SAYER, John (by 1499-1562), of Southwark, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553
Oct. 1553
Apr. 1554
Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1499, prob. s. of Thomas Sayer (d.1505) of Southwark by Alice. m. settlement 20 Oct. 1520, Margaret, da. of Harry Boys of Tavistock, Devon, 2s. 1da.4

Offices Held

Gov. St. Thomas’s hosp. Southwark 1552-3, 1558, 1560-d.5


There was a Yorkshireman called John Sayer in the mid 16th century, but the Member chosen five consecutive times for Southwark was doubtless the resident there. He was returned at a by-election to the Parliament of 1547 following Sir John Gates’s election as a knight for Essex. Sayer was an obvious choice for election, being a merchant, clothier and innkeeper whose goods were assessed at £30 or £40 for the subsidies of the period. The Journal does not refer to him. He was probably the son of a man who had been bailiff of Southwark although the bailiff did not mention any children in his will. Sayer presumably met his wife through the household of the Duke of Suffolk, whose brother-in-law, Sir John Shilston, came from Devon. Her dowry was fixed at 40 marks, but Sayer had received only £5 when his father-in-law died and to obtain the balance he had to sue her relatives in Chancery.6

Sayer was a sick man on 29 Nov. 1562 when he made his will, and in accordance with his wishes he was buried in St. Saviour’s, Southwark on the following 3 Dec. He left his 30-year lease, which he had evidently obtained from the heirs of Humphrey Colet, of ‘that messuage called the sign of the George wherein I now dwell’ to his daughter and son-in-law, and he charged his estate with a perpetual payment of 20s.‘towards maintenance of the new grammar school’ of which he was a founder. He named his sons executors and residuary beneficiaries, and after his death they brought actions in requests against Lady Sandys for goods worth £750 sold to her. The overseers included Thomas Cure, William Evenson and John Jeffrey.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: D. F. Coros


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament; Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Bodl. e Museo 17.
  • 3. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.
  • 4. Date of birth estimated from marriage. Req. 2/265/7, 266/10; C1/567/92; PCC 42 Holgrave, 4 Chayre.
  • 5. City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 12(2), f. 478; 14, ff. 73, 391v, 465.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, iv, ix, xviii, xx; City of London RO, jnl. 10, ff. 238v, 299-9v; rep. 13(2), f. 309v; PCC 42 Holgrave; C1/567/92, 1267/10-13; E179/185/223, 230, 232, 257, 266, 286; Procs. Huguenot Soc. London, xix. 72.
  • 7. PCC 4 Chayre; Greater London RO, P92/SAV/356; Req.2/265/7, 266/10; CPR, 1560-3, p. 268.