It is well to start with the family history at the foundation, and then follow it up through its various changes to the present time. We will start about 912, when Rollo made peace with the King of France, and the Dukedom of Normandy was confirmed. In that settlement after a thirty years war, the King of France agreed to confirm Rollo's title as Duke of Normandy, and give him his daughter in marriage; the Duke agreeing to do homage to the King, to become a Christian and marry the King's daughter. But when the time came for the Duke to do homage, he refused to kiss the King's foot, and no persuasion or entreaty could induce him to perform that part of the ceremony. It was finally compromised by permitting Rollo to kiss the King's foot by proxy, but when the courtier lifted up the King's foot, he raised it so high that it tumbled the King out of his chair, which created great laughter among those present. Yet the King bore this indignity, well knowing that Rollo's army was too strong to meet in battle.
From that time Normandy began to flourish, and during the time of its first six dukes, it was one of the richest provinces in the world, notwithstanding its many wars. When "William the Conqueror", who was the seventh Duke, came upon the stage of action, Normandy was divided into two classes, the nobility, who were the descendants of Rollo's followers, and the peasants who were the descendants of the French; so that we find a class of cultured people, who had much of the polish of Paris, and who were far in advance of the Saxons in England.
During the time of the quarrel between William the Conqueror and King Harold, William called together his chieftains in council. Some were willing to go to war while others refused; but one of his brainy men "Fitzosborne" advised the Duke to call upon the nobility separately, which was done, and in a short time sufiicient men and means were ready for his enterprise. A man by the name of Robert, born in Caudebec Normandy, France, accompanied William the Conqueror to England. He was a soldier well skilled in arms, and after the battle of Hastings, had the Manor of Clayton given him by William the Conqueror for his laudable services in battle. He was afterwards known as "Robert de Clayton" and was Lord of the Manor of Clayton, and the first Clayton spoken of in the history of England.
He had three sons: — John, William and Robert. John accompanied William Rufus in his war against "Malcolm" King of Scotland, and fell nobly in battle near Penrith, in Cumberland. William de Clayton, the second son, succeeded his father. He faithfully served King Stephen in all his troubles, and on Candlemas Day, 1141, he lost his life in battle, and was succeeded bj- his son Robert.
Robert had one son William de Clayton. He married Elizabeth Farringtou, of Farrington. He had three sons and died in 1152 and was buried at Leyland, Lancashire. The eldest son, Richard, was a priest of a very benevolent character and died in Normandy. Thomas, the second son, died without issue and Robert de Clayton, the third son, succeeded his father. He married in 1151 and had four sons: — William, Robert, John and Thomas. Three of the sons accompanied King John into Normandy in 1200 and died without issue. John the third son succeeded his father. He had two sons William and Thomas and died in 1209 and was succeeded by his second son Thomas de Clayton.
Thomas de Clayton had three sons, John, Robert and William. John, the eldest son, succeeded his father. He married in 1263 and died in 1280, having had issue two sons, Thomas and Ralph. He was succeeded by his second son Ralph de Clayton who left three sons, John, Giles and Nicholas, and he was succeeded by his eldest son, John de Clayton. This John accompanied John of Gaunt in 1356 to assist the King of Navarre against the French. He also accompanied King Edward in most of his expeditions. He left four sons: John, William, Ralph and Robert and died in 1399 and was succeeded by his eldest son John de Clayton, who had three sons, Thomas, Robert and William, he died in 1404, and was buried at Leyland, and was succeeded by his eldest son. Thomas de Clayton married Dorothy Thellwell of Thellwell in Cheshire with whom he received that township and village as a marriage portion and by whom he had two sons, John born in 1419, and William born in 1420. (William died without issue in 147 1.) Thomas de Clayton died in 1426 and was succeeded by his eldest son, John de Clayton, who married, in 1440, Mary Mainwaring.
The Mainwarings are the descendants of "Ranulphus, one of the companions of WiUiam the Conqueror in the Norman Invasion and also one of those thirty-two persons, to whom that fortunate monarch gave all or most of Cheshire, of which he obtained fifteen lordships in Peure (now Overpever) which remained in the family until 1700." His grandson, Roger, had a son named William, who was the father of Sir Ralph Mainwaring, Knt. , who was a Judge of Chester in the reign of Richard (i). He is the first Mainwaring spoken of in history. He married Amicia, daughter of Hugh Kyvi.liok, Earl of Chester, whose ancestors were as follows:
After the conquest, William the Conqueror, gave to his nephew, Hugh Lupus, the Earldom of Chester about the year 1070. He died July 27, iioi, leaving a son, his heir.
II. Richard, second Earl of Chester who married but died without issue, and the Earldom descended to the nephew of Hugh Lupus by his sister Maude.
III. Randal (i) Earl of Chester. He was Randall Meschines, V. C, of Bayeaux, Normandy, France, and married Lucy, a daughter of Algar, the Saxon Earl of Marcia and died 1128, leaving issue his son and heir.
IV. Randal (2) Earl of Chester, who became a great warrior and took King Stephen prisoner. He married Maude, daughter of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, a natural son of King Henry (i) of England and died 1153 leaving two sons, Hugh and Richard and was succeeded by his eldest son.
V. Hugh (2) Earl of Chester. He married Bertred, a daughter of Simon, Earl of Evereaux, Normandy, France, bj' whom he had (i) Randal, (2) Maude, who married David, Earl of Huntingdon, and was a brother of William, King of Scotland, (3) Mabil, who married William Albiny, Earl of Arundel, (4) Agnes, who married William Ferrars, Earl of Derby, (5) Hawaise, who married Robert Quincy, son and heir of Sabil de Quincy, Earl of Winchester.
He had another daughter not of this marriage named Amacia (Amice) over whom a great controversy was carried on between Sir Peter Eeycester and Sir Thomas Mainwaring, Sir Peter claiming that she was an illegitimate daughter and Sir Thomas claiming that she was a legitimate daughter. Finally the question was referred to the Judges of Chester, who decided that Amacia was the legitimate daughter of Hugh (5) Earl of Chester and the heralds quartered the arms of the Earls of Chester with the Mainwarings. Amacia married Rause (Ralph) Mainwaring and it appears from the manuscripts that Bertred, the wife of Hugh
Cyviliok, second, (5) Earl of Chester, witnessed a deed in frank marriage with said Amacia. By this marriage there were two children, one of whom, the daughter, was named after Bertred, the Countess of Chester, and a son named Randal, who became the head of the Mainwaring Family of Overpever in Cheshire about 1175, and from whom the Mainwaring Family descended.
It will thus appear that this Amacia Mainwaring had in her the blood of William the Conqueror and the old Saxon Earls. She was the great grand-daughter of Henry (i) King of England, and great grand-daughter of the Earl Garva of Marcia, also a descendant of the Earls of Normandy, and the early Saxon Kings.
Her half sister Maude was the ancestor of Baloil, King of Scotland, also of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland and his descendants, making her related to the ancient Anglo-Saxon Kings, to the English Norman Kings, to the Scotch Kings, and the nobility of Normandy.
Robert Fitzroy, her grand-father, was a scholar and a soldier, and commanded the forces of Empress Maude against King Stephen. From the above recital it clearly shows that Mary Mainwaring who married John de Clayton was a lineal descendant of Hugh Cyviliok, Earl of Chester through his daughter Amacia, who married Ralph Mainwaring. The Mainwaring family is very old, and the founder Ranulf received fifteen manors or lordships in Cheshire for his services to William the Conqueror.
John de Clayton, who married Mary Mainwaring of Cheshire, had by her two sons, first: Thomas, who was afterwards disinherited for disobeying his parents, (2) William and also three daughters. His first wife died in 1445 and he married secondly Jane Clifton, by whom he had two sons Robert and Richard. Robert the eldest son, by the second wife, died in Paris in 1471 without issue, and Richard Clayton, the 3 youngest son by the second wife succeeded to the estate, but dying without issue, he was succeeded by William de Clayton, a son of Thomas de Clayton and he dying without issue was succeeded by Robert Clayton, third son of Thomas who was disinherited. Robert Clayton as above, married Jane Farrington, by whom he had four sons: — Thomas, born in 1498; John born in 1499; Edward born in 1505; and Richard born in 1506, and three daughters. He died 15 lo and was buried at Leyland and was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas Clayton who married, in 1561-3, Anne Jackson, of Bocking in Essex, and had two sons, Robert and WiUiam, and died in 1580. Robert, the eldest son, was of St. John's College and Vice Chancellor of Cambridge. He married and had one son, John Clayton. This John Clayton had a son, Richard, and two daughters, Dorothy and Elizabeth.
He died December 20, 1623, aged twenty-seven years and was succeeded by Richard Clayton, his eldest and only son, who died by a fall from his horse, without issue. The family estates of Clayton and Crook went by virtue of the settlement to Dorothy, his eldest sister, who was the wife of George Leycester, of Toft in Cheshire, Esquire. Whereupon the Lordship of Clayton, granted by William the Conqueror, went with this Dorothy Clayton, to her husband, and was afterward sold. This must have occurred about 1650 or 1660.
The line was continued by William Clayton, second son of Thomas Clayton and Anne Jackson. He had five sons (i) Thomas, born in 1585, (2) WiUiam, born in 1587, (3) John, born in 1588, (4) Ralph, born in 1589, (5) Richard, born in 1592 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas Clayton, who had the estates in Fulwood in Lancashire settled upon him and his issue.
He married and had issue : Robert ; Thomas, born in 1630 and one daughter, Annie. Robert had four sons: Thomas, William, John and Richard. Thomas, the eldest son, had one son, Robert, born 1695, who became the Bishop of Clogher, and died Feb. 26, 1756. He bequeathed his Lancashire estate to his nearest male heir ' ' The Right Honorable Richard Clayton, Lord Chief Justice of The Common Pleas in Ireland." Thomas Clayton, the second son of Thomas, on the death of the Bishop, became the representative of the family. He married a daughter of John Atherton by whom he had five sons: (i) Thomas, (2) John, (3) Richard, (4) Thomas, of whom hereafter, (5) Robert and seven daughters. This Thomas purchased the Lordships and estates of Worthington and Adlington and died in the ninety-second year of his age. Thomas, the eldest son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Atherton, married in 1697, Martha, daughter of Joshua Horton, of Chaderton, Esq., by whom he had five sons: Thomas, William, Richard, Edward and John and four daughters. He died in 1728 at Adlington in the sixty-first year of his age. Thomas, his eldest son, died in 1735 unmarried.
Richard, the third son, was brought up to the bar and became King's counsel, and afterwards Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland, which office he resigned in 1774, and died the same year aged sixty-eight. By his will dated the sixteenth day of March, 1772, he devised his Manors of Adlington and Worthington to his nephew, Richard Clayton.
The successor in line was John Clayton, the fifth son. He had four sons : Richard, Robert, William and John, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Richard Clayton, Esq., who was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1762, called 1771, and made a reader in 181 1. He was created a baronet May 3, 1774, and died in 1828. This ancient family produced soldiers of valor and skill, preachers and monks of great learning, and lawyers and jurists of great ability.