John Rayner was born in East Drayton, Nottinghamshire, in 1662. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1678, studied law at Gray's Inn and was called to the bar in 1684. John Rayner was elected to the English parliament in 1700 where he served in the House of Commons for two years.
On July 12, 1708, Rayner was commissioned as Attorney General of the Province of New York and he took office on March 24, 1709. However, Rayner left New York later that year and returned to England in order to secure arrears of his salary and to provide for its regular payment in future.
In Rayner's absence, May Bickley was appointed to act as Attorney General and carried out this office for three years. In June 10, 1712, David Jamison was appointed acting Attorney and received a full appointment when Rayner died in 1719.
The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
The New-York Civil List, ed. F. Hough, S.Hutchins, E. Werner, 1889