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British Industrial History

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William Harvey Du Cros

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(William) Harvey Du Cros (1846-1918), British manufacturer, of Huguenot descent, was born in co. Kildare, Ireland, June 19 1846.

1846 Born in Dublin, son of Edward Peter du Cros and Anna Marie Molloy.

Educated at the King's Hospital, Dublin.

1868 Married Annie Jane Roy[1].

1880s President of the Irish Cyclists' Association,

1889 Two of his sons were defeated in cycle races by a cyclist using Dunlop's pneumatic tyre, a development which picqued Du Cros' interest.

1889 With Dunlop, he launched the Pneumatic Tyre and Booth's Cycle Agency Ltd as a public company incorporating the Belfast cycle firm which had made the early cycles with pneumatic tyres, Edlin and Co, and Booth Brothers, cycle and agricultural implement agents, of Dublin.

1890 Du Cros arranged to purchase a separate patent relating to the way the tyre was attached, a key problem for early tyres, and employed the inventor, Charles Kingston Welch.

1894 Established the Pneumatic Tyre Co in Dublin as successor to the early company.

1896 Du Cros secured his fortune when he sold the company for £3 million to a group including the motor speculator Ernest T. Hooley.

1896 of South Hill, Blackrock, Dublin. Gentleman. Subscriber to shares in the successor company, Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co, at its formation. [2]

1899 Annie Jane Du Cros died in Chipping Norton[3]

c.1903 Married Florence Ellen Gibbings[4]

1904 'DU CROS, Harvey, sen., Howbery Park, Wallingford, Berks. Cars: 20-h.p., 24-h.p. Panhards, 12-h.p. Gladiator. He holds the rights for the sale of Panhard and Levassor cars over Great Britain and Ireland and the Colonies. Is Chairman of the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company. Was the first introducer of the pneumatic tyre — the Dunlop — on the market. Hobbies: Sports, athletics — at one time held the light and heavy-weight boxing and also the fencing championships for Ireland. Has six sons, all of whom are motorists and members of the A.C.G.B. & I.' [5]

1906 He was elected at the 1906 general election as Member of Parliament for Hastings in East Sussex. He resigned his seat two years later due to ill-health, by the procedural device of accepting the post of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds. The resulting Hastings by-election was held on 3 March 1908, and won for the Conservatives by his son Arthur Du Cros.

1918 December 21st. Died at Dalkey, co. Dublin

1918 Obituary. [6] Born in 1846 son of Edward Du Cros and his wife Maria Molloy. He was married twice and had a large family of sons, his eldest son was Alfred Du Cros.

1918 Will. [7]

He had six sons[8] by his first wife:

and one daughter by his second wife:

  • Florence Patricia Du Cros (b.1904- )


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Ireland, Civil Registration Marriages Index, 1845-1958
  2. The Times, Monday, May 11, 1896
  3. BMD
  4. Biography of William Harvey Du Cros, ODNB
  5. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1904
  6. The Times, Monday, Dec 23, 1918
  7. The Times, Thursday, May 29, 1919
  8. The Times, Nov 02, 1928