John Siddeley, 1st Baron Kenilworth
Siddeley was born in Chorlton upon Medlock, Manchester. In 1892, the young bicycle racer and designer was hired by the Humber Cycle Company. The next year he went to Dunlop and cycled from Land's End to John o' Groats to publicise the new pneumatic tyre. He married Sarah Mabel Goodier in 1893 and lived in Ireland for a short time. In August, 1894, the family was living in Meriden, Coventry where a son, Cyril, was born.
Siddeley founded the Siddeley Autocar Company in 1902, after beginning to import Peugeots from France. The new firm had Peugeot-based demonstration cars at the Crystal Palace in 1903. By 1905, the company had a dozen models for sale. Siddeley was appointed London sales manager of The Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company Limited owned by Vickers, Sons and Maxim. Vickers had earlier built for him some of his Siddeley cars at their Crayford Kent factory. During 1905 Wolseley purchased the goodwill and patent rights of his Siddeley business. Also in 1905 Herbert Austin left Wolseley to found his own business. Siddeley was appointed manager of Wolseley in his place and added his name to the badge on the Wolseley cars. He resigned from Wolseley in 1909 to manage the Deasy Motor Company, also of Coventry.
By 1912, Deasy had become Siddeley-Deasy: it grew rapidly producing ambulances and aircraft engines, using Rover chassis and Daimler and Aster engines. During World War I, Siddeley-Deasy employed around 5,000 workers. In 1918 John Siddeley and his family moved to Crackley Hall, Kenilworth.
In 1919, Siddeley-Deasy was merged with Armstrong-Whitworth to become Armstrong Siddeley (who continued producing automobiles until 1960). By 1927 he had gained control of the whole business. Siddeley remained in charge until 1935 when, at the age of 70, he arranged a merger with Hawker Aircraft to form Hawker Siddeley.
He was knighted in 1932 in which year he served as High Sheriff of Warwickshire. In 1937 he purchased Kenilworth Castle and the same year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Kenilworth, of Kenilworth in the County of Warwick. After his retirement he moved to Jersey where he died. He was succeeded in the barony by his son Cyril.
- "John Davenport Siddeley". Gracesguide.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- Morewood, Steven (2004). "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford University Press.
- BBC Radio 4, Midweek, 27 April 2011, Interview with John Randle Siddeley, 4th Baron Kenilworth
- from City Notes. The Times, Saturday, Apr 30, 1927; pg. 18; Issue 44569
- The Armstrong Siddeley Owners Club
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
Cyril Davenport Siddeley