Papers of the Pickering family

Scope and Content

The papers preserved here primarily concern: Robert's sons, John Pickering (1645-1703) of Thelwall Hall and Crowley Lodge, and the Rev. Robert Pickering (d. 1704) of Eccleston and Croston [Lancashire]; John's son, another John (d. 1747), who married Charlotte Aston of Cheshire, and who inherited his father's Thelwall estate in 1703, and his uncle Robert's estates in 1704; and John's son Thomas (1700-76) and his siblings; Thomas ultimately devised the estates to his nephews Henry and Robert.

Most of the records relate to legal disputes, largely over the family's finances, and they consist of title deeds and legal papers, receipts and accounts, and largely non-personal correspondence. It is not obvious why the Pickering papers are preserved among the Egerton archives. The Pickering estates of Thelwall and Hatton were situated in the Hundred of Bucklow, and the Egertons held jurisdiction over the Hundred Court, so they may have become involved in a legal capacity. However, the only occurrence of a member of the Egerton family in these papers is in EGT/4/3/3/4, a letter found amongst the Pickering papers but which has no named recipient, and which relates to money owed by Mr Waring on a mortgage he had with the late Samuel Egerton.

Administrative / Biographical History

This subgroup contains a collection of papers generated by the Pickering family of Thelwall in Cheshire. During the early medieval period, the manor of Thelwall was in the hands of the Thelwall family, from whom it passed in the 14th century to the Claytons, who held it until the 1560s. It was then sold first to the Brooks family of Norton, and was subsequently purchased by John Moores, a doctor. The nephew of John Moores sold the manor to Robert Pickering, a lawyer, in 1662, and it remained in the Pickering family until 1837.


The date of birth of Robert Pickering's grandson, John (d. 1747), is given by Ormerod George Ormerod, The history of the county palatine and city of Chester, 2nd edition revised by Thomas Helsby, 3 vols, (London: George Routledge, 1882. as 1674 and his mother is noted as being Abigail Sherard. However, if the abstract of his father (John)'s marriage settlements (EGT/4/1/10) is correct, John did not marry Abigail until at least 1679. John may therefore be John Sen.'s son from his first marriage to Elizabeth Clifton (not mentioned by Ormerod). Due to this uncertainty over dating, John's date of birth has been left blank in this catalogue.

The Pickering family papers are divided into three series:

  • EGT/4/1 Deeds of title and legal papers
  • EGT/4/2 Accounts and receipts
  • EGT/4/3 Correspondence