JPL Davies was born in Sierra Leone of Nigerian parentage. He served in the Royal Navy and was an Officer during the British bombardment of Lagos in 1851. On leaving the Navy, he went into business pioneering large-scale Cocoa farming and exportation.
He also owned a ship and Real Estate becoming fabulously rich. In 1862 he married Queen Victoria’s adopted daughter- the Yoruba Slave girl Sarah Bonetta Forbes. His eldest daughter Victoria(The Queen’s god-daughter) went on to marry the notable Lagos Physician John Randle.
Davies was first married to Matilda Bonifacio Serrano, a Spanish lady from Havana, who died in 1860, nine months after their marriage. In August 1862, Davies married Sara Forbes Bonetta, a protégée of Queen Victoria. Originally named Aina, she was enslaved following the raiding of her village in Oke-Adan and the death of her parents at the hands of Dahomean warriors, subsequently kept in King Ghezo of Dahomey’s court.
She was liberated by Captain Forbes after a meeting with King Ghezo. Sara died of tuberculosis in 1880, and Davies married Catherine Kofoworola Reffle in 1889.
Captain Davies died at his Lagos home on 29 August 1906 and was buried at Ajele Cemetery in Lagos on 30 August 1906.