Historical information

Not much is known about William Rothwell other than he is recorded as working as an optician and scientific instrument maker in Manchester at 277 Deansgate Street from 1780 until 1820.
An entry in the “Complete History of the Trades of Manchester” published in 1822, in which the author describes Mr William Rothwell as an intelligent young man who is conversant in several languages. He went on to describe him as an philosophical instrument maker of optical and mathematical objects, specialising in spectacles, all sorts of surveyors instruments as well as eye glasses of all types. At present that is all that is known of William Rothwell other than his products were made to the highest standards of the time. Today his products are now actively sought by collectors and are currently fetching high prices at auction sales overseas.


The telescope is a rare item even though not much is known about Rothwell's history his scientific instruments and optical items fetch high prices when they become available as collectors look for rare and well made items from the 18th and 19th centuries. Its completeness and good condition make it a very good addition to the collection at Flagstaff Hill.

Physical description

A three draw military telescope brass with main cylinder section made of wood, main lens is removable for cleaning.

Inscriptions & markings

Marked "Rothwell, Manchester"