Table of contents:
- From 4 rubles in the 17th century to an increase in salaries by Nicholas I
- Executioner's boots and the right of a handful given to the lament
- Whips for 500 rubles and a fatal flogging from Komlev
- Piglet for the Hanged Man
The ancient profession of the executioner always evokes emotions, from fear to curiosity. Many people ask themselves the question: "I wonder how much they paid for such a job?" Today you can find many documents that tell how much the executioner earned in Russia. In addition to the official salary, they had the so-called left income from relatives or from the convicts themselves. Read what the right to a handful is, how the executioners-criminals worked and how much the "newcomers" received.
From 4 rubles in the 17th century to an increase in salaries by Nicholas I
The size of the executioners' salary became official from about the middle of the 17th century. In accordance with the Code of 1680, the annual salary of such an employee was 4 rubles, and by 1742 he was already paid 9 rubles 95 kopecks. Of course, these amounts were very conditional, since in the 17th century, for 10 rubles, you could buy about 13 buckets of vodka and 12 poods of bread. When Nicholas I came to power, he thought about increasing the prestige of this profession, since it was not very popular. The annual salary has been increased. For example, a free executioner who worked in St. Petersburg or Moscow was paid up to 400 rubles a year.
In the provinces, the amounts were less and ranged from 200 to 300 rubles. It was an impressive income, since, for example, a cash cow cost about 5 rubles. In addition, the executioners or foremen had substantial surcharges, namely about 60 rubles for the purchase of clothes, some amounts were issued once a month for meals and trips to other cities.
Executioner's boots and the right of a handful given to the lament
In Russia, the so-called "guest right" worked, essentially replacing money. The point was that the executioner was paid with food, which he "raked" in a shop or a wagon train. At the same time, sellers and drivers had no right to restrict him, the palace could take as much as he needed. Another source of income: wealthy convicts paid for the execution to be quick and the torture sparing. The more money, the less torment. After the execution took place, the executioner could take the victim's shoes (boots) and other valuables for further resale.
Of course, living on this alone was difficult. People were not executed every day. In his free time, the executioner could work in other places, often people went to teams that catch stray dogs, worked as guards in brothels and cleaned public toilets. Some even worked as doctors because they had a practical, accurate knowledge of human anatomy. For example, there is evidence that a certain executioner helped the future Empress Catherine II get rid of severe back pain.
So, the pay was quite large, but there were still few people willing to work as an executioner. According to the boyar code of 1681, free townsmen were hired to work, who voluntarily came to find a job, and already in accordance with the 1833 Regulations, even criminals were allowed to work as executioners. Three years later, a clarification was added, according to which criminals were recruited by force if they did not show their own desire. The term was set for three years. There were no wages for labor - people received a set of clothes and a double ration of food. Often, those criminals who were sentenced to the most severe physical punishment were voluntarily recruited into the executioners. Since it was almost impossible to survive after torture, such recruitment meant saving life. The punishment was canceled if the person agreed to become an executioner.
Whips for 500 rubles and a fatal flogging from Komlev
The story tells of a legendary executioner who was recruited in a Sakhalin prison. It was Komlev, a Kostroma bourgeoisie, who “shone! 20 years for robbery. He tried several times to escape from hard labor and earned another 35 years. There was nothing to be done, and he became the executioner. Legends were made about this man, they said that he was very strong, despite his small stature and could beat anyone to death. There were rumors among the convicts that in order not to die after the flogging arranged by Komlev, it was necessary to give him money. Oddly enough, he was never caught doing this.
But they paid not only for the punishment to be sparing. There was a case when convicts collected money and paid 15 rubles so that the executioner spotted the sentenced person to death. It was like this: in 1892 Komlev had to prove two escaped convicts, Vasiliev and Gubar. They not only escaped, but also kidnapped a prisoner in order to eat him. When they were caught, the remains of fried human flesh were found in their knapsacks. They were given a punishment - 48 blows with a whip to each. A wave of indignation arose among the convicts, a meeting was held, and Gubar was sentenced to death. It was not possible to prove that Vasiliev was also a cannibal. The reward went to Komlev, and he tried - Gubar was beaten to death, although from the outside it seemed that his punishment and Vasiliev were the same. Komlev managed to make a fortune, he even bought his own house. This happened after the resignation of 1894. But not everyone was so lucky.
Many executioners lived off the sale of the valuables of the executed or even instruments of torture. One of the Moscow executioners in 1832 managed to sell two torture whips for 500 rubles. Prince Ekmülsky bought them and took them out to Europe. Upon learning of this, Nicholas I flew into a rage and ordered to make special cabinets in which a weapon issued against a signature was to be stored. Broken or worn-out inventory should never be sold or donated to someone. The decommissioned guns were to be burned.
Piglet for the Hanged Man
The future executioner had to study for about a year and from his mentor. Beginners were taught to handle a whip, a whip, rods, a nine-tailed cat (this was the name of a whip, which had nine tails with hooks at the ends). They also learned how to handle sticks-batogs, and also received the skills of branding. The practice was daily. A wooden dummy was used, and then, when a little experience appeared, the recruits practiced on living people. These were unfortunates sentenced to death or torture. For some time, the disciples had to be present during the execution, carrying out separate orders from the executioner.
The first stage of a career has always been flogging. If a person acted skillfully and in cold blood, then he was allowed to be whipped, and only then to death. By the way, the famous Komlev, having already retired, taught beginners. He told him how to prolong the torment or, on the contrary, reduce it. His students at the end of the 19th century received for one hanging … a penny.
People were forcibly made executioners in the 20th century close to us. For example, Tonka Machine-gunner was forced to arrange mass executions of partisans.