Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Amateur architect. John Payne, a son of William Payne, portrait painter, of Dublin, and his wife Jane, née Standish, was admitted to Trinity College, Dublin, at the age of fifteen in 1715. After graduating in 1720 he took holy orders. He became curate at Powerscourt and subsequently incumbent of the parish of Castlerickard, Co. Meath, where he remained for many years. He possessed an informed knowledge of building, so that in 1750 he was able to act as clerk and surveyor of quantities for improvements to the horse barracks at Trim.(1) In 1753 he prepared a manuscript set of twelve designs for small country houses,(2) which was published anonymously, with an expanded prefatory 'Advertisement', in Dublin in 1757 as Twelve Designs of Country Houses of two, three and foor rooms on a floor, proper for glebes and small estates, with some observations on the common errors in building.(3) The plates are prefaced by several pages of practical advice on house building in rural Ireland. A proposed re-issue of the book in 1758 does not appear to have materialized. Strickland mentions another work by Payne - on ornamental architecture - which was never published. Payne also painted in oils and water-colour, being particularly adept, according to Strickland, as a flower painter. He died on 26 May 1771 in his house in Dorset Street, Dublin, and was buried in St Mary's churchyard.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from W.G. Strickland, A Dictionary of Irish Artists (1913), II, 221-2, and Eileen Harris, British Architectural Books and Writers 1556-1785 (1990), 365-6.

(1) Harris, op.cit., above, citing C.J. Robb, 'A Reverend Quantity Surveyor', Journal of the Chartered Surveyors' Institution 25 (Nov 1945), 204.
(2) A copy of this manuscript is in the Royal Irish Academy (photocopy in IAA); another copy in NA/SPO OP(MA) 1832-82, p.28, in carton 1A-77-4; pamphlet in Foster Collection, Royal Irish Academy (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(3) Photocopy in IAA. For descriptions of this work see Maurice Craig, Classic Irish Houses of the Middle Size (1976), 39-49 (illus. with reproductions of 3 of Payne's designs), and Harris, op. cit., above.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for PAYNE, JOHN (REV.)

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Date: 1751
Nature: Designed for Rev. Adam Lyndon, DD.
Refs: [J. Payne], Twelve Designs of Country Houses, 10-11, Pls. 1 & 2 (No. 1); Maurice Craig, Classic Irish Houses of the Middle Size (1976), 40,67(illus.)

Author Title Date Details
Payne, John (rev.) 'Twelve Designs of Small houses of two, three and four Rooms on a floor, proposed for Glebes and Country-houses on small Estates. Invented and Drawn by J.P. MDCCLIII.' 1753 MS. in Royal Irish Arcademy. (Photocopy In IAA.)
Payne, John (rev.) Twelve Designs of Country-Houses, of Two, three and four Rooms on a Floor, proper for Glebes and Small Estates, with Some Observations on the common Errors in Building. By a Gentleman. 1757 Dublin: G. and A. Ewing, 1757. (Photocopy in IAA)
Robb, Colin Johnston 'A Reverend Quantity Surveyor' 1945 Journal of the Chartered Surveyors' Institute 25 (Nov 1945), 204.