SAWYER, John (?1762-1845), of Heywood, Berks. and Canon Pyon, Herefs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1790 - 28 Mar. 1791

Family and Education

b. ?1762, 1st surv. s. of Anthony Sawyer, chief accountant in the navy pay office, of Heywood, nr. Maidenhead, Berks. by 2nd w. Phoebe, da. and coh. of Richard Harcourt of Wigsell, Suss. educ. Eton 1774-7; L. Inn 1780. m. 28 Mar. 1785, Sarah, da. of Anthony Dickins of Cherington, Warws., 2s. suc. fa. 1784.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Berks. 1819-20.

Lt. Berks. militia to 1790; capt. Berks. vol. cav. 1797-9, 1803, 2 Berks. militia 1808.


Sawyer appeared at Leominster to canvass on 19 Feb. 1789.1 On 21 Oct. Lord Hood informed Pitt:

John Sawyer esq. the new candidate for Leominster ... is a gentleman of very considerable property in Herefordshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, resides sometimes at Pyon House in Herefordshire but principally at Heywood in Berkshire ... Mr Sawyer offered himself a year ago upon the Harley and Bateman [i.e. the corporation] interest and Lord Malden has introduced him to all his lordship’s friends ... to a man, so that he has no doubt of success, having only the Duke of Norfolk against him, whom he does not much regard: and is from principle a staunch friend, Sir, to your administration. This I have from undoubted authority.

It was Lord Malden who had warned Norfolk of Sawyer’s intentions, but they had since diverged in politics. Sawyer defeated the ducal candidate Richard Beckford, only to lose his seat on petition. He had applied to Pitt, 24 Dec. 1790, on behalf of his uncle Admiral Herbert Sawyer’s son in the navy.2

Sawyer did not seek re-election. He died 26 Feb. 1845, aged 83, ‘the oldest magistrate and deputy lieutenant of Berkshire’.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Arundel Castle mss, Malden to Norfolk, 19 Feb. 1789.
  • 2. PRO 30/8/146, f. 3; 175, f. 221.
  • 3. Gent. Mag. (1845), i. 449.