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JOHN PICKERING of Crowton – 1744-1814

Bradley Corn Mills, Frodsham. There were formerly two mills on the brook. At the Higher Mill is a dried-up pond, remains of sandstone and brick walling, site of wheel pit and slight traces of wheel. The pond for the Lower Mills was converted to garden: the mill is now a residence.

Beech Mill, Bradley Road, Frodsham. The diary of John’s sonPeter Pickeringrecounts his early life at the mill, as his father took over at the site, living in the warehouse while their own ‘Bridge House’ was being built.

Sutton Mill house c. 1900

Sutton Mill House, 2010. Photo by Connie Pickering Stover.

Draft Sale of Pews P8/4/4

2 Sep. 1790 “… John Pickering of Beach Mill in the Lordship of Frodsham, miller …”

National Archives UK


John Pickering was born on 7 May 1744, in Crowton, Bradley, England, UK as the son of John Pickering. He married Mary Harrison on 19 January 1765. They were the parents of at least 7 sons and 4 daughters. He died on 4 May 1814, in Frodsham, Cheshire, England, at the age of 69.

John and Mary Pickering’s first two children were born in Crowton (possibly at Pickerings ‘O the Boat), but in 1768 the family had moved into Beech Mill, in Bradley, Frodsham, which is where their daughter Nancy was born. In 1784, John took the lease of a new mill under construction at Sutton, (then part of the Arley Estate), which is where their youngest son, Peter was born. My direct ancestor, William, was 3 years old when the family moved into Sutton Mill. Peter describes the family at Sutton Mill in an amazing journal, which was handed down to me through the family.

In 2011, I visited the Sutton Mill House (a grade II listed building) and found it is very sad condition. Now, 12 years later, I cannot imagine that much of it is still standing. You can read the details and see photos that I have taken here.

Sons, Thomas 1765-1814, and Samuel 1766-1811, took over the management of Sutton Mills from their father, who returned to live at Beech Mill where he died in May 1814 at the age of 69.

….. b: 07 May 1744, Crowton [twin to Elizabeth]
….. c: 12 May 1744, St Mary, Weaverham
….. f: John Pickering of Crowton
….. m: 10 Jan 1765, St Mary, Weaverham
….. lived: Beech Mill, Bradley, Frodsham
….. o: Corn Merchant of Sutton Mill
….. d: 4 May 1814, Beech Mill, Frodsham (age 70)
….. probate: 4 May 1814, Frodsham
….. [intestate, sons Peter & William were executors of his estate] – see below
….. bur. : St. Laurence, Frodsham

+ Mary Catherine Harrison

….. daughter of Thomas Harrison [ca: 1721] & Martha Friers
….. b: 2 May 1741 Little Budworth, Cheshire
….. c: 12 Apr 1741, Market Drayton, Shropshire
………. Her sister, Catherine Harrison, married on the same day that Mary married John
….. d: 07 Nov 1807 Frodsham (age 66)
….. bur: 10 Nov 1807, St. Laurence, Frodsham
….. [? b: Little Budworth, St Peter’s Churchyard, Tarporley, Cheshire]



QUICKLINKS to Children of John Pickering & Mary Harrison
THOMAS Pickering & Margaret HORRABIN
b. 23 Aug 1765 Crowton – Weaverham Runcorn
Cornfactor, Sutton, Runcorn
SAMUEL Pickering & Alice RIGBY
b. 1766 Crowton – Sutton Runcorn
Corn Dealer
ANN “NANCY’ Pickering & Samuel MOULSDALE
b. 1768 – Beech Mill, Bradley, Frodsham Parish
died at age 22
b. 1770 Frodsham
Widower Samuel Moulsdale married sister, died at age 27
MARY Pickering & William YARWOOD
b. 1771 Frodsham
Wife of Durggist
JOHN Pickering & Hannah FARRALL
b. 1774 Northwich, Frodsham Parish
Emigrated about 1805 to Philadelphia, Merchant
SARAH “SALLEY” Pickering & Peter RIGBY
b. 1776 of Northwich
JAMES Pickering – Never married
b. 1778 Bradley, Frodsham Parish
Died at age 17
JOSEPH Pickering & Ann “Nancy” HAYES
b. 1780 Bradley, Frodsham Parish
Salt Merchant – Lived at Salt Works, Frodsham
WILLIAM Pickering & Caroline Amalie STEFFENS ………………… 4xGG
b. 1782 Frodsham Beach, Bradley
Consul to Mecklenburg
PETER Pickering & Emilie Henriette STEFFENS
b. 1785 Aston Sutton
Merchant, Inventor


“John & Elizabeth Twin Children of John Pickering of Crowton, May 12th” Bishop’s transcripts for Waverton

“As canals were developed and larger vessels were built the pattern of cheese warehousing and distribution changed. The Frodsham cheese warehouse was probably put to other uses, perhaps incorporated into the large new mill which John Pickering occupied at Sutton in the 1780’s for which he paid an annual rent of £340.”

*From Dissertation by Peter E Swift: “The Port of Frodsham”, chapter 4, pg. 55

Burial Record, Frodsham, Chester

1815 May – from Bond of Administration

The below is a bond of administration granted to Peter and William Pickering, so that they could administer their father’s estate; this indicates that John died without leaving a will, or at least none could be found.

The seals by Peter’s and William’s names are completely covered front and back, because the paper has become folded around and stuck over both seals; this must have happened when the wax was still fresh, and as a result only the outline can be seen through the back of the paper. No detail whatsoever is distinguishable, and unfortunately we cannot reveal the seal without causing damage to the document.


. . . “The condition of this obligation is such, at the above bounden Peter Pickering (1781-1865) one of lawful sons and one of the next of kin, no parent being living, and administrator of all and singular the goods, chattels, and credits of John Pickering (1744-1814), late of Beach, near Frodsham in the County of Chester in the Diocese of Chester, Corn Dealer, deceased . . . “
”  . . . The fourth day of March in the year 1815 Peter Pickering, within named took the usual oath of an administrator in common form, and further made oath that the personal Estates and Effects of his Father John Pickering deceased, did not amount to the sum of two hundred pounds. John Pickering died intestate in the month of May 1814 and the administrator was not in England at that time nor until about the middle of September 1814.”