History is full of salacious moments, but most of them aren’t likely to make their way to a history class anytime soon. Fortunately, this is the perfect place to highlight naughty but overlooked moments from history.
10. The Spanking Squad
Spanking children isn’t the disciplinary measure it used to be. One New Jersey mayor was such a fan that he organized a special spanking squad for young criminal offenders.
Arthur C. Whitaker was mayor of Bridgeton, New Jersey, during the 1910s. He had an automated spanking machine installed at City Hall and sentenced young offenders to it instead of sending them to reformatory schools. Once he passed down sentence, the squad would carry it out. They could regulate the duration and intensity of the spanking based on the harshness of the crime.
According to Whitaker, over 100 boys and a few girls faced the machine during his seven years in office. He labeled the experiment a success, with parents even voluntarily bringing children to him when they misbehaved. Despite this, Whitaker still saw it fit to keep the device a secret while it was in operation.
9. The Bawdy House Riots And The Whores Petition
In 17th-century London, Shrove Tuesday riots were common. These occurred during Easter Week as the devout attacked places of ill-repute such as playhouses, taverns, and the like. They were usually let off without severe consequence, but that wasn’t the case in 1668. That year, King Charles II banned conventicles, which caused thousands of dissenters to unleash their fury on brothels. Samuel Pepys recorded the whole thing in his famous diary. That year, the ringleaders were tried for treason and four were drawn and quartered.
In response to the riot, several madams and their workers wrote “The Poor-Whores Petition” and addressed it to Countess of Castlemaine, the king’s mistress. It was a mocking letter that was widely distributed and openly referenced the king’s promiscuous ways as well as those of other high-profile courtesans. The letter ended with a plea to Lady Castlemaine to help her “sisters.”