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Convict Ship Asia 1820 


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(Convicts and passengers from this ship only)

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Select from the Links below to find information about Convict Ships arriving in New South Wales, Norfolk Island and Van Diemen's Land between the years 1788 and 1850.

J -K L M N - O P - Q R S T - V W - Y

Embarked 190 males
Voyage 116
Deaths 1
Surgeon's Journal - No
Previous vessel: Almorah arrived 22 December 1820
Next vessel: Elizabeth arrived 31 December 1820
Master James Morice  
Surgeon Superintendent William Bell Carlyle
The Asia was built at Aberdeen in 1819. She made voyages to New South Wales with convicts in 1820 1822, 1825, 1828, 1830, 1832 and 1833.  

The prisoners who were transported on the Asia in 1820 came from counties and cities throughout England - Gloucester, Surry, Lancaster, Bristol, Cumberland, Middlesex, Kent, London etc.,

Most were probably held in county prisons or Newgate before being transferred to one of the hulks to await transportation.   Some of the men who had been tried at the Old Bailey in April and May 1820 were sent to Newgate. They were taken from Newgate on 21st July and sent to the Bellerophon hulk and on 23 August 1821 were transferred to the Asia.

Most of the men were in their 20s and 30s however two were only fourteen years old - Thomas Reed and Walter Preddy and there were several who were 15 and 16 years old. John Hill was the oldest at 56 years of age.  

This was William Bell Carlyle's first voyage as surgeon superintendent on a convict ship. His medical journal does not seem to have survived however he made a total of six voyages on convict ships over the next ten years and the journals from those voyages are available.......Morley in 1823 (VDL) Henry in 1825,  Andromeda in 1827 (VDL) Phoenix in 1828 and the  Marquis of Huntley in 1830. Hundred of convicts arrived in the colony under his care in those ten years, and in all that time he lost a total of only seven prisoners.

The large Vessel in the centre is the Captivity, this was formerly the Bellerophon man-of-war, of 74 guns, to which ship, when commanded by Captain Maitland, and cruising in Basque Roads, off Rochefort, the Emperor Bonaparte surrendered himself, about six o'clock A.M. on the 15th of July, 1815.* Near the margin, on the left, is the Sheer-hulk, used for fixing the masts and rigging of the vessels in the harbour.  
The Bellerophon was paid off and converted to a prison ship in 1815, and was renamed Captivity in 1824 to free the name for another ship. Moved to Plymouth in 1826, she continued in service until 1834, when the last convicts left. The Admiralty ordered her to be sold in 1836, and she was broken up.

Asia was the next convict ship to leave England after the departure of the female convict ship Morley in May 1820. The Asia departed Sheerness on 3rd September 1820.

The Guard consisted of 1 non-commissioned officer and 30 privates belonging to the 30th, 34th and 69th regiment under the command of Captain Mann of the 30th regiment. Other convict ships bringing detachments of the 34th regiment included the Batavia in 1818 Baring in 1815, Globe in 1819,  Grenada in 1821, Speke in 1821, Prince of Orange in 1821 and Adamant in 1821.

The Asia arrived in Port Jackson on Tuesday 26th December 1820 with 189 male prisoners all in good health. One prisoner had died on the passage out.    

The prisoners were landed at sunrise on the morning of 5th January 1821 together with the men from the Almorah. They were inspected by Governor Macquarie who was accompanied by Commissioner Bigge, in the Jail Yard at 10 o'clock.   The Sydney Gazette reported that........

They were inspected by His Excellency the Governor who expressed to the Commanders and Surgeons of each vessel the highest satisfaction at the appearance of the men, who one and all testified to His Excellency their gratitude to the Gentlemen to whose care and tenderness they had been confided by a benign and merciful Government, in the most lively terms of heartfelt praise, acknowledging they had experienced universal kindness and general attention; indeed, their particularly healthy appearance fully confirmed the expressions of their grateful feelings, which spoke more than language was capable of giving utterance to.  (1)

Four prisoners were ordered to be assigned to private service at Parramatta - Thomas Guard, Edward Dyde, Charles Reece and Richard James were assigned to John Blaxland. Joseph Ponting was sent to the Government Factory at Parramatta, James May was sent to the Prisoner's Barracks. Others were assigned to Government to labour on the Public Works at Parramatta. The men were forwarded to Parramatta by water.  

The Asia departed Sydney for Batavia in February 1821. Chief Officer was Thomas Tooke and Second Officer C. Howard.    

Notes & Links:  

1). Gilbert MacLeod who was convicted of sedition in Edinburgh in March 1820 was pardoned in 1823 and permitted to return to his country. (HRA)


2). Hunter Valley convicts / passengers who arrived on the Asia in 1820  

3). Return of convicts who died in 1870....  


(1). The Sydney Gazette 6 January 1820


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