|1737||Born 29 January at Thetford, Norfolk.|
|1742-51||Educated at a local school in Thetford.|
Apprenticed to his father in the stay-making trade, but|
on two occasions runs away to sea.
Moves to Kent and sets up as a stay-maker. Marries, his|
wife dying less than twelve months later.
Admitted into the Excise Service, accepts a post in Lin-|
colnshire. Dismissed July 1765 for 'stamping' (approving
cargo without checking its contents).
Teaches in a school in London. Applies for re-admission|
into the Excise Service.
|1768||Accepts a post as excise officer in Lewes, Sussex.|
Marries into a tobacconist business and combines his|
work there with his excise duties.
Acts as the representative in London to the Excise Offi-|
cers in their appeal for higher pay. Writes and circulates
The Case of the Offices of the Excise.
Discharged from Excise Service; marriage and business|
fail; secures letter of recommendation from Benjamin
Franklin and, in October, emigrates to America.
Settles in Philadelphia, works on Pennsylvania|
Following the fighting in Lexington and Concord, April|
1775 Paine becomes involved in the move to Independ-
ence for the colonies. In January his Common Sense
is published, six months before the Declaration of In-
dependence. First Crisis published December 1776.
Serves in Congress as a Secretary to the Foreign Affairs|
Committee. Resigns following the Silas Deane affair--
Paine using confidential information, embarassing to
America's allies France, to argue that Deane had acted
corruptly. November 1779, appointed Clerk to Penn-
Visits France as secretary to John Laurens to secure aid|