Aberystwyth and Tregaron Bank
The bank officially known as the Aberystwith and Tregaron Bank was established at Aberystwyth, Ceredigion in the beginning of the 19th century and was locally known as ‘Banc y Ddafad Ddu’, because the bank notes were imprinted with an engraving of a black sheep. The Bank later established a branch at Tregaron
In the 1960s and 1970s the Bank's notes inspired a Mr Richard Williams to imitate them.
The notes were issued for ten shillings, £1, £2 and up to £10. The number of sheep on the engraving corresponded to the number of pounds represented by the bank note. The ten shilling note was decorated with an illustration of a small sheep.
The earliest note appears to have been issued on 1 October 1810 and bears the signature of William Davies on behalf of Evans, Jones, Davies & Co. A number of notes have been preserved signed either by John Evans or William Davies. The notes are all dated within the period 1810 to 1814.
Members of the bank
The bank opened a branch in Tregaron in 1810, as a result of the thriving local economy based on wool, droving, agriculture, and supporting businesses, such as blacksmiths and public houses.
The proprietor of the Gold Shop in Tregaron obtained an original Black Sheep bank note after a 15 year wait. The bank note was found in the papers of a Carmarthen solicitor.
The bank was in trouble by 1811 as an advert in the Carmarthen Journal recorded: Evans, Jones, Davies and Co, Bankers of the Aberystwith and Tregaron Bank beg leave to inform the public that their bank has been open for business since its commencement and will continue so, notwithstanding an attempt lately made to injure it by inveterate enemies.
In 1815 it went into liquidation. Aberystwyth Old Bank. Messrs Jones, Davies and Williams beg to inform the public that the dissolution of their form has taken place by mutual consent, and they will feel obliged by the holders of their local notes sending them for payment to their Banking house, at Aberystwyith and those made payable in London to the House of Sir James Esdaile and Co. Aberystwyth Old bank, August 10, 1815.
Debts were still due to the bank in 1820. Aberystwith and Tregaron Bank. Evans, Jones and Davies Bankruptcy (public notice). Any debts to the above to be paid by 1 November 1820 to William Leyburn of Aberystwyth or Thomas Jones, ropemaker. 
A number of notes bear a memorandum stamped across the face of the note stating that they had been exhibited before G. Bonsall under a commission of bankruptcy against the firm, and that a first dividend of 6s. 8d. in the £ had been paid. The memorandum does not bear a date, but it appears that no other dividend was received by the owners of the notes.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s Richard Williams of Llandudno issued paper money which bore a 2p Duty Stamp, which Richard Williams paid for. This meant the notes were “officially” recognised.
Initial issues were made by the “Chief Treasury of Wales Ltd”, and this appears to have been overlooked initially by the Stamp Office, as the notes were written in Welsh. It is unlikely that the notes would have been officially stamped if this had been recognised.
Later issues were by the “Black Sheep Company Ltd” and were inspired by the bank note issues of the Aberystwith & Tregaron Bank. Again, it seems that the Stamp Office was unaware of this historical precedent and the significance of the name. They duly officially stamped these issues also.
Other Aberystwyth banks
- Lewis, W.J., () Born on a Perilous Rock, p 141
- Ceredigion County Council, Museum Collection Retrieved 2009-09-03
- Early Banks in West Wales, by Francis Green ( in West Wales Historical Records, The Annual Magazine of The Historical Society of West Wales, Volume VI, edited by Francis Green, Printed by W. Spurrell & Son, 1916)
- http://www.worldtimelines.org.uk/world/british_isles/wales/AD1750-1900/TheDroversRoads Retrieved 5 September 2009
- Gathering the Jewels, The Web Site for Welsh Heritage and Culture Retrieved 2009-09-03
- http://www.llanbadarnchurchyard.org.uk/Section%20H.htm Retrieved 5 September 2009
- obituary of John Evans, Aberystwyth Observer, 20.2.1896)
- http://www.visitmidwales.co.uk/area/thedms.aspx?dms=13&GroupId=2&venue=1020525 Retrieved 5 September 2009
- http://www.s4c.co.uk/popethyngymraeg/e_diary4.shtml Retrieved 5 September 2009
- Carmarthen Journal, 2.3.1811
- Carmarthen Journal, 11.8.1815
- Carmarthen Journal, 22.9.1820
- http://www.banknotes4u.co.uk/wales.htm Retrieved 2009-09-03
- Gathering the Jewels, The Web Site for Welsh Heritage and Culture
- Ceredigion County Council, Museum Collection
- Archives Wales, National Library of Wales, Glan Paith Papers
- World Time Lines, The Drovers' Roads
- Money and Coins in Wales
- Llanbadarn Churchyard, near Aberystwyth
- Visit Mid Wales
- New Statesman, Local Currency, by William Cook, 19 November 2001
- Aberystwyth Guide