William Ayton was a builder active in Scotland in the late-16th and early- to mid-17th centuries.
He was noted as having been from Haddingtonshire and was likely the son of John Ayton, a mason working in Musselburgh.
Between 1598 and 1599 he was an apprentice to John Brown, a mason working in Edinburgh. Ayton subsequently worked for William Wallace whom he later succeeded in 1631 as master mason of George Heriot's Hospital in that same city.
In 1633 Ayton was working at Holyroodhouse. He designed Innes House, Morayshire in 1640 and in August that year became a burgess of Edinburgh. Ayton is believed to have died roughly three years later, possibly in 1643, while work on many of his projects was still underway.
Colvin, Howard, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 3rd edition (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 88.
Roger, Charles and Robert Aytoun, 'Memoir and Poems of Sir Robert Aytoun, Secretary to the Queens of James VI and Charles I', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 1, 1872 (1872), pp. 104-219 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0080-4401(1872)1:1%3C104:MAPOSR%3E2.0.CO;2-M> [accessed 28 January 2008].