Rolls was the third son of a wealthy Monmouthshire landowner, who served as Conservative MP for Monmouth 1880–5 and was created Lord Llangattock in 1892. He studied mechanical engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a bicycling enthusiast. In 1895 he imported a Peugeot car from France and was stopped by a policeman who pointed out that he needed a man with a red flag to precede him: his journey back to Cambridge took just under twelve hours. In 1905 he joined forces with another engineer, F. H. Royce, to establish a company producing cars at Derby. Greatly interested in aviation, he made many balloon flights, and in June 1910 crossed the Channel and back non‐stop in a Wright brothers aeroplane. The following month he was killed in a flying accident at Bournemouth and buried at Llangattock‐Vibon‐Avel, near Monmouth.
Subjects: British History.