UK Census records show he was born in Worcestershire around 1791.
He entered a maker’s mark at Goldsmiths Hall in 1813 as a watch case maker.
He married Emma Cobden at St Luke, Chelsea in 1816; he was from St James, Clerkenwell parish.
He entered a further mark in 1817 as a case maker from 13 Harper Street, Great Sutton Street and notified a change of address to 32 Lower Smith Street, Northampton Square in 1821 from where he entered further marks in 1830, 1836 and 1838.
Christening records at St James, Clerkenwell 1817-29 for seven children of William and Emma show him variously as a goldsmith or watch case maker and their address as Smith Street.
He was at Lower Smith Street, Clerkenwell as a watch case maker for the 1841 UK Census.
In 1851 his sons Edward George (born 1824) and Christopher (born 1829) both applied for freedom of the City of London by patrimony, the former in the Company of Clockmakers, the latter, by request, in the Company of Goldsmiths. Both documents note their father gained his own freedom in the Clockmakers Company in 1820.
The 1851 UK Census shows he was a watch case maker at 6 Notting Hill Terrace. He was recorded as a goldsmith at 29 Pembridge Villas in 1861.
The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths Jewellers & Allied Traders 1838-1914 Vol. I p.397 by John Culme notes Rowlands was Master of the Clockmakers Company in 1860 and entered his last maker’s mark in 1868.
His burial aged 77 years, late of Manor Road, Blackheath, was recorded at All Souls, Kensal Green in 1868.
Probate of his Will was granted in that year at the Principal Registry, among others, to his son Christopher. Rowlands had died at St Leonard’s on Sea. The value of his estate was under Â£30000.