Charles S. Rolls

 In Drivers

Charles Stewart Rolls was born as the youngest of four children to 1st Baron Llangattock and Lady Llangattock in 1877. He was educated at Eton College and graduated from Cambridge University in 1898.

In 1896 he bought his first car in Paris, a Peugeot Phaeton, becoming the first car owner in Cambridge and a founding member of the Automobile Club of Great Britain.
He was a good cyclist and won a number of prizes. Rolls began working as an engineer on a steam yacht and later at the London and Northwestern Railway, but his talents lay more in the fields of sales and driving. In 1903 he opened one of the first car dealerships in England. He wasn’t particularly successful as a racing driver, but all the more so as a car manufacturer. He set up Rolls-Royce with Henry Royce in 1904.

Following the Wright brothers first demonstrated flights in England, he made the switch to aviation. Unfortunately, he was also the first Englishman to die in an airplane accident. On July 12, 1910 he crashed near Bournemouth during a flight demonstration with his Wright Flyer and succumbed to his severe injuries.

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