Friday, 24 May 2013

To Shave or Not To Shave. Beards in the 18th century.

There is a lot of talk on other forums and a lot of people have different opinions about whether people had beards in the 18th century or not. To me it has always seemed common sense that away from city fashions, a man did exactly what he wanted to do. So I do not get into arguments over this issue, and to the bitchy guy who said I do not portray a true woodsman because I have a beard, I say, absolutely nothing. Instead I will post my thoughts and findings here, and as I have already stated above, I think it always has been a matter of personal preference.

Quote: Twenty pounds reward
Run away from... Alexandria, Fairfax County Virginia, a convict servant man, named John Murphy, born in Ireland, about 28 Years of Age, by trade a joiner, a low set fellow, about 5 feet 4 inches high, struts in his walk, has a pale complexion, large black beard and eyebrows, wide mouth, and pleasant countenance, sings extraordinarily well, having followed it in playhouses in London, talks proper English, and that in a polite manner... It is imagined he has forged a pass and likely will deny his name, trade and place of nativity.
NB All Masters of Vessels are forbid to take him off at their Peril. (August 1760)

17th century oil painting  a bearded man with a young girl  by Jacob Toorenvliet.

Blackbeard (c. 1736 engraving used to illustrate Johnson's General History)

French school 18th century head_of_a_bearded_man.

Gaetano Gandolfi ,Study_of_a_Bearded_Man  1770

Johann Andreas Benjamin Nothnagel 18thc.

John Worley, 1624-1721 Painted 1705.

The Old Beggar , French School, 18th century Musee Bargoin.

Thomas Gent, printer and author of the book depicted in his right hand, The Antient and Modern History of the Loyal Town of Rippon (published in 1733).


Gorges Smythe said...

I read an article the other day saying that women found a two week growth of beard to be the sexiest. They felt it looked manly without being intimidatingly macho. Gee, here I've been intimidating for 35 years and never knew it! lol

Le Loup said...

Thanks mate, my first laugh of the day Gorges :)
Regards, Keith.

Anonymous said...

Thinking there were no beards is absurd, now which styles of beards existed is the real question. Hope my goatee is accurate. =D

gatorsmithla said...

Thanks for the research on the matter Keith.

Keith H. Burgess said...

My pleasure mate.