Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pain, William

PAIN, WILLIAM (1730?–1790?), writer on architecture and joinery, published a series of practical treatises. The earliest was ‘The Builder's Companion and Workman's General Assistant,’ 92 plates, fol. 1759, chiefly dealing with work in the Chippendale style. This was followed by ‘The Builder's Pocket Treasure; or, Palladio delineated and explained,’ 44 plates, 8vo, 1763; and compilations of the same description appeared in 1774, 1780, and 1782. ‘The British Palladio; or, Builder's General Assistant,’ &c., 42 plates, fol. 1785, was reissued in 1793, 1797, and 1804. The date 1770, usually assigned to Pain's death, is obviously too early. A William Paine died in the Isle of Thanet on 27 July 1771 (Gent. Mag. 1771, p. 378), but the architectural writer must have died after 1790. ‘W. Pain,’ of 1 Diana Place, Fitzroy Square, who exhibited at the Royal Academy designs in the Gothic style in 1802 and 1807, was possibly a son.

Another son, James, a builder and surveyor, assisted his father in his latest publication, and left at least four sons, three of whom (Henry, James [q. v.], and George Richard) were pupils of the architect John Nash.

[Dictionary of Architecture; Catalogue of Royal Academy.]

W. P.-h.