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Samuel Davis (c. 1769–1788)

Samuel Davis (c.1769-1788) was found guilty on 13 January 1785 at Gloucester, England, of the theft of a silver watch. Sentenced to 7 years transportation he was sent to the Justitia hulk, where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Alexander in January 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Davis and William Okey were speared to death on 30 May 1788 after being sent to collect rushes, for thatching roofs, 'in a cove up the harbour' (*historian Stephen Gapps believes the cove may have been what William Bradley named on his 1788 Map of Port Jackson as 'Bloody Point' — jutting out at the end of Iron Cove). The killings were believed to have been a reprisal for the convicts taking a canoe belonging to one of the Aboriginal people.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 99-100

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Citation details

'Davis, Samuel (c. 1769–1788)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1769
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England


30 May, 1788 (aged ~ 19)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

spear wounds

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years