Before manufacturing his own car, Henry Royce owned a second-hand, 10hp two-cylinder French Decauville. The little car’s standard of construction and workmanship was not good and Royce wanted to improve its unreliable electrical system, general rough running and vibration that was the norm for vehicles of the time. Based on the Decauville, Henry Royce built three prototype models, which were named Royce 10.
Frederick Henry Royce was born in Alwalton, near Peterborough, in 1863. His father, James Royce, married Mary King in 1852 and they had five children, Henry being the youngest. To support his family Royce moved to London and sold newspapers for W.H. Smith, and then became a telegraph boy for the Post Office, delivering telegrams around the West End.