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JOSEPH PICKERING of Bradley 1780-1839

A great deal of information on this family’s businesses was provided by a Dissertation by Peter E Swift: “The Port of Frodsham”, with permission. Additional information was discovered through my own research over the years. This compilation will hopefully provide the reader with a snapshot of the times and the influence of our family on commerce of Frodsham’s Quayside.

For a well-written exploration of the ancient history of Frodsham and the quay development, it is worth reading the website of “The Meister – The Deep History of Cheshire”.


<< Back to parents, John Pickering and Mary Harrison

Joseph Pickering

Joseph was five years old when his family built the Sutton Mill manufactory and home where he was raised.

……. b: 26 Dec 1780 Frodsham Parish, Bradley
……. c: 25 Jan 1781, Frodsham
……. m: 25 Feb 1802 Frodsham Parish (age 22)
……. d: 31 Jan 1839 Frodsham (age 49)
……. b: 04 Feb 1839, St. Laurence

+ Ann “Nancy” Hayes

……. b: 16 May 1782
……. d: 21 Aug 1862 (age 80)
……. b: 25 Aug 1862 Frodsham, St. Laurence
Father: William Hayes (1753-1827)
Mother: Elizabeth Done (1754-1847)

Ann Hayes’ brother, William Pickering II, married Ann Higson
HAYES FAMILY TREE by Rev. Richard Hayes

Children of Joseph Pickering and Ann Hayes

1. William Pickering
……. b: 07 Mar 1804 Frodsham Parish
……. o: Coal, Lime and Tile Merchant, Railway Station
……. (Worral’s directory of Warrington, Wigan, St Helenes, 1876)
……. d: 26 Jun 1845 (age 41)
……. b: 01 Jul 1845 Frodsham, St. Laurence
… + Elizabeth Howard
……..b: abt. 1810
……..d: 10 Feb 1854
……..b: 13 Feb 1854 Frodsham, St. Laurence

Notes for William Pickering and Elizabeth Howard:
From Grave records of St. Laurence, Grave No: OGE/08/23,24:

In memory of William Pickering of Frodsham Obit 26 June 1845 Aetat 41 years. Also of Elizabeth his wife Obit 10 Feb, 1854 Aetat 44 years. Also of William Hayes Pickering only son of the above Obit 9 Nov. 1906 Aetat 73 years.”

Only son of William Pickering and Elizabeth Howard

…….William Hayes Pickering
………….b: 31 May 1833, Runcorn
………….lived: 1841 Main Street, Frodsham (age 8)
………….o: 1851 Not Employed
………….lived: 1851 Main Street, Frodsham (age 17)
………….o: 1861 Coal & Lime Merchant
………….lived: 1861 Salt Works, Bridge Quay, (age 27)
………….o: 1871 Coal Agent
………….o: 1881 Coal Lime & builders Merchant
………….o: 1891 Coal Lime Merchant
………….o: 1901 Coal & Lime Merchant Retired
………….d: 09 Nov 1906, Runcorn (age 73)
………….b: 12 Nov 1906 Frodsham, St. Laurence

Unmarried, living with Grandmother Ann Rigby Pickering (Widow)

From 1871 to 1901 he lived on Main Street, Rock View, Frodsham with his long-time servant, Alice Shallcross (unmarried)
He died Unmarried with no Children

More Children of Joseph Pickering and Ann Hayes

2. James Pickering
……. b: 12 Oct 1805
……. o: 1841 Salt Merchant
……. lived: 1841 Salt Works, Frodsham (age 35)
……. d: 27 May 1860 (age 54)
……. b: 30 May 1860 St. Laurence, Frodsham Parish

[in home of Elizabeth Hayes, Grandmother (age 87), with Ann Pickering, Mother] Presumed Unmarried with no children

3. Edward Hayes Pickering
+ Anna Maria Stephenson
……. b: 18 Feb 1807
……. c: 22 Sept 1807
……. m: 26 Dec 1834
……. o: 1841 Salt Merchant
……. lived: 1841 Salt Works, Frodsham (age 30)
……. d: 03 Mar 1848 (age 41)
……. b: 08 Mar 1848 St. Laurence, Frodsham

……….[in home of Elizabeth Hayes, Grandmother (age 87), with Ann Pickering, Mother]
Notes for Edward Pickering:
Cheshire Electoral Registers 1842-1900 Frodsham Polling District – Hundred of Eddisbury:
 Frodsham, occupier of house, warehouse, salt works, and lands, Salt works, Quay, and Marsh.

Children of Edward Hayes Pickering and
Anna Maria Stephenson
 [1851 Census, Eton]

……. Edward H Humperville Pickering b: 1839
……. Gilbert Percy Humpresville Pickering b: 1841
……. Anna Francis Pickering b: 1843
……. Edith Mary Pickering b: 1844
……. Katharine Maude Pickering
………. b: 1846, Eton, Buckinghamshire
………. m: 18 Oct 1870, Parish Church, Addington, Kent, Eng.
………. d: 13 Jan 1892 Little Hinton, Wilshtire (age 45)
………. died of a ruptured gall-bladder and broncho-pneumonia.
………. b: Ardamine Cemetery, Gorey, county Wexford, Ireland
……. + Robert Edward Richards [SOURCE]
………. b: 21 Jan 1832, Roebuck, Dublin, Ireland
………. d: 18 Oct 1902, Beckley, Oxon

Occupation: Clergyman – Robert was ordained deacon (Salisbury) in 1856 and priest in 1857. He was curate of Corfe Castle, Dorset, from 1856 until 1861, then curate of Tormoham, Devon, from 1861 until 1869, and again curate of Corfe Castle from 1869 until 1871. He was Principal of the St Matthias Church of England Teacher Training College in Fishponds, Bristol, from 1871 until 1890, then rector of Little Hinton, Wiltshire, from 1890 until his retirement in 1898.

Children of Katharine Maude Pickering and Robert Edward Richards

……………… Robert Charles Pickering Richards [1873-1947]
………………….o: Bankers Clerk (1891);
…………………..International businessman (1947)
……………… Kathleen Louisa Vere Richards [1875-1950]
……………………m: Berkley William Fairthorne 18 Apr 1897
……………… Arthur Francis Ward Richards [1877-1946]
……………………m: Muriel Ward Jan 1903
……………… George Hamilton Richards [1879-1962]
……………………m. Katherine Winifred B. Garrard 1905
……………… Walter Hayes Pickering Richards [1881-1915]
……………………m: Mary Florence Clarges Pearson,
…………………………5 Jul 1911, Cork, Ireland

Grave of Joseph and Ann, William, James, and Edward. Photo: St. Laurence churchyard by Connie Pickering Stover, April 2011.

Inscription: “In memory of Joseph Pickering of Frodsham Obit 31, Jan 1839 Aetat 59 years. Also of Ann his wife Obit 21 Aug 1862 Aetat 80 years.



Pigot’s Commercial Directory of 1834 lists the following:
• William Pickering and Son had the principal trade in salt;
• William Haslehurst and William Pickering were corn dealers;
• William Hayes and Co., shipbuilders
• Hayes and Pickering were slate and timber merchants
• Thomas Hazlehurst provided occasional conveyance by water to and from Liverpool.”

Cheshire Electoral Registers 1842-1900, Frodsham Polling District – Hundred of Eddisbury: Frodsham,
William H Pickering, freehold house and garden, Own occupation and tenants.

Directory of Frodsham residents of 1874

William Hayes Pickering, coal, lime and tile merchant.

Bagshaw’s Directory of 1850

Wm. Hayes and Son, shipbuilders and slate merchants and James Pickering & Co, coal ,lime,timber and slate merchants.

Muir’s 1874 Directory

William Hayes Pickering, coal, lime and tile merchant.

In 1892 William Hayes Pickering was a coal and lime merchant at the Railway Station, which is up in the town center.

William Hayes
Advertisement from Worrall’s directory of Warrington, 1876.

Pickering / Hayes Family Business Connections


1864 Quayside & Viaduct. this was the Port of Frodsham, The industries along the quayside were varied, Wm. Hayes & Co. operated as ship-builders, Crosbie & Urmston had a salt works, John H. Hayes & Wm. Hazelhurst were slate and timber merchants. William Pickering & Co. were also salt works proprietors, brick-makers and millers. Heywood & Massie Ltd. manufactured chemicals and soap, whilst Joseph Ashworth & Sons Ltd. were manufacturers of bone and artivicial manures and animal feeding stuffs. In 1864 there was also a firm called MacAndrew & Co. who had a liquorice works. With so much industry there were many cottages; the Brow, Seven Houses and the white thatched cottages on the quayside. All the works have not ceased to exist, and all the cottages, except one on the quayside, have been demolished.

Relative to the partnership,

[the River Tonnage books] do give us a small insight into the extent of the trade. The partnership also participated in the return trade up-river shipping products such as potatoes, coal, wheat, salt-pan plates and salt barrows. It must have been successful, since both principals moved to Frodsham and became closely integrated, by marriage, with local families and particularly members of the Hayes family who were active in many areas connected with the port. Lengthy negotiations with Cholmondeley finally resulted in the conversion of the lease to purchase, described as ‘the old cheese warehouse’, plus surrounding land and the saltworks’ for the sum of £3,000. Their finances were stretched and protracted negotiations ensued over the installment payments of the £3,000.

Both Urmson and Crosbie built substantial houses in the Main Street of Frodsham. John Urmson’s son, Thomas, had two children John and Harriet, both of whom married into the Hayes family. Earlier William Hayes II had a daughter, “Ann” Nancy Hayes (1782-1862) who married Joseph Pickering (1780-1839), another commercial family in Frodsham.

Much later we learn of the demise of the business, which changed its management over time. The Hayes family left a permanent mark on Frodsham in their graves and memorials in St. Lawrence’s churchyard, as did the Pickerings. James Crosbie has memorial tablets on the chancel wall recording his eleven children. The Hayes sisters had streets named after them (Hayes Crescent and St. Hilda’s Drive) and the houses of both John Crosbie and Thomas Urmson survive in Main Street, although neither are dwelling houses today.

Source: The Weaver Navigation Tonnage books


The Frodsham Volunteers

“… In the year 1803, when England was threatened with invasion, and an immense army was gathered on the opposite coast, under the command of General Napoleon Buonaparte, the spirit of the country was roused, and volunteers were everywhere raised to defend the country;

And none were for a party,
But all were for the State.

Frodsham was not behind the rest of the country in raising a regiment of her own, and we are fortunately able to give a list of the officers.

 20th August 1803
Major-Commandant: Daniel Ashley
Captains: John Nuttall, George Whieley, William Ashley,
Joseph Pickering
Lieutenants: William Hayes, John Wright, John Mauley,
Joseph Ones, etc…” [3]

Note that Joseph Pickering signed up for the army in the year he was declared bankrupt.


In the Ardamine churchyard, near Gorey, county Wexford, Ireland is a gravestone that reads:

To the glory of God and in loving memory of
Walter Hayes Pickering Richards
Captain and Adjutant of the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Chatham)
aged 33 years
who was killed in Action in the Dardanelles on May 3rd 1915
whilst gallantly leading his men
he was the fourth son of the Reverend Robert Edward Richards

“The fortunes of the port now rested with anyone who was prepared to use the tidal resources, the existing quays and warehouses and develop locally based trades. Only the salt-producing business of Crosbie and Urmson continued in its role, passing into the hands of another local businessman, William Pickering, in 1832.”

“… From 1773-1817 it traded as Crosbie and Urmson; from 18171-1832 it was Urmson and Dawson and from 1832, upon the death of Urmson, to 1852 it was William Pickering associated with William Hayes. In 1832 the Saltworks and other property belonging to the late Thomas Urmson was sold to William Pickering and William Hayes”.

“… The demise of the salt works is described in detail the Warrington Guardian of 1856 when James Pickering & Co of Frodsham sold by auction ‘the whole of the plant and material used there in the manufacture of salt’  By this time, the trade in salt had long since by-passed the port of Frodsham. [Warrington Guardian, 12 April 1856 and 12 May 1856.This sale included two iron boats. The sale was without reserve’ as the works are entirely discontinued and the premises are engaged for other purposes not connected with the salt trade’.]”

“… Pigot’s Directory of both 1822/3 and 1828/9 lists Hayes and Urmson as shipbuilders, which could mean that Hayes was supported and possibly financed by the salt partnership. The Sutton tithe apportionment of 1845 records William Hayes II as holding the dock and dockyard as well as a related house, and close by, J.R. [John Rigby] Pickering and William Hazlehurst held the machine house, wharf, yard and lime-kiln. These three family names crop up time and time again over the years, involved in local commerce, as well as working agricultural land”.

“… Bagshaw’s Directory of 1850 records Wm. Hayes and Son, shipbuilders and slate merchants and James Pickering & Co, coal ,lime,timber and slate merchants.  Muir’s 1874 Directory notes  William Hayes Pickering, coal, lime and tile merchant”.

Source: Dissertation by Peter E Swift: “The Port of Frodsham”


The Hayes family left a permanent mark on Frodsham in their graves and memorials in St. Lawrence’s churchyard, as did the Pickerings.

Earlier Wiliam Hayes II had a daughter [Ann Hayes] who married Joseph Pickering, another commercial family in Frodsham.  Much later we learn of the demise of the business, which changed its management over time.

… The merchants lived in the town, especially in Main Street, where William Pickering, George and James Rigbycorn dealers and William Hayes resided. A much more comprehensive view emerges from the 1851 census.  We have a collection of ship’s carpenters, sawyers, engine drivers, railway labourers and labourers at the chemical works, probably Heywood and Massie, plus one or two mariners . An extension of the Quay into the saltworks records James Pickering and his family, then owners of the works, whose wife is shown as farming 103 acres, and several salt boilers who probably needed to live on site. Ship Street housed many labourers at the chemical works. In Main Street Frodsham, as well as the merchants John Rigby Pickering, John Higson Hayes and his son William, lived many chemical and railway labourers, carpenters and mariners.

In Dr. P. Dodd’s papers, held in the records of Frodsham and District Local History Group, at Castle Park, Frodsham, there is an article from the Mining Journal, vol. 27 of 1857 which reported on the Chancellorsvill  Freehold Gold Mining Company, which owned  about 4 acres at the port with a  frontage on the river of some 350 feet. The question was whether it would be commercially viable to import ores and reduce them there, but the venture failed, although the opening ceremony on 24 April 1857 was attended by, among others James Pickering and Mr. Rigby, proprietor of the Frodsham Bridge Mills who had participated in an experiment  using his stone grinding wheels to pulverise the ore.

…The Hayes family also farmed 100 acres. By the 1861 census things had changed both on the Quay and on Main  Street. Many small traders now lived in Main Street as the town expanded, as well as widow, Ann Heyes at number 180. A few shipwrights remained.  Ann Pickering,  wife of  Joseph, lived  at  the  saltworks as did  William  Hayes Pickering,  son of William Pickering, now  a coal  and lime merchant; the  salt  boilers  had  disappeared. Three ship’s carpenters remained as did Thomas Acton, a retired ship builder.  By 1871 almost the entire male inhabitants of both the Quay and Ship Street worked either at the Chemical works or the Bone works. Ships’ carpenters had either retired or moved away.





The Web site, based in Phoenix, Arizona, produced by Connie [Pickering] Stover, a  descendant  of  the  Pickering  family,  gives an  insight  into what  happened  to some of the more ambitious local business men. They migrated to Liverpool and found employment there. For example, Charles William Harrison Pickering (1815-81) eventually became a partner in Schroeders, Merchant Bankers. Peter Pickering (1785-1865), son of John Pickering, b.1744, Corn merchant at Frodsham and father of eleven children, became associated with the Baltic timber trade, based at Liverpool, as did his older brother James.

He [Peter] married a Danziger and established a large family connection there. He wrote a diary, which recounts his early life at the mill in Frodsham. He says that his father ‘resolved to rent a manufactory (at Frodsham Bridge), the largest of its kind in Great Britain, which was then being in the process of being built’. The family actually lived in the warehouse during its construction and he was born there.

[A chance contact revealed the existence of the Web site based in Arizona, and discussed above. The extensive family tree shows a welter of Pickerings, descended from Thomas Pickering of Norley, near Frodsham, alive in 1695, some of whom had distinguished careers in many parts of the world. They took their commercial acumen in the flour and corn milling, timber and finance, first to Liverpool, then Northern Europe and the U.S.A, as well as Australia and New Zealand.]

From: Dissertation by Peter E Swift: “The Port of Frodsham”, Chapter 4
[2] The Athenaeum: a magazine of literary and miscellaneous information, 1807, Volume 2 – Bankrupts, July 1807″ Edited by John Aikin
[3] From: “An account of the ancient town of Frodsham in Cheshire”, pg. 211, by William Beamont


1841 Census – Runcorn, Budworth, Salt Works, Frodsham

Name Born Age Status Occupation Born
Elizabeth Hayes 1754 87 Head Independent Frodsham
William Pickering 1786 55 Independent Frodsham
James Pickering 1805 35 G-Son Salt Merchant Frodsham
Edward [Hayes] Pickering 1807 33 G-Son Salt Merchant Frodsham
Mary Parker 35 Domestic Servant
(Unreadable) 20 Domestic Servant

1851 Census – Runcorn, Budworth, Salt Works, Frodsham

Name Rel Age Status Occupation Born
Ann Pickering Head 68 Widow Farmer of 103 acres employing 11 laborers Frodsham
James Pickering Son 40 Unm Merchant, Salt, Timber, Coals, Bricks Frodsham
Mary Parker Serv 42 Mar Dairy Servant Kingsley
Alice Shalcross Serv 26 Unm House Servant Anderton

1861 Census – 144 Salt Works, Frodsham

Name Rel Age Status Occupation Born
Ann Pickering Head 78 Widow Farmer 54 Acres employ 1 man and 12 boys Frodsham
William H Pickering G-Son 24 Unm Coal and Lime Merchant Frodsham
Alice shalcross Son 33 Unm House Servant Kingsley
Mary Atherton Serv 29 Unm Dairy Maid Barrow

1841 Census – Main Street, Frodsham

Name Rel Age Occupation Born
William Pickering Head 36 Merchant Frodsham
Elizabeth Pickering Wife 30
William Pickering Son 8 Frodsham
Mary Atherton Serv 40
Mary Kirkham Serv 20

1851 Census – 94 Main Street, Frodsham, Runcorn Parish

Name Rel Age Status Occupation Born
Elizabeth Pickering Head 40 Widow Annuitant Cheshire Hutton
William Pickering Son 17 Unm Merchant, Salt, Timber, Coals, Bricks Frodsham
Elizabeth Caldwell Serv 27 M House Servant Frodsham

1871 Census – 95 Main Street, Frodsham, Runcorn Parish

Name Rel Age Status Occupation Born
William H Pickering Head 37 Unm Coal Agent Frodsham
Ellen Atherton Serv 24 Unm Charwoman Frodsham

1881 Census – 136 Main Street, Frodsham, Runcorn Parish

Name Rel Age Status Occupation Born
William H Pickering Head 47 Unm Coal, lime and Builders Merchant Frodsham
Alice Shalcross Serv 49 Unm General Servant Kingsley

1891 Census – 65 Main Street, Frodsham, Runcorn Parish

Name Rel Age Status Occupation Born
William H Pickering Head 57 Unm Coal, lime and Builders Merchant Frodsham
Alice Shalcross Serv 59 Unm General Servant Kingsley

1901 Census – 68 Main Street, Frodsham, Runcorn Parish

Name Rel Age Status Occupation Born
William H Pickering Head 67 Unm Coal, lime and Builders Merchant Frodsham
Alice Shalcross Serv 69 Unm General Servant Kingsley