|The Asia departed England
on 4th August 1837.
John Gannon joined the Asia at
Deptford on 28 June 1837. He kept a Medical Journal from that day
until 11 December 1837.
The guard consisted of 29 rank and
file of 80th and 4th regiments, under command of Major William Kemp
and Ensign Cross with passengers Mrs. Kemp and 7 children, 8
Fifty people altogether joined the ship on 7th July
and on 10 July they sailed to Woolwich. On 11 July, 140 convicts were received from the
Justitia and Ganymede hulks and on 14 July, another
140 arrived from the Fortitude at Chatham.
anchored in the Downs on 23 July and at Torbay, because of strong
westerly winds, on 28 July. They sailed again on 4 August, passing
Madeira on 18 August and getting into the North East trades on 21
The prevailing diseases that John Gannon had to
deal with were catarrh, diarrhoea, inflammatory fevers, some ring
worm, and there was one case of confirmed phthisis pulmonalis.
They crossed the equator on 17 September and found the South East
trades on 18 September. There were catarrhs, sore throats, diarrhoea
and one case of chronic rheumatism at this time. The catarrhs and
sore throats occurred in the prisoners who were on deck in the
evenings, which were damp and sometimes chilly.
the weather was mostly clear and dry with some days of heavy
showers. Prevalent diseases in October, were catarrhs and diarrhoea,
a case of scorbutus supervened in a man on the sick list for boils.
One man died from consumption, P. McGuire.
In November the
weather became boisterous with heavy showers of hail and gales and
heavy seas but was clear and dry from the 8th. On 24 November they
sighted the West Coast of New South Wales. Prevailing diseases were
catarrh, rheumatism and several severe cases of scurvy 'caused by
the cold, damp and heavy state of the weather, and the 'wet state of
the ship' at the start of the month. There were two deaths, one from
consumption, James Holmes, and one from apoplexy, Matthew Coxford.
On 2 December 1837 they arrived in Port Jackson, a passage
of 120 days from Torbay.
The prisoners were disembarked on
11 December 1837. Disembarking that day were two men who had been
held in London prisons in 1837.
George Caddell and John Cook were interviewed while in prison by
John Ward who later gave evidence at the Molesworth Select Committee
on transportation. -
Q. - Did you find that they were aware
at all that if they committed offences in the colony they would be
subjected to very severe punishment? -
A. - I do not believe that the agricultural
prisoners that I spoke to, had any idea of that.
Q. - Did
you find that the more educated class, for instance, the London
thieves, had any idea of that description? -
A. - In Maidstone
gaol I examined George Caddell, who was under sentence of
transportation for 14 years, for uttering; he had been in prison
before, having been a year in Coldbath-fields; he told me that he
knew nothing of the place where he was going to, for he had never
read about it or heard any particulars; he thought that other
prisoners were equally ignorant with himself; he did not
particularly dread going out, because he did not know what he might
meet with, and when he was in prison he knew what he must expect. In
Aylesbury county gaol I examined John Cook, who was under sentence
of transportation for life, for sheep stealing; he said he knew
nothing about the place to which he was going; that he did not know
how he might find it, but he thought it could not be worse than a
The Asia brought the
news to the colony that Sir George Gipps would succeed Sir
Richard Bourke as Governor of the colony.
Gannon was also employed as surgeon on the Barossa in 1844
Hunter Valley convicts arriving on the Asia V in 1837
Detachments of the 80th regiment arrived on the
Bengal Merchant, Asia,