Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

The Dressing of the Hair, Moustachios and Beard (4)

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15th cenrury head-dress It was found that the "science and connyng of Physyke and Surgerie" was practised by unskilful persons, "common artificers, as Smythes, wevers, and women," I who " boldely and custumably take upon theim grete curis, and thyngys of great difficultie, in which they partely use socery and whichcrafte" to the grievous hurt of the Kyng's liege people. It was therefore enacted that none should practise as a physician and surgeon in London except by examination, duly approved by the Bishop of London or Dean of St. Paul's (!). As it seemed needful to provide skilful surgeons for the "helth of mans body whan infirmities and seckness shal happen," and as there are many surgeons in London who give instructions to students, who exercise of the said science "to the greate relief, comforte, and soccour of muche people, and to the sure savegard of their bodily helth, their lymmes and lyves" and as two companies of surgeons exist in London, one "the Barbours of London, and the other company the Surgeons of London," which company of barbours were first incorporated " undre the greate Seale of the late King of famous memory, Edwarde the 8th, dated at Westminster the 28th day of February in the first yere of his reigne," these two companies ought therefore to be united into one body, with a common seal, power to hold lands, and all the rights of both the old companies.
 
It was further found that surgeons were in the habit of taking diseased persons into their houses, where they "doo use and exercise barbery, as wasshing and shaving, and other feates therunto belonging" very perilous to the King's people. Now, "after the feast of 'the Nativitie of our Lorde God next coming," no barber in London shall practise surgery" letting of bludde, or any other thing belonging to surgery, drawing of teth onelye except." And no surgeon shall "occupye or exercise the feate or crafte of barbarye or shaving," either by himself or by any other for him, to his or their use.
 
It was also provided that any person may keep a barber or a surgeon as his servant, who may practise in his master's house.
 
It would appear that the observance of the Lord's day was more strictly enforced in the seventeenth century than it is at present.
 
"Att the Councell Chamber on Ouze bridge at York ye xxth of. June, A.D. 1676," it was declared and enacted that whereas barber surgeons have been shaving and cutting hair on the Lord's day, We order, that if "any brother of the said company tonse, barbe, or trim any person on the Lord's day, in any Inn," or other place, public or private, of which the Lord Mayor shall judge, he shall be fined ten shillings, and the searchers of the said company for the time being are to make diligent search in all public and private houses as aforesaid, for discovery of such offeraders.
 
1745 was the fatal year of the separation of the barbers from their more dignified colleagues. Their wings were clipped, their privileges curtailed, the barber's pole and basin, however, still remaining, in silent, eloquent testimony of their former glory and greatness.
 
In the reign of Gonod Queen Bess the campaign against long hair is continued. Philip Stubbes extols barbers to the skies : "There are no finer fellowes under the Sunne, nor experter in their noble science of barbing than they be." Barbers are necessary. "I cannot but marvell at the beastlinesse of some ruffians (for they are no sober Christians) that will have their hair grow over their faces like monsters, and savage people; rather like mad men than otherwise, hanging downe over their shoulders, as womens haire doth; which indeed is an ornament to them, being given them as a sign of subjection." In man it is a "shame and reproch, as the Apostle proveth."
 
During the reign of the Stuarts long hair was the vogue with "love-locks" and "heart breakers."
 
   "A long love-lock on his left shoulder plight,
   Like to a woman's hair, well showed a woman's sprite."
   "His beard was ruddy hue, and from his head
   A wanton lock itself did down dispread
   Upon his back; to which, while he did live,
   Th' ambiguous name of Elf-lock he did give."
 
The Great Oyer.
 
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