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HMS Asia (1764)
HMS Asia in Halifax Harbour, 1797.jpg
HMS Asia at the Halifax Naval Yard, 1797. Watercolour by George Gustavus Lennox, who was a Lieutenant aboard Asia
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Asia
Ordered: 20 March 1758
Builder: Portsmouth Dockyard
Launched: 3 March 1764
Fate: Broken up, 1804
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: 64-gun third-rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1364 (bm)
Length: 158 ft (48 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 44 ft 6 in (13.56 m)
Depth of hold: 18 ft 10 in (5.74 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship

Gundeck: 26 × 24-pounder guns
Upper gundeck: 26 × 18-pounder guns
QD: 10 × 4-pounder guns

Fc: 2 × 9-pounder guns

HMS Asia was a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 3 March 1764 at Portsmouth Dockyard. She participated in the American Revolutionary War and the capture of Martinique in 1794.

Sir Thomas Slade designed her as an experimental design, one that proved to be particularly groundbreaking as she was the first true 64.[1] As a result, the Royal Navy ordered no further 60-gun ships but instead commissioned more 64 gun ships. Because these incorporated alterations learned from trials with Asia, for instance subsequent ships were bigger, she was the only ship of her draught (class).[1]


In 1775, Asia was in New York Harbour during the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. She was part of Admiral Richard Howe's flotilla at the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776. Later that year, she survived a fire ship that the American Silas Talbot led against her while she was in New York Harbour. The fire ship did foul Asia and set her fire to her, but the crew, aided by men from other nearby vessels, were able to extinguish the flames.[2]

Asia was recommissioned in May 1793 under Captain John Brown and on 26 December he sailed her to the West Indies to join Admiral Sir John Jervis.[3]

Capture of Fort Saint Louis, Martinique, 1794, with Asia in the background, and Zebra in the foreground; depicted by William Anderson

In March 1794, Asia participated in the capture of Martinique by an expeditionary force under the command of Jervis and Lieutenant General Sir Charles Grey. The British were able by 16 March to capture all the forts, except Fort Bourbon and Fort Royal.[4] On 20 March she and Zebra were supposed to enter the Carenage at Fort Royal to fire on Fort Saint Louis. However, Asia did not get into position. Her pilot, M. de Tourelles, who had been a lieutenant of the port, reneged on his agreement to take her in, ostensibly because of a fear of shoals.[4] Instead, Zebra went in alone, with her captain, Richard Faulknor, and crew landing under the guns of the fort and capturing it.[4][5]

Asia returned to England in July 1794.[3] The next month Captain John M'Dougall assumed command as she joined the Downs squadron.[3]

On 29 April 1796, Asia again faced a possible fire, this time in Port Royal, Jamaica. The fire was self-inflicted in that part of a recently stored delivery of 300 powder barrels on the lower gun deck exploded. Some 300 of the vessel's crew jumped overboard in order to escape the consequences should the nearby main magazine explode. Asia's captain, officers, and a few of the remaining crew were able to put out the fire. In all, the vessel lost 11 men killed and wounded.[6]

From 1796 she was under the command of Captain Robert Murray, and in 1800 she sailed for Halifax, and arrived on 31 May. Here she picked up a group of 600 Jamaican Maroons who had been deported from Jamaica the previous year and were now to be transferred to Sierra Leone. She departed on 8 August and arrived in Sierra Leone on 30 September,[7] disembarking there the group who came to be called the Jamaican Maroons in Sierra Leone.


Asia was paid off in March 1802. She was broken up in August 1804 at Chatham Dockyard.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 177.
  2. Edgar S. MacLay. 1899. A History of American Privateers. pp. 91-93.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Winfield (2008), p. 92.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 James (1837), Vol. 6, p.218
  5. "No. 13643". 22 April 1794. 
  6. Grocott (1997), p.33.
  7. Grant, John N (2002) (Softcover). The Maroons in Nova Scotia. Formac. pp. 203. ISBN 978-0887805691. 


  • Grocott, Terence (1997) Shipwrecks of the revolutionary & Napoleonic eras. (Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books).
  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.
  • James, William (1837). The Naval History of Great Britain, from the Declaration of War by France in 1793, to the Accession of George IV.. 6. R. Bentley. 
  • Winfield, Rif (2007). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1. 

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