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Sayer, Anthony

At the Revival in 1717, "Mr. Antony Sayer, gentleman," was elected Grand Master (Constitutions, 1738, page 110). He was succeeded in the next year by George Payne, Esq. In 1719, he was appointed Senior Grand Warden by Grand Master Desaguliers. Afterward he fell into bad circumstances and in 1730 a sum of 15 was granted to him by Grand Lodge, followed by a further grant of 2.2.0 in 1741. In December, 1730, a complaint was made to Grand Lodge of some irregular conduct on his part, and he was acquitted of the charge, whatever it was, but told to do nothing so irregular for the future. When he died, either late in 1791 or early in 1742, he was Tiler of what is now the Old King's Arms Lodge, No. 28. A portrait of him by Highmore, the celebrated painter, is in existence, mezzotinto copies of which are not uncommon (see also a paper "Mr. Anthony Sayer, gentleman," by Brother J. Walters Hobbs, Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1924, volume xxxvii, page 218). The Freemason, June 6, 1925, says of Brother Sayer:

We also find the name among the worthies of the Old King's Arms Lodge, No. 28, London, England, the name of that somewhat elusive character, Anthony Sayer the first Grand Master of England, about whom less definite information is known than of any of his successors in that high office. After serving the office of Grand Master in 1717, he, like George Payne, descended, in 1719, to the Chair of Grand Warden.

His name appears among the lists of members of the Lodge which met at the Queen's Head in Knave's Acre, in Wardour Street, for the years 1723, 1725, and 1730, which Lodge stands as No. 11 on the Engraved List in the Library of Grand Lodge, and is now known as the Lodge of Fortitude and Old Cumbelland, No. 12. It is now known that he became Tyler of the Old King's Arms Lodge in 1733. It is also known that he received assistance from the Charity Fund of Grand Lodge in 1730 and again in 1741, and the Minute Books of the Old King's Arms Lodge reveal the fact that he received assistance from their funds in 1730 and 1740.

According to a notice in the London Evening Post of January 16, 1742, ten days after the election of his successor of Tyler, he passed away a few days prior to that date, evidently in good Masonic order since the funeral cortege set out from the Shakespeare's Head Tavern, in Covent Garden, then the meeting-place of the Stewards' Lodge, followed by a great number of members of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Freemasons "of the best quality," the body being "decently interred in Covent Garden Church." According to the Church Register the funeral took place on January 5, 1742.

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