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 1917. 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, Living Histories.
Although not the original building, A L Payne’s former butcher shop on the north side of Elder St Lambton still displays his name, and the year he established his business in the area. 8 May 2017.

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

Additional Information

Elder Street buildings

A L Payne’s first butcher shop in Lambton was located on the south side of Elder Street, operating from rented premises, as indicated in the advertisement for the sale of the property to take place in 1882.

Advertisement for sale of property occupied by A L Payne’s butcher shop in Elder St Lambton. Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 25 March 1882.

The location of the shop can be identified via this advertisement. Noting that the sale of the property took place on 15 April 1887, inspecting the Land Title records for properties on Elder Street shows only one property changed hands on that date, recorded in Vol-Fol 271-151. Note that the land transfer is from “The Lambton Building and Investment Society Mortgagees Exercising Power of Sale” to “Annie Salmon of Sydney, Spinster.” Eli Chadwick, the person named in the advertisement as initiating the sale, was a director of the Lambton Building and Investment Society.

Vol-Fol 271-151, page 2.

The property sold was the north half of Lot 4 Section H on the south side of Elder Street. Note that the dimensions of the land match those described in the advertisement.

Vol-Fol 271-151, page 1.

This land corresponds to 105-107 Elder Street today, opposite the current butchers shop, where the pharmacy is located today.

105-107 Elder Street, the site of Payne’s first butcher shop in Lambton, in rented premises.

It is unclear if, or for how long Payne operated a butcher shop at this site after the sale on 15 April 1882. Later that year the paper reported that …

Mr. A. L. Payne is having a large new weatherboard , building erected in Elder-street, part of which, when completed, will be used to carry on the butchering business, and the other part as a boot and shoe store for Mr. W. Sykes.

Newcastle morning herald and Miners’ advocate, 8 September 1882.

Just three years later another report states that …

I notice that Mr. A. L. Payne has commenced the erection of a large two-story weatherboard shop and dwelling-house in Elder-street. The building will contain shop on the ground floor, 29 feet by 24 feet, and five rooms in the upper story. There will be large plate-glass windows, ornamental front, and colonnade, also kitchen, outhouses, store-rooms, and all the requisites for carrying on the business of a general store. When completed the building will rank amongst the most ornamental and useful in the town.

Newcastle morning herald and Miners’ advocate, 16 April 1885.

The location of these two reported buildings is uncertain. The only land Payne owned in Elder St in 1882 and 1885 was Lot 10 of Section F, purchased in 1876. This is 130 Elder St where Payne had a substantial home Le Chalet erected in the early 1900s. It is possible the shops were located on that land.

On 21 March 1887, Arthur Payne purchased Lot 4 of Section E on the north side of Elder Street (106-108 Elder Street today).

Purchase of land on the north side of Elder St by Arthur Lidney (sic) Payne, 21 March 1887. Vol-Fol 97-125.

Although page 156 of “The Story of Lambton” says that Payne transferred the butchers business to the opposite side of Elder Street “about 1914”, I suspect that it is more likely that he he conducted his business from the site on the north side of Elder Street soon after he purchased it in 1887. The photograph below shows the original butcher shop on this site. It is not clear whether Payne erected a building after purchasing the site, or if there was already a shop building there. Note that the facade has “Est. 1872” which differs from the current building where the facade has “Est. 1870”. The discrepancy may be due to the first building being erected in 1872 (prior to Payne’s ownership), and the subsequent building with “Est. 1870” referring to the year Payne started his business on the other side of the street.

A L Payne’s butcher shop, north side of Elder St Lambton, circa 1890.

The location of the shop in the photo above can be confirmed by close inspection of the window, woodwork and stonework of the building to the right, which still stands today.

I do not know if the current brick building at 108 Elder Street is a complete rebuild, or a major renovation of the original building, or what year this occurred.

The Craft Butcher, Elder Street Lambton, 23 April 2023.

Other photos

The site of A. L. Payne’s butcher shop in Regent St New Lambton. 28 May 2017.
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 :151.70627,-32.86917 (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."
16 Jun 1917
15 Jun 1917
Death of Arthur Lydney 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 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.

15 thoughts on “Arthur Lydney Payne

  1. Hi everyone. My name is Peter Howells. My eldest Great Aunt, Mirriam Howells married a Timothy Payne from the lambton, Adamstown area in the late 1800,s and took possession of a farm between Toronto & Awaba on a 99 year lease around the same time. Other than this I know very little. We have had a few Howells Family reunions over the years and this offshoot of the family & descendants have remained a mystery to all of the family. Any help in tracing my family connection would be greatly appreciated. Kind regards P

  2. I am the greatGranddaughter of Alfred Payne, who as think was Arthur’s brother.
    I am trying to find out more abour the Payne Family. Alfred my Grandfather was married in 1854 at Raymond Terrace to Mary Ann King

  3. My partner and I have just bought the butchery at 108 Elder street – the A.L. Payne building. I would love to find out more about the history of the building and shop owners. Would you be able to point me in the right direction? Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. We feel honored to be a part of such a historical site’s current history!
    P.s your information on Arthur above is exceedingly interesting and helpful! Thank you!

  4. Hi All, I am a great granddaughter as well. Current name Elizabeth Limbrick. Maiden name, obviously, Payne. I am the daughter of Ernest Rudge, the son of Ernest Johns, a son of Arthur Lydney.

    • Always wondered what happened to that side of the family. I’m a grandson of Albert John. If you have an email address would love ro correspond.

  5. That’s a lot of hard work, and a rather good man, and a rather young age to die at too, his wife must have missed him terribly. Beautiful family, grateful to be apart of it. Leslie is my uncle and Ernest my grandfather. My name is Lana Payne and Tegan Lane is my beloved sister. Nice comments Teigz x

  6. My father Don Payne a direct descendent and I his daughter read your article on A L Payne and found it interesting and correct. Thank you for the article. Regards

    • this is so inspirational reading about his gifts with herbs.. i am currently studying WHM so my grandfather looked this up to show me his grandfather A.L Payne.. my great grandfather. so hey distant relative! i hope you are well and in good spirits!

  7. 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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