The Rt. Hon.
Sir Robert Clayton
Robert Clayton by Laureys a Castro
|Lord Mayor of London|
|Preceded by||James Edwards (Lord Mayor)|
|Succeeded by||Patience Ward|
Robert Clayton was born in Northamptonshire, England. He became an apprentice to his uncle, a London scrivener, where he met a fellow apprentice, Alderman John Morris. They became successful businessmen and established the bank, Clayton & Morris Co. 
Clayton entered politics, representing London and Bletchingley alternately as a Whig between 1679 and his death in 1707. He was knighted in 1671. Clayton made a considerable fortune. In 1697 he lent the king £30,000 to pay for the army. In the mid-1650s Clayton purchased Brownsea Island and its castle.
Robert Clayton was a member of the Scriveners and Drapers Company, an Alderman of Cheap Ward in the City of London (1670–1683), a Sheriff in 1671, Lord Mayor of London (1679–1680), a member of parliament for the City of London or Bletchingley for most of the years 1679 to 1707, Colonel of the Orange Regiment of militia (various times, 1680–1702), President of the Honourable Artillery Company (1690–1703), Commissioner of the Customs (1689–1697), an Assistant to the Royal African Company (1672–1681) and a director of the Bank of England (1702–1707).
Links to slavery
As a member of the Court of Assistants to the Royal African Company, Clayton was essentially on the board of directors. The Royal African Company shipped more African slaves to the Americas than any other institution in the history of the Atlantic slave trade. Clayton married Martha Trott, who was the daughter of a Bermuda merchant, and also acted as Factor in Bermuda.
A statue of Clayton stood at the North Entrance to Ward Block of North Wing at St Thomas' Hospital and is Grade I listed. On 11 June 2020, a joint statement from the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust announced that Clayton's statue, together with that of Thomas Guy, would be removed from public view.
- Courtney 1887.
- Jacob 2006. sfn error: no target: CITEREFJacob2006 (help)
- College, Jesus. "Legacy of Slavery Working Party recommendations". Jesus College University of Cambridge. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- Dresser, M. (1 January 2007). "Set in Stone? Statues and Slavery in London". History Workshop Journal. 64 (1): 162–199. doi:10.1093/hwj/dbm032. ISSN 1363-3554. S2CID 194951026.
- "Joint statement about Thomas Guy and Robert Clayton statues". Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
- Courtney, William Prideaux (1887). Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 11. London: Smith, Elder & Co. . In
- Robert Clayton information from AIM25.
- Catalogue record for the papers of Clayton and Morris Co. at the Archives Division of the London School of Economics.
- Melton, F. C., Sir Robert Clayton and the Origins of English Deposit Banking, 1658–1685, Cambridge, 1986.
Dr. J.P. Dickson. MA.,MB.,BChir.(Cantab). St. Thomas's staff 1955. Personal reminiscence.
- Jacob, Margaret. The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons and Republicans, Cornerstone Book Publishers, 2006.
- "Archival material relating to Robert Clayton". UK National Archives.
- Clayton Papers. James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.