PAYNE, SAMUEL, Montreal silversmith; b. 1696 in the parish of St James (Clerkenwell), London; son of the Rev. Lawrence Payne and Mary Rivers; lived in Stepney, then a suburb of London; resident in Montreal 1725–32.
Payne was the son of the protestant chaplain to Lieutenant-General Sir William Cadogan, an officer in Marlborough’s army. He may have been related to the 18th-century London silversmiths, Humphrey and John Payne. Payne’s life before and after his sojourn in Montreal is fertile ground for hypothesis. He was, apparently, converted to Roman Catholicism before his marriage on 30 July 1725 to Marguerite, daughter of the Montreal merchant Pierre Garreau. Six children born of this marriage were baptized in Montreal.
Payne purchased a house and shop in 1726 from the widow of the silversmith Jean-Baptiste Saint-Mars or Saint-Marc. He worked at his craft in this one-storey wooden house on Rue Saint-Joseph (now Saint-Sulpice) until 1730, when he sold the property. In 1731 he employed Jacques Dache, “garçon orfèvre,” as his assistant for four months. To date, a cup and a spoon have been attributed to Payne. The spoon bears a very Parisian touch-mark of a crowned fleur de lis over the letters SP.
Payne evidently left Montreal and the colony after 1732. The last record of the silversmith is the baptismal record of his son François-Amable, dated 12 July 1732 and signed by Payne. When this child was buried on 8 October of the same year, Payne’s sister-in-law represented the family. The absence of any later record of Payne’s immediate family and the disorder in which he left his affairs hint at a hasty departure from Montreal. É.-Z. Massicotte suggested that Payne might have accompanied his Sulpician friend, Abbé Claude Chauvreulx* to Acadia in 1733. Negative evidence in church registers suggests that he did not go to Louisbourg or Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island). It would be natural for a silversmith to seek employment in a town because silversmithing was a luxury craft.
Another possible explanation is that Samuel Payne of London and Montreal and a Samuel Payne (fl. 1711–1748) of Braintree, Mass. are one and the same person. The second Payne had a family in Braintree but is not known to have been a silversmith. He was, it seems, captured by French mission Indians in 1721 while serving with the New England militia in the defence of Georgetown, Me. This Payne was listed in “An Account of sundry English Prisoners brought in [to Boston harbour] from Louisbourg . . . in a schooner Britannicus where [they] were Transported there from Canada,” dated 6 Oct. 1748. It is possible that he was taken to Montreal in 1721 as a captive of the Caughnawaga Indians who had participated in the Georgetown raid.
AJM, Greffe de J.-B. Adhémar, 1 mars 1726; Greffe de N.-A. Guillet de Chaumont, 30 mars 1730; Greffe de J.-C. Raimbault, 21 mai 1731; Registres d’état civil de Notre-Dame de Montréal. Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., 2d ser., XIV (1900–1), 27. Coleman, New England captives. John Langdon, Canadian silversmiths, 1700–1900 (Lunenburg, 1966), 113. Parkman, A half-century of conflict (new ed., 1v., New York, 1962), 159–68. Ramsay Traquair, The old silver of Quebec (Toronto, 1940), 30. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Deux orfèvres d’autrefois,” BRH, XLVI (1940), 353–54; “Orfèvres et bijoutiers du régime français,” BRH, XXXVI (1930), 32.