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Hayter, William Goodenough (DNB00)


HAYTER, Sir WILLIAM GOODENOUGH (1792–1878), parliamentary secretary of the treasury, youngest son of John Hayter, by Grace, daughter of Stephen Goodenough of Codford, Wiltshire, was born at Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire, on 28 Jan. 1792, and entered at Winchester School in 1804. He matriculated from Trinity College, Oxford, on 24 Oct. 1810, and took his B.A. in 1814. On being called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on 23 Nov. 1819, he became an equity draftsman and conveyancer, and attended the Wiltshire sessions, but retired from practice on being made a Q.C. on 21 Feb. 1839; he was, however, bencher of his inn on 15 April 1839, and treasurer in 1853.

On 24 July 1837 he was returned in the liberal interest to the House of Commons as one of the members for Wells, and sat for that constituency till 6 July 1865. From 30 Dec. 1847 to 30 May 1849 he was judge-advocate-general. At the latter date he became financial secretary to the treasury, and in July 1850 was appointed parliamentary and patronage secretary, a post which he held until March 1852, and again from December 1852 to March 1858. Hayter was an admirable ‘whip.’ When Lord Derby came into power in 1852, Hayter marshalled the disorderly ranks of the liberal party with great success, and in the following governments of Lord Aberdeen and Lord Palmerston his powers developed, and his reputation steadily increased. On 11 Feb. 1848 he was gazetted a privy councillor. After his retirement, on 19 April 1858, he was created a baronet, and three years later, 27 Feb. 1861, in remembrance of the courtesy, fairness, and efficiency with which he had discharged his duties for many years as liberal ‘whip,’ he was presented by Lord Palmerston and 365 members of the House of Commons with a service of plate at a banquet in Willis's Rooms (Illustrated London News, 9 March 1861, with view of the testimonial). As a practical farmer he was very successful; his farm, Lindsay, near Leighton, Buckinghamshire, was kept in the highest state of cultivation, and was a model of economy and profitable management. He was one of the council of the Agricultural Society from its commencement in 1838. He voted with Mr. Villiers in 1839 for the repeal of the corn laws, and was present at all the divisions in favour of free trade. He was not a frequent speaker, but took part in debates on matters within his knowledge. In Lord Denman's inquiry into the management of the woods and forests he was a member of the committee, and was chairman of the committee on Feargus O'Connor's land scheme. During 1878 he fell into a depressed state of mind, and on 26 Dec. was found drowned in a small lake in the grounds of his residence, South Hill Park, Easthampstead, Berkshire. He was buried at Easthampstead on 2 Jan. 1879. His wife, whom he had married on 18 Aug. 1832, was Anne, eldest daughter of William Pulsford of Linslade, Buckinghamshire. She died in London on 2 June 1889, aged 82. He was succeeded by his only son, the present Sir Arthur Hayter.

[Times, 28 Dec. 1878, pp. 7, 8, 30 Dec. p. 6, and 3 Jan. 1879, p. 3; Illustrated London News, 20 July 1850, p. 64, with portrait, and 13 April 1861, p. 339, with portrait; Men of the Time, 1879, p. 503.]

G. C. B.