Arthur Lydney Payne

Arthur Lydney Payne was one of Lambton and New Lambton’s most prominent citizens. This month marks 100 years since his death on 15th June 1917.

A L Payne was born at Lydney Park, a property in the Millers Forest area, around 1850.  In the 1860s his family moved to Waratah, where the teenage Arthur was employed by the butcher, D McMichael. Arthur’s skill and reliability were so evident that he was soon appointed to the management of the business. In 1870, at just 20 years of age, Arthur Payne purchased a butchering business in Regent St New Lambton, and later that year opened another shop in Elder St Lambton. Thus began a family business that maintained a continuous association with the area until 1993.

A L Payne’s efforts were not only directed towards commerce. He served as an alderman on Lambton Council for 19 years, and was four times elected Mayor. He also became renowned for his expertise in herbal medicines, and “patients came to him for advice from all parts of Australia.”

One of the enduring legacies of Arthur Payne to our district is Le Chalet, the elegant house he had built in Elder St Lambton in the early 1900s. In 1911, at the rear of this property, Arthur Payne erected stables and a buggy house, as he was an avid horseman. He maintained a lifelong interest in the sport of show jumping, and won a number of competitions across NSW with horses he had personally trained. Even a month before his death at age 67 he was active, purchasing a “well-known jumper and show horse” from the Maitland horse markets.

After a short illness, A L  Payne died at his residence in Elder St Lambton in June 1915. His funeral cortege, travelling from Lambton to Sandgate cemetery was reported as “one of the largest that ever left Lambton”, the size of the gathering being “a fine tribute of respect and esteem in which the deceased gentleman was held.”

The slaughterhouse that A L Payne established in the 1870s to supply meat to his butcher shops. Exact location uncertain. Photo by Ralph Snowball. University of Newcastle, Cultural Collections.

Although not the original building, A L Payne’s former butcher shop in Elder St Lambton still displays his name, and the year he established his business in the area.

The site of A. L. Payne’s butcher shop in Regent St New Lambton.


The article above was first published in the June 2017 edition of the Lambton & New Lambton Local.

Additional Information

A. L. Payne. Photo from Amy Gibbs.

A. L. Payne. Photo from Amy Gibbs.

Key facts

Name:Arthur Lydney Payne
Birth date:8 Jan 1851
Birth place:Lydney Park (near Millers Forest), NSW
Death date:15 Jun 1917
Death place:Elder St, Lambton, NSW
Burial site:Sandgate Cemetery
Burial Long,Lat :151.70626621,-32.869169368 (KML File for Google Earth)
Burial date:17 Jun 1917
Grave site of Arthur Lydney Payne, Sandgate cemetery.

Grave site of Arthur Lydney Payne, Sandgate cemetery.

Inscription on grave monument in Sandgate cemetery. (Contrast enhanced to improve readability.)

Inscription on grave monument in Sandgate cemetery. (Contrast enhanced to improve readability.) "In loving remembrance of ARTHUR LYDNEY PAYNE who departed this life JUNE 15th 1917 a Aged 67 years. At Rest Also His Dearly Beloved Wife THIRZA GRACE who departed this life July 28th 1936 Aged 81 years"

In a curious coincidence, the grave of Arthur Lydney Payne in Sandgate cemetery is adjacent to that of Donald McMichael, the man who gave Arthur his start in the butchering trade.

In a curious coincidence, the grave of Arthur Lydney Payne in Sandgate cemetery is adjacent to that of Donald McMichael, the man who gave Arthur his start in the butchering trade.

There is some uncertainty about the age of A. L. Payne at the time of his death. Page 155 of “The Story of Lambton” states his date of birth as being 8 January 1851, which would make him aged 66 at his death. However the inscription on his grave states his age as being 67. To add to the confusion, the newspaper article reporting his death states that he was born in 1852, which would make him aged 64 or 65.

Lambton Council

Arthur Lydney Payne served as an alderman on Lambton Council for nearly 19 years, in two separate periods of office:

  • February 1884 to May 1894
  • September 1903 to March 1912

Interestingly, both periods of office ended with a resignation – in May 1894 over the the failure of the electric light plant, and in March 1912 for an unspecified reason.

Alderman Payne was elected Mayor on four occasions:

Alderman A. L. Payne, Lambton Council 1890. From a collage of Ralph Snowball photographs. Newcastle Library.

Newspaper articles

Article Date Event DateNotes
5 May 1917At the Maitland horse markets, a month before his death … "We have also to report the sale of the well-known jumper and show horse, Moonbi, at a highly satisfactory price to Mr. A. L. Payne."
19 Jun 1917
15 Jun 1917
"Mr Payne carried on a butchering business successfully for many years, but he was better and far wider known as a skilful adviser in cases of sickness and chronic complaints. He was so successful in the treatment of all kinds of human ailments and diseases that patients came to him from almost all parts of the Commonwealth, including Queensland and Tasmania."
16 Jun 1917
15 Jun 1917
Death of Arthur Lydney Payne.
16 Jun 1917Funeral notice for A. L. Payne.
18 Jun 1873
17 Jun 1917
Report on the funeral of A. L. Payne
21 Jun 1917
19 Jun 1917
Letter of condolence sent from Lambton Council to the widow and family of the late A. L. Payne.
21 Jul 1917Estate of A. L. Payne valued at £18,185, bequeathed to his wife Thirza Grace Payne.

2 thoughts on “Arthur Lydney Payne

  1. I was told that the house on the SW corner of Grainger and Howe Streets was owned by the Payne family and that the present owners bought it from them. True?

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