Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Paine, James (1725-1789)

PAINE or PAYNE, JAMES (1725–1789), architect, born in 1725, is said to have become a student in the St. Martin's Lane Academy, where he attained the power of drawing the figure and ornament with success (Dict. of Arch.) He states that he began as a youth the study of architecture under Thomas Jersey (d. 1751), and at the age of nineteen was entrusted with the construction of Nostell Priory in the West Riding of Yorkshire for Sir Rowland Winne, bart., ‘after a design seen by his client during his travels on the continent’ (Neale, Seats, vol. iv.; Woolfe and Gandon, Vitruvius Britannicus, fol., London, 1767, vol. i. pl. 57–63, or pl. 70–3). About 1740 he erected two wings at Cusworth House, Yorkshire, for William Wrightson (Neale, Seats, vol. v.; Woolfe, i. pl. 89–92), and he refers to ‘several gentlemen's buildings in Yorkshire’ as executed prior to 1744, when he was employed to design and build (as was then the practice with architects) the mansion-house at Doncaster. This was completed in 1748; and he published a description, with twenty-one plates (fol., London, 1751).

Paine was, until 1772, a director of the Society of Artists of Great Britain, and numerous designs by him appear in the society's ‘Catalogues’ from 1761 onwards. But the fullest account of his work appears in his ‘Plans, &c., of Noblemen and Gentlemen's Residences executed in various Counties, and also of stabling, bridges, public and private temples, and other garden buildings.’ The first volume or part was issued in 1767, the second part in 1783, together with a second edition of the first, and the book contained altogether 175 fine plates. Among the plans are the stabling and some bridges at Chatsworth for the Duke of Devonshire (1758– 1763); Cowick Hall, Yorkshire, for Viscount Downe; Gosforth, Northumberland, for Ch. Brandling, esq.; Melbourne (now known as Dover) House, Whitehall, for Sir M. Featherstonhaugh, bart.; Belford, Northumberland, for Abraham Dixon, esq.; Serlby, Nottinghamshire, for Viscount Galway; Stockeld Park, Yorkshire, for William Middleton, esq.; Lumley Castle at Sandbeck, Yorkshire, for the Earl of Scarborough (Watts, Seats of the Nobility, &c., 1779–90, pl. x.); Bywell, Northumberland, for William Fenwick, esq.; Axwell Park, Durham, for Sir Thomas Clavering, bart.; Heath, Yorkshire, for Mrs. Hopkinson; St. Ives, Yorkshire, for Benjamin Ferrand, esq.; Thorndon Hall, Essex, for Lord Petre (Neale, 2nd ser. vol. ii.; Wright, Essex, vol. ii.; Watts, pl. 17); Wardour Castle, Wiltshire, for Henry, eighth lord Arundel (Neale, vol. iii.; Builder for 1858, xvi. 548); Stapleton Park, Yorkshire, for Edward Lascelles, esq., afterwards Earl of Harewood (Neale, vol. iv.); Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, for Sir Matthew Lamb, afterwards Lord Melbourne (ib. 2nd ser. vol. v.); Hare Hall, near Romford, Essex, for J. A. Wallenger, esq. ({sc|Wright}}, Essex, vol. ii.; Neale, vol. i.); Shrubland Hall, Suffolk; and other smaller works. In London he designed Lord Petre's house in Park Lane; Dr. Heberden's house, and another for the Hon. Thomas Fitzmaurice, both in Pall Mall. His work also included bridges at Richmond and at Chillington, Staffordshire, besides several ceilings and ‘chimneypieces,’ one being for Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A., in Leicester Square, two at Melbourne House, and another in Park Lane. These were of his own peculiar design and execution (‘Letters of Sir W. Chambers, 1769,’ in Journal of Royal Institute of British Architects, 1892, p. 4). The bridges of Chertsey (Brayley, Surrey, ii. 231), Walton, and Kew (Faulkner, Brentford, p. 168) were built in 1783 from his designs, and at the same time Salisbury Street in the Strand was laid out by him.

His plans are well arranged and commodious, and the buildings soundly constructed; but some of the designs are meagre imitations of the Italian school. Gwilt, in his memoir of Sir William Chambers (Civil Architecture, 1825, p. xlix), remarks that ‘Paine and Sir Robert Taylor divided the practice of the profession between them until Robert Adam entered the list, and distinguished himself by the superiority of his taste in the nicer and more delicate parts of decoration.’

Paine held the appointment under the king's board of works of clerk of the works (or resident architect) at Greenwich Hospital, and held a like post afterwards at Richmond New Park and Newmarket. Finally he was attached to the board of works as ‘architect to the king,’ but was displaced in 1782, very soon after his appointment, by Burke's Reform Bill, without gratuity or pension. In 1771 Paine was elected president of the Society of Artists of Great Britain. ‘Chambers and Paine, who were leading members in the society, being both architects, were equally desirous that the funds should be laid out in the decoration of some edifice adapted to the objects of the institution. This occasioned much debate, acrimony, and rivalry among their respective partisans’ (Galt, Life of West, ii. 35). At length Paine designed for the society the academy or exhibition rooms, near Exeter Change, Strand, and on 23 July 1771 laid the first stone (Annual Register). The exhibition in the new buildings was opened on 11 May 1772, when an ‘ode,’ written by E. Lloyd, with music by W. Hook, was recited (given in ib. p. 206). The building was soon afterwards sold, and in 1790 was converted into the Lyceum Theatre. In 1764 Paine was living in a spacious house in St. Martin's Lane, which he had built for himself; he removed in 1766 to Salisbury Street, and about 1785 to Addlestone or Sayes Court, near Chertsey, to which he is said to have made additions in the Elizabethan style; there he is stated to have formed a fine collection of drawings. In 1783 he was high sheriff for Surrey, and in the commission of the peace for Essex, Middlesex, and Surrey. Some months preceding his death he retired to France, and died there about November 1789, in the seventy-third year of his age (ib. 1789, p. 232). A son James is separately noticed. Of his two daughters, the younger was married after 1777 to Tilly Kettle [q. v.] the painter.

At the South Kensington Museum there are two volumes of drawings, one having twenty-three examples of rosettes, &c., and the other having forty-four examples of ornaments, vases, mirror-frames, &c., both of which may be attributed to Paine.

There is a stippled portrait of Paine dated 1798; a similar plate by P. Falconet, engraved in 1769 by D. P. Pariset; a small one by F. Hayman, engraved by C. Grignion, prefixed to his publication of 1751. There is also the brilliant picture of Paine and his son James by Sir Joshua Reynolds, painted in June 1764. This is now in the University gallery at Oxford, the son having bequeathed, it to the Bodleian Library. It was engraved in 1764 by J. Watson, and shows a scroll inscribed ‘Charter of the Society of Artists;’ but this was only granted 26 Jan. 1765 (Pye, Patronage, 1845, pp. 116, 136).

[Dictionary of Architecture; Gent. Mag. 1789, ii. 1153; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Catalogues of the Society of Artists of Great Britain and of the Royal Academy of Arts; Pye's Patronage of British Art, 8vo, 1845; Literary Panorama, 1807–8, iii. 809, 1013, 1226.]

W. P.-h.