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IN a piece about Thomas Paine (TES, July 21) East Sussex claims the great man as its own, and the article refers "less diligent students of American independence" to the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot.

Er, sorry East Sussex, Tom Paine is a Norfolkman. A little more diligence in East Sussex would have revealed that Paine was born the son of a Thetford staymaker in 1737 and was educated at the local rammar school. He didn't make his way to Lewes until 1768. In recognition of his contribution to American history, the Thomas Paine Foundation of America erected a statue in his honour in Thetford town centre in 1964.

Hopefully East Sussex does not have similar designs on Lord Nelson.

Richard Sturman

Press and public relations

City College

Ipswich Road


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