PAYNE, John Willett (1752-1803), of Carlton House, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



9 May 1787 - 1796

Family and Education

b. 23 Apr. 1752, 2nd s. of Ralph Payne, chief justice of St. Kitts by his 2nd w. Margaret Gallwey of St. Kitts; half bro. of Ralph Payne.  educ. private sch. Greenwich; Royal Acad. Portsmouth 1767.  m. 1s.1

Offices Held

Entered R.N. c.1769; lt. 1777; cdr. 1779; capt. 1780; r.-adm. 1799.

Keeper of the privy seal, and private sec. to Prince of Wales, and auditor of the duchy of Cornwall 1792-6; ld. warden of the stannaries 1796- d.; treasurer of Greenwich Hospital 1799- d.


In 1787 Payne was returned for Huntingdon by Lord Sandwich, to whom he apparently lent money.2 A close friend of the Prince of Wales, he opposed Pitt. In January 1789, during the Regency crisis, when a change of Administration still seemed imminent, Payne was said to be ‘such a favourite he is to be a lord of the Admiralty, and leans on the Prince as he walks, not the Prince on him’.3 No speech by Payne is reported 1787-90.

He died 17 Nov. 1803.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: M. H. Port


  • 1. V. L. Oliver, Hist. Antigua, iii. 9; but he is not mentioned among the several legatees in Payne’s will, PCC 988 Marriott.
  • 2. VCH Hunts. ii. 46.
  • 3. Miss Sayer to Mme. Huber, 29 Jan., Auckland Corresp. ii. 279.