Sayers, Richard Stanley (born 1908)
Born at Bury St Edmunds into a large poor family, Sayers was to become the doyen of English monetary economists/historians in the decades following 1950. He read economics at Cambridge, where Sraffa’s lectures began ‘in time for me to learn enough of the “continentals” to free me from the shadow of Marshall’ (personal communication to the present author). In the 1930s he taught at the London School of Economics – where with P. Barrett Whale he formed a minority backing Keynes’s Treatise on Money against the prevailing Robbins/Hayek orthodoxies – and then at Oxford, where in two summer months of 1937 he wrote what became the first of seven editions of his Modern Banking (1938), on which generations of English students were to be reared. After war service in the Ministry of Supply and the Cabinet Office, and struggle against ill-health, in 1947 he succeeded D.H. Robertson in the Cassel Chair at LSE, where he remained for twenty years. Retiring from his chair at sixty, he devoted several years to updating Clapham’s celebrated two-volume history on the Bank of England, and to editing and introducing the economic volumes (IX–XI) of The Collected Works of Walter Bagehot (1978).