William Thomas Rowden - Professor in Applied Mechanics

William Thomas Rowden was born in the year 1839, in Christchurch, in the county of England then know as Southampton. William's father, also William Thomas, was a Miller whose origins were in Steeple Langford, Wiltshire, two counties distant to the west. William senior had married a local Christchurch girl Mary Butt in 1939. Interestingly, but by no means usual for those days, their first child, a son, William Thomas, arrived two months later.

William Thomas, the senior, had a family of ten children (the same number as the two previous generations) and William junior's youngest sister was born only three years before he married. Regrettably she died at two years of age. William junior had five children, three sons, 'sandwiched' by a girl at both ends.

William, junior was an academic and became a professor in Applied Mechanics and his teaching skills took him all around England and Scotland. I am very grateful to William T's great grandson, Denis Rowden, for supplying the following time-line profile for William Thomas Rowden:

1839 - (July 27) born at Christchurch, County of Southampton to William Thomas Rowden (Miller) and Mary Rowden (formerly Butt)

1852 to 1857 - attended Abbots Ann School (near Andover) Hampshire

1859 to 1863 - employed at Bristol Trade and Mining School

1861 - (Dec 24) (profession listed as 'teacher') while residing at Rectory St. Michaels married Mary Anne Watts of Newbury Berks. at the Parish Church, Parish of St. Michael, in Bristol. Father's name listed as 'William Thomas Rowden, Miller.' Mary Anne's father listed as 'Henry Watts, Farmer.'

1863 to 1866 - attended Royal School of Mines and Royal College of Chemistry studying Mining and Metallurgy; received B.Sc. (Lond); Duke of Cornwall's Scholarship, RSM 1864; Murchison Prize 1865; De la beche Medal 1866.

1864 - Daughter Bertha Elizabeth Rowden (1864 - 1956) born 

1866 - Son William Clement Rowden (1866 - 1936) born

1863 to 1867 - while at the Royal Schools apparently held part time employment at Woolwich Arsenal (London)

1867 - Conducted Laboratory for Experiments in 'Heating and Lighting' at the Paris Exhibition for British Commissioners: produced 'Testing house Report: second section, account of experiments made with stoves, gas apparatus, lamps, etc.' by Capt. Webber and W.T. Rowden (part of 'Reports on the Paris Exhibition (Exposition Universelle (1867: Paris)'). (copy may be available at 'librarian@mininginstitute.org.uk)

1867 - (Aug 30) both William Thomas and Mary Anne listed as past pupils at Abbots Ann School

1867 to 1868 - employed at Clifton College, Bristol as Natural Science Master

1868 - (May 8) Son Edmund Percy (1868 - 1922) born at 10 Elgin Park, Westbury Gloucester

1868 to 1870 - Organizing Master of Technical Education in Northumberland and Durham under the auspices of the Coal Trade Association

1870 to 1876 - Science Master of the Elswick Institute, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 

1870 - (March 5) - elected to the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers - address listed as 17, Westmorland Road, Newcastle

1871 (March 23) Leonard Alfred (1871 - 1953) born at Hawthorne Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland 

1873 - daughter Grace Mary (1873 - 1950) born

1876 - Chair of Mechanics founded at 'Anderson's (also 'Andersonian') University

1876 - appointed 'Professor of Applied Mechanics' at the Andersonian University, Glasgow

1886 - Andersonian 'College' becomes part of the 'Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College'

1896 - shown as residing in Lenzie, near Glasgow

1896 - (Aug 27) - delivered an address entitled 'Mechanics' Institutions and Technical Education' to the meeting of the 'Northern Union of Mechanics' Institutes', held at the Elswick Institute, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Titled himself as 'professor of Applied Mechanics at the Andersonian University, Glasgow (copy with Denis Rowden and/or librarian@mininginstitute.org.uk)

1904 - (July 31) resigned his appointment and granted title of 'Emeritus Professor'; continued with this title until his death in 1924.

1910 - married Mary Emeline (1864 - 1947)(last name not known) 

1912 - 'Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College' renamed 'Royal Technical College, Glasgow', to become recognized in 1919 as a University College of the University of Glasgow

1919 - (last Finance Office payment to him from the University. Likely departed Scotland soon after for retirement in Exmouth Devon.

1924 - (January 12) - Last Will and Testament prepared - styles himself as 'Emeritus Professor of Applied Mechanics of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow'

1924 - (March 30) - died at East Lea, Broadway, Littleham Cross, Exmouth, Devon. Wife Mary Emeline present at death.

1924 - (will probated at Exeter, to Mary Emeline Rowden, Widow, William Clement Rowden, Managing Director of Armstrong Whitworth & Company Ltd., and Leonard Alfred Rowden, M.D. (photocopy of probated will with Denis Rowden)

Note 1: Leonard Alfred (1871 - 1953) (Radiologist), 3rd son of William Thomas and Mary Anne, graduated M.B., Ch.B. from Glasgow University in 1892. During the 1914 - 1918 War he served as a Captain in the R.A.M.C. In 1939 he was awarded the degree of D.SC (Hon. Causa) from the University of Leeds: also, he wrote a number of articles for British Medical Journals.

Note 2: Elizabeth Bertha and Grace Mary lived on Clyde Street, Hellensborough, Scotland.

Note 3: whatever happened to WTR's first wife Mary Anne (Watts) Rowden is not known by the compiler of this profile. Can anyone help?

green arrow Find William and his family in sept 25 pedigree chart.