(Image: Liverpool Sailor – ‘Jack Tar’)
edwardrushton.org.uk celebrates the life of the Liverpool poet who, at the age of 19, was blinded helping slaves. Founder of the School for the Blind, Rushton’s world was one of press gangs, revolution and oppression.
One of the first people to look afresh at Edward Rushton’s life was the late Bill Hunter. Bill wrote Forgotten Hero in 2002, and you can listen to a recording of it on the website, in instalments.
This week is Track 10. Rushton’s Times: The Sailor’s Life. Conditions of work on the small sailing ships of the 18th century were abysmal. Discipline was brutal and slave ships were worst. From 1784-90, the death rate among seamen on slaving voyages was one in five.