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British Industrial History

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Joseph Henry Adams

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Joseph 'Johnny' Henry Adams (c1863-1932) of British Germain Motor Co

c1863 Born in Kent the son of Joseph Hampson Adams, a Farmer.

1884 May 17-24th. Set the Land's End to John O'Groats record on a Facile bringing the time inside seven days [1]

1884 October. Set the 24-hour cycle record at 266.25 miles on a Facile [2]

1893 June 1st. Married in Wolverhampton to Mary Clara Dohen.

1901 November. Letter. For the Motor Traction Co.[3]

1901 Living at Grove House, Hersham Road, Walton on Thames: Joseph H. Adams (age 38 born Morden, Kent), Director Motor Company - Employer. With his wife May Clara Adams (age 28 born San Francisco, USA) and their two children Raymond H. H. Adams (age 6 born Birmingham) and Mary Irene Adams (age 3 born Earl's Court). Three servants.[4]

1902 'has won more N.C.U. Championships than any other rider'

1905 Divorced from wife Mary Clara. 'Joseph Henry Adams, a champion bicycle rider and managing salesman of a motor-car firm, and formerly manager of the Rudge-Whitworth (Foreign) Co.'[5]

1911 Living at 2 Bentinck Mansions, London W: Joseph Henry Adams (age 48 born Kent), Manager of Motor Works - Single.[6]

1932 Died on 15th March.

1932 Obituary


The funeral took place at Marden on Saturday of Mr. Joseph Henry Adams, who died in a Sevenoaks nursing home the previous Tuesday at the age of 63 years.

Mr. Adams, who was known to his friends as "Johnny,” resided at Capel Grange Farm, Five Oak Green, and was one of the best known fruit growers in England. In his youth he was a member of the Old Time Cycle Club, and was a prominent raring cyclist of his day. Some 30 years ago he performed the remarkable feat which has never been emulated of riding a penny-farthing bicycle from Lewis End to John O'Groats under seven days, thus winning the prize offered by " Sporting Life” for a cyclist who should cover the distance in seven days.

He was born at Marden and later came to Paddock Wood, where he owned the Capel Grange Farm and Durrants Farm, Paddock Wood. He lived at the former farm for 25 years with Mr. and Mrs. Gunton, his bailiff and housekeeper. He leaves a son, Captain Cyril Adams, and a daughter.

The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. J. A. Finch. Vicar of Marden, and the mourners were Captain Cyril Adams (son). Mr. Cranham, Mr. and Mrs. Gunton. Mr. T. Gunton. Mrs. Luck. Among the large number of farmers and agricultural friends of Mr. Adams present were Mr. T. D. Harris (Chairman. Kent County X.F.U.), Mr. Tapsfield, Mr. R. Wright. Mr. Manser and Mr. Gray.

The undertaker was Mr. R. S. Corke, of Tunbridge Wells"

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Royal Cornwall Gazette Falmouth Packet, Cornish Weekly News, and General Advertiser, Friday, May 30, 1884
  2. The York Herald, Saturday, October 11,
  3. The Autocar 1901/11/09
  4. 1901 Census
  5. Wellington Journal - Saturday 23 November 1901
  6. 1911 Census