The shocking lives of the poor throughout history
Men would castrate themselves to get a job in ancient China: Only castrated men would be accepted as royal servants.
Men would castrate themselves to get a job in ancient China: Being a servant of the royal palace was a sought-after position.
Men would castrate themselves to get a job in ancient China: It is estimated that at one point there were over 100,000 eunuchs during the Ming dynast.
Some people volunteered themselves to be slaves in ancient Egypt: How bad must one’s life have been for slavery to be a better option.
There was no sympathy for one type of beggar in the Middle Ages: The Black Death killed so many people that there was actually a labor shortage.
Job quitters would be branded on the forehead in medieval times: In 1360, Edward III of England decreed that employers were allowed to capture any man.
Monks competed with beggars in the Middle Ages: Monks from Mendicant orders who would travel around from town to town preaching.
A new law punished poor unemployed beggars: In 16th-century England, able-bodied people who would beg.
In the 16th century, unemployed people could be executed: Under the new law, those caught begging would get the letter V.
In the 16th century, unemployed people could be executed: It is estimated that King Henry VIII ordered the execution of 72,000 people for being unemployed.