Stories About Our Partners News

In Torrington we partner with:


We're delighted to bring Human Cargo to Plough Arts Centre, Torrington on 23rd May. Soon we'll announce our Parallel Lives partner for the concert.

MARTHA CROSSCOMBE lived with her husband Charles and four children near Little Torrington. Both worked as farm servants. Martha was 44 years old when in 1829 she appeared before the Quarter Sessions at South Molton, accused of stealing a cheese.  As a dairy maid she must have handled a lot of cheeses. We don’t know the detail of the case but she had no previous convictions and the theft was hardly a major one. But for this crime, and despite her having to leave behind a family, she was sentenced to seven years transportation. She arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) two years later.

JAMES LEVERTON was a teenage farm servant, four foot eleven inches tall, who lived with his parents in Great Torrington. His father James was a leather draper. One day in 1835, he and his pal JOHN HOLLOWAY, also 15 years old, went to the market in Great Torrington and stole six pieces of lace from a haberdasher there. They took these to Castle Street where they sold the lace cheaply to some girls. They were caught and tried at the Quarter Sessions in Plymouth. The Assessor decided to make an example of them and sentenced each to be transported for seven years. They arrived in New South Wales that December. Two years later Leverton was caught absconding from his job as a baker. In 1844 he finally won his freedom. By now he measured five feet six and a half inches tall.