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Michael John Davies (1790–1873)

Michael John Davies, who worked in a London lawyer's office, was sentenced to seven years transportation for obtaining goods under false pretences. He arrived in Sydney in 1830 aboard the Florentia. He was described as being 5 feet 4 inches (164.5 cm) tall, with a ruddy complexion, dark brown to grey hair, and hazel green eyes. He was assigned as a servant to Richard Smith until sent to Port Macquarie in March 1832 for misbehavior. By 1832 he had begun to buy land at Port Macquarie and Newcastle and held a publican's licence at Curabella. He was granted a ticket of leave in 1838.

Davies moved to Newcastle, established a retail store and bought a steamer. Following the public execution of his bushranger son, John Davis, in 1841, Davies moved to Melbourne and later to Hobart Town. In 1845 he returned to Melbourne and became the licensee of the Shakespeare Hotel in Collins Street. He was arrested at the end of 1847 as he tried to leave the colony for Hobart Town with debts unpaid. He returned to Sydney and in 1853 owned a shop in the city which sold china and glass. He retired in 1868 and three years later purchased the Australian newspaper, appointing his son George, as editor.

* information from John S. Levi, These Are The Names: Jewish Lives in Australia 1788-1850 (2013)

Citation details

'Davies, Michael John (1790–1873)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


9 July, 1790
London, Middlesex, England


27 December, 1873 (aged 83)
Windsor, New South Wales, Australia

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Passenger Ship
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years