The first prototype Wolseley was made by Herbert Austin in 1895. Austin resigned in 1905 to form his own company. Wolseley was very successful until it went bankrupt 1927 and was acquired by William Morris (Lord Nuffield).

Under new management Wolseley became a companion make to Morris and MG, often borrowing mechnical and body parts. In 1933 Wolseley introduced the illuminated radiator badge which has been used ever since. 1952 saw the merger of the Nuffield Organization with Austin. From that point on the product line was rationalised and Wolseleys were produced as luxury versions of Austin and Morris cars. The 6-cylinder Wolseleys have been popular with the police since before WWII.