File File 4 - Access copy of 'Recollections of Thomas Davis' collected by Steele Rudd.

Identity area

Reference code

UQFL79-Series F-Subseries 2-File 4


Access copy of 'Recollections of Thomas Davis' collected by Steele Rudd.


  • 1908-1909 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 folder

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Thomas Davis arrived in Australia in 1847 with a conviction for petty theft. In 1852 he married Mary Green, sent to Australia under the Orphan Girls' Emigration scheme from Ireland in 1848. They took up a 160 acre selection at Greenmount in 1870, had 13 children (only 9 survived past infancy), and one of their children was Arthur Hoey Davis (also known as Steele Rudd). Thomas Davis died in 1904.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Arthur Hoey Davis was born on 14 November 1868 at Drayton, Queensland. He was the son of Thomas Davis (1828-1904), a blackshmith who was sent to Australia in 1847 for a conviction of petty theft and Mary Green (1835-1893). While working at a sheriff's office he began writing a column on rowing in a weekly paper and this is where his pen name of Steele Rudd began. What was to become the first chapter in On our selection was published as an article 'Starting the selection', in the Bulletin on 14 December 1895. This article was based on his father's experiences. Davis became a regular and popular contributor. On Our Selection, was published in 1899. This was followed four years later by Our New Selection, the second of ten volumes that deal with the Rudd family. He died on 11 October 1935.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This file has three typescript copies (two are carbon copies) of 'Recollections of Thomas Davis' collected by Steele Rudd, two of which have a note in the top right-hand corner 'In the posession [sic] of Hon. Joshua Thomas Bell circ. 1908-9'. One copy has handwritten emandations.

These recollections were shared with his son, Arthur Hoey Davis (1868-1935) (whose pen name was Steele Rudd) mostly likely in the early 1900's. Thomas Davis was a former convict. His memoir covers the period from 1849 to the separation of Queensland from New South Wales in 1859. Davis initially worked with J. C. Burnett's Survey Party. He recounts stories of the places he visited and their history, various encounters with local indigenous groups and individuals, language and culture of the Aboriginal people of the area, kinship system in the Maronoa and Balonne region, and a list of more than 100 names and phrases in the dialect of the people of the Balonne, Dawson and Comet river. Joshua Peter Bell is mentioned several times in memoir. This and other recollections by Thomas Davis were collected by Joshua Thomas Bell in the first decade of the 20th century.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright expired.

Language of material

  • Australian Language
  • English

Script of material

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Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Copy in possession of the Bell Family can be found at UQFL79-Series F-Subseries 2-File 3 - 'Recollections of Thomas Davis' collected by Steele Rudd.
Transcription, by Richard Fotheringham, of original item in the possession of the Steele Rudd Estate is available at F3517 Recollections of Thomas Davis : collected by Steele Rudd.

Notes area


Box 4 Folder 16


Access copy.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Created, Linda Justo, 21-Jul-2021.




Accession area