Charles Stewart Rolls
|Born||27 August 1877|
Berkeley Square, London, England
|Died||12 July 1910 32) (aged|
|Cause of death||Air crash|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Occupation||Motor car promoter and aviator|
|Known for||Co-founder, Rolls-Royce|
Charles Stewart Rolls (27 August 1877 – 12 July 1910) was a Welsh motoring and aviation pioneer. With Henry Royce, he co-founded the Rolls-Royce car manufacturing firm. He was the first Briton to be killed in an aeronautical accident with a powered aircraft, when the tail of his Wright Flyer broke off during a flying display in Bournemouth. He was aged 32.
Rolls was born in Berkeley Square, London, third son of the 1st Baron Llangattock and Lady Llangattock. Despite his London birth, he retained a strong family connection with his ancestral homeof The Hendre, near Monmouth, Wales. After attending Mortimer Vicarage Preparatory School in Berkshire, he was educated at Eton College where his developing interest in engines earned him the nickname "dirty Rolls".
In 1894 he attended a private crammer in Cambridge which helped him gain entry to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied mechanical and applied science. In 1896, at the age of 18, he travelled to Paris to buy his first car, a Peugeot Phaeton, and joined the Automobile Club of France. His Peugeot is believed to have been the first car based in Cambridge, and one of the first three cars owned in Wales. An early motoring enthusiast, he joined the Self-Propelled Traffic Association, which campaigned against the restrictions imposed on motor vehicles by the Locomotive Act, and became a founder member of the Automobile Club of Great Britain, with which the Association merged in 1897.
Rolls was a keen cyclist and spent time at Cambridge bicycle racing. In 1896, he won a Half Blue and the following year became captain of the Cambridge University Bicycle Club.
Rolls graduated from Cambridge in 1898 and began working on the steam yacht Santa Maria followed by a position at the London and North Western Railway in Crewe.However, his talents lay more in salesmanship and motoring pioneering than practical engineering; in January 1903, with the help of £6,600 provided by his father, he started one of Britain's first car dealerships, C. S. Rolls & Co. based in Lillie Hall, Fulham, to import and sell French Peugeot and Belgian Minerva vehicles.
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Rolls was introduced to Henry Royce by a friend at the Royal Automobile Club, Henry Edmunds, who was also a director of Royce Ltd. Edmunds showed him Royce's car and arranged the historic meeting between Rolls and Royce at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on 4 May 1904. In spite of his preference for three or four cylinder cars, Rolls was impressed with the two-cylinder Royce 10 and in a subsequent agreement of 23 December 1904 agreed to take all the cars Royce could make. These would be of two, three, four and six cylinders and would be badged as Rolls-Royces.
The first Rolls-Royce car, the Rolls-Royce 10 hp, was unveiled at the Paris Salon in December 1904, although in the early advertising it was the name of Rolls that was emphasised over that of Royce. In 1906 Rolls and Royce formalised their partnership by creating Rolls-Royce Limited, with Rolls appointed Technical managing director on a salary of £750 per annum plus 4% of the profits in excess of £10,000. Rolls provided the financial backing and business acumen to complement Royce's technical expertise. In 1907 Rolls-Royce Limited bought out C. S. Rolls & Co.
Rolls put much effort into publicising the quietness and smoothness of the Rolls-Royce, and at the end of 1906 travelled to the US to promote the new cars. The company was winning awards for the quality and reliability of its cars by 1907. But by 1909 Rolls' interest in the business was waning, and at the end of the year he resigned as Technical managing director and became a non-executive director.
Rolls was a pioneer aviator and initially, balloonist,making over 170 balloon ascents. In 1903 he won the Gordon Bennett Gold Medal for the longest single flight time.
By 1907 Rolls' interest turned increasingly to flying and he tried to persuade Royce to design an aero engine. He became the second Englishman to go up in an aeroplane. Piloted by Wilbur Wright their flight on 8 October 1908 from Camp d'Auvours, eleven kilometres east of Le Mans, lasted four minutes and twenty seconds.He bought one of six Wright Flyer aircraft built by Short Brothers under licence from the Wright Brothers and from early October 1909 made more than 200 flights. Founder in 1901 with Frank Hedges Butler of the ballooning club that became the Royal Aero Club in March 1910 he was the second person they licensed to fly an aeroplane. He became the first man to make a non-stop double crossing of the English Channel by plane taking 95 minutes on 2 June 1910. For this feat, which included the first eastbound aerial crossing of the English Channel, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club. There is a statue in Monmouth to commemorate the flight and another in Dover.
On 12 July 1910, at the age of 32, Rolls was killed in an air crash at Hengistbury Airfield,Southbourne, Bournemouth when the tail of his Wright Flyer broke off during a flying display. He was the first Briton to be killed in an aeronautical accident with a powered aircraft, and the eleventh person internationally. His was also the first powered aviation fatality in the United Kingdom.
His grave lies at the churchyard of St Cadoc's Church, Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, where many of the Rolls family lie buried in various family tombs. His grave is just below Llangattock Manor and bears the inscription:
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
A statue in his memory, in which he is seen holding a biplane model, was erected in Agincourt Square, Monmouth. A further memorial to him was unveiled in 1981 in the bottom playing field of St Peter's School, Bournemouth, which was developed on the site of Hengistbury Airfield. There is a stained-glass window in All Saints' Church, Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, dedicated jointly to Rolls and to fellow pioneer aviator Cecil Grace.
The Bristol Aeroplane Company, originally the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, was both one of the first and one of the most important British aviation companies, designing and manufacturing both airframes and aircraft engines. Notable aircraft produced by the company include the 'Boxkite', the Bristol Fighter, the Bulldog, the Blenheim, the Beaufighter, and the Britannia, and much of the preliminary work which led to Concorde was carried out by the company. In 1956 its major operations were split into Bristol Aircraft and Bristol Aero Engines. In 1959, Bristol Aircraft merged with several major British aircraft companies to form the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) and Bristol Aero Engines merged with Armstrong Siddeley to form Bristol Siddeley.
Sir Frederick Henry Royce, 1st Baronet, was an English engineer famous for his designs of car and aeroplane engines with a reputation for reliability and longevity. With Charles Rolls and Claude Johnson, he founded Rolls-Royce.
The Royal Aero Club (RAeC) is the national co-ordinating body for air sport in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1901 as the Aero Club of Great Britain, being granted the title of the "Royal Aero Club" in 1910.
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1910:
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1908:
Baron Llangattock, of the Hendre in the County of Monmouth, was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1892 for John Rolls, Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire from 1880 to 1892. He was succeeded by his eldest son, John Maclean, the second Baron, who was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. As John MacLean was unmarried and his two younger brothers had already died before him, the title became extinct up on his death. The family estates, including The Hendre in Monmouthshire, passed to Lord Llangatock's only sister, scientist and balloonist Eleanor Rolls. She was the wife of Sir John Shelley, 6th Baronet, of Castle Goring, who assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Rolls in 1917 and she was known as Eleanor Shelley-Rolls. They had no children and The Hendre estate passed to the Harding-Rolls family, descended from Patricia Rolls, sister of the first Baron. This branch of the family lived at the estate until 1987.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon, 1st Baron Brabazon of Tara,, HonFRPS was an English aviation pioneer and Conservative politician. He was the first Englishman to pilot a heavier-than-air machine under power in England, and he served as Minister of Transport and Minister of Aircraft Production during World War II.
Eastchurch is a village and civil parish on the Isle of Sheppey, in the English county of Kent, two miles east of Minster. The village website claims the area to have "a history steeped in stories of piracy and smugglers".
John Allan Rolls, 1st Baron Llangattock, was a Victorian landowner, Conservative Party politician, socialite, local benefactor and agriculturalist. He lived at The Hendre, a Victorian country house north of Monmouth.
The Hendre, in Rockfield is the only full-scale Victorian country house in the county of Monmouthshire, Wales. The ancestral estate of the Rolls family, it was the childhood home of Charles Rolls, the motoring and aviation pioneer and the co-founder of Rolls-Royce. Constructed in the Victorian Gothic style, the house was developed by three major architects, George Vaughan Maddox, Thomas Henry Wyatt and Sir Aston Webb. It is located in the civil parish of Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, some 4 miles (6.4 km) north-west of the town of Monmouth. Built in the eighteenth century as a shooting box, it was vastly expanded by the Rolls family in three stages during the nineteenth century. The house is Grade II* listed and is now the clubhouse of the Rolls of Monmouth Golf Club.
RAF Eastchurch was a Royal Air Force station near Eastchurch village, on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, England. The history of aviation at Eastchurch stretches back to the first decade of the 20th century when it was used as an airfield by members of the Royal Aero Club. The area saw the first flight by a British pilot in Britain.
Cecil Stanley Grace was a pioneer aviator who went missing on a flight across the English Channel in 1910.
Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander "Alec" Ogilvie CBE was an early British aviation pioneer, a friend of the Wright Brothers and only the seventh British person to qualify as a pilot. During World War I Ogilvie served with the Royal Naval Air Service before transferring to the Royal Air Force on its creation in 1918. During the War he was chiefly employed in technical posts and after the War he worked as a consulting aeronautical engineer.
A memorial statue to the aviation pioneer Charles Rolls stands in front of the Shire Hall in Agincourt Square, Monmouth, Wales. The 8 feet (2.4 m) high bronze statue was designed by Sir William Goscombe John, R.A. and Sir Aston Webb, R.A. designed the pink granite plinth. The statue is a Grade II* listed structure.
Georgiana, Lady Llangattock,, born Georgiana Marcia Maclean and after her marriage termed Georgiana Marcia Rolls, was a socialite, benefactor and an enthusiast for Horatio Nelson and associated naval heroes. She was the wife of John Rolls, 1st Baron Llangattock, a Victorian landowner, Member of Parliament and agriculturalist. She and her husband lived at The Hendre, a Victorian country house north of Monmouth.
The Rolls family were substantial landowners and benefactors in and around Monmouth in south east Wales. Charles Stewart Rolls was the co-founder of the Rolls-Royce company. The ascent of the family to the aristocracy was through marriage.
The Nelson Rooms is a grade II listed building in Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales. It is in the historic Glendower Street and Agincourt Street neighbourhood, within the medieval town walls. The building initially served as a gymnasium and was a gift from Lady Llangattock to the town of Monmouth. In 1924, after the benefactor's death, it reopened as the Nelson Museum, and showcased the collection of memorabilia related to Admiral Horatio Nelson that had been amassed by the baroness. The Nelson Museum moved to new quarters at the Market Hall in 1969. The former gymnasium and museum is now an apartment building.
Sarah Coysh was the heiress to the estates of the Coysh, Allen, and James families. Her marriage to John Rolls (1735–1801) illustrates one of the methods by which the renowned Rolls family of Monmouthshire, Wales, and London, England, accumulated and improved their properties and advanced their social rank during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By 1830, her son John Rolls of The Hendre in Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, Monmouthshire, near Monmouth, had made the estate his country seat and undertaken the first of several expansions of the mansion. By 1892, two expansions later, his grandson John A Rolls had been elevated to the peerage and had become Baron Llangattock of The Hendre. At the turn of the twentieth century, following the mansion's fourth enlargement, the family was honoured with a visit from the future King George V and Queen Mary, then the Duke and Duchess of York. The royal visit included a ride in the automobile (pictured) of Lord Llangattock's son Charles Stewart Rolls, future aviation pioneer and co-founder of Rolls-Royce. This article explores the genealogy of Sarah Coysh's branch of the family tree, starting with James James, one of the earliest identified Rolls ancestors with substantial property in Monmouthshire and London.
Professor Alfred Kirby Huntington (1852–1920) was a British professor of metallurgy and aviation pioneer. He flew balloons and made and flew his own aeroplane.
The Memorial to the Home of Aviation is a stone memorial sculpture at Eastchurch, on the Isle of Sheppey in the English county of Kent. The Grade II* listed memorial commemorates the early aviation flights from Leysdown and Eastchurch by members of the club that became the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain in 1910, and the air base established by the Royal Navy near Eastchurch in 1911.
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