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1 To ease away, as with the sheet of a sail, or with a hawser, by rendering it round a bollard. A cask is started when it is topped or opened; a plank in the side of a wooden ship has started when it works loose.

2 An irregular punishment, widespread on board ships of the British Navy during the days of sail, where the master-at-arms and boatswain's mates were allowed to hit, or start, seamen with canes or rope-ends to get them moving at their work. It was made illegal by Admiralty order in 1809, but it took some years for it to be completely eradicated.

See also ‘three sisters’.

See also ‘three sisters’.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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