William Clayton III
William Clayton (December 9, 1632 – 1689) was a settler of the Pennsylvania colony, one of the first councilors of Pennsylvania and a judge of the city of Philadelphia.
Clayton was baptized on December 9, 1632, in Boxgrove, England, the son of William Clayton and Joan Smith.
His mother died before he was a teenager, and in 1653 he married Prudence Lanckford, a daughter of William Lanckford, in St Pancras, London. Clayton became a carpenter by trade and a follower of the Quaker religion.
Clayton was a founder of the Pennsylvania colony, serving as an original commissioner for William Penn, as well as one of Philadelphia’s first judges. He was appointed to the provincial Council in 3 Aug 1681, and later was elected to the council in 1683, serving until 30 Mar 1686. On 19 Aug 1684, he was commissioned as a JP in Philadelphia County.
Penn Company Commissioner
In 1677, Clayton set sail for America, arriving in New York after being selected by Penn to serve as a commissioner. He oversaw the clearance of Indian land titles acquired by Penn in the West Jersey colony near present-day Burlington, New Jersey. In 1678, he purchased 1000 acres in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. In 1681, his family removed to Chichester, Pennsylvania, where Clayton had secured a 500-acre land patent.
Chester and Philadelphia judge
In 1681, he presided over the first Upland Court in Chester, Pennsylvania and eventually was one of the first judges of nearby Philadelphia.