On this day in auto history – April 22nd

Thu 22nd Apr 2021

It was on this day in 1933 that Sir Henry Royce - joint founder of Rolls-Royce - died at his home in West Wittering at the age of 70.

The famed engineer - born in a Cambridgeshire flour mill in the 1860’s - served an apprenticeship with the Great Northern Railway company before starting a business which originally made domestic electrical fittings.

With his fascination for all things mechanical, he quickly gravitated towards producing motor cars in the early 1900’s before being introduced to Charles Rolls, owner of one of London’s most prestigious car dealerships.

Rolls was so impressed with Royce’s engineering, he began taking all of the cars he could make, thus sowing the seeds of an historic partnership which was formalised as Rolls-Royce Limited in 1906.

The partnership ended abruptly when Rolls was killed in an aviation accident in 1910 but by then Rolls-Royce had already established a reputation for engineering excellence from its new base in Derby.

Continuous health problems forced Royce to remove himself from the day-to-day operations of Rolls-Royce but he remained its chief engineer and he was honoured with both an OBE and a baronetcy before his death.