Peter Brown Family History

William Payne (1620) & Susan Stacey

General History

William Payne & Susan Stacey were one of my 10th generation ancestors

Key Dates:

William Payne was baptised on 2nd July 1620 in East Grinstead, Sussex. He was the son of William Payne & Mary Head. He married Susan Stacey (Susanna) on 2nd June 1646 in West Hoathly, Sussex. William & Susan had six known children. William left a 'Will' that was proved in 1658 and he was probably buried on 18th September 1658 in East Grinstead, Sussex ('William of Whalesbeech). William was mentioned in his daughter Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681 as deceased.

Susan Stacey (Susanna) was probably baptised on 2nd February 1623 in West Hoathly, Sussex. She was the daughter of George Stacey & Mary . She married secondly Nicholas Cripps on 26th December 1659 in Lindfield, Sussx (Susan shown as a widow of East Grinstead). Susan was mentioned in her husband William Payne's 'Will' of 1658 and in her daughter Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681 (as was her second husband Nicholas). Nicholas Cripps was also mentioned in his step daughter Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681 as executor

Children Returns to 'Top of Page'

William Payne & Susan had six known children:

  1. William Payne was baptised on 11th May 1647 in East Grinstead, Sussex. He was mentioned in his sister Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681. Died 1727 (of Legsheath). William had three children mentioned in his sister Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681
    1. John Payne was baptised on 14thSeptember 1675 in East Grinstead, Sussex.
  2. Mary Payne was baptised on 27th October 1649 in East Grinstead, Sussex. She was mentioned in her sister Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681 as Mary Willet (wife of John Willet). John Willet was mentioned in her sister in law Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681 as executor. Two children, Susanna & Mary were mentioned in her sister Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681.
  3. Anne Payne (Ann) was baptised on 22nd April 1652 in East Grinstead, Sussex. She was mentioned in her sister Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681 as Anne Shoewyn (wife of Thomas Shewyn).Anne had five children mentioned in her sister Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681
  4. George Payne was baptised on 15th November 1653 in East Grinstead, Sussex.
  5. Robert Payne was baptised on 7th February 1656 in East Grinstead, Sussex. He was mentioned in his sister Susan Payne's 'Will' of 1681. He married Sarah Faulconer. Details of Robert Payne & Sarah Faulconer are shown separately as they are direct ancestors.
  6. Susanna Payne (Susana) was baptised on 11th April 1659 in East Grinstead, Sussex. She left a 'Will' dated 28th October 1681 shown as a Spinster.

Personal History Returns to 'Top of Page'

John Payne of Legsheath: Taken from History of East Grinstead.

In such surroundings was John Payne, of Legsheath, born in 1675, and duly baptised at East Grinstead, succeeding his father at Legsheath in 1727, as we learn from the Court Rolls of Duddleswell Manor, of which Legsheath was held. In 1693 he married, at Hartfield, Bridget, daughter and co-heir of Richard Knight, Esq., sen., of Cowden, whose family had come to prosperity by virtue of the iron industry of those days. This useful marriage may account for John's somewhat sudden rise in the social scale and may also account in a measure for his little weakness for display in his official capacity of Sheriff, a position that would have, no doubt, vastly astonished his father, Wm. Payne, of Legsheath. There seems to have been no issue of this marriage when his first wife died in October, 1736, so he re-married, with no undue delay, Margaret, daughter of John Shelley, of Fen Place, Worth. As John was already 62 years of age his prompt re-marriage was probably accelerated by the meritorious desire, as strong in those days with yeoman as with peer, to leave a son to inherit the ancestral acres, however modest their extent. John's acres seem from his will to have been numerous and productive, but disappointment was his lot, for we find no issue of the second marriage beyond an only daughter, Margaret, baptised at East Grinstead in 1738 (the year of his Sheriffdom) and buried there in 1751. This accounts for his making his nephew, William Payne, son of Edward Payne, of Monkshill, his heir, and, so far as we can now ascertain, these farms remained in the hands of Mr. William Payne until about 1827, when he, or possibly his son of the same name, sold Stone Farm to Mr. R. Crawfurd, of Saint Hill, and it is not unusual about this date to find our local yeomen tempted by the high price of land then prevailing to part with their long cherished acres to the gentry of the class above them, with the idea of living in ease upon the proceeds of the deal.

Verification & Concerns Returns to 'Top of Page'

  1. Taken from 'History of East Grinstead'. the Payne family , descended from John Payne of Plawhatch, was quite distinct from the "Paynes of the towne". They occupied small farms on the extreme south border of our large parish and on the verge of Ashdown Forest; such farms were Plawhatch, Legsheath, Monks-hill, Mawles, Walesbeech and, later, Charlwoods, and all owned by some member of the family of what we may call the Paynes of Legsheath, though they seem to have been earlier known as the Paynes of Plawhatch. A bird's-eye view of John Payne's ancestry may be given as follows, and its connection with farms in the parish gives it special interest:—
    1. John Payne, of Monkshill, Yeoman (probably of Plawhatch in 1562), owned freehold lands called Malls ; buried at East Grinstead as John Payne, senr., of Monkhill, in 1597.
    2. John Payne, of Maules, Yeoman, owned 7 acres at Buncegrove, called Baches, Legsheath and Dockets ; died 1624.
    3. William Payne, of Walesbeech, Yeoman, owned Legsheath, Maules, Dockets ; buried at East Grinstead as William Paine, of
      Walesbeech, 1657.
    4. William Payne, of Maules, Yeoman (5th son), owned Legsheath and Monkshill; died 1658 ; by his will " to be buried at
      East Grinstead."
    5. William Payne, of Legsheath, owned Velvicks; his brothers, Edward and Robert, lived at Maules and Monkshill; buried at
      East Grinstead as Mr. Wm. Payne, of Legsheath, 1727.
    6. John Payne, of Legslieath, Esqre., owned Maules, while his cousin, Edward, owned Monkshill; Sheriff of Sussex 1738 ; buried at East Grinstead as " John Payne, Esq.," 1760.
Documents Returns to 'Top of Page'


  1. William Payne (family ref top) left a 'Will' that was proved in 1658 (ref PCC Prob 11/283/369). The link is to a part abstract of the 'Will' . The 'Will' mentions his wife Susan and his son Robert.
  2. Susanna Payne (family ref 6) left a 'Will' dated 28th June 1681 which was proved on 3rd January 1682 (ref Lewes A35.P445). The link is to a Transcript of the 'Will'. The 'Will' mentions her father William Payne (deceased); her mother Susanna ( remarried Nicholas Cripps); her brothers Robert, William ; her sisters Mary Willet (wife of John), Anne Shoewyn (wife of Thomas); her neices & nephews three children of William, Susanna & Mary daughters of Mary, five children of Anne; Overseers: were John Browne & Richard Bodle of West Hoathly ; Executors were Nicholas Cripps & John Willet ; witnesses were Nathaniell Browne, ffrancis Ellis, Mary Ellis
Sources Returns to 'Top of Page'
  1. Sussex Genealogies  (Ardingly Centre) - John Comber 1932
  2. Sussex Record Society -  East Grinstead Parish Registers 1558-1661:
  3. Sussex Parish Registers –Ardingly, Cuckfield, East Grinstead, Lindfield, West Hoathly
  4. Sussex Record Society – Marriage Licenses at Lewes 1586-1642,1670-1732, 1772-1837 (Volumes 1, 6, 25,26)
  5. Lewes Will Microfilm
  6. Sussex Family History Group-Sussex Marriage Index CD
  7. Sussex Family History Group - Baptism & Burial records
  8. Sussex Record Society - PM Inquistions summaries
  9. IGI (International Genealogical Index: Latter-day Saints) - batches of parish records: see LINKS-Research Web sites
  10. History of East Grinstead by WALLACE HENRY HILLS,1906