Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Convict Ship Asia - 1833

Embarked 230 men
Voyage 126 days
Deaths - 5
Surgeon's Journal - Yes
Tons: 536
Previous vessel: Portland arrived 26 June 1833
Next vessel: Waterloo arrived 3 August 1833
Captain Thomas F. Stead
Surgeon Thomas Galloway
Prisoners and passengers arriving on the Asia identified in the Hunter Valley

The Asia was built at Aberdeen in 1819. Convicts were transported to New South Wales on the Asia in 1820, 1822, 1825, 1828, 1830, 1832 and

Prisoners embarked on the Asia in 1833 were tried in counties in England, Scotland and Wales - Gloucester, Middlesex, Surrey, York, Stafford, Bristol, Lancaster, Derby, Northumberland, Leicester, Salop, Westmoreland, Hertford, Kent, Cambridge, Durham, Newcastle on Tyne, Norfolk, Nottingham, Worcester, Hereford, Chester, Oxford, Warwick, Cumberland, Sussex, Montgomery, Monmouth, Carnarvon, Glamorgan, Brecon, Dumfries, Aberdeen, Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow. There were also several who had been court-martialled at Salford Barracks, Hyde Park Barracks and Gibraltar. They were held in the hulks to await transportation.

Military Guard

The guard consisted of 29 rank and file of the 21st Fusiliers Regiment accompanied by 8 women and 8 children, under the orders of Lieuts. Kelly and Wilson of the 6th regiment.

Surgeon Thomas Galloway

Thomas Galloway kept a Medical Journal from December 1832 to 19 July 1833. The Journal commences on 14th December 1832, two months before the Asia set sail.

Life on the Hulks

The prisoners in the hulks were starving. They brought with them from the Justitia hulk to the Asia little bundles of bread, butter and sugar which some of them ate immediately they received it. On the morning of their embarkation they had been washed in cold water and subsequently stood for some hours in an open shed in Woolwich Warren, until the remainder of them had completed their ablutions and were inspected.

There had been incessant rain and the Asia was in an extremely damp state in the prison area and under the poop deck. At first the surgeon considered these to be the causes of the first signs of illness, however on arrival at Sheerness when a patient who had been convalescing for three days suffered a relapse, followed by other cases of cholera the same evening he became convinced of it being an epidemic and instantly adopted every measure in his power to arrest its progress. Two stoves were supplied from the dockyard and they were kept constantly burning in an attempt to dry the prisons but without success as the ship was too large and needed more stoves. Surgeon Thomas Galloway later recommended that for ships over 500 tons, no less than six stoves and coke to burn were needed when vessels were departing between February to the end of July. [2]

Departure from England

The Asia departed on 21st February 1833.

Several prisoners lost their lives on the passage, one of them from a carbuncle. Of the old men who died towards the close of the voyage, the surgeon reported that two of them Wanstall and Edgoose were so feeble on embarkation as to require assistance to and from deck even in fine weather.

Juvenile Prisoners

A number of the prisoners were boys and a separate prison area was established for them on board. Many left families behind who would not hear of their fate for many years. Fifteen prisoners were under the age of 16. The youngest were William Brown (15); John Jauncey (15); Charles Richard Rogers (15); John Rowley (14); Frederick Thompson (14); John Tree (14) and Robert Stephens (12).

Robert Kidd from Edinburgh was sixteen years old when he was convicted of picking pockets. He left behind a grieving mother who was still trying to find his whereabouts many years later. She wrote a letter of enquiry which is included in the convict indent files.......

To Mr. Thomas Byn, Please sir, I am sorow for troubling butt I will take it very kind if you will give me any information of Robertt Scoott Kid who left Edinburgh in 1832 he sailed in the easey. as I am his Mother I have very much thought aboutt him bean so long absent I would like very much to know whether he is dead or alive there is a person come home just know one Richard Shaw who gave me your address and he says the last time he herd of him he was with one Mr. Thomas Arkell, Bathurst by Sydney New South Wales. Sir I will be exceedingly oblige to you if you will write me an answer by return of post. No more at presentt butt Remain Your obedient serventt, Mary Kidd

A Note over page gives the following information - Robert Kidd per ship Asia absconded from the service of Mr. John Hoskin on 27 December 1830 and is still at large. Answered 10 January 1854

Arrival in Port Jackson

Two hundred and twenty five male prisoners arrived in Port Jackson on 27 June 1833 after a voyage of 126 days. The convicts remained on board for twenty-one days until arrangements were made for their final distribution.

They were landed on Monday 15th July 1833.

Notes and Links

1). Thomas Galloway was also surgeon on the Isabella in 1832, Henry Porcher in 1835 and the Susan in 1836.

2). Two prisoners of the Asia - John Jenkins and Thomas Tattersdale were executed in Sydney on 10 November 1834 for the murder of Dr. Wardell.

3). National Archives. Reference: ADM 101/5/6 Description: Medical journal of the Asia, convict ship from 14 December 1832 to 19 July 1833 by Thomas Galloway (B), surgeon and superintendent, during which time the ship was employed on a voyage to New South Wales.

4). In Sydney the detachment of the 21st regiment were embarked on the Funchal bound for Hobart to join their regiment there.

5). Convict ships bringing detachments of the 21st regiment (Royal Scotch Fusiliers) and Officer in command of the Guard....

Mary departed London 4 September 1832 - Captain Daniels 21st regt.,

Roslin Castle departed Cork 8 October 1832 - Lieuts. Bayley and Pieter L. Campbell. 21st

Andromeda departed Portsmouth 17 November 1832 - Lieuts. Lonsdale and Armstrong 21st regt.,

Mangles departed London 14 December 1832 London

Asia departed the Downs 21 February 1833 - Lieuts. Kelly and Wilson of 6th regt.,

Lord Lyndoch departed Sheerness June 1833 - Lieut-Col. Leahy. Headquarters of 21st

Royal Admiral departed Dublin 4 June 1833 - Lieut. Ainslie 21st regt.,

Aurora departed Portsmouth 4 July 1833 Major Delisle 4th regt.,

Java departed Cork 24 July 1833 - Lieut. Wrixon, 21st regt.,

Neva departed Plymouth 29 July 1833 - Lieut. McEdwin 1st or Queens Own regt.,

Lloyds departed the Downs 25 August 1833 - Lieut. McKnight 21st regt.,

Fairlie departed England 27 October 1833

Bengal Merchant departed 28 March 1838 - Lieut. Dear of 21st regt.,


[1] Journal of Thomas Galloway. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857 Original data: The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

[2] Bateson, Charles Library of Australian History (1983). The Convict Ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.350-51.