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Thomas Martin Davis

Thomas Martin Davis (1856-1899), trade unionist and politician, was born in England,  and brought up in Scotland and France.  He worked at sea, in India and New Caledonia until 1876 when he settled in Sydney. In 1892 at St Barnabas he married Jessie Shaw.

In the 1880s, as secretary of the Federated Seamen's Union and secretary of its NSW branch, he was active in the local Maritime Council and negotiated with shipowners trying to improve wages and conditions. During the 1890 maritime strike he was on the Labour Defence Committee which tried to control the strike: afterwards he served on the Royal Commission that investigated it.

Davis was a foundation member of the West Sydney Labor League in 1891, and elected to the legislature where he was the party whip. He was re-elected in 1894 and 1895 (Sydney-Pyrmont) from 1894.  He continued to focus on shipping issues, seeking to improve working conditions and to modernize the industry. He did not seek re-election in 1898 and died the following year.

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Thomas Martin Davis 1898