United Kingdom

Statues - Hither & Thither

Site Search:

East of England

King Street

Thomas Paine

Thetford 1737 - New York 1809
English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary
one of the Founding Fathers of the United States
Charles Wheeler

Thetford /  Thomas Paine   Thetford /  Thomas Paine


Gilded bronze statue of Thomas Paine wearing a wig and period dress holding a quill pen and his book Rights of Man, upside down.

Thetford / Thomas Paine


1737 THOMAS PAINE 1809

On the upper section of the pedestal (front: a globe on two wings with two ribbons with the text my country is the world / my religion is to do good), on the rear two text panels:

justice is due to every
man: i seek no re-
compense - i fear
no consequences.
fortified with that
proud integrity that
disdains triumph or
to yield, i will ad-
vocate the rights
of man: it is an
affront to truth
to treat falsehood
with complaisance.
my own mind is my
own church: what
ever is my right as
a man is also the
right of another
and it becomes my
duty to guarantee
as well as possess
why do men con-
tinue to practicce
on themselves the
absurdities they
despise in others.
it is necessary to
the happiness of
man that he be men-
tally faithfull to
himself: i believe
in the equality of
man, i believe that
religious duties con-
sist in doing just-
ice, loving mercy
and endeavouring
to make our fellow
creatures happy.
independence is
my happiness and
i view things as
they are, without
regard to place or
person: i had rather
record a thousand
errors dictated
by humanity than
one inspired by a
justice too severe.
wisdom is not the
purchase of a day.
On the lower section of the pedestal:
presented to the people of england
by the thomas paine foundation
new york u.s.a. secretary joseph lewis
sculptor charles wheeler p.r.a. dedicated june 7. 1964
englishman by birth, french citizen by decree
american by adoption


The upside-down book is a conceit intended to provoke discussion and debate. The tradition of Paine statues being gold and erected in every free-thinking city derives from a probably apocryphal suggestion by Napoleon intended as flattery.


Sources & Information


Locatie (N 52°24'51" - E 0°44'50")

eXTReMe Tracker
Item Code: gbee019; Photograph: 1 August 2012
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt