- Also known as
Admiral Edward Henry Meggs Davis
primary name: Davis, Edward Henry Meggs
- individual; military/naval; British; Male
- Life dates
- Naval captain, then admiral, who served in the Pacific Islands, where he obtained many artefacts in the course of enforcing British colonial authority, some of which came to the British Museum.
Dates upon the HMS Royalist:
Vanuatu and New Caledonia: 10th December 1889 to 18th June 1891
(Papua) New Guinea and Solomon Islands: 18th June 1891 to 9th April 1892
Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu: 14th April 1892 to 30th August 1892
Who Was Who entry reads: b 1846; m 1895, Ethel Mary, d of late F. C. Lambe; four s. Work: Served at bombardment of Kagosima, Japan, 1863; the Capture of the Forts Simonoseki, Japan, 1864; with Naval Brigade, Kaffir War, 1877-78 (promoted); Zulu War, 1879 (medal, three clasps); hoisted British flag in 13 islands of the Gilbert Group, 1892; member of Legislative Council of Jamaica, 1900; Assessor to House of Lords in Admiralty Appeals. Address: Rathedmond, Bexhill-on-Sea. Clubs: Royal Navy; Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes (Hon.). Died 6 Oct. 1929.
There are 141 artefacts from Davis in the British Museum, all from Oceania, with around a half from Melanesia (mainly Solomon Islands). They include:
67 items presented to the Christy Collection in 1894 (Oc1894,03.188 to 255)
34 items purchased in 1904 (Oc1904,0621) from Edward Gerrard from of a collection of 700 listed in the pamphlet:
LIST OF ETHNOGRAPHICAL OBJECTS Collected During the cruises of H.M.S. ROYALIST amongst the Islands of the WESTERN PACIFIC in 1890-91-92 & 93 New Guinea, New Hebrides, Solomon, Ellice, Gilbert, Marshall and other islands (BM library shelfmark: MUS/26b-9-6)
18 items from the same collection which Harry Beasley purchased from Gerrard in 1930 (numbered Beasley 2820 to 2558) and which came to the British Museum as part of Beasley's collecion in 1944 (1944,Oc2).
Concerning the purchase of items form Davis' catalogue of ETHOGRAPHIC OBJECTS, Davis wrote to Read of the British Museum on 21st September 1903, noting the variety, quality and high value of particular numbered items (possibly those in which Read had expressed an interest), and explained his concern to recieve good prices because of his prospective retirement on half pay. He also noted that the food bowl he had given to Lord Charles Scott (Oc1903,1007.1) should have been returned to him rather than presented to the British Museum.