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.