Thomas Paine’s youthful reaction to the local clout of Grafton could have been positive rather than negative. The owner of Euston was the biggest employer of labour in the vicinity. The speculation contributes to what has been dubbed the ‘must haves’theory of biography. The Church of England was held to have ‘slept the sleep of the comfortable’, undisturbed by disputes with Catholics or dissenters which had ravaged society, and were to break out again in the next. Clergymen of the Church of England were represented by their critics as blackbirds, rooks and crows. Although Paine’s scientific interests might not have influenced his political views, it has been persuasively argued that they were instrumental in his conversion from Christianity to deism. Paine’s involvement with Methodists raises the issue of when his views became radical, since most historians recognize early Methodism as a reactionary movement.