Mrs. Sarah Clayton

WAG 2544


Sarah Clayton's will of 1778 mentions this picture. The portrait of her by Joseph Wright of Derby in the Fitchburg Art Museum, Massachusetts, U.S.A. confirms the identity of WAG 2544. Clayton was a prolific, influential coal merchant, dominating the trade in Liverpool in the second half of the 18th century. She went into partnership with her nephew, Thomas Case, who was a slave trader. As Clayton-Case they controlled the coal fields along the Sankey Channel west of Liverpool. Little is known of Katherine Thornhill, but she was a friend of Sarah Clayton. This is probably a copy of a portrait of Clayton by William Hoare of Bath (1707 - 1792).