Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew

7 Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew

7 Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew

So many jobs are becoming almost extinct day by day owing to technology yet there are some jobs we outgrew because of social change

As lifestyle and career bloggers and vloggers capture the market, we are bombarded with so much of ‘follow your passion’ advice. We listen to it like its some magic ingredient that’ll make us hate our jobs and school work a little less. And that’s what we do, crib about our daily jobs. If you get down to doing this every Monday followed by Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (because you rejoice on a Friday) this list will make you join your hands and thank the Lord for your job.

We’ve had a number of professions that have come and gone because of technological change like an official knocker-rupper who would wake you up in time for work or a ‘computer’ which was basically women who would calculate all day long without calculators. This time let’s give technology the slip and check out a list of jobs that are no longer around because of social change.

Here are 7 Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew-

1. Town Crier

We’ve all seen the Town Crier who announced that Prince Charming was waiting for his Cinderella to the astonished people. Town Criers are also famous to sit on horses and read from a scroll. What our beloved movies miss is that most Town Criers had bells or drums with them.

Town Criers would ring the bell, gong or make a drumroll to announce the latest news to the people. They used to be employed by the King himself, in most cases.

In Germany, Town Criers also had a job to remind people of basic manners like keeping local areas clean.

It is safe to say that the Town Crier’s job was an important one. A single twist in the tale could cause a revolt!

Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew
The Town Criers had an important job, what would happen if they twisted the information?
Picture Curtesy-See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2. Jester

A Jester looks like the ‘Clown’ on the Joker card in your deck of cards. These jesters would jest and make the royal court laugh. A Jester held an official post in the Royal Household. He could mock the King and other Nobles to entertain them. Jesters were initially called ‘fools’ since they looked and behaved like that.

How did you interview for this post? According to some anecdotes, in India all you had to do was make the King laugh and you had your new Royal post.

Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew
The Jester had the job of entertaining the King’s court
Picture Curtesy- P. B. Abery

3. Whipping Boy

Now this was a bit gruesome, an effect of bad parenting. Royal children were often raised in the Royal Nursery by official governesses. Their parents hardly met them except for scheduled meet ups. This gave way to a lot of scope for bad manners and rude behaviour. These Blue blooded spawns often retailed and behaved contrary to what they were told. Since you can’t punish the future King, a new job was created in the royal court.

Children who were amongst the commoners were picked as companions for Royal children. They would form a bond of true friendship. If the royals didn’t listen and do their duties diligently, their beloved friends were punished often getting a good whipping. Thus the name Whipping Boys.

Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew
The Whipping Boy did have certain privileges like being best buds with the future King
Picture Curtesy- By Walter S. Stacey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Although this sounds inhumane and emotional torture, it had its perks like being best buds with the future monarch. Sometimes a stray title would be thrown at you making you rise in aristocratic ranks.


Speak like a Victorian and add these super interesting words to your vocabulary.


4. Keeper Of the Wardrobe

The Keeper of the Wardrobe is an interesting name for an accountant more or less. The King had a small room which was known as the King’s wardrobe. He had everything from his clothes to precious treasure. It wasn’t the entire empire’s wealth but it was the King’s personal kitty.

The Keeper of the Wardrobe had many tailors and laundresses under him. All he had to do was keep track of and account for the clothes and money spent from the King’s and Queen’s personally wealth and belongings. He would keep a track of personal gifts and also the money used by his master to fund his personal secret army. Sometimes, the King’s Wardrobe had a higher status than the Exchequer (Finance Minister) himself.

Imagine the kind of information the Keeper of the Wardrobe would be privy to.

Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew
The Jewel Tower opposite the Palace of Westminster in London housed the King’s privy Wardrobe
Picture Curtesy- Rob Young from United Kingdom

5. Groom Of the Stool

This funny sounding job profile is the most gross of all royal household jobs. What the Groom Of Stool had access to was even greater than the Keeper of the Wardrobe.

The Groom of Stool gets his name from ‘stool’ or ‘stole’ that was the first kind of indoor lavatory invented in the Middle Ages. Even though there are many other more disgusting job profiles associated with this odious work, the Groom Of Stool makes his way in our list today.

Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew
Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland was the Groom of Stool for Charles I till 1643.
Picture Curtesy- Anthony van Dyck [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Groom of Stool had to help the King in his bowel movements. He had to monitor the King’s food and drinking habits and make a proper schedule. In the mornings he would help the King get to the ‘stool’ and make sure he was okay. This was when the King was left alone with his Groom. With no disturbance and nothing specific to do, the Groom could influence the King. He could share gossip or ‘mention’ someone as worthy or just ask for some favour.

Despite the stench, the Groom of Stool was considered one of the highest posts in the Royal Households.

Phew, that was very weird to write about:)


What are the 8 items that were cool once but are now lost to time? You must read this list.


6. Barber-Surgeon

We have a clear distinction between a barber and a surgeon. We don’t ever think about these two professions in a single sentence because they aren’t related right? Post Roman Empire Europe didn’t think so. That’s when a new profession of a Barber-Surgeon came into picture.

These Barbers were taught to extract and treat teeth, give you tattoos and basically use a knife to alter any part of your head. They would practice bloodletting. Bloodletting defined as the surgical removal of the patient’s blood for therapeutical purposes. This isn’t the bloody part. These Barber Surgeons were often illiterate and weren’t properly taught a single word of medical science. They learnt as apprentices. Outside a Barber Surgeon’s shop, you’d find a red and white flag, I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure out what it symbolises.

Hope you are terrified to approach your barber now, ask him if he knows other skills with his blade apart form mere hair cutting. *Evil Laughter*

Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew
Tools used by Barber Surgeons for bloodletting
Picture Curtesy- Anagoria

7. Powder Monkey

Even though it may seem like a cartoon character, Powder Monkey was an actual job on Naval war ships. Powder Monkey’s were young lads, probably 12 or 14 year olds, who would run from the ship’s storehouse to the crew. They had to carry sacks of gunpowder up to the gun deck.

Powder Moneys would be chosen on their agility and quickness. Young boys could be easily hidden and concealed in the gunwale assuring their safety. Needless to say the experience would have been terrifying to these youngsters.

Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew
Powder Monkeys were employed on war ships because of their agility
Picture Curtesy- Louis-Philippe Crépin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our ancestors had weird ways and remedies for their problems, didn’t they? This list made me feel that its better to live in this hustling technological world than slaving about for a King acting like a whacko.

Before I leave, I’ve got a question: If push comes to shove, which profession of these 7 would you have chosen? Comment your answer below.


Share 7 Weird Jobs In History That Our Society Outgrew with your friends to start a quirky conversation with them: which profession of the 7 would you have chosen?


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Post Author: GiGlee Magazine

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