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It's Tom Paine's deathday today!

On 8 Jun 2009 at 7:28pm Clio wrote:
yet no one in this town seems to be celebrating the actual bi-centennial of great man's demise (June 8th 1809) anywhere in town tonight.
Something should be done!
..and fast!!

On 8 Jun 2009 at 11:05pm Rozzer wrote:
Wasn't a commemoration being organised?
On 8 Jun 2009 at 11:44pm watch that space wrote:
there are things on at the weekend, check the local
On 9 Jun 2009 at 12:34am Rose Tinted Specs wrote:
Paine should be dug up, posthumously hanged then beheaded. The American war of Independance was merely the desire of greedy land owners of the thirteen colonies to refuse to pay taxes. The revolution in France condemned the country to decades of tyranny. What next, a street parade on Pol Pot's birthday?
On 9 Jun 2009 at 6:11am Hobby Historian wrote:
Was he in much Pain?
On 9 Jun 2009 at 9:37am Anadin Extra wrote:
So what is the big deal about Tom Paine and Lewes. So he lived in Lewes for a little while. So have lots of people. He wasn't a Lewesian or even from Sussex, but anyone would think that he is synonymous with the town the way some people go on. There was quite a big article about him on the BBC website yesterday, but not a mention of Lewes. So, please, someone tell me, what is it that makes Lewes such a significant place in connection with the man ? In my opinion Gideon Mantell should have his picture on the Lewes Pound.
On 9 Jun 2009 at 10:37am Rozzer wrote:
Rose Tinted Specs - Paine was written out of the American Revolution because he wanted a more democratic US than the rich landowners and sentenced to death in the French Revolution (narrowly escaping) because he was against executing the King and wanted more popular democracy. He was exiled from England because he advocated a republican democracy and a welfare state. Still want to hang him?
On 9 Jun 2009 at 12:24pm Pete wrote:
The politics show was broadcast live from the JHT at the weekend. There was a long segment on Thomas Paine, which suggested he had strong links with the town. It was even suggested that the town influenced his ideas on independence since Lewes governed itself.
On 9 Jun 2009 at 7:42pm Poppycock wrote:
The only thing remarkable about the man was his name
On 9 Jun 2009 at 9:19pm Rozzer wrote:
Poppycock - Have you read anything by him? Put it in the context of the time he lived and you'll see how remarkable he was. Funnily enough, his family name was Pain. He added the 'e' in America.
On 9 Jun 2009 at 10:19pm Spinster Of This Parish wrote:
Thoroughly agree with Rose Tinted Specs, Anadin Extra and Poppycock.
It is reassuring to think there are others who are not fooled by the emperors new clothes!
On 10 Jun 2009 at 6:41am Greene King IPA wrote:
Paine was named after a Harvey's ale - that is STILL brewed now - how cool is THAT!! what AMAZING parents (and they lived in Thetford - news of Harveys up in East Anglia, all those years ago...) wish I had been named after a decent brew...
On 10 Jun 2009 at 8:34am bonfirek wrote:
Tom Paine, has nothing to do with Lewes, he merely lived here for a while. Not impressed at all. Although if it means fleecing gullible visitors and DFL's out of money with pointless exhibitions, then brilliant!
On 10 Jun 2009 at 6:16pm OutOfTowner wrote:
What strange people you must be in Lewes if you aren't proud of Tom Paine. I'll still visit regularly but I'll look at you with a different eye.
On 11 Jun 2009 at 9:59am Intown wrote:
OutofTowner, please don't imagine some of those who have posted above represent significant, let alone informed, opinion in this town. That one of the most influential intellectual figures of the modern age lived in Lewes is a cause for, suitably modest, celebration. Anybody who values democracy owes something to Tom Paine.
On 11 Jun 2009 at 10:32am Anadin Extra wrote:
OK, Out of Towner and Intown, I put the question in my earlier post as to what it is that makes Lewes such a significant place in connection with the man ? As far as I can see he was merely a temporary visitor, and none of his so called 'great deeds' were performed until after he left. If Lewes was his hometown, or played a significant part in his life, then there might be some reason for celebrating him, but merely 'staying here for a bit' seems a little bit tenuous to say the least. I am not disputing anything he did later in his life, or indeed whether or not I believe him to be the great man he is put up to be, I just can't see how Lewes can lay claim to having anything to do with it. In fact if the town was of any importance to him, then why did he leave ?
On 11 Jun 2009 at 11:26am Intown wrote:
I agree - the town wasn't of any importance to him and we should beware of talking it up. As I said, marking the anniversary should be suitably modest and not at all parochial. It's a link, nevertheless, to someone who still has something to say after 200 years. After all, we could be in Basingstoke.
On 11 Jun 2009 at 12:36pm exiledfromLewes wrote:
He wrote his first political work here and was a member of the Headstrong Club were he first debated on many of his key beliefs that formed a part of both Commen sense and the Right of Man. Whilst he was here for a short time and was pretty ghastly to his Lewesian wife, it's not spurious to suggest that his political beliefs and journey originated from Lewes.
On a broader not concerning Lewes he was part of a small, but significant number of Lewesians (or people who lived in the town) who emigrtaed to America from Lewes. Lewesian James Iredell ws appointed by George Washington as one of the first 12 Supreme court judges. Commercial squares native Americans costumes originated by Lewesians who returned from the USA. Going back a bit further William Penn lived in Lewes before moving onto America.
I always though that the Town should make more of it's links to the US, it is good for tourism and that is surely not a bad thing.
On 11 Jun 2009 at 12:53pm Anadin Extra wrote:
Thanks exiledfromlewes.
On 11 Jun 2009 at 3:25pm Rozzer wrote:
Following on from ExiledfromLewes, it wouldn't do any harm if Lewes were to be twinned with a US town: how about Lewes in Sussex County in the state of Delaware? Named after Lewes and established in 1631, both towns share the same seal (and I'd love to be able to say the animal).
On 12 Jun 2009 at 12:01pm ol toms bones wrote:
before people like tom paine espoused equality women wernt even allowed to post letters (let alone comments on websites) without permission in writing from their husbands.
worth thinking about eh, spinny?
On 12 Jun 2009 at 1:10pm Ken wrote:
Ol toms bones - I let my wife post letters but only after I've read them to make sure she isn't lying to her mother about me.
On 14 Jun 2009 at 7:20am 40 something wrote:
It would be pretty hard to dig him up as no one knows where he is buried.
On 14 Jun 2009 at 8:47am Rozzer wrote:
Intown wrote: 'I agree - the town wasn't of any importance to him and we should beware of talking it up.'
Not so - Paine revisited the town and gave a speech in which he said how important it had been in developing the ideas that shook the world. I'm sure you probably won't agree, but Paine was one of the greatest men England has ever produced but his ideas were such a threat to the powerful everywhere that even now efforts are made to write him out of history.
On 14 Jun 2009 at 7:37pm Intown wrote:
I am happy to be corrected. I certainly do agree he was one of the greatest ever Englishmen. I am not sure that attempts are being made to write him out of history (with citation by Obama at his inauguration and more than one biography this year). That said his ideas are still unwelcome for many in power. On the Americans from Lewes note, John Harvard got married in the little church at Malling.

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