CLAYTON, Richard (?1703-70), of Adlington, Lancs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



11 Mar. 1747 - 1754

Family and Education

b. ?1703, 3rd s. of Richard Clayton of Adlington by Martha, da. of Joseph Horton of Chadderton, Lancs. educ. B.N.C. Oxf. 8 Feb. 1722, aged 18; I. Temple 1724, called 1729, bencher 1761. unm. suc. e. bro. Thomas to Adlington and Worthington 1735.

Offices Held

Recorder, Wigan 1743; K.C. 1768; c.j. of common pleas [I] 1765-70.


The grandson of a prominent Liverpool merchant, who had purchased the manors of Adlington and Worthington c.1690,1 Clayton, a successful London lawyer, became prominent in Lancashire affairs after succeeding to the family estates. In 1743 the Wigan corporation agreed to choose him as their recorder, provided he could ‘attend to the business of the corporation, the county and quarter sessions’, although it was realized they could not expect him ‘at any other times than in the two long vacations’, and that even then his stay would be short.2 He was returned for Wigan as a Tory with the support of Lord Barrymore,3 and on the recommendation of Peter Legh who thought him ‘a good sort of man’.4 The 2nd Lord Egmont noted him as ‘a lawyer, I believe to be had’.

As chief justice in Ireland, Clayton earned a reputation for naiveté, but was said to have had ‘no superior as a judge and an honest man’.5 Resigning early in 1770, he died at Adlington on 8 July that year.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. T. C. Porteous, Standish, 219; Genealogist, n.s. xxvi. 141. The genealogy in Burke's Landed Gentry (1848) is incorrect.
  • 2. Alex. Leigh to Sir Robt. Bradshaigh, 2 Jan. and 25 Feb. 1742-3, Rylands, Crawford mss.
  • 3. See WIGAN.
  • 4. HMC 14th Rep. III, 491.
  • 5. E. Elrington Ball, Judges in Ireland, vi. 218.