David Jones (merchant)

The Honourable
David Jones
Member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales
In office
22 May 1856  29 March 1860
Alderman of the Sydney City Council
In office
1 November 1842  31 October 1844
Personal details
Born (1793-03-08)8 March 1793
Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales, Great Britain
Died 29 March 1873(1873-03-29) (aged 80)
Sydney, Colony of New South Wales
Spouse(s) Catherine Hughes (m.1813-d.1814)
Elizabeth Williams (m.1822-d.1826)
Jane Mander (m.1828-d.1873)
Religion Congregationalist

David Jones (8 March 1793 – 29 March 1873), was a Sydney merchant, Welsh emigrant and the retailer founder of David Jones Limited.

Early years and background

Jones was born in 1793, the son of Thomas Jones, a farmer near Llandeilo, Wales, and his wife Nancy. He became an apprenticed to a grocer in Carmarthen at a young age and his business talent lead to him being offered, at the age of 18, the management of a general store in Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire. He later found employment with the firm of R. N. Nicholls, Wood Street, Cheapside in London. On 7 February 1828, he married Jane Mander at St Andrew's Church, Holborn. Jane was the daughter of John Mander of East Smithfield.[1][2][3]

David Jones and Co.

He migrated with his family to Hobart in Tasmania in October 1834 on board the Thomas Harrison. He subsequently went into partnership with Charles Appleton 1835 (a merchant who had opened a store in Sydney in 1825) forming the firm 'Appleton & Jones'.[1] The partnership was dissolved in 1838 when he established 'David Jones & Co', at 463 George Street, thereby establishing one of the oldest surviving department stores in the world. In 1849 Jones leased the 'Jerusalem Warehouse' on the corner of Barrack and George streets and converted it into a two-storey shop.[4] This would be the main location of David Jones until the opening of the Elizabeth St store in 1928.

Now a successful citizen of the colony, Jones invested in various other business interests, including as founding Director of Australian Mutual Provident Society in 1848. He was also a founder of Camden College, and was very involved in Pitt St (now Pitt St Uniting), the local Congregational Church. Jones was elected to the first Sydney City Council in 1842, serving only two years, and was later appointed to the New South Wales Legislative Council in May 1856, serving until March 1860.[5]

Later life

With the success of his business, Jones retired from active management in 1856. However he later returned to save it from bankruptcy, thereafter serving until ultimate retirement in 1868.[4] Jones had four sons and four daughters. The eldest son David Mander Jones went on in May 1853 to purchase with his brother, third son George Hall Jones, the large cattle property Boonara station near Kingaroy in the South Burnett. The second son of David Jones was Philip Sydney Jones (18361918), who gained eminence as a physician and was subsequently knighted. The youngest son, Edward Lloyd Jones (18441894), subsequently succeeded his father in the management of David Jones.[1] Jones died at his home in Lyons Terrace, Liverpool Street, Sydney, on 29 March 1873. He was buried in Rookwood Cemetery. His wife died three weeks later, aged 71.[4]


  1. 1 2 3 Walsh, G. P. (1967). "Jones, David (1793 - 1873)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  2. "London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 for David Jones". Ancestry.com. Ancestry. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  3. "London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 for Jane Mander". Ancestry.com. Ancestry. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 "David Jones". Sydney's Aldermen. City of Sydney. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  5. "Mr David JONES (1793 - 1873)". Former Members. NSW Parliament. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
Business positions
New title Chairman of David Jones & Company
1838  1868
Succeeded by
Edward Lloyd Jones
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