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British Industrial History

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John Davenport Siddeley

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1903.
June 1932.
October 1937.
1866. Birth certificate of John Davenport Siddeley.

John Davenport Siddeley (1866-1953) of Deasy Motor Car Manufacturing Co, Siddeley-Deasy and Armstrong Siddeley Motors

1866 August 5th. Born at 4 Lister Street, Chorlton upon Medlock the eldest son of William Siddeley, a hosier, and Eliza Davenport, his wife

Educated at Beumaris Grammar School, Anglesey

1891 Living at 35 Acomb Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock: William Siddeley (age 53 born Davenham, Cheshire), a Hosier and Employer. With his wife Eliza Siddeley (age 47 born Altrincham) and their children John D. Siddeley (age 24 born Manchester), a Shirt Cutter; William K. Siddeley (age 21 born Manchester), a Draper's Assistant; Herbert C. Siddeley (age 19 born Manchester), Electrical Engineer's Apprentice; Kate Siddeley (age 17 born Manchester); and Frederick Siddeley (age 7 born Bowdon, Cheshire), Also a lodger Charles Schroeder (age 40 born Germany), a Merchant. One servant.[1]

1892 The young bicycle racer and designer was hired by the Humber Cycle Company.

1893 He moved to Pneumatic Tyre Co managing their factory in Belfast

1893 Married Sarah Mabel Goodier of Macclesfield. They had three sons and two daughters [2]. They lived in Ireland for a short time. She died in 1953 [3].

1894 Birth of son Cyril Davenport Siddeley in Meriden, Coventry

1895 Birth of son Ernest Hall Siddeley (1895-1995)

1896 Formed the Clipper Pneumatic Tyre Co

1898 Birth of son Norman Goodier Siddeley

1898 Formed the Clipper Tyre Co

1900 As Managing Director of the Clipper Tyre Co, became known as result of driving a Daimler car in the 1,000 miles reliability trial with William Exe.

For publicity, Siddeley became the first person to ride a bicycle from John o' Groats to Land's End.

1901 Living at 150 Birchfield Road, Handsworth, Birmingham: John D. Siddeley (age 34 born Manchester), Managing Director of Pneumatic Tyre Co and Employer. With his wife Sarah M. Siddeley (age 35 born Broughton) and their children Cyril D. Siddeley (age 6 born Coventry); Ernest H. Siddeley (age 5 born Coventry); and Norman G. Siddeley (age 2 born Handsworth). Also his sisters Kate Siddeley (age 27 born Manchester); and Gertrude M. Siddeley (age 21 born Altrincham). Also a visitor Henry W. Bailey (age 19 born Felpham, Sussex), a Civil Engineer.[4]

1902 Siddeley founded the Siddeley Autocar Co, after beginning to import Peugeots from France.

1903 The new firm had Peugeot-based demonstration cars at the Crystal Palace exhibition

1903 Birth of his daughter Nancy Mabel Siddeley (1903-1963)

1904 Birth of his daughter Joan Murray Siddeley (1904-1984)

1904 "SIDDELEY, J. D., 79, York Street, Westminster, London, S.W. Owned his first car in 1899, and has been an enthusiastic motorist ever since. Is a founder member of the Midland Automobile Club, and has been chairman of its committee since its inauguration. Was secretary for the observers at the 1902 September Reliability Trial, and represented the trade on the Trials Organization Committee in 1903. Clubs: A.C.G.B. & I. (Club Committee)." [5]

By 1905, the company had a dozen models for sale, and it was purchased by Wolseley of Coventry. Siddeley became the manager of the newly-independent company, renaming it Wolseley-Siddeley.

1909 Siddeley resigned from Wolseley and took over the Deasy Motor Car Manufacturing Co; the company became known as Siddeley-Deasy Motor Car Co.

1911 Living at Hill Orchard, Meriden, Coventry: John Davenport Siddeley (age 44 born Longsight, Lancs.), a Motor Car Manufacturer and Employer. With his wife (married 18 years with five children) Sara Mabel Siddeley (age 43 born Broughton, Lancs.) and their daughters Nancy Mercer Siddeley (age 7 born Bromley) and Joan Murray Siddeley (age 6 born Bromley). Three servants.[6]

By 1912, Deasy had become Siddeley-Deasy. It grew rapidly using Rover chassis and Daimler and Aster engines.

WWI During World War I, Siddeley-Deasy grew to have 5,000 workers producing ambulances and aircraft engines.

1918 Patented a vaporiser for internal combustion engines. [7]

1918 They moved to Crackley Hall, Kenilworth.

1919 Armstrong Whitworth acquired Siddeley-Deasy which become part of Armstrong Siddeley Motors, the latter company continuing to produce automobiles until 1960. A major success was the Jaguar air-cooled engine, which attracted much government business. Siddeley exploited this by arranging for airframes, including the Siskin 3A, to be designed around the engine.

1927 The parent company had financial difficulties. The aircraft and motors businesses were sold as part of the Armstrong Whitworth Development Co with Siddeley as chairman. Siddeley arranged a bank loan to help with the buy-out. The holding company was then renamed Armstrong Siddeley Development Co. Armstrong Whitworth retained a substantial shareholding in the company. [8].

1932 He was knighted

1935 Siddeley remained in charge until 1935.

1937 Purchased Kenilworth Castle and the same year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Kenilworth, of Kenilworth in the County of Warwick.

1937-39 President of the SMMT

After his retirement he moved to Jersey

1953 November 3rd. He died at the Bon Air Nursing Home, St Saviour, Jersey, heartbroken by the death of his wife a fortnight earlier.

He was succeeded in the barony by his son Cyril.


1903 Bio Note [9]

SIDDELEY, J. D.- Born in Manchester in 1866, Mr. Siddeley has been very actively associated with all important events of the Club. He ordered his first car from the Daimler Company in 1899, and in the same year was elected a member of the Club. He took part in the 1000 Miles Trial in 1900, winning the second prize in his class; helped to found the Midland Automobile Club in the same year, and has occupied the position of Chairman of Committee of the same since its foundation. Took part in the Glasgow Trials, was elected to serve on the Motor Servants' Committee of this Club in 1902, on the Club and Executive Committees in June, 1902, elected a member of the Sub-committee on Affiliation and the Motor Union. Mr. Siddeley has acted as Secretary for Observers in connection with the September Reliability Trial of last year, and has been elected to represent the trade as a member of the Trials Organisation Committee of 1903.


NB


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1891 Census
  2. John Davenport Siddeley, biography by Steven Morewood, ODNB. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/48187
  3. The Times, 4 November 1953
  4. 1901 Census
  5. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1904
  6. 1911 Census
  7. The Engineer 1919/03/28
  8. The Times, 29 November 1927
  9. 1903/02/26 Automobile Club Journal