Author Topic: Damages for Personal Injury in 1850s  (Read 278 times)

Offline barmaid1971

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Damages for Personal Injury in 1850s
« on: Saturday 11 June 16 12:21 BST (UK) »
No.  This isnt one of those "Have you been hurt in an accident" adverts!!  (I was tempted to entitulate this post thus, but thought I might get banned!).

In the late 1850s an ancestor of mine was working in the GNR Loco works in Peterborough as a labourer.  A very short newspaper report tells me his left arm was trapped in some belting and he was hoisted up to the ceiling.  He was released and taken to the surgeon but alas they were unable to save his arm and it was amputated.  (Ouch ouch ouch, I'll bet he wasnt very well anaesthetised either).

This must have been devastating for a young man with a wife and children.  However I have found in his obituary an interesting comment namely "The amount of the levy at the time meant he was able to invest in property".  Any ideas what this means?  Did employers pay compensation then?  Was there a fund for such injury?

It must have been a reasonable amount since by the time he died 50 years later he was the largest private ratepayer in the entire city.
Plant - Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire
Bothamley, Pateman, Roffe,  - Northamptonshire
Thurlby, Baker, Kilbon - Lincolnshire
Hurry, Bishop - Cambridgeshire
Pretty, Coulson - Rutland
Shaw - Nottinghamshire
De Rippe - Rutland, Middlesex, Carlow

Offline mazi

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Re: Damages for Personal Injury in 1850s
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 11 June 16 13:13 BST (UK) »
The word "levy" suggests to me that maybe his workmates held a collection for him.
The usual response by railway companies was to find injured men a job that was within their capabilities rather than pay compensation.

Have you looked for his occupation in later censuses.

Interesting to see what others think, it is quite early in the days of railway workshops, but as the railway grew and expanded around Peterborough a modest investment in property could well have been very profitable

Mike

Offline barmaid1971

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Re: Damages for Personal Injury in 1850s
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 11 June 16 13:20 BST (UK) »
Thanks Mike.  In later censuses he is either described as a gentleman or a householder or living on his own means.  When he died in 1913 he owned almost 300 houses.  Its a real rags to riches story.  Sadly the generations between me and him spent it all..........

I hadnt thought about a collection though.  Nice idea!!!
Plant - Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire
Bothamley, Pateman, Roffe,  - Northamptonshire
Thurlby, Baker, Kilbon - Lincolnshire
Hurry, Bishop - Cambridgeshire
Pretty, Coulson - Rutland
Shaw - Nottinghamshire
De Rippe - Rutland, Middlesex, Carlow