The Roydhouse family were very lucky to have William Henley
in their lives. He provided William Roydhouse with work from
1840 in magnetic instruments and telegraphic cabling. It was
his recommendation that led to the William Roydhouse family
travelling to New Zealand in 1868.
Sarah was listed as a char-woman until Thomas’s death in
1854; and by 1861 and 1871 she was noted on the census as
living in Henleys home in Clerkenwell and Plaistow as a
William Thomas Henley was born to William and Esther in
He was baptised on the 22nd May, 1814.
William worked for the Railways as a light porter, and then
at St Katherine Docks for 6 years.
He taught himself about electricity and magnetism, and in 1836
set himself up as a manufacturer.
Over the years he built up his business with the manufacture
and laying of telegraphic cabling across England, Ireland and Wales.
(Henleys telegraphic invention)
He lived with his mother Esther until she died in 1854 at St.
Johns Street, Clerkenwell, and by 1871 was living in
Chesterton House, West Ham with a housekeeper, and two
servants, one being Sarah Roydhouse aged 76.
(Chesterton House, Balaam St)
He died on December 13th, 1882, having never married.
(Find-a-grave image Henley headstone)
His will left over 12,000 pounds to his brother, despite his
reputation for pouring all his profits back into his business.
W.T.Henley Ltd still operates today.