Who Was Sir Henry Royce?

Sir Henry Royce

Sir Frederick Henry Royce, OBE, was a modest genius who always referred to himself as “mechanic”. From 1884 and his earliest successes in the infant electrical industry (he patented the bayonet light fitting), to his death in 1933, he uncompromisingly pursued his principle of establishing the best design and using the finest materials available worked to the highest level of craftsmanship.

His constant policy as an engineer was to do better than anyone else and he made a priceless contribution to Britain’s prestige and prosperity in the years of peace with a long succession of superb motor cars from 1904, and to its security in time of war with a great series of aero engines from the Eagle of 1915 to the iconic Merlin which powered the Mosquito, Spitfire, Wellington and other fighting planes of World War ll.

The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation

Hunt HouseThe Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation was the brainchild of the late Eric Barrass, OBE, who was a revered and long-serving General Secretary of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club. It was established in 1977 as a perpetual trust to provide a safe home for the huge volume of archive material accumulated by the Motor Division of Rolls-Royce Limited, and The Hunt House was purchased in the same year.

In January 2012 the Foundation became a charitable company limited by guarantee, and it is now run by a Board of Directors elected by its guaranteeing members. It is wholly dependent for its income on support from the RREC and on donations from the public at large, and Membership of the Foundation is open to all whether they own a Rolls-Royce or not.

The Foundation’s twin aims are to cherish Royce’s legacy and to promote his ideals.

Cherishing the Legacy

Royce_RoomThe Foundation’s first function was the preservation and secure holding of archives and memorabilia of the life and works of Sir Henry, and it  maintains the Hunt House to provide a permanent centre with the facilities necessary to store, maintain and display properly and securely all archival material, records, photographs, artefacts and memorabilia currently entrusted to it: in addition it strives to acquire additional material of this type, and is actively involved in the digital recording and cataloguing of priceless Rolls-Royce archived technical drawings.




The facilities to study and research the records of every Rolls-Royce car produced in the U.K. (and most Bentleys) are available to all, as are technical information, a well-equipped workshop and lecture hall and an excellent library. In addition the Hunt House, a Grade II listed building in a centrally located Northamptonshire village, is properly cared for and maintained.



Promoting the Ideals

The Foundation organises and presents lectures and exhibitions, and receives group visits from schools, societies and other organisations. Special emphasis is given to the encouragement of apprentices and young engineers, and the promotion of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM): the Foundation encourages and supports the pursuit of Sir Henry’s engineering philosophy (establishing the best design, using the finest materials available, and working to the highest levels of craftsmanship) by supporting a wide range of prestigious annual awards, competitions, prizes and training schemes where the pursuit of excellence can be identified. These include the Ministry of Defence Apprentice Medal, Arkwright Scholarships, the IET Ambition and Achievement Awards, and the Engineering Council Young Engineer for Britain.

Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.

 Become a Member

Membership of the Foundation is through donation and gives the opportunity to play an active part in its administration by exercising the right of members to vote on all issues requiring a vote, to stand for election as a Director, and to attend all general and special members meetings.

For more information – please visit our Membership page.

Make a Donation

You can make a donation to the Foundation from our Donate page.