Sayers of the London Branch (Recent Generations)

The ancestry, origins and earlier history of Edward Sayer of East Finchley (1823-1897) are discussed on the main page dedicated to the Sayers of the London Branch. This page relates to the more recent history of this branch of the family - the descendants of Edward and Emma Sayer. This page was originally held back from internet publication in the interests of the privacy of living family members, but has now been included here at the behest of J.P.Sayer's daughter Gill Ward, one of the current representatives of the family.

Edward Sayer's descendants

There exists a photograph of a group of sixteen people posed in front of the big cedar tree in the garden of Oak Lodge. It was taken by John Sayer and is endorsed in his writing:  "The last tennis party at Oak Lodge, 1897."  Edward Sayer in his grey, flat-topped bowler and holding his silver knobbed stick is seated in the middle with John's wife Ella next to him. Her brother Gilbert Dixey stands behind her. Michael Sayer and his wife Mary are there and also Charles Sayer. A youngish woman is probably Edward's second wife and next to her is seated Mrs Perrot, an ample and dressy matron from one of the Oak Lane houses.

Emma and Edward Sayer had seven sons, one of whom, Edward Arthur, died in 1868 at the age of four. Their only daughter, Mary Mowbray, became the wife of Percival Hart and had one child, Ethel Mary. Details of Edward Sayer's six son, and some of their descendants, are given below.

  1. The eldest son William Feetham married Edith Alexandra Bell (his second wife) in 1883. As mentioned earlier they lived at Bourchier House and remained there until about 1909 when they moved to a smaller house in 22 Fallow court Avenue, North Finchley. Here William died in 1910, aged 60, and here his wife Edith lived throughout her thirty-one years of widowhood. William Sayer was a partner in Feethams until a year or two before his death.

    William and Edith had six children born between 1884 and 1903 but lost their second daughter Gladys in 1895 when she was six. The eldest daughter Dorothy Mary Mowbray, married Lionel Arthur Doveton Sturdee R.N. in 1910. He became Rear Admiral and inherited his father's baronetcy. Their only child Elizabeth, born in 1919, is now the wife of Admiral Edward Ashmore, First Sea Lord. They have one surviving daughter and a son Thomas.

    William Sayer's eldest son, Arthur Penrice, was born in 1885, educated at Highgate School and entered the army. In 1916 he married Mary Blanche, the widow of Capt. David Dodgson but left no heir. He saw service with Royal Engineers in the first world war and was President of the Royal Engineers and Signals Board when the second world war began. He died in 1962 with the rank of Brigadier. He had been responsible for the production of the Bailey Bridge and later was actively concerned with the development of Radar. He wrote the official history of this after the war when he was living in retirement in Bexhill.

    His brother, Geoffrey Robley, two years his junior was at Queen's College Oxford and, except for the war years, spent his working life in the Hong Kong Civil Service. He and his wife Winifred, the daughter of George Druce, had five children; Richard, now with Barclays Bank in London, John, a Commander in the Royal Navy, and Guy, the youngest son, now Chairman of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. The two daughters, Margaret and Phyllis married in 1950 and 1957 respectively.

    View Family Tree showing relationship of Sayer, Hopgood, Druce

    Margery Edith, William Sayer's younger surviving daughter, married Sydney Heath Phillips in 1925. Their son Nigel, now in Canada and married to his third wife Jean, married first Patricia Wyatt, by whom he had two children, Peter and Vanessa and secondly, in 1960 Pat Beaman. Nigel's sister Rosemary married George Corbett in 1953 and has two sons, Adrian and Edward.

    Guy Bourchier, the youngest of William Sayer's family, was at Highgate School for a short time but then went to Osborne and on to Dartmouth before entering the Navy. In 1925 he married Sylvia Munday who later became well-known as an active campaigner for the preservation of Dartmoor National Park. Their twin sons, Oliver, with I.C.I. and Geoffrey, a Commander in the Royal Navy. The first has three daughters and the second a daughter and a son, born in 1972. Guy Sayer retired as Vice-Admiral and is a K.B.E. and C.B.

  2. The second son of Edward and Emma Sayer was Charles Edward who became an architect. He married Rebecca Rosa, daughter of John Hopgood. They lived at various addresses in Chelsea, finally at 9 Tedworth Square. They died in 1926 and 1924 respectively. Their children were Phyllis, Joyce and Mary, with one son Mark. Joyce married Brownlow Villiers Lanyard R.N. and left one daughter Suzanne; Phyllis and Mary both remained single. Mark went to Rugby and after the 1914 – 1918 war settled in Halifax where he was in the Inland Revenue Department. He married Kathleen Holroyd in 1925 and died a year before her in 1969. They left no children

  3. Charles Sayer's brother Mark Feetham became a doctor and died unmarried in 1893 at the age of thirty-eight.

  4. The youngest brother, Michael John, married Emily May Dixey in 1883. They lived first at Bay Tree Cottage, Finchley, then at Wentworth Lodge nearby and finally at Western House, Hitchin. Their elder son, Edward Bainbridge, was in the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs) but owing to bad health had to leave the Army and take up farming in South Africa. Here he died in about 1916. His wife, whom he married before leaving England, was Joyce daughter of General Gatuere. They had one daughter, Jacqueline, born in 1916. Joyce may have joined Edward in Africa before their marriage.

    Edward's brother Michael Wynne was educated at Merchant Taylors and Cambridge and became an agricultural expert in the Indian Civil Service. He married Muriel Maude in 1916. They had four children, all daughters. By 1939 Wynne had retired and was with his family in the Channel Islands when they were invaded by the Germans. He had time to arrange the return of his wife and children to England but he himself was made a prisoner. He was later taken to Germany where he remained until the war ended. He died in 1970. His sister Alison May married Christopher Tatham in 1925 and had two children; Elizabeth who married Hugh Marshall, and Michael who, after leaving Eton, joined the Army and became a Major in the Household Cavalry. He left the Army in the late 1960s. He has not married and now lives in Hitchin.

    Some fourteen years after the birth of Alison May another daughter was born. this was Barbara Joan who married William Hitchcock of the Indian Police, on of her brother Wynne's friends. This marriage was dissolved and she then became the wife of Arnold Dearden.

  5. John Feetham was the fifth son of Edward and Emma Sayer. As already related, he married Ella Dixey in 1892. She and Michael's wife May were the daughters of Albert Dixey, a Lloyds Insurance Broker. The Dixey's lived on the West side of the Great North Road near Oak Lane. After John and Ella left Oak Lodge, when Edward Sayer remarried, they lived at "Elmdene" East End Road, Finchley. They moved to Mill Hill in 1915 but returned to Finchley – Regent's Park Road – in the late 1920s. Here Ella died in 1933 and John in 1944 aged eighty-three. Their son John Pearson (Jack) was born in 1901 and became a commercial artist. He married Kathleen Grey in 1926 and had two children, John and Gillian (Gill). John was killed in a road accident in 1956, unmarried and aged twenty-nine. Gill married Victor Reading in 1953 and they had a daughter and three sons. Their marriage was dissolved in 1974. Gill had a fourth son by her second husband Derek Ward.

  6. Edward Sayer's youngest son was James Bourchier who was born in 1866. He was educated at Christ's College Finchley and Queen's College Oxford, after which he was ordained. He was for many years vicar of St Saviour's, Birkenhead and became Canon of Chester. He married Margaret (Maggie) Heap and had two children, Harold and Hilda. James Sayer spent his retirement near Keswick and renamed his house at Crossthwaite "Oak Lodge". His son Harold married Diana Dinan in 1920 and had one son, James Guy Bourchier, two grandsons and a granddaughter; Mark, Nicholas and Suzanne [corrected from Susan].

To sum up: Edward and Emma Sayer had eight grandsons and ten granddaughters. In the next generation there were eleven great-grandsons (of whom eight are still living) and twelve great-granddaughters. Today (1973), in the youngest generation of all (great-great-grandchildren) there are eight male Sayers who may carry on the name among Edward's descendants.

Next Page - Sayers of Croft           J.P.Sayer Home