THE founder of a Welsh bank whose notes carried an image of a black ox could have a permanent commemoration in his home town of Llandovery.

The town council is applying for listed building consent for a blue plaque at The Kings Head Inn to recognise David Jones.

The rear wing of the inn was the original premises of the Llandovery Bank, known locally as the Black Ox Bank, from 1799 to 1848.

Another famous son, vicar and poet Rhys Prichard, was the subject of the town’s first ever blue plaque a few months ago.

Town and county councillor Handel Davies said: “This should have been done years ago, to be honest with you.

“It’s very important to promote Welsh history.”

Mr Jones was a farmer’s son who became a drover before setting up the bank, helped by the sizeable sum of money that came with his marriage to Anne Jones, of Cilrhedyn.

A newspaper article written in 1935 by Roy Saunders said Mr Jones started the Llandovery Bank when he was around 40.

It was, said the article, one of the earliest banks established in Carmarthenshire and had more branches than any other private bank in the county.

By the time of his death in 1839, Mr Jones had served as High Sheriff of Carmarthen and amassed £140,000, several million pounds in today’s money.

The article said the business was carried on by his three grandsons, David, William and John. David had the bank at Llandovery, William at Lampeter and John at Llandeilo. The branches continued to issue cheques marked with the black ox until the early 20th Century. They were taken over by Lloyds Bank in 1909.

It was said that Mr Jones got the idea for the bank during his drover’s days, when Welsh black cattle had to be taken on foot to London to get the best price.

Drovers were also entrusted with sums of money for things like taxes and rent, and Mr Jones believed that a bank would cut the risk of robbery to and from West Wales.

Meanwhile, the plaque in honour of vicar and poet Mr Prichard, who wrote Cannwyll y Cymry (The Welshman’s Candle), was attached to his Llandovery birthplace, 33 High Street, in January.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM Adam Price said at the time: “I give my sincere congratulations to everyone who has played a part in this work and offer best wishes to the community as they continue to work hard to put Llandovery on the map.”

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