founder member of Rolls Royce LtdHenry Royce
Founder member of Rolls Royce Ltd


Henry Royce 1863-1933

Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce Ltd, manufacturer of quality automobiles and aeroplane engines, was born March 27th 1863, in Alwalton, Rutland, England.

After an apprenticeship with the Great Northern Railway Company and a spell in various jobs, he started his own busines, which developed into Royce Ltd, manufacturers of electrically driven cranes, dynamoes and motors. Noted for their high quality, the Royce products sold well and his company grew.

He built several experimental cars to his own design, which came to the attention of a motor dealer called C.S.Rolls, who agreed to to buy whatever Royce could produce and the companies merged in 1906 as Rolls Royce Ltd. In 1907 they produced the Silver Ghost, which became known as the greatest car in the world and production of it continued for 20 years at Nightingale Road, Derby where motor engines were produced up until 1939.

The companies reputation as motor engineers led a request from the Royal Navy to build aero engines. Royce designed and built the Eagle, a 20 litre engine producing 225 hp. This engine and its successors the Falcon and the Hawk were so sccessful that by the end od world war 1, Rolls Royce supplies 60% of all British built engines.

Royce had married Minnie Grace, daughter of Alfred Punt of London in 1893, and they lived at West Wittering in Sussex, but never in Derby.

He was made a baronet in 1930 and stayed actively involved with the design of his companies engines up until his death in 1933.

Return to Derbyshire People menu

portrait of Henry Royce
Henry Royce
statue of Henry Royce at Derby
Henry Royce

Derbyshire UK : Disclaimer