Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages
BIOGRAPHICA ET BIBLIOGRAPHICA [See Journal, No. 1, p. 51, for a note as to the purpose and scope of this section.-Editor. ] D.N.B. = The Dictionary of National Biography. ARCHDEACON HENRY THOMAS PAYNE (1759-1832). No mention is made in printed biographical dictionaries! of this Brecknockshire cleric who attained a position of distinction in the diocese of St. Davids and devoted a lifetime to historical studies. The salient dates of his career, however, are well established, thanks particularly to the evidence of the Bishops' Registers, Bishops' Transcripts of Parish Registers, and Chapter Acts Books of the diocese of St. Davids.2 He was the son of the Reverend Thomas Payne, M.A., who was rector of Llangattock, Breck- nockshire, from 1757 to 1798, and canon residentiary of Wells, and he was baptized at Llangattock on 30 November, 1759. He matriculated at Worcester College, Oxford, in February, 1777, and graduated B.A. from Balliol in 1780 and M.A. in 1784.3 At a special ordination held at Duke Street Chapel, Westminster, on 18 May, 1783, he was admitted a deacon, and at a general ordination at the Chapel of St. John the Baptist at Abergwili on 19 September, 1784, he was ordained a priest and licensed to the curacy of Llanelly, Breck- nockshire. He was instituted to the rectory of Llanbedr and Patricio on 31 August, 1793, and to the vicarage of Devynnock on 13 August, 1799, collated to the prebend of Llanbedr Painscastle otherwise Bochroyd (Boughrood), Radnorshire, on 8 June, 1799, and to the third cursal prebend of the Cathedral Church of St. Davids in July, 1810, admitted a canon residentiary of St. Davids on 23 July, 1814, in succession to John Williams, archdeacon of Cardigan, and installed in the archdeaconry of Carmarthen on 19 June, 1829, on the death of Benjamin Millingchamp, D.D. He died at Crickhowell on 22 April, 1832, at the age of seventy- three, and was buried on the following 28 April. Payne ascribes to himself in his own histories two additional offices, those of commissary-general of the archdeaconry of Brecon and rural dean of the third part of Brecon. In the Alumni Oxonienses he is also said to have been instituted to the vicarage of Ystradfellte in 1789, but this is not confirmed by the evidence of the episcopal records. One of the principal subjects of Payne's studies was naturally the diocese of St. Davids, and the results of the greater part of his researches have been embodied in two volumes of diocesan statutes entitled Collectanea Menevensia now preserved among the capitular records. The question of preparing such a collection of statutes was by no means new. Bishop Richard Smallbrook at his visitation of 25 July, 1726,4 and Bishop Thomas Burgess at his visitations of 30 July, 181 1,5 and 27 July, 1817,6 recommended that the statutes be brought together on the lines laid down in Bishop John Gilbert's Act of 1392, and that copies be distributed among the dignitaries of the diocese, who were ignorant of regulations, Smallbrook making par- ticular mention of canons residentiary who omitted to serve their prescribed terms of residence. Richard Davies, D.D., archdeacon of Brecon, was asked to undertake the task in 181 1,7 but it was Payne who, on 4 July, 1820,8 was given official access to the Chapter records for that purpose. Payne was well aware that there were eight such collections already in existence,-four in the Chapter chest, two in the Harleian collection (Nos. 1249 and 6280) in the British Museum, one in the library of St. John's College, Cambridge, and one among the episcopal records at Abergwili.9 But he does not appear to have been favourably impressed by 1 He is included in N.L.W. MS. 9269 (Henry Blackwell's Biographical Dictionary) but the article is not very informative. 2 All the capitular and other records of the diocese of St. Davids mentioned in this note are now on deposit' in the National Library of Wales, and are described in J. Conway Davies's survey of The Records of the Church in Wales in The National Library of Wales Journal, IV, pp. 1-34. 3 Foster Alumni Oxonienses, p. 1081. 4 Chapter Acts Book, 1723-68, p. 33. 5 Ibid., 1768-1829. p. 355. 6 Ibid., p. 415. 7 Ibid., p. 355. 8 Ibid., p. 455. 9 An account of these collections is given by E. D. Jones in a footnote to The Ottley Papers in The National Library of Wales J urnal, IV, pp. 72-3.