English priest, martyr (d. 1582)
John Payne, BLESSED, b. in the Diocese of Peterborough; d. at Chelmsford, April 2, 1582. He went to Douai in 1574, was ordained priest by the Archbishop of Cambrai on April 7, 1576, and left for England with Blessed Cuthbert Mayne on April 24. He resided for the most part with Anne, widow of Sir William Petre, and daughter of Sir William Browne, sometime Lord Mayor of London, at Ingatestone, Essex, but also in London. Shortly after his arrival he reconciled George Godsalve, B.A. Oxon., a Marian deacon, of Bath diocese, whom he sent to Douai to be prepared for the priesthood, which he received at Cambrai on December 20, 1576. John was arrested and imprisoned early in 1577, but, being not long afterwards discharged, came back to Douai in November. He probably returned to Ingatestone before Christmas, 1579. Early in July, 1581, he and Godsalve, who had come to England in June, 1577, were arrested in Warwickshire through the instrumentality of "Judas" Eliot, and, after being examined by Walsingham at Greenwich, were committed to the Tower on July 14. There Blessed John was racked on August 14, and again on October 31. Eliot had accused him of plotting to kill the queen and her three most trusted statesmen. On this charge he was indicted at Chelmsford on March 23, and, though no attempt was made to corroborate Eliot's story, the jury gave the verdict expected of them. At his execution the crowd interfered to prevent the infliction of the last barbarities until he was dead.
JOHN B. WAINEWRIGHT