Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/130

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Davies
Davis
118

DAVIES, THOMAS (1837–1891), mineralogist, the only son of William Davies [q. v.], was born in the parish of St. Pancras on 29 Dec. 1837. At the age of fourteen he went to sea, and for the next four years was in ships sailing to the East Indies, China, and South America. Then he began to study science, and in 1858 was appointed an assistant to the mineral department of the British Museum, working under Professor Story Maskelyne. Thus he became an excellent mineralogist, acquiring a remarkable knowledge of characters distinctive of localities, as well as doing admirable work in the microscopic investigation of rocks. He resided during the later part of his life at East Acton. Here he died after some months of failing health on 21 Dec. 1891; his wife, Jane Mary Sabey of St. Pancras, whom he married in 1859, four sons, and five daughters surviving him.

He was editor of the 'Mineralogical Magazine,' but, though an indefatigable worker, his published papers were not numerous. Three were printed in the 'Quarterly Journal ' of the Geological Society, others in the 'Geological' and the 'Mineralogical Magazine.' He was elected F.G.S. in 1870, and was awarded the Wollaston fund in 1880.

[Obituary notices in Geological Magazine, 1893, p. 96; Quart. Journ. of Geol. Soc. vol. xlix., Proc. p. 54; private information.]

T. G. B.

DAVIES, WILLIAM (1814–1891), palaeontologist, born at Holy well, Flintshire, on 13 July 1814, was the son of Thomas Davies by his wife Elizabeth Turner. After going to school in his native town, he studied botany, and on 19 Dec. 1843 obtained a post in the British Museum, working at first on mineralogy, but afterwards devoting himself to vertebrate palaeontology. In this he not only acquired great technical knowledge as to the best methods of developing and preserving delicate specimens, but also was pronounced to be 'one of its most accomplished students.' He took an active part in the rearrangement of the national collection in 1880 when it was transferred from Bloomsbury to the new buildings in Cromwell Road, and gave most valuable assistance to Sir Antonio Brady [q. v.] in collecting and describing the mammalian remains found near Ilford. In 1887 he retired on a pension from the museum, and died at his residence, Colliers End, Hertford, on 13 Feb. 1891. He was twice married, the maiden name of the first wife being Bradford, by whom he had one son, Thomas Davies [q. v. Suppl.], and one daughter.

William Davies received the Murchison medal from the Geological Society in 1873 (first award), and became a fellow in 1877. He disliked literary composition, so that his scientific papers are not numerous, about fifteen in all, mostly contributed to the 'Geological Magazine,' and he published a ' Catalogue of the Pleistocene Vertebrata in the Collection of Sir Antonio Brady; 'but his extensive knowledge was ever at the service of others, for he was one of those men who cared more for the advancement of science than of himself.

[Obituary notices, Geological Magazine, 1891, pp. 144, 190 (with list of papers written by A. S[mith] W[oodward]), and Quart. Journ. of Geol. Soc. vol. xlvii., Proc. p. 56; private information.]

T. G. B.

DAVIS, Sir JOHN FRANCIS (1795–1890), first baronet, diplomatist in the far East, born 16 July 1795, was eldest son of Samuel Davis, F.R.S., an officer of the East India Company, who earned distinction by his services with the mission sent by Warren Hastings into Tibet in 1783, and by his gallantry in 1799, at the defence of Benares, where he was judge and magistrate, against the attack of the troops of Vizier AIL The father was director of the East India Company from 1810 until his death in July 1819. He married in 1794 Henrietta, daughter of Solomon Boileau of Dublin.

In recognition of his father's services his son John was appointed writer in the factory at Canton in 1813 at the age of eighteen. He early showed marked linguistic and diplomatic abilities, and in consequence was chosen to accompany Lord Amherst on his unfortunate embassy to Pekin in 1816. On the return of the mission Davis again took up his duties at Canton, and in 1832 was promoted to be president of the East India Company's factory at that port. Two years later he was appointed joint commissioner in China with Lord Napier. After many years of trying service he returned to England on furlough, his leave happening to synchronise with the war, and in 1844 he was gazetted British plenipotentiary and chief superintendent of British trade in China, as well as governor and commander-in-chief of the colony of Hong Kong. On 18 July 1845 he was created a baronet. At this time difficulties were constantly arising in our relations with the Chinese at Canton, and a brutal assault on a party of Englishmen when on a visit to the neighbouring town of Fatshan brought matters to a climax. Davis, considering that a determined protest against such conduct should