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

PAYNTER or Cambourne, WILLIAM (1637–1716), rector of Exeter College, Oxford, born at Trelissick in St. Erth parish, Cornwall, and baptised at St. Erth on 7 Dec. 1637, was son of William Paynter or Cambourne, by Jane, sixth child of Richard Keigwin of Mousehole in that parish. He matriculated from Exeter College, Oxford, 29 March 1656, and was a poor scholar there from 27 Feb. 1655–6 to 3 July 1657, when he was elected to a fellowship. He graduated B.A. 3 May 1660, M.A. 21 Jan. 1662–3 (being incorporated at Cambridge 1664), B.D. 7 July 1674, and D.D. 27 June 1695. In 1669 he was suspended from his fellowship on the ground that, although a Cornishman, he had ‘succeeded to a Devon fellowship.’ He was appointed to the rectory of Wotton, Northamptonshire, on 24 July 1686, and vacated his fellowship in February 1687–8. On the deprivation of Dr. Arthur Bury [q. v.], he was elected to the rectorship of Exeter College, 15 Aug. 1690. The circumstances came before the court of king's bench, and on 11 Feb. 1694–5 the election was confirmed, whereupon he was again appointed fellow. He held the rectorship until his death, and he was vice-chancellor of the university in 1698 and 1699. Paynter died at Wotton on 18 Feb. 1715–16, and was buried on 22 Feb., an inscription to his memory being placed upon a freestone monument in the chancel, and his will being proved in the court of the chancellor of Oxford University on 2 April 1716. His first wife was Mary, daughter of John Conant, rector of Exeter College, and widow of M. Pool, M.D. She was born in 1657, and died on 7 May 1695, being buried at Wotton, near her two children, William and Elizabeth. His second wife was Sarah, daughter of Francis Duncombe of Broughton, Buckinghamshire. She was buried at Ilsington, Devon, 22 Sept. 1725, aged 76. When Paynter was rector of Exeter College a benefactor's book was begun, and in 1685 he inscribed a gift of 100l. The substance of some letters which passed between him and Kennett on the patronage administered by the college is in Boase's ‘Registrum Collegii Exon.’ (1894, p. 336). Among his pupils was Sir George Treby the lawyer. Antony Wood more than once applied to him for information. Letters to and from him are in Harleian MSS., Addit. MSS. 4055 f. 50, and 28886 f. 37.

[Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. ii. 434–5; Boase's Collect. Cornub. pp. 670–1; Boase's Exeter Coll. (1894 ed.), pp. cxxix–xxxiv, clxxv. 114, 269; Wood's Colleges, ed. Gutch, ii. App. pp. 156–9; Vivian's Visit. of Cornwall, pp. 353, 558; Bridges's Northamptonshire, i. 393–4; Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, i. 102; Wood's Life (Oxford Hist. Soc.), ii. 506, iii. 139, 142, 174, 338, 349, 477.]

W. P. C.