How wonderful that Grantham is to honour Thomas Paine with a blue plaque on August 17th.
You mention how he is considered a supporter of American independence, which he was, but much more than that.
As author of The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason he supported press freedom, progressive taxation, universal (male) suffrage, old age pensions, the abolition of the House of Lords and the powers of monarchs long before these ideas were acceptable.
Thomas Paine was a vital inspiration to working class radicals in Britain, and also to our countryside campaigners such as the great William Cobbett.
He deserves his blue plaque. An inspiration to freethinkers today wherever they are.
I can’t think of anyone else from Grantham who made such a positive contribution to freedom.