Image: Plaque at the White Hart Hotel, Lewes, East Sussex. Paine lived in Lewes from 1768, during which time he was appointed as an excise officer and where he wrote his first political work – a 21-page pamphlet that demanded better pay and conditions for his fellow workers.
From: Chapter Sixteen (1774-1775) of Benjamin Franklin in London (2016) by George Goodwin:
London, 30 September, 1774
The bearer, Mr Thomas Paine, is very well recommended to me, as an ingenious, worthy young man. He goes to Pennsylvania with a view of settling there. I request you to give him your best advice and countenance, as he is quite a stranger there. If you can put him in a way of obtaining employment as a clerk, or assistant tutor in a school, or assistant surveyor (of all which I think him very capable), so that he may procure a subsistence at least, till he can make acquaintance and obtain a knowledge of the country, you will do well, and much oblige your affectionate father. My love to Sally and the boys.
As it happened, the thirty-seven-year-old Paine became an essayist.”
From: Aftermath – “A Little Revenge”, in Benjamin Franklin in London (2016) by George Goodwin:
“Albeit unwittingly, Franklin provided the instrument for revenge against the King. By a strange explosive conjunction of events, akin to the news of the Boston Tea Party arriving just before Franklin’s appearance at the Cockpit, the report of George III’s reaction to the Olive Branch Petition reached the Continental Congress at Philadelphia on the very day that Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was published. As Thomas Jefferson later attested, it was so well written that people believed that “Thomas Paine” was a pseudonym for Benjamin Franklin. Common Sense caused a sensation, referring “to the Royal Brute of Britain”, rejecting the monarchy and clearly articulating the case for independence. It was an intellectual foundation stone for all that followed.”
From Macmillan dictionary blog:
“The word aftermath is from the Old English ‘æfter’ meaning ‘behind in place, later in time’ and ‘mæð’ from the Proto-Indo-European root ‘me-‘, which means ‘to cut down grass’. The first recorded use of the word aftermath was in the 1520s, when it referred to the second crop of grass planted on the same plot of land on which the first crop had already been harvested. Through the 16th and 17th centuries, the word aftermath had many alternate forms, including ‘aftercrop’, ‘aftergrass’ and ‘lattermath’.”