In 1787 Paine went to England and while there wrote The Rights of Man (2 parts, 1791 and 1792), defending the French Revolution in reply to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Its basic premises were that there are natural rights common to all men, that only democratic institutions are able to guarantee these rights, and that only a kind of welfare state can secure economic equity. Paine's attack on English institutions led to his prosecution for treason and subsequent flight to Paris (1792). There, as a member of the National Convention, he took a significant part in French affairs. During the Reign of Terror he was imprisoned by the Jacobins from Dec., 1793 to Nov., 1794 and narrowly escaped the guillotine. During this time he wrote his famous deistic and antibiblical work The Age of Reason (2 parts, 1794 and 1795), which alienated many. His diatribe against George Washington, Letter to Washington (1796), added more fuel to the persisting resentment against him. At the invitation of the new president, Thomas Jefferson, Paine returned to the United States in 1802. However, he was practically ostracized by his erstwhile compatriots; he died unrepentant and in poverty seven years later. An idealist, a radical, and a master rhetorician, Paine wrote and lived with a keen sense of urgency and excitement and a constant yearning for liberty.
See his writings ed. by M. D. Conway (1894-96, repr. 1969); P. Foner, ed., The Complete Writings of Thomas Paine (2 vol., 1945); and representative selections ed. by H. H. Clark (1944, repr. 1961); biographies by D. F. Hawke (1974), A. Williamson (1974), J. Keane (1995), and C. Nelson (2006); studies by P. Collins (2005), H. J. Kaye (2005), and C. Hitchens (2007).
Hubert Scott-Paine (11 March 1891 – 14 April 1954) was a British aircraft and boat designer, record-breaking power boat racer, entrepreneur, inventor, and sponsor of the winning entry in the 1922 Schneider Trophy.
In 1914 the first aircraft, the PB1, was built in record time and exhibited at Olympia, being viewed by King George V and Winston Churchill. However the plane never flew, although orders were received from Germany. The war intervened and a land-based plane, the PB9, was designed and built within a week - although this flew there were no buyers.
In 1916 Pemberton-Billing sold the company to Hubert Scott-Paine who registered it under the name Supermarine Aviation Company Limited. The company then concentrated on designing and building flying boats for the British Admiralty. One of the engineers taken on in 1917 was Reginald Mitchell who later designed the Spitfire. Supermarine ended the war as a large and successful company.
Scott-Paine married Brenda Hockey in 1917, having 4 children. By this time Hubert had changed his name by hyphenating his parent's surnames to create Scott-Paine.
Supermarine won the Schneider Trophy in 1922 with its 'Sea Lion II', thereby preventing Italy keeping the trophy permanently for winning it 3 times in succession, and allowing Britain to win it outright years later.
On 30 September 1927 Scott-Paine bought the Hythe Shipyard with the intention of transforming it into one of the most modern mass production boat building yards in the country. He renamed it the British Power Boat Company, and, together with his chief designer Fred Cooper, a steady stream of ever more sophisticated racing boats were produced which won numerous awards around Europe. Miss England was built for Henry Segrave who raced it successfully against Gar Wood in America in 1928, and Segrave was knighted by the King on his return. Miss England is on display at the Science Museum (London).
From 1930 the British Power Boat Company supplied seaplane tenders to the Air Ministry, commencing with RAF200, a 37-footer. The trials of this and other boats was carried out by T E Shaw on behalf of the RAF, and he and Scott-Paine worked together over the next few years.
Scott-Paine negotiated exclusive rights to a marinised version of the Meadows tank engine, branded ‘Power-Meadows’, which was ideal for high speed motor launches and placed him at a great advantage over his rivals.
On 3 August 1931 the British Power Boat factory burnt to the ground, but was rapidly rebuilt as the most modern and efficient boatyard in Britain. Amazingly, although all the partially-built seaplane tenders were destroyed in the fire, replacements were built and delivered within the original contract time.
Armoured target boats were also built for the RAF, proving very successful and cost-effective, together with tenders for Imperial Airways flying boats.
During 1932 and 1933 Scott-Paine designed and built Miss Britain III as a challenger for the Harmsworth Trophy, still held by Gar Wood. The difference could not be more stark – 24’ 6” with a single engine of 1,300 horsepower against Gar Wood’s Miss America X’s 38 feet with 4 engines totalling 7,800 horsepower. In a close race held on 4 September 1933 the ‘Red Fox of Hythe’ was narrowly defeated by the ‘Grey Fox of Algonac’.
Scott-Paine started work on a new 60-foot hard chine motor torpedo boat as a private venture, such was his confidence in the concept. Admiralty orders came in September 1935 for 2 boats, MTB1 and MTB2, and a further four boats in October made more urgent by Italy’s invasion of Abyssinia and the need to counter their torpedo boats in the mediterranean. The first 2 boats of the 1st Flotilla were commissioned on 30 June 1936 in the presence of King Edward VIII. On 27 April 1937 MTBs of the 1st Flotilla carried King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and Princess Elizabeth down the Thames to the opening of the National Maritime Museum. A total of 26 60-foot boats were delivered, six as MA/SB anti-submarine boats.
Scott-Paine and George Selman started work on a new private venture PV70, a 70-foot hard chine MTB capable of open sea work and carrying out operations on the European coast. It would have 3 marinised Rolls-Royce Merlin engines of 1,000 horsepower each. PV70 was launched in November 1938 but no orders were placed by the Admiralty. After impressive demonstrations orders were received from friendly governments, but difficulties remained over the supply of suitable British engines.
The Canadian Power Boat Company was set up by Scott-Paine in 1940 producing 39 boats, mainly MTBs starting with copies of his PV70.
After the passing of Lend-Lease in 1941 comparative trials, nicknamed the Plywood Derbys, were held between rival American boatbuilders, Elco winning both. Elco went on to produce 754 70, 77, and 80-foot PT Boats, including Jack Kennedy’s PT109, & the boat that rescued General Douglas MacArthur from Corregidor.
Some PT Boats were supplied to Britain as part of Lend Lease.
The end of the war brought cancellation of remaining contracts at both the Canadian and British Power boat Companies.
Scott-Paine was divorced in 1946 and married Margaret Dinkeldein, his secretary, in New York early in the same year. His health had not been good for years and in April, two months later, he suffered a stroke.
In 1948 he was made an American citizen at a special bedside sitting of the Superior Court. His final years were spent at Greenwich, Connecticut and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with two brief visits to England. In 1951 he presented Miss Britain III to the National Maritime Museum, but during a visit in 1953 his health deteriorated and he returned to America, dying on 14 April 1954, aged 63.