W. H. J. Grout
From Graces Guide
William Henry James Grout (1839–1915) of the Tension Bicycle Works, Watson-street, Stoke Newington
c1839 Born the son of Joseph and Harriet Grout
1851 Living at 14 Love Lane, Ratcliff, Stepney (age 11 born Whitechapel). With his widow mother Harriet (age 51 born Whitechapel), a Tobacco Pipe Maker and his three brothers John B. (age 38 born City of London); Robert B. (age 26 born City of London); Henry A. (age 4 born Ratcliff); and a sister Margarte (age 8 born Ratcliff). Also a servant. 
1861 Living at 14 Love Lane, Ratcliff, Stepney (age 21 born Whitechapel), Tobacco Pipe Maker. With his widow mother Harriet (age 61 born Whitechapel), a Tobacco Pipe Maker employing three men and a boy and her other son Henry (age 14 born Ratcliff). Plus one servant 
1871 William Henry J. Grout is living at 7 Mathias Road, South Hornsey (age 31 born Whitechapel), an Engineer employing one man and one boy. With his wife Jane (age 32 born Paddington) and their children Ernest W. (age 3 born Stepney), Minnie J. (age 1 born Stepney) and Florence (age 3 Weeks born Hornsey). Also Frank J. Noble (age 18 born Essex), an Engineer and his Partner. Plus one servant. 
1871 Patent. '1468. To Frank Joseph Noble and William Henry James Grout, both of Watson-street, Stoke Newington, in the county of Midddlesex, Engineers, for the invention of "improvements in bicycles and velocipedes, and in the machinery and apparatus employed therefor."'
1871 Designed the "Tension cycle", which was an "ordinary" cycle with the innovation of hollow front forks to reduce weight.
1874 Advertises The Tension Bicycle for 1874 (as made for the London Clubs with every modern improvement). The greatest journey in the shortest time done with the bicycle was 600 miles (on the Tension) in nine days. See Field Oct 25th 1873. 30,000 miles (on the Tension), and 400 miles in five days also. See Field.. Of Watson Street, Stoke Newington Green. Late Noble and Co 
1874 Patent. '1163. To William Henry James Grout, of Watson street, Stoke Newington Green, in the county of Middlesex, Engineer and Bicycle Manufacturer, for the invention of "improvements in bicycles and wheels, such wheels being applicable to bicycles, carriages, and other vehicles."'
1868 Patent. '...NOTICE is hereby given, that the petition of William Henry James Grout, of the Tension Bicycle Works, Watson-street, Stoke Newington, in the county of Middlesex, Engineer and Bicycle Manufacturer, praying for letters patent for the invention of "improvements in bicycles, tricycles, and other velocipedes, and in receptacles for the same,"...'
1881 Living at 7 Watson Street, South Hornsey (age 41 born London), Bicycle maker employing six men. With his wife Jane (age 42 born Paddington) and their children Ernest, Minnie, Florence, Annie, Evaline, Lilian, Percy and Rosa. Also a servant. 
1891 Living at 7 Watson Street, South Hornsey (age 51 born Whitechapel), Cycle engineer and employer. With his wife Jane and their seven children 
1899 Listed as a Cycle Manufacturer at 7 Watson Street 
1901 Living at 7 Watson Street, South Hornsey (age 61 born Whitechapel), Cycle engineer and employer, Widow. With four of his children including Percy age 23 who is also a cycle engineer. 
Sources of Information
- 1851 Census
- 1861 Census
- 1871 Census
-  Gazette Issue 23747 published on the 16 June 1871. Page 26 of 54
- The Story of the Bicycle, by John Woodforde, 1970
- 1874 Post Office Directory of Middlesex
-  Gazette Issue 24087 published on the 17 April 1874. Page 15 of 50
-  Gazette Issue 24628 published on the 27 September 1878. Page 19 of 50
- 1881 Census
- 1891 Census
- 1899 Kelly's Directory of Middlesex
- 1901 Census