|William Percy Rowbottom was born
in Derby in 1865. As a teenager, he worked as a butcher's
boy in West Derby, Lancashire, but by 1891 he was working as a draper's
assistant at Scarthin, Matlock in Derbyshire. At about this
he started painting landscapes, perhaps under the tutelage of his
uncle, Frederick F. Foottit, who is described as a landscape and figure
artist in the 1871, 1881 and 1891 censuses. His mother Ann
uncle Fred were children of Derby attorney & solicitor, James
Foottit (1807-). In 1897, Percy married Edith Mary Baker, who
also an artist, and they settled at Glenmore Cottage, Dale Road, Matlock.
The 1912 Kelly's trade directory listed him as a photographer, operating "by the Royal Hotel, Matlock Bath." A mounted, large format photo dated 1908 shows him working from a studio in Temple Walk, Matlock Bath, and an example of a postcard has been submitted (see below), probably produced c. 1901-1904 for the tourist industry.
little maids" and onlookers, probably in Derwent Gardens, on the bank
of the Derwent River
by Percy Rowbottom of The Studio, Temple Walk, Matlock Bath
Dated (on the reverse) 1908
Format: Other Size: Mount 250 x 200 mm Photo 150 x 110 mm
Image © & courtesy of John Palmer
|Notes: This photograph features on John Palmer's Wirksworth web site, and I am very grateful for his permission to reproduce it here. John suggests that the three girls dressed in Japanese kimono-style dresses may have been advertising or taking part in "The Mikado," Gilbert & Sullivan's popular light opera, first staged in 1885.|
|"Royal Museum Petrifying Well"
by Percy Rowbottom of Matlock Bath
Undated, but probably taken before 1904
Format: Post Card
Image © & courtesy of Michael Greatorex
Images & information kindly provided by Michael Greatorex and John Palmer
1841-1901 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
Anon (1891) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Nottinghamshire, Kelly & Co., London. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
Anon (1895) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London.
Anon (1895) History, Topography, and Directory of Derbyshire, T. Bulmer & Co. - by kind courtesy of Sonia Addis-Smith
Anon (1912) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire 1912, Kelly's Directories Ltd., London.