William Sawyer

This notice appeared in The Era, on Saturday 4 November 1882.

With a deep regret, which will be shared by all associated with the literary and dramatic circles of the metropolis, where he was so well known and so highly esteemed, we sadly record the death, at a comparatively early age, of Mr William Sawyer, the well-known journalist and graceful poet. Mr William Sawyer, who had only felt a slight indisposition a few days since, which had compelled him to suspend his professional labours on the many periodicals with which he was prominently connected, suddenly succumbed to a feverish disorder, assuming at last a typhoid complexion, and expired at ten minutes past four last Thursday morning, November 2nd, at his residence, 9, Pelham place, South Kensington. It is probable that the shock produced by a railway accident to which he was exposed twenty years ago, and the depression of spirits caused by the loss of a beloved wife, who expired a twelvemonth since, may have rendered him less able to resist the effects of a disease by which he was so suddenly prostrated.

Mr William Kingston Sawyer, F.S.A., was born at Brighton, July 26th, 1828, and had consequently only completed his fifth-fourth year. He commenced writing for the local journals at a very early age, and published a little volume of poems under the title of “Stray Leaves” as long ago as 1846. A subsequent volume, entitled “Ten Miles from Town,” published in 1866, and his charming poem “The Legend of Phyllis,” published in 1872, established his reputation as a lyrical writer of great taste and fancy. In 1854 Mr Sawyer undertook the editorship of the Oxford University Herald, and, coming to London in 1861, became a valuable contributor to all the magazines and periodicals needing the aid of a versatile and accomplished author. In a serial form he wrote anonymously about five-and-twenty novels and romances, many displaying remarkable power of invention and skill in the delineation of characters. He began writing for the stage in his twenty-fifth year, when two farces, called Wanted to Marry and Eight Hours at the Seaside, were produced at Brighton. A very successful drama from his pen was brought out at the Surrey Theatre at Christmas, 1862, under the title of Jessie Ashton. For some years past Mr William Sawyer had been the editor of several important metropolitan newspapers and periodicals. In our best literary clubs no member will be more missed, and his memory will ever be affectionately cherished.