Davies, Rowland (1649–1721), clergyman and journalist, was son of Rowland Davies, gentleman farmer, and Mary Davies (née Scudamore; widow of Thomas Smith) of Gill Abbey near Cork. He was taught by Mr Scragg of Cork city before entering TCD as a pensioner (23 February 1665). He graduated BA (1671), MA (1681), and LLD (1706). After he was ordained on 9 April 1671 he held a number of prebends and livings in the dioceses of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross before becoming dean of Ross (1678–1709). He was made vicar-general of Cloyne (1693), precentor of Cork cathedral (1706), and then dean of Cork from 1709 until his death in 1721. He held a number of parish livings while holding cathedral offices.
The journal that Davies kept from 8 March 1689 to 29 September 1690 is one of the most valuable first-hand accounts of the Williamite war. In England in spring and summer 1689 he socialised with a wide circle of influential Irish clergymen and landowners such as the 2nd earl of Cork and 1st earl of Burlington (qv) and John Vesey (qv), archbishop of Tuam, who had also fled from Ireland. He took up a lectureship at Great Yarmouth and also preached at a number of London churches. It was evidently these high-level contacts that led to his appointment as a chaplain in Col. Cutts's regiment. He landed in Belfast on 11 May 1690 and was present at the battle of the Boyne and the siege of Waterford. In 1679 Davies had been commissioned a JP in Cork, and his local knowledge proved useful to the Williamite army at the siege of Cork city. He also advised engineers on how best to fortify towns in Co. Tipperary. After the war he played an active part in suppressing toryism and was given a vote of thanks by the corporation of the city of Cork (1694).
Davies displayed an unusual mixture of qualities. During the war he was a man of action who did not shrink from difficult and sometimes dangerous duties. At home in Cork he was a careful manager of the farm he rented at Gill Abbey, and an assiduous clerical administrator. He wrote a detailed account of the state of the diocese of Cork in 1682 and presented a bell to Cloyne cathedral. Between 1692 and 1717 he published a number of pamphlets such as The truly catholic and old religion (1716) which extolled the virtues of the established church in Ireland. He was a regular preacher and took an active interest in his pastoral duties. He also acquired a broad medical knowledge which enabled him to assist parishioners with their physical as well as spiritual problems.
He married (1674) Elizabeth, daughter of Capt. Robert Stannard. Three of his four surviving sons went into the church and served parishes in and around Cork. His youngest son, Richard, became archdeacon of Cork (1743). He also had a number of daughters. Rowland Davies died at his home Dawstown in Co. Cork on 11 December 1721 and was buried in St Fin Barre's cathedral, Cork. A portrait of Davies in doctoral gown existed in the possession of his descendants c.1900.