John Davies was a Jewish clerk convicted of fraud, aged 18.
At the Middlesex Session of the Peace on the 6 December 1830, he received a sentence of 7 years transportation to Australia. He departed from Plymouth, England on the transport "Argyle", 5 March 1831 and arrived at Hobart Van Diemens Land on 3 August 1831.
John's goal report prior to embarking the Argyle states he was of bad character, audacious and impudent. The "Argyle's" ship indent says he was employed as one of the ship's barbers.
|John Davies, Physical Description|
On arrival in Van Diemans Land, John's physical description was documented but his convict conduct is devoid of any information regarding his assignment or behavior; it contains nothing but his name.
John was assigned as a clerk to the Colonial Government NSW and the only record that has been found is from when he was transferred to the Prison Hulk Phoenix as a "Special" in Botany Bay. The only convict mention found is here.
|John Davies Certificate of Freedom, 6 December 1837|
John served his full sentence of 7 years with no remission. He received his Certificate of Freedom 6 December 1837.
|John Davies, Chief Constable of Police, Penrith. 1 November 1840|
On the 1 November 1840, John was made Chief Constable of Police for the district of Penrith.
16 December 1840 he married Elizabeth Ellis.
By this time, his brother Edward was a bushranger and murderer. He was convicted and then sentenced to hang. John resigned as Chief Constable, a Government Gazette notice appearing on the same date as his brother's hanging.
|John Davies, Chief Constable Resignation Notice, 16 March 1841|
Moving to Victoria, John became a correspondent for the Port Phillip Gazette in February 1842.
In May 1842, he was once again made a Chief Constable of Police, this time in Portland, Victoria. John was active in theater and seemed to like the attention he received.
In 1847, he had gone back to New South Wales and worked as a government clerk and was also made Chief Constable of Police for the Wellington district in the same year. Outspoken and known for settling disputes by violence, Davies was involved in quite a few court appearances for assault on people. Some of those people were to later become notable in Australia's history.
In 1853, John, in partnership with another man, acquired the Tasmanian newspaper, the Guardian. Within months John Davies was to become the sole owner, and in 1854 the name of the paper was changed to the Hobarton Mercury, a bi-weekly paper. In 1860, the newspaper was renamed the Mercury.
Between 1860 and 1870, Davies stood for election of many seats of parliament in Tasmania, losing most and winning others.
John Davies died 11 June 1872, his sons carrying on the newspaper and their sons and family, too. That newspaper was to be bought by News Limited in March 1988.
From Convict and Jew, ostracized by his own faith for his marriage to an Anglican, Australian Media Magnate and Politician. A Great Australian
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