I’ve encountered 18th-century convicts getting a reprieve from hanging in return for agreeing to join the army or navy, but this is a new one on me:
On the evening before execution, a respite of 14 days was brought for George Chippendale, and to be continued, if within that time he shall submit to suffer the amputation of a limb, in order to try the efficacy of a new-invented styptic for stopping the blood-vessels, instead of the present more painful practice in such cases. For this indulgence, he, together with his brother and his uncle, had joined in a petition to his Majesty, and thankfully accepted it, appearing in good health and spirits, ready and chearful to undergo the experiment.
(Ordinary’s Account, May 1763.)
I don’t know if any of the medical historians know anything more about the ‘new-invented styptic’, or whether it was successful?