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Charles Waterton - Family Tree Main Page
Introduction and the Squire's Own Account
Click to enlarge1. INTRODUCTION

In producing a family tree for the ancient and noble Waterton family, I have made use of the research carried out by others, and so, it might be thought, it would be an easy task simply to copy the results of other researchers' painstaking efforts. The various books published about Charles Waterton sometimes offer conflicting or confusing information about the lineage. The confusion is certainly added to by the use of the same names throughout the various branches of the family, e.g. the names 'Thomas' and 'Robert' occur very frequently throughout the generations.

The work of J.W. Walker has been augmented and supplemented by new and revised material from David Alexander Richard Waterton-Anderson (4). It is as a consequence of receiving this new information that the complex web of the Waterton family tree in the 14th and 15th century has become less tangled and somewhat clearer. Thus, the main sources that I use are J.W. Walker and David Alexander Richard Waterton-Anderson.

Comparison of the line of descent from Richard de Waterton and Juliana to Sir Robert Waterton and Muriel Leeke
There are some differences between the information derived from J.W. Walker and David Waterton-Anderson, click here to read.


3a. Charles Waterton's Ancestors

The de Burgh family: The male line died out after Sir John de Burgh but the female line continued on through his daughter Joan de Burgh. She married Sir William Assenhull and their daughter and heiress, Constance Assenhull, married Richard de Waterton. Richard was the son of John de Waterton and Katherine de Burgh. Through the union of the de Burgh and Waterton families, large estates passed to the Watertons, including Walton Hall. For a chart depicting the union of the de Burgh and Waterton families, click here (PDF).

3b. The Watertons - Walton Branch - this is the family tree of the Watertons of Corringham, Walton, Cawthorne & Penistone. It is this branch to which Squire Charles Waterton belongs. It originated with Richard, the second son of William and Dyonisia de Waterton. The Walton branch of the family - "the junior branch" - continued in unbroken succession from father to son from 1435 to 1876 at Walton. (2). This branch of the family is happily still in existence, although no longer resident at Walton Hall - "strangers to the county which had sheltered fourteen generations of them over four centuries" (3).

View the family tree of Charles Waterton the Naturalist
or view a narrative report of Waterton's ancestors (PDF).

In addition, there are charts concerning various aspects of Charles Waterton's ancestry:

  • The Waterton of Corringham, Walton, Cawthorne & Penistone - 14th & 15th Century Descents. This shows Charles Waterton's ancestors from Richard de Waterton (b. 1320, d. no later than 1392, spouse Juliana), to Sir Robert Waterton (b. 1478, d. 26 Feb 1510/11). There are quite a number of Robert Watertons in the family!
    The senior line of this branch of the family died out on the male side in the 15th century with the death of another Sir Robert Waterton in 1475, he had a daughter by his wife Mary Langton, but no sons. This Sir Robert's father was also called Sir Robert. Sir Robert 'the elder' had a younger brother, Sir John (died c. 1484). It was through this Sir John that the line then continued.
    Sir John married Elizabeth Savile. They had a son, also named John (d. 03 Jan 1494/5). This Sir John ('the younger', the cousin of the younger Sir Robert who died in 1475) became Lord of the Manors of Corringham and Walton. The male line then continued through the son of Sir John the younger, yet another Sir Robert (d. 26 Feb 1540/1) and eventually on to Squire Charles Waterton.
  • Descent from St. Thomas More through Mary Cresacre More to Charles Waterton.
  • Descendants of Squire Charles Waterton (PDF), this is incomplete. See also Descendants of Edmund Waterton (son of the Squire).


  • Methley Branch: click here to view the 14th and 15th century descents of the Watertons of Waterton and Methley. [This is not Charles Waterton's branch]
  • The Baronry of Everingham can trace its roots back to Thomas de Everingham (12th century), Gerdardus de Normanville (Baron of Laxton or Lexington) and Norman de Andreci (d'Areci). Click here for a chart showing the family tree of the Baronry .
  • Waterton and Blachford Family Trees - read more.

All of the information that I have is published on this website.


The William the Conqueror Database (http://www.william1.co.uk/w139.htm.)



The poet tells us, that the good qualities of man and of cattle descend to their offspring. 'Fortes creantur fortibus et bonis.' If this holds good, I ought to be pretty well off, as far as breeding goes; for on the father's side, I come in a direct line from Sir Thomas More through my grandmother; whilst by the mother's side I am akin to the Bedingfields of Oxburgh, to the Charltons of Hazelside, and to the Swinburnes of Capheaton. My family has been at Walton Hall for some centuries. It emigrated into Yorkshire from Waterton in the island of Axeholme in Lincolnshire, where it had been for a very long time. Indeed, I dare say I could trace it up to Father Adam, if my progenitors had only been as careful in preserving family records as the Arabs are in recording the pegigree of their horses; for I do most firmly believe that we are all descended from Adam and his wife Eve, notwithstanding what certain self-sufficient philosophers may have advanced to the contrary. Old Matt Prior had probably an opportunity of laying his hands on family papers of the same purport as those which I have not been able to find; for he positively informs us that Adam and Eve were his ancestors:-

'Gentlemen, here, by your leave,
Lie the bones of Matthew Prior,
A son of Adam and Eve:
Can Bourbon or Nassau go higher?'
(see side panel)

Depend upon it, the man under Afric's burning zone, and he from the frozen regions of the North, have both come from the same stem. Their difference in colour and in feature may be traced to this: viz., that the first has had too much, and the second too little sun.

In remote times, some of my ancestors were sufficiently notorious to have had their names handed down to posterity. They fought at Cressy, and at Agincourt, and at Marston Moor. Sir Robert Waterton was Governor of Pontefract Castle, and had charge of King Richard II. Sir Hugh Waterton was executor to his Sovereign's will, and guardian to his daughters. Another ancestor was sent into France by the King, with orders to contract a royal marriage. He was allowed thirteen shillings a day for his trouble and travelling expenses. Another was Lord Chancellor of England, and prefrred to lose his head rather than sacrifice his conscience. Another was Master of the Horse, and was deprived both of his commission and his estate (Methley Park) on the same account as the former. His descendants seemed determined to perpetuate their claim to the soil; for they sent a bailiff once in every seven years to dig up a sod on the territory. I was the first to discontinue this septennial act, seeing law and length of time against us.

Up to the reign of Henry VIII, things had gone on swimmingly for the Watertons; and it does not appear that any of them had ever been in disgrace:

- 'Neque in his quisquam damnatus et exsul.'

But during the sway of that ferocious brute, there was a sad reverse of fortune:-

'Ex illo fluere, ac retro sublapsa referri,
Spes Danaum.'

'From thence the tide of fortune left their shore,
And ebbed much faster than it flowed before.'

[Some Account of the Writer of the following Essays by himself.
From "Essays" (1). Read more of Charles Waterton's Autobiography here.]

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1. Essays on Natural History, Chiefly Ornithology, by Charles Waterton. Originally published in three series commencing in 1837.
2. The Burghs of Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire and the Watertons of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. J.W. Walker, OBE, FSA, The Journal of the Yorkshire Archaelogical Society, 1931. Page 77.
3. ibid. page 107.
4. David Alexander Richard Waterton-Anderson, 2004.

Books about Walton, Charles Waterton, Guyana, and more!
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books about Walton,
Charles Waterton,
Guyana and more.
• click here •
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Waterton Coat of Arms
Waterton Coat of Arms
(Walton branch)


Hugh Waterton
Hugh Waterton
bore this at the siege of Rouen in 1418.
The coat of arms is ascribed to
Sir Robert Waterton. (3)

Old Matt Prior

Nobles and heralds, by your leave,
Here lies what once was Matthew Prior;
The son of Adam and of Eve:
Can Bourbon or Nassau claim higher?

Matthew Prior (1664-1721)
- Epitaph--Extempore

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