William Thomas Henley -friend to the Roydhouse family

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

general servant.


William Thomas Henley was born to William and Esther in

Midhurst, Sussex.

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.

Author: gorcat28

writing up my ancestors one week at a time

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