John Davies M.H.A.

John Davies M.H.A. (1813 - 1872)

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John Davies M.H.A.
Born in London, Englandmap
Husband of — married 16 Dec 1840 in Parramatta, NSW, Australiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Windemere, Macquarie Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australiamap
Profile last modified 10 Sep 2019 | Created 23 Feb 2014 | Last significant change: 10 Sep 2019
23:10: Veronica (Coat) Williams edited the Biography for John Davies M.H.A. (1813-1872). (DNA notes) [Thank Veronica for this]
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Biography: Australian Convict, Politician and Newspaper Owner

John Davies M.H.A. was a convict after the Third Fleet.
John Davies M.H.A. is Notable.

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"[1] in Botany Bay.[2] 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,[3] 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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Please direct any questions about the DNA analysis or any DNA confirmation data to Veronica Williams 21:37, 10 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. Prison Hulk Phoenix, Contains a description on the classes of convicts sent.
  2. Tasmania has very good records. It is rare but sometimes the records have been souvenired by some person, or the person the convict record was about, if they had reached an influential position, was destroyed.
  3. Full Mercury Newspaper Obituary

See also:

  • History of The Mercury Newspaper, Hobart, Tasmania.- John Davies mother Hannah Benjanin did not join her husband Michael until 1832, the statement inferring John committed the crime to join his family in Australia might be classed as an excuse for the facts.
  • Obituaries Australia John Davies, An Obituary written by a correspondent of the Mercury Newpaper, Hobart, Tasmania. No reference to have been a convict, but has a reference to have brought newspaper experience from the British colony of India, the later which is not true.

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Images: 2
John Davies
John Davies

John Davies Newspaper Owner
John Davies Newspaper Owner


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On 7 Feb 2017 at 17:13 GMT Amy (F) W wrote:

Outstanding profile! Great work!

On 3 Feb 2017 at 13:10 GMT Jennifer Empey wrote:


On 1 Feb 2017 at 23:17 GMT Meryl Naismith wrote:

Great work

Rejected matches › John L Davis Jr (1813-1899)

John is 25 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 16 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 19 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.