“The Pickering family, who were next in possession of the manor of Thelwall, were of a very ancient descent in the county of Chester, and appear to have been, from time immemorial, landed proprietors in the palatinate.”
— The Topographer and Genealogist, John Gough Nichols, 1846
Chronicles of Thelwall, Co. Chester, pp379-468
Sign on the Pickering Arms showing the Pickering family coat of arms. [Photo by Connie Pickering Stover, 2011]
Description of Coat of Arms:
“Ermine, a lion rampant az. ducally crowned or, within a bordure of the second, charged with eight plates. Crest: a lion’s gamb erect and erased, az. enfiled with a ducal coronet or; ”
Descendants of Robert Pickering [1545-1602] Walford and Thelwall
Robert Pickering de Walford, b. circa 1545 married Alice, only daughter of William Mathew, gent, and, dying in 1602, left issue,
John Pickering (2), Esq. of Walford, [died 17 Aug 1661, Daresbury] to which estate he succeeded on the death of his father, married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Harrison, of Acton Grange, Esq. and dying 17th August 1661, left issue,
Robert (3), who settled at East Grinstead, co. Sussex, and married Alice, daughter and sole heiress of Robert Woodcock, Esq. of London, grandson and heir of Ralph Woodcock, Sheriff and Alderman of London, by whom he had issue an only son
Robert (4), of East Grinstead, who married Susan, daughter of Edward Paine,d Esq. and by her had issue a son
Robert (5), aged ten years at the Visitation of the county of Sussex in 1662.
Mr. Pickering [Robert de Walford] married, secondly, Martha, daughter of Edward Lyndsey, Esq. of Buckstead, co. Sussex, and by that lady had issue three daughters
………….. Mary, married to William Fermor, Esq. of Welches, co. Sussex, Barrister-at-law, father of Sir Henry Fermor, Bart.
Robert (6), of whom presently [baptized 30 May 1619, Daresbury]
John (7), baptized at Daresbury, 19th March 1620, settled at Cuckfield, in Sussex.
Thomas (8), citizen of Chester, baptized at Daresbury, in 1622; will dated in January 1686; died in 1689, leaving issue an only daughter Mary, wife of James Gerard, Gent.
Peter (9), citizen and merchant of London, baptized at Daresbury 10th June 1623; died in 1711 (age 88)
William (10), baptized at Daresbury 16th September 1627
Benjamin (11), also of London, a member of the Merchant Taylors’ Company, baptized at Daresbury, 24th Feb. 1632
Catharine (12), baptized at Daresbury, 28th May 1626 ; married Thomas Chesshyre, Esq. of Hall wood, in Halton.
Margaret (13), baptized 20 Nov. 1627; married Thomas Hodson, of Liverpoole, merchant.
Helena (14), (or, according to the parish register, Ellina,) died unmarried in July 1617.
The next representative of this family, Robert Pickering (6), Esq. son and heir of John (2), was the purchaser of Thelwall from the Mores. He was baptized at Daresbury, 30th May 1619, and, being destined for the Law, was entered a student of Gray’s Inn in 1637. He attained considerable eminence in his profession, and was several times elected Reader of the Society. In 1651, he purchased from John Stone, citizen and Girdler, of London, Nathaniel Manton, citizen and Merchant Taylor, Methuselah Turner, citizen and Fishmonger, and Thomas Benson, citizen and Vintner, London, (Aldermen and Councillors of the said City in that behalf authorized by act of the Common Council of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commoners of the City), in consideration of the sum of 5,190/., amongst other premises, all that capital mansion-house called Crowley Lodge, with its appurtenances, situate and being in Crowley [Northwich] , within a certain place called Northwood Park, in the parish of Great Budworth, and county of Chester, with about 120 acres of land thereto attached.
In consequence of this purchase, we find that Mr. Pickering removed from the seat of his ancestors at Walford, and continued to make Crowley Lodge his residence until he became the owner of Thelwall. This manor was conveyed to him by indenture of bargain and sale,’ dated the 4th Dec. 1661, (13di Charles II.), and made between John Moore, therein described of Kirtlington, in the county of Nottingham, and Sir Jeffery Palmer of Carleton, in the county of Northampton, Knight and Baronet, his Majesty’s Attorney-General, of the one part, and himself, described as Robert Pickering (6), of Crowley Lodge, within Northwood Park, in the county of Chester, and Thomas Chesshyre the younger, of Halton, in the said county of Chester, Thomas Pickering (8), of the city of Chester, and Peter Pickering (9), citizen and mercer, of London, of the other part, for the consideration of 6,500/. and other considerations therein specified.
Mr. Robert Pickering(6) married Martha, daughter of the Rev. John Ley (Leigh), k M.A. of Christ Church College, Oxford, a Prebendary of Chester, and successively Vicar of Great Budworth, in that county, and Rector of Solihull and of Sutton Coldfield, in the county of Warwick, by whom he had issue
John Pickering, Esq. (15), born 1645 elder son and heir, was entered a student of Gray’s Inn anno 1664. He was shortly after called to the Bar by that Society, but, succeeding to an ample fortune, did not long continue in practice.
Robert (16),’ in holy orders, M.A. of Saint John’s College, Cambridge, Rector of Eccleston and Croston [ed: Crowton?], in the county palatine of Lancaster, married at Kildwick, co. York, 7th May 1677, Mary, daughter of Hugh Currer, Esq. of Kildwick Hall, by Anne his wife, relict of Robert Winckley, Esq. of Winckley. He died in 1704, without issue, having settled™ the Hatton estates, to which he succeeded under his father’s will, upon his nephew John Pickering, hereafter mentioned.
During the lifetime of his father [Robert (6)] he [John (15) ]made Crowley Lodge his principal residence, but on his death removed to Thelwall. He married Abigail,n only daughter of the Hon. Philip Sherard, of Whissendine, co. Rutland, M.P. for that shire in all the parliaments of Charles the Second, (by Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Denton, of Hillesdon, co. Bucks, and widow of the Hon. William Eure, son of William Lord Eure,) and second son of William Lord Sherard Baron of Leitrim, by Abigail, elder daughter and coheiress of Cecil Cave, Esq. of Stanford, co. Northampton, by Anne his wife, daughter and sole heir to Anthony Bennett, of Greenwich, Esq. The issue of the above marriage was as follows:
• Sherard (18), baptized at Whissendine, llth Oct. 1680.
• Danby (19),° of London, merchant, married and had a numerous issue. P From his eldest
son was descended Danby Pickering of Gray’s Inn, Barrister at Law, Reader of the Law
Lectures to that Society, and editor of a well known edition of the Statutes at Large.
• Alexander (20), who held a lucrative appointment under the Trinity House, which he procured
through the influence of his cousin the Earl of Harborough. He married Mary, daughter of
Thomas Woolley, Esq. by whom he had issue:
2nd March 1745, Mary, only daughter and heiress of James Abree,r Esq. of that city,
and died 28th April 1792, having had issue
• James, died young
• Mary, married in 1770 John Burnby, Esq. of Canterbury, and had issue William, who was brought up at Westminster School, and subsequently practised as a solicitor at Canterbury. He died s, p. in 1806
• Thomas (23), who in 1790 was a Midshipman on his Majesty’s ship Monarch.
• Mary, married Hodgkin, who died in America
• Lucy Elizabeth died unmarried.
John Pickering, Esq. (17) of Thelwall Hall, b. circa 1674, succeeded his father in the family estates at Thelwall in 1703, and to the manor of Hatton, under the settlement of his uncle, the Rev. Robert Pickering (6), in 1704. He married, 23rd Feb. 1695, (settlement dated 21st Feb.) Charlotte, daughter of Sir Willoughby Aston, Bart, of Aston, co. Chester, and sister of Sir Thomas Aston, third Baronet of that family, and died 26th Dec. 1747, leaving issue
• Thomas (24) his heir
• Willoughby Richard (25) of Hanover Square, London, M.D. who married and had issue an only daughter and heiress, Elizabeth Maria, married at St. George’s Hanover Square, to George Keen,l Esq. Alderman and Mayor of Stafford.
• John, died without issue
• Henry (26), of Westminster, succeeded to the greater part of the Hatton estates, and married Miss King, by whom he had issue
- John, who died young, 12lh May 1749, and was buried at Thelwall on the 14th
- Henry (27), of whom presently, as successor to his uncle, died without issue
- Robert (28) died a bachelor at Wilton upon Wye, in the island of Jamaica, 28th July 1820
- Mary, died unmarried
- Helena also died unmarried, in 1834
- Elizabeth, died unmarried
- Mary, died unmarried, and was buried at Thelwall 27th Feb. 1769. Will dated 12th Dec. 1754
- Charlotte died also unmarried, and was buried at Thelwall 9th September 1763.
Mr. Pickeringu [John (17)] was for many years an active and upright magistrate for the county of Chester, and held the appointment of Steward of the fee of Halton, and manor of Widnes. His wife survived him until the 29th March 1751, when she died at the age of 71, and was buried at Thelwall the 2nd of April following. Her will is dated 16th May 1749.
Thomas Pickering (24) Esq. of Thelwall Hall, son and heir of John, was born in 1700, and succeeded to the estates on the decease of the latter in 1747. This gentleman built the present Thelwall Hall about the middle of the last century, near the site of the ancient manor-house, which was then taken down. It is a very neat and substantially built mansion of brick, consisting of three stories with a pediment in the centre, and has a double flight of steps leading to the principal entrance. He married first, Elizabeth, widow of Lacy, Esq. of Gadlis, in Flintshire, but by that lady, who predeceased him, had no surviving issue;
and 2ndly, Mary, daughter of Peter Thorn, of Baling, Middlesex, (marriage settlement, dated 10th May 1775.) He died in July the year following, and was interred in the family vault at Thelwall the 26th of that month. By his will dated 10th June 1775, with codicil thereto dated 5th December in the same year, he devised his estates ” to his nephews Henry (27) and Robert (28) successively in tail, and in default of issue of them, then to Thomas Pickering (21) of Canterbury, (cousin) the son of his uncle Alexander Pickering (20) and his heirs.” His widow survived him until the 8th April 1834, when she died at Chester at the advanced age of 84.
Henry Pickering, Esq (27). (son and heir of Henry (26)), who succeeded to the manor and estates under the will of his uncle above mentioned, was born in 1756, and married, 25 April 1788, Margaret, daughter and heiress of John Phillips, Esq. of Liverpool, but by that lady had no issue. He died at Bath 28th Dec. 1820, and was interred in the family vault at Thelwall, 9th Jan. 1821. His brother Robert (28) having also died without issue, the estates thereupon devolved, under the limitations of the will of Thomas Pickering, Esq. on
Thomas Abree Pickering, Esq. (22) (son and heir of Thomas Woolley Pickering (21), of Canterbury, see ante, p. 449,) the last representative of the family at Thelwall.
This gentleman was born at Canterbury 27th April, and baptized there 15th May 1755, and was brought up to the profession of the Law, which he practiced for many years with considerable success in London. On coming, however, into possession of these estates, he retired from the profession and from that period to the time of his death continued to reside at Thelwall. He married, 3 Feb. 1816, Mrs. Hannah Lion, of London; but by her, who died 4th Nov. 1822, had no issue.
He was the author of several pamphlets (both legal and otherwise), amongst which may be mentioned an essay “On the Use and Doctrine of Attachments,” published in 1786, and was for many years a constant contributor to the Westminster Magazine. In 1814 a patent was granted to him for an invention for the effectual security of remittances by bankers’ parcels. Dying without issue, he devised the manor of Thelwall, and his other estates, to William Nicholson, Esq. the present possessor, elder son of Peter Nicholson, Esq. of Warrington, and Lucy his wife, only daughter of William Eyres, Esq. and sister of Lieut.-Colonel William Eyres, of Warrington,) and grandson of James Nicholson, of that town, Gent. By Elizabeth his wife, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Peter Seaman, Esq. and sister of the late Lady Evans.b Thelwall Hall is now ithe residence of Peter Nicholson, Esq.