Born at St Pancras, London in 1856, third child of the eight children of Irish born Thomas Leeson Rowbotham (1823-1875), landscape and marine painter, and his wife Ellen Amelia née Jameson, who married at Lewisham in 1852, and grandson of landscape and marine painter Thomas Leeson Scarse Rowbotham (1783-1853). Charles began his artistic career by painting the figures in his father's landscapes. In 1871, 15 year old Charles was living at Percy Lodge, Kensington with his parents, 47 year old Thomas and 47 year old Ellen and seven siblings including Constance 17 and Herbert 16. In 1881, a 25 year old artist in watercolour, living at 42 Loftus Road, Fulham with his 58 year old mother Ellen and his five sibling brothers. He married at Fulham in 1884, Rachel Maria Cotton and about 1888 they moved to 6 Sudeley Terrace, Brighton where they were living in 1891, 35 year old Charles and his 29 year old wife and two children Iney 4 and Leopold 2, moving by 1901 to 1 York Villas, Brighton, the home of his mother-in-law, 73 year old Rachel Hyde Cotton and they were still living with her in 1911. Rowbotham exhibited from 1877 at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Hibernian Academy, The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Manchester City Art Gallery, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Dudley Gallery and at the Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham he exhibited from Loftus Road, Shepherd's Bush, Fulham in 1877 'Near Bramber, Sussex', in 1881 'Market Scene, Lake Lago Maggiores, Italy' and in 1882 'Bellaggio, Lake Como, Italy' all watercolours. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1886-1890 and exhibited from Richmond Gardens, Sheppard's Bush, London in 1885 'Walberswick-Southwold in the Distance' and 'Ipswich from Sandy Lane' and from Bourn End, Springfield Park, Acton in 1886 'Bellagio, Lake Como', 'Near Walberswick' and 'On the Orwell near Ipswich' and his last exhibits were in 1889 'On the Alde, Evening', 'In the Dock, Ipswich' and 'Near Ballagio, Lake Como, Evening'. He died at Croydon, Surrey in 1921, aged 64.