Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 05, 2019
Webpage updated: September 07, 2019

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The National Provincial Bank of England was founded in London in 1828 by Mr Thomas Joplin, although his wish to call it the Royal Bank failed and on Monday September 23rd 1833 the new title was adopted.  The Bank's policy was to open branches outside the 65-mile limit around London so that it could issue its own banknotes.  This it did largely by taking over many of the small private banks that existed at that time.

In 1837 the National Provincial Bank opened a branch at Devonport but the following year they acquired the Devonport General Bank operated by Messrs Husband and Company and moved in to their premises, which in 1822 was number 78 Fore Street.  In 1844 they moved to number 80 Fore Street

On Saturday October 7th 1865 the following announcement appeared in the Western Morning News: 'National Provincial Bank, Devonport - We learn that the directors of the National Provincial Bank of England have taken a part of Mr Thomas's Hotel in which to carry on their business at Devonport.  The necessary alterations are now being made by Mr Norman, architect, and Messrs Condy and Son, builders.  The new premises will be very commodious, and will be fitted for banking purposes.'  No further information about this matter has been found.

In 1866 the National Provincial Bank was obliged to give up issuing its own bank notes.  It became the National Provincial Bank of England Limited in 1880.

Merger in 1918 with the 230+ branches of the Union of London and Smiths Bank Limited brought a new title -- National Provincial and Union Bank of England Limited.

In 1924 the Bank's name was shortened to just the National Provincial Bank Limited.

Mr R J H Ayre was the Devonport Branch Manager in 1935.

Most of Fore Street was destroyed or badly damaged during the air raids of April 1941 and as a consequence the National Provincial Bank Devonport Branch moved on Monday May 5th 1941 to new premises at 24 Marlborough Street, where Mr Herbert L Harding was the manager.    The telephone number was Devonport 329.

A merger with the Westminster Bank Limited was announced in 1968 but it did not take effect until January 1st 1970, when the National Westminster Bank came into existence.


  With acknowledgement to the RBS Archives in Edinburgh for their very efficient assistance.