Ms Villiers said:
It is with great sadness that I heard of the death today of Lord Mayhew. Patrick Mayhew was the longest serving Northern Ireland Secretary since the post was created in 1972. It was a role he carried out with great distinction from 1992-97.
In particular he will be remembered for his role in the Downing Street Declaration which laid the foundations for the Northern Ireland peace process and the long, painstaking negotiations that helped pave the way for the 1998 Belfast Agreement.
Lord Mayhew was a man of absolute integrity, devoted to the rule of law and a true gentleman in politics. He will be greatly missed.
My sympathies are with his widow, Jean and his family at this time.