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A Rothwell with a distinguished owner

Peter Williams has contacted us after reading our Snapshot 230 on the 1911 20hp Rothwell. He has kindly sent us two photographs of William Grenfell, the Lord Desborough, in his Rothwell. Permission to post them on the SAHB website has been generously given courtesy of Grenfell Family Albums.

Peter is involved in the impending publication of a book on Lord Desborough through the publisher Unbound, and will be including a brief commentary on the Rothwell.

Our heading photograph is identified as “Lord D + Imogen Yorkshire 1910”.

The second photograph, shown below, carries the identification “Lord D’s Car Taplow 1919”:

The reference to Taplow is apposite: Taplow Court was the home of the Grenfells from the 1850s until after World War II. The owner of the Rothwell, William Grenfell, occupied the house in the Edwardian period. His wife Ettie was a noted Edwardian hostess, and Taplow Court became a gathering place for The Souls, a group of aristocratic intellectuals.

Although the two dates on the photographs differ considerably, it is clear to see that it is the same car in both pictures, despite the headlamp change. A letter survives in which there is a discussion about the car, including the fitting of speaking tubes etc.

Peter Williams would be delighted to learn more about the precise model shown in the photographs (and so would we). If you can help, please use the Leave a Comment facility at the base of this post.

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