Papers of Joseph Payne (1808-1876) and family

Scope and Content

Small group of papers of Joseph Payne (1808-1876) and of his family including his sons (Joseph) Frank Payne (1840-1910) and John Burnell Payne (1839-1869) and his father-in-law the Rev John Dyer.

1. (Joseph) Frank Payne's personal copies of the volumes of his father's work which he edited: Lectures on the History of Education (1892) and Lectures on the Science and Art of Education (1883). Both contain the bookplate of Frank Payne which was designed for him by Charles Holroyd.

2. Bound copy of Joseph Frank Payne's Harveian Oration, entitled 'Harvey and Galen', 1897 [his personal copy]

3. Ms Journal of Joseph Payne, Jan-Apr 1825

4. Sermon on the death of the Rev John Dyer by Edward Steane, 1841 (printed)

5. Testimonials in favour of Rev John Burnell Payne, candidate for the Professorship of English Literature and History at Owen's College, Manchester, 1866 (printed)

6. Photograph of Joseph Payne

7. Sermon on the death of the Rev James Dyer by William Steadman, 1797 (printed)

8. Small notebook entitled 'Frank Feign.ell's attempt to amuse his friends illustrated by a series of characters, Bromley Middlesex, 1821'

9. Small notebook entitled 'The Literary Miscellany', 1828 [No 3 of a series containing contributions by a group of friends/relatives including 'JP', Lucilla, [Larissa] and Elizabeth. This volume containing contributions by 'JB' on 'Recollections of the past' and by 'JP' on 'Natural scenery - Box Hill'

10. Small notebook with brief accounts of a visit to Devon [possibly by Joseph Payne]

11. Correspondence, including of Joseph Frank Payne with Mrs Lewes [George Eliot]

12. Various notes, journal entries, reflections and verse in different hands

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Payne was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in 1808. He came to prominence as one of the most vocal adherents of the methods of Joseph Jacotot in England, publishing in 1830 an exposition of Jacotot's methods and lecturing to other teachers about education while teaching at a school in the New Kent Road, London. In 1838 he established Denmark Hill Grammar School with David Fletcher. In 1845 he opened the Mansion Grammar School, at Leatherhead in Surrey.

Payne was 'a fierce critic of educational inefficiency and privilege...But he also proposed solutions, for example the extension of educational opportunities and rights to girls as well as to boys, and the establishment of a trained and certificated teaching profession'.

He retired from teaching in 1868 and began to write various textbooks and criticized elementary education in the England. He was also heavily involved in reforms and believed education could transform society. He was a founding member of the College of Preceptors and became its first Professor of Science and Art of Education in 1873. He was one of the founders of the Women's Education Union, and he was also one of the original shareholders of the Girls' Public Day School Company which was created by the Union. Payne was also a member of the council of the Social Science Association, and of the committees of the Kindergarten Association and of the Froebel Society.

He married Eliza Dyer in December 1837, and they had four children, John Burnell, Joseph Frank, Mary Eliza and William Payne. His wife died in October 1875 and he retired from the College of Preceptors in December 1875 due to ill health. He died a few months later in April 1876.

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.

Acquisition Information

Collected from the family in 2000.

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