Arguing Disability: Ex-Servicemen’s Own Stories in Early Modern England, 1590–1790

  • Geoffrey L. Hudson


Englishmen who survived the havoc war wrought on their bodies needed and demanded relief. Over 400 years ago the English Parliament responded, creating Europe’s first state system of benefits for the rank-and-file disabled in 1593. This pension system, administered by county justices in the seventeenth century, was in the eighteenth replaced by the Royal Hospitals of Greenwich and Chelsea. The emergence and workings of these two early systems, and the ways in which their would-be beneficiaries worked them, offer a useful perspective on the history of disability and social relations.


Eighteenth Century Pensionable Disability Pension System Royal Hospital Humoral Theory 
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© Geoffrey L. Hudson 2007

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  • Geoffrey L. Hudson

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