When researching our Bowden ancestors who came from Kent, and our Asher family who came from Nottingham, we received the most wonderful assistance. Wayne Asher, descendant of our Samuel Asher, told me of a book written by Bowden family member, Colin King, called " The Benenden Bowdens" in which he has done a magnificent job of compiling not only the Bowden history, but our Asher history as well. [Colin can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone interested in a copy of the book]. I'm very grateful to Colin and Wayne for making this part of my history so very easy!
SAMUEL ASHER, the son of William and Elizabeth Asher, was baptised at St Mary, Nottingham, England on 22nd January, 1818. The next we hear of our Samuel, by then a lace maker in Nottingham, was in 1837 when he was arrested on several charges of stealing. He was tried and departed from Sheerness on 16th July, 1837 on the "James Pattison". He arrived in Sydney on 25th October, 1837. The convict records tell us that Samuel was almost 5 ft 5 inches tall, with a dark, ruddy complexion, dark brown hair and brown eyes.
Samuel was granted a Ticket of Leave in 1844. We do not know the circumstances of his meeting with Ann Bowden, then living at Dora Creek in NSW, but they were married on 6th February, 1845 at Cooranbong, with the Governor's consent, since Samuel was still a convict at that time. He received a conditional pardon in 1848, as a result of his good conduct.
A little of Ann Bowden's background. Ann, born 5th April 1826 in Benenden, Kent, was the daughter of William Bowden and Elizabeth nee Godfrey. William was the son of William Bowden and Elizabeth Young, and his father William was the son of Job Bowden and Elizabeth Hinkley.
William Bowden and Elizabeth Godfrey were married 4th December, 1816 and had the following issue :
Willam and Elizabeth Bowden and their children, listed above, came out from Kent on the "Maitland" which departed Gravesend, England, on 24th June, 1838 and arrived in Sydney on 5th November, 1838.
Colin King has very kindly given permission to use parts of the information from his book, to indicate what conditions were like, for those who sailed on the "Maitland" in 1838.
The "Maitland" was a 648 ton ship built of Malibar teak, and was described as a Blackwall Frigate rigged as a barque. The total length was only 125 feet from stem to stern. On this particular voyage, there were 205 adults and 110 children taken on board under the charge of the ship's Master, Marshall Baker, and Surgeon John Smith.
After only two days at sea, with almost everyone sea-sick and in low spirits, cases of fever were discovered. Sixty-four children and one man, suffered from the visitation of Scarlet Fever, and by the time the "Maitland" arrived at Sydney Heads, the delivery of three babies, and 286 cases of fever had been entered in the medical log. Fever accounted for the deaths of 29 children and five adults.
The Sydney Gazette of 8th November, 1838 reported the arrival of the
"Maitland" on Monday evening 5th November:-
"This emigrant ship has been more unfortunate with regard to sickness than any emigrant ship before her. Shortly after the vessel left land, typhus and scarlet fever broke out, and spread rapidly. About 40 of the emigrants died on the voyage, and a great many are laid up. On arrival she came to anchor in Watson's Bay, where she remained until the next day. When visited by the Medical Board, and the result being unfavourable, she was immediately ordered into quarantine. All hands have been more or less afflicted with one or other of these dreadful diseases."
The Bowden family suffered the loss of their young son, Joseph, who died on the voyage and was buried at sea. A week after the "Maitland" arrived in Sydney, Elizabeth Bowden nee Godfrey died at the Quarantine Station, and eldest son James died in early 1839, a month after the family had been released from quarantine. What a task lay ahead for William Bowden, bereft of his partner in this new land and left with a young family, including baby George.
More information on the "Maitland" and the conditions of the Bowden's journey to Australia can be found on the ROSER PAGE. Our Roser ancestors came out on the same ship with the Bowden family.
For another site which gives substantial detail of the "Maitland", check out this MAITLAND site.
Samuel Asher died on 27th July, 1855 as a result of an accident when he fell from his dray. He had been self-employed as a carrier in Newcastle. Ann later married again, to Edward Perry, and had five children: Thomas, Edward, Harriet, Caroline and Reuben. Ann died on 25th August, 1914 at Waratah, in the Newcastle area.
Frank Asher had previous been married to Alice Rothwell who bore him two children, Alice and William. Alice and William both died the same year as they were born, 1870 and 1871 respectively, and their mother died in 1871: we do not know the cause of her death.
Rebecca, Frank's second wife, was the daughter of Samuel Osborne and Ann McGregor: for further details see the OSBORNE HISTORY and the McGREGOR HISTORY
For further details on Mabel Asher and Les Clark, see the CHARLES CLARK HISTORY