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PAYNE, Edwin Osman

Born: 1877 12 12
Died: 1927 05 24


Year registered: 1927

ARIBA 1902

An architect who practised in Durban from 1903, Payne was co-founder of the well known Durban firm of PAYNE & PAYNE. EO Payne was born in Durban and educated in Durban and at the Wesley College, Sheffield, England. Instead of training in England he returned to Durban where he was articled to W STREET-WILSON from 1894 until 1897; his brother WS PAYNE had commenced articles with Street-Wilson a month previously. In October 1897 Payne began his studies at the Architectural Association in London and spent about five years in England. He worked for two years in the office of Niven & Wigglesworth, and by 1902 was working in A Brumwell Thomas's office in Queen Anne's Gate, London. He also travelled, spending a few months in Italy (1901-2) and a few weeks in Normandy (1902) as well as travelling around Britain. In 1902 he was elected an Associate member of the RIBA and returned to Durban where he commenced practice in partnership with his brother in 1903 (cf PAYNE & PAYNE).

According to the family history, Edwin 'was of a quiet and very reserved disposition, and shunned public life' (Cook 1962:33). In 1907 he gave a talk on 'Church design' to the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, of which only the title is given in it's 1907 report. The talk may have resulted from the family concern with Methodism; in 1906 land in Kloof (where the Payne family had their home) had been given for the erection of a small Methodist church building which was eventually designed and built by the brothers in 1909-10. During the First World War Edwin served in the South West Africa campaign in the Durban Light Infantry. His early death is attributed to the hardships of the campaign. After the war he returned to practice and in 1919/20 he wrote to the RIBA to enquire about Fellowship but did not follow it up. Edwin died in the Arcadia Nursing Home in Pretoria while on a visit to Pretoria; he had considerable interests in Walker's Fruit Farms in the Transvaal and was also apparently visiting the farms at the time of his death. His will (1911) was witnessed by WCE ROBARTS. His obituarist, EM POWERS, noted that he was 'a member of an old and highly respected Durban family ' ... his death will be greatly felt ... in the Wesleyan Community where he was an influential but unobtrusive social worker' (SAAR Jun 1927:55 obit).

Reg Prob RIBA 1898; Reg Stud RIBA 1900; NIA Publ: 'FM KENT' RIBA Jnl 27 Aug 1904:507 obit by EO Payne. (ARIBA nom papers (1902); NAD MSCE 12459/1927; SAAR Jun 1927:55, obit; SAB Jan 1927:41, obit)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing PAYNE

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

Cook, D. 1962. The Paynes of 'Overdale'. : Privately printed. pp

Hillebrand, Melanie. 1975. Aspects of architecture in Natal, 1880 1914. Pietermaritzburg: Unpublished MA. Dept Fine Art and History of Art, University of Natal. pp