The Asia was built at Aberdeen in 1819. Convicts were transportted to New South Wales on the Asia in1820,1822,1825,1828, 1830, 1832 and1833.
The Asia departed Ireland on 14th September 1829.
Margaret Reynolds from Cork travelled as a steerage passenger and was intending to join her friends and family.
SURGEON ALEXANDER NISBET
Alexander Nisbet kept a Medical Journal from 9 July 1829 to 26 January 1820. As with his previous voyage on the Hooghley in 1828, the prisoners were kept on deck as much as possible .......
On leaving Cork for NSW we encountered a good deal of wet blowing weather, which produced most intense and distressing sea sickness and kept the decks for several days that may be much better imagined than described and it was nothing but the utmost determination that we kept them cleaned. However they all got over it easily and remained exceedingly healthy until our long detention between the bouts of the trade winds when a few slight cases of fever occurred.
The diseases which prevailed to any extent will be seen on reference to have been fever and dysentery, few cases of other diseases occurring except what may be expected in such a society. Dysentery was the disease which proved the most severe and which two cases proceeded to a fatal conclusion. The fever proved much more manageable and in general yielded readily to the means employed. This difference may be attributed partly to the period of the voyage in which the diseases manifested. The earlier and middle part being that in which the fever occurred and when we arrived in the colder southern latitudes the dysentery commenced its ravages. Their clothing never very good, had become old and thin, requiring considerable ingenuity to keep the woollen jackets together, with a most miserable deficiency of shoes which have been supplied of a very inferior quality. This state of things continued into our leaving the southern tropic where instead of the fine weather mostly found in those latitudes we had gales of wind with rainy weather which confined all the convicts below for a week at one time.
Those women who were compelled to be on deck such as cooks and monitors to take their provisions etc below, had to be supplied with blankets jackets and petticoats. For the sake of cleanliness and ventilation the convicts were never allowed to be below during the day except when the weather was unfavourable. The prison doors were always opened in the morning and the upper deck was washed and dried and every person allowed free access until after breakfast when they were all sent on deck where they remained until dinner. After dinner they again came on deck and remained until being mustered down below for the night usually half an hour before sunset.
Windsails were kept constantly in used down each hatchway. Within the tropics the women were almost constantly on deck, awnings being spread. By means of the work put on board by the recommendation of the ladies committee the minds of the convicts were kept pretty well employed and towards the close of the voyage when this source was expended, the ship was very well found in jute the converting of which into oakum was found to be an excellent employment. Alexander Nisbet was also employed as surgeon on the convict shipsMinervain 1824,Grenadain 1827, Hooghleyin 1828,Asia in 1830,Earl Greyin 1838 and theand Mangles in 1840. He was employed as Assistant Commissioner to the Australian Agricultural Company in 1830 and was a survivor on the Royal Charlottewhen she was wrecked in 1825.
Those women treated by the surgeon during the voyage included:
Mary Donnelly, aged 15, convict;
Margaret Gannon, aged 24, convict;
Eleanor Clendenning, aged 19, convict;
Judith Byrne, aged 25, convict;
Bridget Brennon, aged 32, convict;
Margaret Irvine, aged 23, convict;
Catherine Cullen, aged 29, convict;
Elizabeth Long, aged 20, convict;
Elizabeth Ferris, aged 25, convict;
Esther Collins, aged 20, convict;
Alice Muleaky, aged 22, convict;
Catherine Goodwin, aged 20, convict
Mary Heney, aged 40, convict
Sarah Devlin, aged 40, convict
Mary Flood, aged 30, convict
Margaret Murray, aged 37, convict
Mary Malone, aged 54, convict;
Mary Heney, aged 40, convict; Died 22 December 1829.
Bridget Larkins, aged 20, convict;
Rose Macquire, aged 30, convict; Died 6 January 1830.
Elizabeth Macdonald, aged 32,
Mary Byrne, aged 22, convict; Died 15 January 1830
The Asia arrived in Port Jackson on Wednesday 13th January 1830, a voyage of 125 days. One hundred and ninety six female prisoners arrived on this day.
A muster was held on board by Colonial Secretary Alexander McLeay on 26th January 1830.
The Convict Indents include such information name, age, education, religion, marital status, family, native place, trade or calling, offence, sentence, when and where tried, former convictions, physical description and where or to whom the women were assigned on arrival. Occasional information as to colonial crimes, pardons relatives already in the colony and deaths is also included. Eighty one women, probably those with children were sent to the Parramatta Female Factory.
About twenty of the women who arrived on the Asia have been identified residing in the Hunter Region in the following years. Select HERE to find out more about these women.
The Sydney Gazette remarked ......"it is somewhat strange that, as we are told, had this been an English, and not an Irish ship, the number of applications for women servants would far have exceeded the supply. But the fact is, people give a decided preference to English women as house servants" -
However as seen from the list below from the indents, many of the women were assigned privately to settlers on arrival. ....
Magee, Susannah (husband transported per Borodino as Thomas Quigley
Mrs. Maria Dowling.
Malone, Ellen (Sister to Ann Malone above)
Nowland, Mary (age 13)
Nowland, Mary (age 43)
Sent to Hospital
Mrs. Orr, Parramatta
Walsh (or Mahoney), Mary
NOTES AND LINKS
1. The Sydney Gazette reported that the Asia had made three voyages from England each on an average of three months and about twenty days, under the command of Captain Stead, who as a skillful mariner was said to rank in the very first class of his profession.
2. The Asia was one of three convict ships bringing female prisoners to New South Wales in 1830 the others being the Forth (II) and the Roslin Castle. A total of 444 female convicts arrived in 1830
3. Esther Byrne a 23year old widow, was convicted of child stealing and street theft along with Mary Collins, in Dublin City on 16th July 1828. Find out more about the life of Esther Byrne at lintywhite.com.
4. County of Armagh Assizes - Elizabeth Coil and Ann Sweaney, for robbing Felix Murphy, at Armagh - Guilty; Coil 7 years transportation; Sweany, 12 months imprisonment and hard labour. - Belfast Newsletter 5 August 1828.
5. County of Antrim Assizes - Carrickfergus - Jane Murray and Elizabeth Gibson, for stealing cotton handkerchiefs from the warehouse of Mr. Thomas O'Neill, Belfast - it was stated by Mr. Macneill, apprentice to Mr. O'Neill that on 30th April last, the two prisoners came to the warehouse under pretence of purchasing handkerchiefs - he observed Gibson take up a piece containing 22 handkerchiefs and conceal it under her cloak; Jane Murray must have seen her; he took them both into custody - Both guilty; to be transported 7 years. - Belfast Newsletter 1 August 1828
6. County of Antrim Assizes - Carrickfergus - Jane McLinchy, (also McClenchy) for stealing 7s 6d the property of William Patton - The prosecutor stated that he was returning from Lisburn on 23rd May, when he fell in with the prisoner on the road; they walked together till they came to Lakefield where they amused themselves with admiring the swan swimming on the lake, and prisoner fed him with crumbs of bread. During these operations he felt prisoner's hand in his pocket, and upon counting his money he missed three half crowns. He brought her to Belfast police office, and it was a very rough job - guilty; 7 years transportation. Jane McGonigle, otherwise Robinson, for stealing a 56lb weight from the warehouse of Messrs Contes and Young, Belfast - Guilty; 7 years transportation... - Belfast Newsletter 1 August 1828.
7. Recorder's court - Yesterday - Child Stealing - Maria Conway was indicted for decoying away Eliza Bray, with intent to steal from her person several articles of wearing apparel on the 23rd instant. William Bray, the father of the child, proved that he resides at 31 Townsend Street, and saw the prisoner going into a hall in Moss street, about three o'clock on the day mentioned in te indictment, and that she had the child with her; he saw her in a retired part of the hall stripping the child, who was between four and five years old; he brought her to College street Police Office; the prisoner said in the hall that the child followed her, and afterwards said she found her in the street. The prisoner was found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation. The Recorder alluded to the prevalence of this crime and mentioned that the present case was the fourth of this nature which occurred in the Sessions Court with the last fortnight. - Freemans Journal 31 July 1829
 Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842 [database on-line]. Bound manuscript indents, 1788–1842. NRS 12188, microfiche 614–619,626–657, 660–695. State Records Authority of New South Wales, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia.
 Ancestry.com. UK, Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817-1857. Medical Journal of Alexander Nisbet on the voyage of the Asia in 1830. The National Archives. Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
 Bateson, Charles & Library of Australian History (1983). The convict ships, 1787-1868 (Australian ed). Library of Australian History, Sydney : pp.348-349, 386
 National Archives - Reference: ADM 101/5/3 Description: Medical journal of the Asia, convict ship from 9 July 1829 to 26 January 1830 by Alexander Nisbet, surgeon, during which time the ship was employed in a voyage to New South Wales.