The Unofficial website for Tony Robinson


The Worst Jobs in History

A series of 6 programmes shown on Channel 4 between 28th August and 2nd October 2004.  Covering the Worst Jobs in History from the Dark ages to the Victorians.   

For a lot more information on the series see the Channel 4 website:  Worst Jobs

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There is also a book accompanying the series:  

“Tony Robinson has set out to investigate life in the underbelly of History.

Whether it's swilling out the crotch of a knight's soiled armour after the battle of Agincourt, risking his neck on a bleak cliff collecting guillemont eggs or as 'Groom of the Stool' going to places where none of Henry VIII's six wives would venture - Tony endures it all to get to the bottom (quite literally) of the story.

Covering the Roman invasion to the reign of Queen Victoria, Tony seeks out the worst jobs of each era. The very names, ‘Powder Monkey’ ‘Seeker of the Dead’ and Spit Boy underline the fact that the past is a different and fairly disgusting country. The Gunpowder Plot draws Tony to the role of the ‘Saltpetre man’ who collected human waste for its nitrate content to turn into gunpowder.

In the same vein, he looks at some of the worst jobs behind the building of the great medieval cathedrals and at the dire conditions on Nelson's Victory where the most common form of retirement was being sewn into your hammock with a couple of cannon balls and dropped over the side. Then there's the impact of the Industrial Revolution, a source of wealth and power for the few, but a cornucopia of lousy jobs for the many.

Richly illustrated with artwork, photographs and diagrams, The Worst Jobs in History really gets into the grime of how life was for ordinary people and shows how society would literally have ground to a halt without them. By turns disgusting, dangerous, painful, exhausting and humiliating, or a combination of them all, Tony Robinson brings Gong Scourers, Pure collectors and Resurrection Men blinking into the limelight to provide a vivid and alternative history of Britain”

Don’t forget that Tony is also taking the worst jobs on the road : 

For more information and tickets please see:

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