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8 strange jobs from throughout history

Weirdworm has compiled a list of 8 strange jobs from throughout history.

1. Whipping Boys

During the 1600’s in England, educating the future king created an interesting problem. Since the monarch’s blood line was considered divine, teachers and caretakers couldn’t punish the young prince even if he acted like a brat. The solution was obvious: get another young boy to take the punishment instead of the future king, hence the job of Whipping Boy.

These scapegoats were usually chosen from the children of the nobility and educated along with the prince, living in the same quarters and playing together in their spare time. This meant that most of the time the prince was attached to the whipping boy and avoided doing badly so his friend wouldn’t be punished.

While there is no record attesting how well this worked in practice, we do know that some kings later rewarded their whipping boys with land and nobility roles. If nothing else, the promise that one day you might become a duke would probably keep you going through all those undeserved punishments.

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