Did You Know…

The loss of an eye, arm or leg usually entitled a crewman at sea to compensation, which indicates these were common on-the-job injuries. Famous captains drafted articles in the early 1700s that stated any seaman to lose a limb was to receive 600 pieces of Eight (a form of currency).

This was a time when there were no rehab programs for sailors who sustained injuries in “legal” combat. Large numbers of disabled ex-seamen were reduced to begging on the streets of London, Paris and Barcelona after having served in their countries’ navies. While some members of the nobility were awarded grants of land and pensions after displaying bravery in battle, the idea of pensions for seamen and grunts was not generally known, except among communist and anarchist theorists.

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