From Graces Guide
The Wolseley Motor Company, car manufacturer, of Ward End Birmingham
See also -
1895 The origins of the company as an automobile brand was in about 1895-96 when 30 year old Herbert Austin, then employed as a works manager at the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Co, became interested in engines and automobiles. During the winter of 1895-96 he made his own version of a design by Leon Bollee that he had seen in Paris. Later he found that another British group had bought the rights so Austin had to come up with a design of his own.
1895 The first Wolseley experimental car was designed and built by Herbert Austin and went on to become one of the largest manufactures of Birmingham. His first car was a 3-wheeled 'miniature dog-cart' where two passengers sat back-to-back. It was driven by a two-cylinder motor. 
1901 Company registered.
1905 Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co purchased the Siddeley Autocar Co, with founder John Davenport Siddeley in charge. Siddeley (later Baron Kenilworth) took control of the merged concern, renaming the marque Wolseley-Siddeley.
1909 John Davenport Siddeley resigned.
c.1912 Motor sledges, designed and patented by Major B. T. Hamilton, were constructed for Scott's expedition to the South Pole; they were field tested in Norway with the help of Engineer Commander R. Skelton
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Marine Motors see the 1917 Red Book
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Petrol Motors see the 1917 Red Book
1914 The company officially became the Wolseley Motor Co. It also began operations in Montreal and Toronto, Canada as Wolseley Motors Limited. This became British and American Motors after World War I.
1926 Finances were strained and the company faced receivership in October.
1927 February. Wolseley was purchased by William Morris for £730,000. Other bidders included General Motors and the Austin Motor Company. Morris renamed the company Wolseley Motors (1927) Ltd and consolidated its production at the sprawling Ward End Works in Birmingham.
1935, Wolseley became a subsidiary of Morris' own Morris Motor Company and the Wolseley models soon became based on Morris designs.
1938 It became part of the Nuffield Organisation along with Morris and Riley/Autovia.
1951 Exhibitor at the 1951 Motor Show in the Car Section.
1968 After the merger of BMC and Leyland to form British Leyland Motor Corporation, the Riley marque, long overlapping with Wolseley, was retired. Wolseley continued in diminished form with the Wolseley Six of 1972, a variant of the six-cylinder Austin 1800, the Austin 2200.
1975 Wolseley was finally killed off just three years later in favour of the short-lived Wolseley 18-22 series saloon, which was based on the Leyland Princess (also known as the 18-22 series) and never even given a clear name, being badged just "Wolseley", and sold only for seven months until that range was renamed as the Princess.
Today, the Wolseley marque is owned by Nanjing Automobile Group, bought as part of the assets of the MG Rover Group.
Sources of Information
- Vital to the Life of the Nation. Published 1946.
- The Times, 16 November 1908
- The Times, Oct 16, 1919
- The Engineer of 2nd April 1920 p345