Punch,  40 (1861), 220.

Nautical Destitution



News-Commentary, Drollery


Hospital, War, Medical Treatment, Human Species, Human Development, Animal Behaviour, Exploration, Ethnology, Anthropology, Instinct

    Laments the fact that not all old and wounded British sailors are 'entitled to a pension or a berth in Greenwich Hospital' and that such individuals are consequently forced into destitution. Describes the foundation of the Tyne Aged Sailors' and Scullerman's Asylum, an institution designed to tackle the 'misery' of ancient naval heroes. Presents a report (from the honorary secretary of the asylum) of one aged sailor who had died whilst acting as a scullerman. Noting Paul B Du Chaillu's claim that African tribes eat even diseased human corpses, questions whether a 'nation which allows its defenders [sailors] to perish' is more 'righteous, than a tribe which eats the dead'. Points out that the asylum has a claim on the benevolent and those 'actuated by the instinct of self-preservation', and stresses how England's defence depends on its 'maritime strength'.

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