Chairman of Westhoughton Local Board: 1882-93 (Conservative)
Born: Outwood, Lancashire 28 April 1842
Died: 21 September 1902
Educated: Kearsley and Prestolee; later a pupil of the Rev E Fellows BA at Ringley.
Farmer and auctioneer.
In 1855 he moved to Little Hulton before finally settling in Westhoughton.
In April 1878 he was elected a member of the Local Board.
"In 1880 he was the first to inform the Local Board of the liability of the railway companies to maintain the roadways over their bridges in the township, and this led to an arrangement under which the companies became responsible for such maintenance, and which the township had been maintaining ever since their first erection in 1848. In 1883 the railway company attempted to relieve themselves of the responsibility in respect of a bridge they contemplated erecting at Dobb Brow, and had inserted a clause in their bill for that purpose. At the request of the Board, Rothwell attended in London to oppose this portion of the bill, and in consequence the railway company withdrew the objectionable clause, Rothwell withdrawing his opposition only on condition that the company paid the cost the Board had been put to in preparing their opposition, and this the company ultimately agreed to.
On the passing of the Redistribution of Seats Bill in 1884, he was deputed along with Mr Unsworth (who, however, could not attend through illness) to attend before the Commissioner at the Assize Courts, Manchester, on 24 January 1885 to urge the claims of Westhoughton to have the parliamentary division of which Westhoughton formed a part, named "The Westhoughton Division" and in this he was successful.
There have been few movements in connection with town matters in which he has not taken a prominent part and his administrative abilities in town affairs are unquestionable." (Clough's Historical Review 1897)