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William Clayton1605 -- 1658avatar
Joan Smith1610 -- 25 APR 1644avatar
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William Clayton

Birth8 DEC 1632
 
Org.1682-1684 Gov. Markhams Council, President
Occup1684-1685
 
Acting govenor of Pennsylvania for two years
Flag of Pennsylvania
Death1689
 
Graveunknown
Aged: 56.1 years
Occupation: Acting Governor of PA In 1677, William Clayton arrived on the shores of the Delaware River north of Salem in West Jersey with his family on the ship, "Kent," charged along with several other men with the job of purchasing lands from the Indians for the proprietors of new Jersey. He was a Quaker and held important posts in William Penn's new colony of Pennsylvania. William Penn was also William Clayton's personal friend.

NOTE: This William Clayton is NEITHER an Oxford dignitary NOR a son of a London lawyer, as previously claimed.

However, this William Clayton achieved much in his lifetime He was a close associate of William Penn, served on the Governor's Council, Provincial Council and the Supreme Executive Council. He also served as Justice of the Peace, Justice of the Upland Court, and presided over the first court of Pennsylvania under the Proprietary Government.

See Duncan Rea Williams III's website (link below under "sources") for much more information.

William Clayton was one of three judges who presided over the only witchcraft trial ever held in Pennsylvania (the Quakers had little regard for the idea of witchcraft). Another of this author's ancestors, Margaret Mattson, was one of the accused, along with another woman. They were an easy target for such accusations, both being Swedes among the British settlers. Margaret was found guilty of "having the common fame of a witch," but not guilty of practicing witchcraft. She was fined and set free.

This was a time when trials for witchcraft were rampant in New England, and some of the hysteria naturally spilled over into neighboring areas. However, Quaker leaders were hostile to such accusations and they resisted them. The outcome of the above trial may seem strange by today's standards, but it should be judged by the standards of the day. Certainly being fined is preferable to being burned at the stake.

Further information about William Clayton can be found online from the Delaware Historical Society through Google Books.

Also, there is an article on Wikipedia about this William Clayton. His father and mother are correct shown. However, it still attests that he was a descendant of the William de Clayton who came to England with William the Conqueror. Perhaps. Perhaps not. Research linking him back to the "de Claytons" is now widely held as bogus. 



ChildrenFirst NameBirth DtDeath DtBirth PlaceSpouses
1+

Prudence 

20 AUG 16574 FEB 1728  England, Sussex, Rumboldswyke Henry Reynolds 
2

Joseph 

12 FEB 1660  England, Sussex, Chichester  
3+

Honour 

18 MAR 166224 DEC 1737  England, Sussex, Rumboldswyke Parish James Brown 
4+

William 

17 MAY 166522 FEB 1727  England, Sussex, Chichester Elizabeth Bezar 
5

Elizabeth 

29 JUN 166530 JUL 1665  England, Sussex, Rumboldswyke  
6

Mary Jane 

29 JUN 166526 DEC 1726  England, Sussex, Chichester John Beals 
7

Hannah 

12 DEC 166712 SEP 1668  England, Sussex, Rumboldswyke  
Asso-
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Religion (1)

Religion (1)

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Sources
  1. Wikipedia
  2. Findagrave William Clayton
  3. Website:"Williams Cyber Niche:" 'Ancestors and Allied Families of William Clayton Jr.,' Duncan Rea Williams III; This excellent website has well-documented genealogical and historical information;
  4. Website:"William Clayton (Governor); Nicely laid out webpage describing the life of Governor William Clayton of Pennsylvania;
  5. Marriage Sources:
    FamilySearch William Cleyton England Marriages, 1538–1973
  1. Findagrave Prudence Clayton
  2. Website:post, "Re: William Clayton/Prudence Miller Nickes?" by John Hope, 4 Feb 1999, genealogy.com;
  3. Website:"Williams Cyber Niche:" 'Ancestors and Allied Families of William Clayton Jr.,' Duncan Rea Williams III; This excellent website has well-documented genealogical and historical information;
  4. Marriage Sources:
    FamilySearch William Cleyton England Marriages, 1538–1973
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Added
7-7-2011 05:44 PM
7-7-2011 05:46 PM
Updated
11-11-2019 03:06 PM
11-11-2019 03:07 PM
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