah was the daughter of Robert and Sary Crop and had been baptised at Holybourne on 23 April 1745. Robert Crop died in 1751. When Martha was born in 1776 her mother did not apply for Bastardry Bonds so no support came from Martha's father. Martha's mother would then have been dependant on the parish for their survival, just as her widowed mother was.

On 14 July 1798 22 year old Martha married George Grover at Binstead, Hampshire. George Grover worked as a bricklayer. George took his bride to Alton, Hampshire to live. Then six months later on 14 January 1799 23 year old Martha, who was identified as the wife of George Grover, was before the courts in Southampton, Hampshire being charged with obtaining goods by defraud under false pretences. She pleaded not guilty, but was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years transportation. After only one month in custody her husband George died and was buried at Binstead on 16 February 1799.

The goods that Martha had obtained fraudulently belonged to Thomas Lee, Draper, at Alton. Martha had entered his shop and approached a servant (shop-assistant) of Thomas Lee, John Clark, and said that she had been sent by Avis Christmas to purchase the articles. Avis was well known to John Cklark who handed the goods over to Martha on credit. Avis later denied that she had sent Martha to the store to obtain the goods, and subsequently Martha was arrested and taken into custody "with force and arms". . There are 2 copies of the 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. Consistant on both lists is that she obtained 6 yards of ribbed calimanco, some yards of printed calico, and other articles. 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 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 Griver (nee Crop) sailed to Australia on the "Glatton". She left England 23 September 1802 and arrived in Sydney on the 11 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 James Colnett RN and the Surgeon was J Mountgarrett.

Martha was sent to Parramatta, and once there she met Peter Onery who was using the alias of Peter Bradcock. Martha and Peter never married. Their first child, Peter, was born in July 1804. Nearly 12 months later the baby was baptised at Parramatta as Peter Bradcock, the son of Peter Bradcock and Martha Grover. By 1807 the family had moved to the Hawkesbury River District, where their next child Hannah was born. Their daughter was baptised as Ann Grover the daughter of Martha Grover. Their next child, John was born about 1808 but was not baptised. It is not known where John was born, but he may have been born at either the Hakesbury River district or Sydney. They were to have 2 more sons, Thomas Groves (1813) and James Groves (1814) who were both baptised at Richmond as the sons of Martha Groves.

In 1806 Peter, who has not yet completed his sentence, is working as a government servant.

By 1807 both Martha and Peter have completed their 7 years sentences.

By 1814 Martha and Peter and their 5 children are off the government stores with Peter working as a labourer in the Hawkesbury River district (Richmond is on the Hawkesbury River).

In 1816 Peter is working as a labourer at Richmond.

By 1822 Martha and Peter had split. In the 1822 muster Peter is shown as a bricklayer in the Windor Area (which includes Richmond). Their son Peter, 17, is also shown as a son of Peter, and a labourer in the Windsor area. Another child, unnamed and no age given, is shown as a son of Peter. (Their daughter was already married, having married in 1820 at the age of 12 when she was already living and working away from home.) Martha is shown as Martha Grover, a "widow" at Richmond. Immediately under her entry are her youngest sons Thomas, "12" (he was younger), and James, "9" (he was younger) identified as the sons of "William Grover" of Richmond. Above Martha's entry is to be found her son John shown as John Grover, "16" (he was younger), son of "William Grover" of Richmond. John was therefore double counted as both John Grover and the unnamed child of Peter. Another copy of this muster shows Martha as Matha Grover, a "widow" at Windsor (Richmond is in the Windsor District) with 2 unnamed and no age given children. The summary of these entries is that the 2 eldest sons were living with Peter, and the 2 youngest sons with Martha. This is confirmed by the 1825 muster that shows the 2 eldest sons still living with their father.

By 1828 Martha is living with 33 year old Robert Johnson on his leased farm at Richmond. Martha is shown as Martha Johnson, 50. Robert Johnson from London had arrived in New South Wales as a convict aboard the "Morley" in 1817. At the age of 20 in 1816 he had been convicted to hang, but his sentence was commuted too transportation for life. His crime was highway robbery and assault. He had received a Ticket of Leave on 25 August 1825 which confined him to the district of Richmond. His year of birth was recorded in New South Wales as 1795, with a decsription of brown hair, hazel eyes, and a height of 5"3¼".

In 1829 permission was requested for Martha Grover to marry Robert Johnson who was close to 20 years her junior. They married on 19 March 1829. For good behaviour Robert received a Conditional Pardon on 20 November 1837.

Martha died on 7 January 1843 at Richmond. Her husband Robert very quickly found a new partner, as he and his new spouse Margaret were witnesses at the wedding of Martha's son Thomas Groves on 17 April 1843.



Offspring of Peter (H)onery aka Peter Bradcock and Martha Crop (1776-1843)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Peter Hornery (1804-1864) 15 July 1804 Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia 17 May 1864 Kurrajong, New South Wales, Australia Catherine Carroll (1811-1899)
Hannah Honary (1807-1835) 10 October 1807 Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia 1835 New South Wales, Australia John Fitzgerald (c1799-)
John Honery (1808-1884) 1808 New South Wales, Australia 23 May 1884 Jerrys Plains, New South Wales, Australia Elizabeth Reynolds (1820-1875) Elizabeth Reynolds (1820-1875) Mary Ann Watters
Thomas Groves (1813-1857) 16 August 1813 Richmond, New South Wales, Australia 1857 Richmond, New South Wales, Australia Jane Bibben
James Groves (1814-) 14 May 1814 Richmond, New South Wales, Australia Rosanna Taylor




Footnotes (including sources)

2 Wedding 3
  • Robert Johnson arrived in New South Wales as a convict aboard the "Morley" in 1817. "Robert Johnson aged 33 from Morley (1) with a Life sentence applied to marry Martha Grover aged 45" (she put her age down) "of the convict ship Glatton who had served her 7 year sentence applied in 1829 to Rev. Docker at Richmond to marry."