Thomas Paine (1737–1809) was born in Thetford, England, and began his life as a corseter's son. At birth, has name was Pain, and the change is spelling is somewhat disputed. Evidence shows that he spelled it “Paine” by 1769, while he was still living in England. At 13, he began working as his father's apprentice, but this trade did not initially suit him. At 19, he enlisted and briefly served in the navy. After returning to Britain, he set up a business in Kent, and shortly after, he married Mary ...

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