Unsolved Murders

Blanche Rowbotham

Age: 23

Sex: female

Date: 16 Feb 1914

Place: Reddish

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Blanche Rowbotham was found in the canal at Reddish on 8 February 1914.

She had been a servant girl in West Kirby.

She was last seen by her employer on 31 January 1914 at 5.30pm and seemed in good spirits.

It was thought that she had taken the train from West Kirby for Runcorn but missed her stop and went on to Stockport and tried to walk back to her sister's in Levenshulme along the canal.

The canal was later dragged and her hat and handkerchief were found.

At first no-one knew who she was and at her inquest there was nobody to identify her body and an open verdict was returned.

A few days later a postman who had been walking along the canal found some letters which were addressed to Blanche Rowbotham at her address in West Kirby. the letters were handed into the police and police went to the address and spoke to her employer.

She was found to have relatives in both Stockport and Runcorn, and was said to have been of a cheerful disposition and not known to have any trouble of any kind.

Several of the letters found were to a man who lived on Egerton Road in Runcorn with whom she had been keeping company with for several years although the letters that were found were all over 12 months old. when they spoke to the man from Egerton Road he told the police that they were about to become engaged and that he could think of no reason why she would want to take her life.

When the police examined letters received at Egerton Road from Blanche Rowbotham they found out that she had written to say that due to the awkwardness of the trains should would not be able to go there on Sunday as arranged. However, it is thought that she changed her mind and tried to make the journey at the last minute.

Her employer contacted Blanche Rowbotham's boyfriend in Runcorn on the Monday asking if she had been there on the Sunday but he said that she hadn't.

Coincidently Blanche Rowbotham's aunt fell dead outside a doctors surgery on 10 February 1914.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see Liverpool Echo - Monday 16 February 1914

see Liverpool Echo - Thursday 12 February 1914