SAYER, Exton (c.1691-1731), of Doctors' Commons, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



13 May 1726 - 1727
1727 - 21 Sept. 1731

Family and Education

b. c.1691, 1st s. of George Sayer of Doctors’ Commons by Mary, da. and coh. of Everard Exton, proctor of Doctors’ Commons. educ, L. Inn 1709, Trinity Hall, Camb. 1709, LL.B. 1713, LL.D. 1718; Doctors’ Commons 1718. m. 6 Feb. 1724, Catherine, da. of William Talbot, bp. of Durham, sis. of Charles Talbot, 1st Baron Talbot, s.p. suc. fa. 1727.

Offices Held

Fellow of Trinity Hall 1714-24; chancellor of Durham dioc. 1724-d.; judge advocate, court of Admiralty 1726-d.; surveyor gen. of crown lands 1730-d.


On Sayer’s marriage in 1724 he resigned his fellowship at Trinity Hall to become spiritual chancellor to his father-in-law, the Bishop of Durham, from whom he obtained valuable leases of ecclesiastical coal-bearing lands.1 A famous advocate in Doctors’ Commons, in 1725 he acted as counsel for Lord Chancellor Macclesfield, to whom he was a ‘particular friend’.2 Brought into Parliament as a ministerial nominee, he quickly became one of the leading government spokesmen. On 26 Feb. 1730 he led for the Government in resisting an opposition sponsored petition to end the monopoly of the East India Company, and in the great Dunkirk debate next day he was put up by Walpole to sidetrack Sir William Wyndham’s motion by rising before it could be seconded to move an alternative motion, which was adopted.3 A promising political career was cut short by his death from a riding accident, 24 Sept. 1731.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. E. Hughes, N. Country Life in 18th Cent. 308.
  • 2. Howell, State Trials, xvi. 886.
  • 3. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 66-67, 72-73; Knatchbull Diary.