Henry Royce was, despite living in the Edwardian age, essentially a product of the Victorian self-help mentality. This self-made entrepreneur was capable of single-minded devotion to the job in hand, working long hours to the detriment of his home life. Nothing short of fanatical perfection and attention to detail was acceptable to Royce.
He was born in 1863 at Alwalton, Lincolnshire. His family was desperately poor, his father dying when he was nine. It is unlikely Henry attended school.
Henry Royce’s first jobs were delivering newspapers and working for the Post Office delivering telegrams. Aged fourteen, an aunt secured Henry an apprenticeship with Great Northern Railway, which cost her £20 a year. After three years his aunt became ill and Henry’s apprenticeship ended.