Social Life in Queen Anne's Reign, Volume I.

Ashton, John





WE have seen the birth, marriage, and funeral of these good people, and have noted some of their social habits. Next is, how did they dress ? Far plainer than in Charles the Second's time, rather richer than under solemn and austere Dutch William, yet not nearly as finely as during the Georgian era. That, of course, is speaking of ordinary mortals-neither the titled ones of the land, who showed their rank by their dress, nor the beaus, who formed no inconsiderable portion of metropolitan life, and at whom were levelled stinging little shafts of satire from all sides, mostly good-humoured. The macaroni, the dandy, the buck, the blood, the swell-all are fine, but the beau of Anne's time was superfine, and modelled on the messieurs of the time of Louis XIV. He cannot be dismissed in a few words, for he was an institution of the time. There were travelled fops, and they were hatedthere were those of home manufacture, and they were laughed at. notes that 'A Beau is so much the more remarkable in England, because generally speaking, the English Men dress in a plain uniform manner,' and he describes them as 'Creatures compounded of a Perriwig and a Coat laden with Powder as white as a Miller's, a Face besmear'd with Snuff, and a few affected airs; they are exactly like Moliere's Marquesses, and want nothing but that Title, which they would infallibly assume in any other Country but England.'


describes him as one 'that's just come to a small Estate, and a great Perriwig-he that Sings himself among the Women-He won't speak to a Gentleman when a Lord's in Company. You always see him with a Cane dangling at his Button, his Breast open, no Gloves, one Eye tuck'd under his Hat, and a Toothpick.' Verily, there is little new under the sun, and we, in these our latter days, have been familiar with the Toothpick.

naturally loves him-impales him on his entomological pin-and enjoys his wriggles. He puts him under his microscope and minutely observes him, and then gives us the benefit of his description: 'A Beau is a Narcissus that is fallen in Love with himself and his own Shadow. Within Doors he is a great Friend to a great Glass, before which he admires the Works of his Taylor more than the whole Creation. His Body's but a Poor Stuffing of a Rich Case, like Bran to a Lady's Pincushion; that when the outside is stript off, there remains nothing that's Valuable. His Head is a Fool's Egg, which lies hid in a Nest of Hair; His Brains are the Yolk, which Conceit has Addled. He's a stroling Assistant to Drapers and Taylors, showing every other Day a New Pattern, and a New Fashion. He's a Walking Argument against Immortality; For no Man by his Actions, or his Talk can find he has more Soul than a Goose. He's a very Troublesome Guest in a Tavern; and must have good Wine chang'd three or four Times till they bring him the worst in the Cellar, before he'll like it. His Conversation is as intolerable as a young Councel's in Term Time, Talking as much of his Mistresses, as the other does of his Motions; and will have the most Words, tho' all he says is nothing. He's a Bubble to all he deals with, even to his Periwig Maker; and hates the sordid Rascal that won't Flatter him. He scorns to condescend so low, as to speak of any Person beneath the dignity of a Noble man; the Duke of such a Place, and my Lord such one, are his common Cronies, from whom he knows all the Secrets of the Court, but dares not impart 'em to his best Friends, because the Duke enjoyn'd him to Secrecie. He is always furnish'd with


new Jests from the last New Play, which he most commonly spoiles with repeating. His Watch he compares with every Sun Dial, Swears it corrects the Sun; and plucks it out so frequently in Company, that his Fingers go oftener in a Day to his Fob, than they do to his Mouth, spending more time every Week in showing the Rarity of the Work, than the Man did in making on't; being as forward to tell the Price without desiring, as he is to tell you the Hour without asking; he is a constant Visitor of a Coffee house, where he Cons over the News Papers with much indifference; Reading only for Fashion's sake and not for Information. He's commonly of a small standing at one of the Universities, tho' all he has learnt there, is to Know how many Taverns there are in the Town, and what Vintner has the handsom'st Wife.... He's a Coward amongst Brave men, and a Brave fellow among Cowards; a Fool amongst Wise men, and a Wit in Fool's company.'

Pretty hard hitting; but it is borne out on all hands. Try another description :[2]  ' His first Care is his Dress, the next his Body; and in the uniting these Two lies his Soul and Faculties. His business is in the Side Box, the Stage, and the Drawing Room; his Discourse consists of Dress, Equipage, and the Ladies, and his extream Politeness in writing Billet deux; which he never fails to shew in all Companies. The nice Management of his Italian Snuff box, and the affected Screw of his Body, makes up a great Part of his Conversation, and the Pains he takes to recommend himself, wou'd set Heraclitus a Laughing. He's perpetually Laughing to shew his white Teeth, and is never serious but with his Taylor. His whole Design is bent upon a Fortune, which if he gets, the Coach and Equipage is still supported; if not his fine Cloaths and he prove stale together, and he is commonly buried ere he dies in a Gaol, or the Country, two places equally disagreeable to a Man of his Complexion.'

And, not to be wearisome, we will conclude with John Hughes' 'Inventory of a Beau' :[3]  'A very rich tweezer case, containing twelve instruments for the use of each hour in the day.

'Four pounds of scented snuff, with three gilt snuff boxes; one of them with an invisible hinge, and a looking glass in the lid.

'Two more of ivory, with the portraitures on their lids of two ladies of the town; the originals to be seen every night in the side boxes of the play house.

'A sword with a steel diamond hilt, never drawn but once at May fair.

'Six clean packs of cards, a quart of orange flower water, a pair of French scissors, a toothpick case, and an eye brow brush.

'A large glass case, containing the linen and cloaths of the deceased; among which are two embroidered suits, a pocket perspective, a dozen pairs of red heeled shoes, three pairs of red silk stockings, and an amber headed cane.

'The strong box of the deceased, wherein were found five billet doux, a Bath shilling, a crooked sixpence, a silk garter, a lock of hair, and three broken fans.

'A press for books; containing on the upper shelf Three bottles of diet drink-Two boxes of pills.

'On the second shelf are several miscellaneous works; as Lampoons, Plays, Taylor's Bills, And an Almanack for the year .

'On the third shelf, a bundle of letters unopened, indorsed, in the hand of the deceased " Letters from the old Gentleman," Lessons for the flute, Toland's " Christianity not mysterious," and a paper filled with patterns of several fashionable stuffs.

'On the lower shelf, one shoe, a pair of snuffers, a French Grammar, a mourning hatband; and half a bottle of usquebaugh.

'There will be added to these goods, to make a complete auction, a collection of gold snuffboxes and clouded canes, which are to continue in fashion for three months after the sale.'

In a description of men's dress, we will begin at his hat, and descend gradually to his boots. The hats were rather low crowned, made of felt, with very broad flapping brimswhich were looped up, or cocked-very much at the fancy of the wearer--and the absence of this cocking denoted a sloven.


'Take out your Snuff Box, Cock, and look smart, hah !' [4]  says Clodio to his bookworm brother Carlos; and their numerous shapes are alluded to by Budgell, [5]  'I observed afterwards, that the Variety of Cocks into which he moulded his Hat, had not a little contributed to his Impositions upon me.'

They were universally of black hue; at least I have never met with mention of any other colour, except in sport: 'I shall very speedily appear at White's in a Cherry coloured Hat. I took this Hint from the Ladies Hoods, which I look upon as the boldest Stroke that Sex has struck for these three hundred Years last past.' [6]  They had a gold or silver lace hat band, but ordinary people seldom had their hats edged. A hatband was considered de rigueur for servants, and 's man, Peter, even bought a silver one for himself, rather than be without one. Feathers were only worn by military men. 'The Person wearing the Feather, though our Friend took him for an Officer in the Guards, has proved to be an arrant Linnen Draper,' [7]  i.e. only in the train bands.

But it was in the periwig, the Falbala, or Furbelow, the dress wig of the age, that all care was centred, and in which all the art of dress culminated. Originally invented by a French courtier to conceal a deformity in the shoulders, either of the Dauphin, or the Duke of Burgundy, its use spread all over Europe; but, perhaps, the fashion never was so preposterous at any time, as it was in Anne's reign, if we except the wonderful wig of the spendthrift Sir Edward Hungerford (whose bust used to be in a niche in Hungerford Market) in the middle of the previous century, who is said to have given five hundred guineas for a wig! They were made from women's hair-or, at least, were so presumably. Of this we have many examples; take one: 'A noisie Temple Beaux with a Peruke of his Sister's Hair ill made' ;[8] 

They made our Sparks cut off their Nat'ral Hair, A d-d long W-'s Hair Periwig to wear.



Women's hair was a valuable commodity, judging by the following: 'An Oxfordshire Lass was lately courted by a young man of that County, who was not willing to marry her unless her friends could advance £pound;pound;50 for her portion; which they being incapable of doing, the lass came to this City to try her fortune, when she met with a good Chapman in , who made a purchase of her Hair (which was delicately long and light), and gave her sixty pounds for it, being 20 ounces at £pound;pound;3 an ounce; with which money she joyfully returned into the Country and bought her a husband.' [10]  Indeed, it was an article of general purchase and sale: 'We came up to the corner of a narrow Lane, where Money for old Books was writ upon some part or other of every Shop, as surely as Money for Live Hair, upon a Barber's Window.' [11] 

Men used to travel the country on horseback and collect it, and it was not unfrequent for suspected highwaymen, when stopped and brought before the authorities, to declare they were dealers in hair, roaming about, following their avocation-although it could not have been a very remunerative one, if we can believe the advertisements for the apprehension of deserters from the army: 'said he was a dealer in hair' being frequently mentioned. Here is an advertisement which gives a graphic picture of one of these gentry: ' Lost on Tuesday Night last the 14th Instant, about 6 in the Evening, from behind a Gentleman in Piccadilly, a Pair of Bags, in which were three Bladders with Hair in, two Holland Shirts, Neckcloaths, and other Linnen, A Leather Bag with an Iron Instrument and Hair in it, a pair of small Perriwig Cards, with Read the Maker's Name in Flower de Luce Court in , and other small matters beside,' [12]  etc.; and we may note that 'At the Sugar Loaf in Bishopsgate Street near Cornhil, is the House of Call, where Perriwig Makers can have Men, and Men may have Masters.' [13] 

'Did you ever see a Creature more ridiculous than that stake of human nature which dined the other day at our house, with his great long wig to cover his head and face;


which was no bigger than a Hackney Turnep, and much of the same form and shape ? Bless me, how it looked! just like a great platter of French Soup, with a little bit of flesh in the middle. Did you mark the beau tiff of his wig, what a deal of pains he took to toss it back, when the very weight thereof was like to draw him from his seat ?' [14]  And they must have been heavy. 'His Wigg I believe had a pound of Hair and two pounds of powder in't.' [15]  And again, ' One Impudent Correcter of Jade's Flesh, had run his Poles against the back Leather of a foregoing Coach, to the great dammage of a Beau's Reins, who peeping out of the Coach door, with at least a fifty Ounce Wig on,' etc.[16] 

The furbelow, or dress wig, was sometimes called a 'long Duvillier' (see 29), from a famous French perruquier of that name ; and these wigs were not only long, but tall: vide the humorous advertisement in the (180): 'N.B. Dancing Shoes, not exceeding four inches in height in the heels, and periwigs not exceeding three feet in length, are carried in the coach box gratis.' Not to have it in perfect curl was unendurable. 'I think standing in the Pillory cannot be a more sensible Ignominy to a Gentleman that wears tolerable Cloaths, than appearing in Publick with a rumpled Periwig.' [17]  Pretty dears! they used to carry ivory or tortoiseshell combs, curiously ornamented, with them, and comb their precious wigs in public-ay, the most public places-walking in the Park, or sitting in the Beau's Paradise, the side box of the theatre, and when paying visits. But it seems to have been in anybody's power, by the exercise of a little trouble, to keep his wig in proper curl. [18]  'The Secret White Water to Curl Gentlemen's Hair, Children's Hair, or fine Wigs withal, that are out of Curl; being used over Night, according to Directions, it performs a Curl by next Morning as substantial and durable as that of a new Wig, without damaging the Beauty of the Hair one jot; by it old Wigs that look almost scandalous, may be made to shew inconceivably fine and neat, and if any single


Lock or part of a Wig be out of Curl, by the pressing of the Hat or riding in windy or rainy Weather, in one Night's time it may be repaired hereby to Satisfaction. The Directions are so ample and large that Gentlemen's Men may perform the work with all the ease imaginable, the like thing never done before. Invented by an able Artist, and sold only at the Glover's Shop under the Castle Tavern, Fleet Street. Price 1s. a Bottle.'

These wigs were expensive-that is, if and do not exaggerate. Take this example from the , No. 54. ' He answered Phillis a little abruptly at supper the same evening, upon which she threw his perriwig into the fire. "Well," said he, " thou art a brave termagant jade; do you know, hussy, that fair wig cost forty guineas ?" ' And in the (No. 97), ' This gave me some encouragement; so that to mend the matter, I bought a fine flaxen long wig that cost me thirty guineas.' But there were wigs and wigs, and probably these highly priced ones were somewhat abnormal; at all events, ordinary people could not have afforded them, for we find loud in his laments about paying three guineas for one.[19]  'It has cost me three guineas to day for a periwig. I am undone! It was made by a Leicester lad, who married Mrs. Worrall's daughter, where my mother lodged; so I thought it would be cheap, and especially since he lives in the city.'

It must not be imagined that the periwig was the only variety. On the contrary, there were several kinds of wig. 'I had an humble Servant last Summer, who the first time he declared himself, was in a Full Bottom'd Wigg; but the Day after, to my no small Surprize, he accosted me in a thin Natural one. I received him, at this our second Interview, as a perfect Stranger, but was extreamly confounded, when his speech discovered who he was. I resolved, therefore, to fix his Face in my Memory for the future; but as I was walking in the Park the same Evening, he appeared to me in one of those Wiggs that I think you call a Night Cap, which had altered him more effectually than before. He afterwards


played a Couple of Black Riding Wiggs upon me, with the same Success,' [20] etc. The 'Night Cap' wig was a sort of periwig, with a short tie and a small round head. Then there was a 'Campaign' wig, which was imported from France; and this was made very full, was curled, and eighteen inches in length in the front, with drop locks. In the contemporary prints of Marlborough's victories, the back part of the wig is sometimes shown as being put in a black silk bag. We get an approximate idea of their value from the following advertisement: 'Lost &c. a Campaign Perriwig, fair Hair with a large Curl, value about 7 guineas,' etc.

I have come across one mention of a 'Spanish Wigg,' but as this was worn by a runaway ship's apprentice, it was probably of foreign manufacture, and the species had no place here. Lastly, there was the 'Bob' wig, or attempt to imitate the natural head of hair. This wig was mostly in use among the lower orders; and many are the descriptions of it, and its various colours, in the advertisements for army deserters. But the better class also used it. We have seen, in the , No. 319, how a man wore 'a thin Natural' wig; so also we read in 's ',' 'What shall I do for powder for this smart Bob ?'

The proper quality, and quantity, of his powder, must have been a serious weight upon the mind of a beau. Its groundwork, or basis, was starch, very finely ground and sifted; but this was adulterated with burnt alabaster, plaster of Paris (which was called in the trade Old Doctor), whitening, fine flour, flour from pearl barley, and other things; and it was scented-well, we should think to a sickening degree-with ambergris, musk and civet, violets, orris root, rose, bergamot, orange flowers, and jessamine. And there were different coloured hair powders. The black was made with starch, Japan ink, and ivory black; a cheaper sort was made of pounded coal-dust. Brown was made with starch and umber -according to the shade required. Grey was produced by mixing some of the black powder with more starch, and adding a little smalts.

presents us with a curious little piece of economy :-

When suffocating Mists obscure the Morn Let thy worst Wig, long us'd to Storms, be worn; This knows the powder'd Footman, and with Care, Beneath his flapping Hat, secures his Hair.


We are indebted also to [22]  for the following vivid description of the manner in which the beaus were robbed of their cherished chevelure:--

Nor is thy Flaxen Wigg with Safety worn; High on the Shoulder, in the Basket born, Lurks the sly Boy; whose Hand to Rapine bred, Plucks off the curling Honours of the Head.

This was an ingenious plan, but it was almost equalled in the very early years of George I. by a practice which sprung up, of cutting a hole in the leather backs of the carriages, boldly clutching the occupant's wig, and dragging it through the hole.

Some few had the courage to wear their own hair, and here is a hairdresser's advertisement on the subject: [23]  'Next door to the Golden Bell in St. Bride's Lane , Liveth Lydia Beecroft, who Cutteth and Curleth Ladies, Gentlemen's, and Childrens Hair; and selleth a fine Pomatum, which is mixt with Ingredients of her own making, that if the Hair be never so Thin, it makes it grow Thick; if Short, it makes it grow Long: If any Gentlemens or Childrens Hair be never so Lank, she makes it Curle in a little time like a Periwig. She waits on Ladies, if desir'd, on Tuesdays and Fridays; the other Days of the Week, she is to be spoken with at Home.' So that we see the 'Professors' of those days were very similar to their congeners of ours, and had invaluable nostrums- 'prepared only by,' etc. Bear's grease used to be imported from Russia; but a spurious kind was also sold, made out of dog's, or goat's, fat, or rancid hog's lard. There were common, hard, black, and brown pomatums, to say nothing of powders and liquids for thickening the hair, principally made of burdock root and small beer, and a powder for cleansing the hair, made with cassia wood and white vitriol.

We next come to the neckcloth, as no collar or band of the shirt was shown; and the one most in fashion was the 'Steinkirk,' so called from the battle of that name, which was fought on Aug 3, , when the English under William III. were defeated, and the campaign broken up. This style of neckcloth was introduced from Paris, and it was highly fashionable there, because its negligent style was popularly supposed to imitate the disordered dress of the victorious French generals, who were so eager to rush into the fight that they did not stop to finish dressing-or, at all events, to tie their neckcloths. It was a very graceful fashion, and the ends, which were laced or fringed, were sometimes tucked in the waistcoat or shirt. They are frequently alluded to as 'snuff grimed.' Ladies also wore them, as in 'The Careless Husband' Lady Easy 'takes her Steinkirk from her Neck and lays it gently over his Head.'

And there was the 'Berdash.' 'I have prepared a treatise against the Cravat and berdash, which I am told is not ill done.' [24]  Some have imagined that the word haberdasher is derived from this neckcloth, but it is too ridiculous to think of for a moment, as there were haberdashers as early as Edward the Third's reign, and at the time of which we write there were 'haberdashers of hats.' In the epilogue to 's 'Platonick Lady,' 'design'd to be spoken by Mrs. Bracegirdle but came too late,' it is mentioned-

Yet, tell me, Sirs, don't you as nice appear With your false Calves, Bardash, and Fav'rites here ?

[25]  [pointing to her forehead.]

The , Nov. 4, , says: 'Also very fine Muslin Neckcloths to be sold at 5s. a Piece.'

A gentleman's shirt was of fine holland, and was somewhat dear-the fronts were worn very open, and the ruffles were not laced, at least for ordinary wear: this piece of extravagance was reserved for a later time. Showing so much of the shirt necessitated clean linen, but it is hardly likely that many followed the example of Tom Modely, [26]  whose 'business in this world is to be well dressed; and the greatest


circumstance that is to be recorded in his annals is that he wears twenty shirts a week.' That they were costly, we may judge from the fact that was not extravagant in his dress, and that he bought them first-hand in Holland, by means of his friend Harrison, who was under great obligations to him. '28 Feb. . I have sent to Holland for a dozen shirts,' [27]  etc.-and again he writes: 'Jan. 31, . I paid him (Harrison) while he was with me seven guineas, in part of a dozen of shirts he bought me in Holland.'

This having the waistcoat unbuttoned to show the shirt is very frequently mentioned, but it was eminently a young man's practice. A lady, speaking of her husband, says: ' You must know, he tells me that he finds London is a much more healthy place than the Country; for he sees several of his old acquaintance and schoolfellows are here young fellows with fair full-bottomed perriwigs. I could scarce keep him this morning from going out open breasted.' [28]  Again [29]  : 'There is a fat fellow whom I have long remarked, wearing his breast open in the midst of winter, out of an affectation of youth. I have therefore sent him just now the following letter in my physical capacity:-

' "Sir, "'From the twentieth instant to the first of May next, both days inclusive, I beg of you to button your waistcoat from your collar to your waistband." ' It was supposed to have a most killing effect on the fair sex. 'A sincere heart has not made half so many conquests as an open waistcoat.' [30]  The waistcoats, otherwise, were seldom mentioned; they were long, but not so long as they afterwards became; and, with the exception of very fine suits, seem to have been quite plain. One or two advertisements of fine clothes will tell us a great deal about them 'Lost &c.-a Red Waistcoat Wove in with Gold, 2 Cravats, and 2 pair of Ruffles, 1 being grounded Lace very fine, the other Colebatteen.' 'Stolen &c.-a new Cinnamon Colour Cloth Coat, Wastcoat and Breeches, Embroider'd with Silver


4 or 5 inches deep down before, and on the Sleeves, and round the Pocket Holes and the Pockets and Knees of the Breeches. They are lin'd with a Sky Blue Silk.' ' Left in a Hackney Coach &c. a light brown colour'd Hanging Coat, with long Sleeves, upper Cape Black Velvet, with Gold Buttons and Button Holes.' 'Taken from a Gentleman's House &c. a Dove Coloured Cloth Suit embroider'd with Silver, and a pair of Silk Stockings of the same Colour; a Grey Cloth Suit with Gold Buttons and Holes; a Silk Drugget Salmon Coloured Suit lin'd with white Silk; a Silver Brocade Waistcoat trim'd with a knotted Silver Fringe, and lin'd with white Silk; A floured Satin Nightgown, lin'd with a Pink coloured Lustring, and a Cap and Slippers of the Same; a Thread Satin Nightgown, striped red and white, and lin'd with a Yellow Persian, and a Cap of the same; a yellow Damask Nightgown lin'd with Blue Persian; a Scarlet Silk net Sash to tye a Nightgown.' These were clothes fit for 'the prince of puppies, Colonel Edgworth,' [31]  who went one day to see his brother who lived but a day's journey from him; yet he took with him a led horse loaded with portmanteaus. On his arrival, these were unpacked, and three suits of clothes, each finer than the other, were displayed on chairs, his nightgown on another, and his shaving plate all put out. Next morning he appeared at breakfast with his boots on, and his brother asked him where he was going for a ride before dinner. He replied that he was going home; that he had only just come to see him, and must go back at once, which he did. The poor man afterwards died mad in the common Bridewell at Dublin.

Noblemen wore their stars on their coats, and their ribands, but it must have been a Collar day when the following happened: 'On Wednesday morning last between 11 and 12 at , was dropt from a Nobleman's Coller of Esses, an enamel'd George; if brought to Mr. Mead's, a Goldsmith, at the Black Lyon within , shall have a Guinea Reward, and no Questions ask'd.' [32] The reward does not indicate reckless prodigality on the part of the nobleman.

We have seen that there was a great variety of colours in men's clothing. A little curiosity in colour must not pass unnoticed.

The City Prentices, those upstart Beaus In short spruce Puffs and Vigo coloured clothes

[33]  -a colour which might puzzle for some time, were it not for the huge quantity of snuff captured at Vigo in .

There were clothes of Drap du Barri and D'Oyley suits, so called after the famous haberdasher, whose name still survives in the dessert napkin. They were made of drugget and sagathay, camlet, but the majority of men wore cloth. It is scarcely necessary to describe the shape of the coat, for the illustrations show it better than any printed description. There is but one peculiarity I would point out-that in the coats used to be wired to make them stick out. 'The Skirt of your fashionable Coats forms as large a Circumference as our Petticoats; as these are set out with Whalebone, so are those with Wire, to encrease and sustain the Bunch of Fold that hangs down on each side.' [34] 

The cheap clothiers lived in Monmouth Street, St. Giles, (now called Dudley Street), and there was no love lost between them and their higher-priced brethren, as the following advertisement shows: 'Whereas the Monmouth Street Men and other Taylors in and about the City, have by divers Advertisements in the and other publick Prints, and by Bills given from Door to Door, boasted what mighty Pennyworths Persons may have of them, in selling Sagathy and Druggit Suits, the smallest sized Men for 3 Guineas, and the largest sizes for £pound;pound;3 10s. and Men's Cloth Suits at £pound;pound;4 and £4 10s. This is to acquaint all Persons that have occasion for such Suits, if they please to make Tryal, may have the same as Cheap in Birchin lane, and as well and as fashionable made, and may be assured of seeing more choice both of broad Cloaths, Camblet, Druggits and Sagathys than many of those Upstarts can pretend to.' 3

A perusal of the advertisements of these confirms these prices, and one will serve as a type of all. 'At the sign of the Golden Heart in Monmouth Street in St. Giles' in the Fields. All Gentlemen and Others, may be Furnished with all sorts of Cloathes and chuse their Patterns and have them made very well and Fashionable, of Cloath, Druggets, or Sagathie, the first size Drugget or Sagathie at Three Pounds, the second size at Three Guineas, and the largest size at Three Pound Ten Shillings; with all sorts of Cloath Suits very Reasonable, and Cheaper than any hath yet pretended to make them: With all sorts of Plain Liveries at Three Pound Fifteen and Four Pound a Suit, and Laced Liveries proportionable; As likewise all sorts of Camblet Suits very Reasonable, and Campaign Coats at Fifteen or Sixteen Shillings a Coat; All sorts and sizes of Boys Cloathes, very Good and Cheap.' [35]  In reading these advertisements, and indeed in all quotations of price, the different value of money-then and now-should never be forgotten; three pounds being equivalent to seven or eight. So that, according to our ideas, clothing was dearer then than now.

In the country, owing to the very little correspondence between it and the metropolis, of course the fashions were some time in reaching remote distances, and were equally long in departing from thence, to make way for new ones. humorously describes the fashions for men in Cornwall in . ' From this place, during our progress through the most western parts of the kingdom, we fancied ourselves in King Charles the Second's reign, the people having made vary little variations in their dress since that time. The smartest of the country Squires appear still in the Monmouth Cock, and when they go a wooing, whether they have any post in the militia or not, they generally put on a red coat. We were indeed very much surprised, at the place we lay at last night, to meet with a gentleman that had accoutred himself in a night cap wig, a coat with long pockets and slit sleeves, and a pair of shoes with high scallop tops; but we soon found by his conversation that he was a person who laughed at the ignorance and rusticity of the country people, and was resolved to live and die in the mode.' [36] 

Of men's breeches, and the materials of which they were made, very little mention is made; but the stocking is frequently brought to notice. They were of cloth, knitted woollen, thread, and silk. The latter were of all colours, to suit the beaus' costumes, but black silk was the wear of your well-to-do citizen, professional man, or gentleman. says 'The English Silk Stockings are one of its famous Merchandizes;' and solemn old records how he and his cousin 'bought each a pair

of black silk rolling stockings in .' There is no mention of gaiters as a protection against cold, rain, or mud. grumbles that 'another informs me of a Pair of silver Garters buckled below the knee, that have lately been seen at the Rainbow Coffee house in ,' [37]  and considers it his mission 'to Correct those Depraved Sentiments that give Birth to all those little Extravagances which appear in their outward Dress and Behaviour.'

With regard to shoes, there seems to have been much foppery. Red heels are specially railed against by the . The beaus wore the heels very high, as indeed was the fashion with the fair sex. speaks, among his de omnibus rebus, of shoes, and gives the following advice[38] :-

When the Black Youth at chosen Stands rejoice, And Clean your Shoes resounds from ev'ry Voice; When late their miry Sides Stage Coaches show, And their stiff Horses thro' the Town move slow; When all the Mall in leafy Ruin lies, And Damsels first renew their Oyster Cries:

Then let the prudent Walker Shoes provide Not of the Spanish or Morocco Hide; The wooden Heel may raise the Dancer's Bound, And with the 'scallop'd Top his Step be crown'd: Let firm, well hammer'd Soles protect thy Feet Thro' freezing Snows, and Rains, and Soaking Sleet. Should the big Laste extend the Shoe too wide, Each Stone will wrench th' unwary Step aside: The sudden Turn may stretch the swelling Vein, Thy cracking Joint unhinge, or Ankle sprain; And when too short the modish Shoes are worn, You'll judge the Seasons by your shooting Corn.

Shoe-strings had gone out, and buckles were in fashion; but they had not assumed the proportions they did in after years. Boots were never worn except for riding; and there was in
this reign very little improvement on the heavy and clumsy riding-boot of William the Third's time, which was still worn by Marlborough and his cavalry. Many are the pairs, with their spurs, that are advertised for, as being left in coaches.

In those days of bad pavements and defective sewage, when men had hardly begun the general use of the chair, and a coach was, as now, the luxury of the few, shoeblacks were a necessity; and, although a man might, like the Templar in 'Sir Roger de Coverley,' 'have his shoes rubbed and his periwig powdered at the Barber's, as you go unto the Rose,' yet a large number of 'Black Youth at chosen Stands rejoice; and Clean your Shoes resounds from ev'ry Voice.' They were very numerous; and from them is derived our word blackguard, for so were they called about Charing Cross and White Hall.

There were different kinds of blacking, but, judging from the dispraise awarded to each other's goods by rival manufacturers, they could have been neither pleasant nor effective. 'London Fucus for Shoes; being an unparallel'd Composition of the most pure and rich Blacks, Choice Oils, &c., and is a thing so adapted to this Use, that the World never yet produc'd the like Invention, having gain'd a General Applause,


causing the straitest Shooes to wear with delight and ease; beautifies them to admiration, preserves the Leather from cracking or rotting to the very last; and frees the Feet from all Pains, Corns, Swellings, &c. . . . Price 12d. a Roll. Note, one Roll serves one Person near half a year.' And then the famous 'Spanish Blacking' advertised, and called the poor ' Fucus ' names.

The little odds and ends of male attire must be noted. Gloves, for instance, were in constant use, and we have seen how prodigally they were given away at funerals. The ire of the was aroused by a custom, then just brought up, of edging them with silver fringe, but this luxurious practice does not seem to have obtained for very long.

The pocket-handkerchiefs, owing to the prevalence of the

practice of snuff-taking, were nearly always of silk, though cambric was used; and although we do not hear of 'Moral Pockethandkerchiefs,' they were somewhat similarly utilised, as the following advertisement shows: 'A Silk Handkerchief Printed, with a Draught of the Roads of England according to Mr. Ogleby's Survey, shewing the Roads and distance in measured Miles from London to the several Cities and Towns in England. Also the Victory Handkerchief, which gives an account of the Success of 5 most glorious Victories obtain'd by the Confederates over the French. Ornamented with the Arms of the Empire and Great Britain, Prussia and Holland: They will both Wash in a weak Lather of Soap without Prejudice. Price 2s. 6d.' Others were printed with the Queen's Speech to Parliament, April 5, 171O; the standards and ensigns taken from the French, with the queen's effigies at full length; Dr. Sacheverell and the six bishops who voted with him; the four seasons of the year with the sun in the centre, curiously ornamented; and the last one I can find


advertised in Anne's reign was one printed on white silk with 'An Abstract of the Peace made between England and France, with the lively Effigies of all the Confederates, Princes and the several Plenipotentiaries at Utrecht.'

In the early part of Anne's reign it was fashionable for men to wear muffs, as it had been ever since Charles the Second's time. () says: ' What is he in the long Whig, with his Fox skin Muff upon his Button, and his Pocket book in his Hand? Why he (replied my schoolfellow) is a Beau.' But they seem to have become less popular in (vide , No. 155). 'I saw he was reduced to extreme poverty, by certain shabby superfluities in his dress: for, notwithstanding that it was a very sultry day for the time of the year, he wore a loose great Coat and a Muff,' etc. Yet in writes (, No. 16): 'I have receiv'd a Letter, desiring me to be very satyrical upon the little Muff that is now in Fashion.'

Every gentleman carried a sword, and we are able to get accurate descriptions of them, from the very numerous descriptions of them in the advertisements of lost and stolen swords-how they used to lose them ! Probably the company at the tavern or club was jovial, the claret good, and the way home was badly lit, and in the morning the silver-hilted sword was a-missing. I wonder if they ever got them back ? They cried after them loudly enough, although they did not offer great rewards, a guinea or so at the outside. thus warns the walker in the streets:-

Where the Mob gathers, swiftly shoot along, Nor idly mingle in the noisy Throng. Lur'd by the Silver Hilt, amid the Swarm, The subtil Artist will thy Side disarm.

With a beau, his sword, as every other part of his dress, received his special attention, and he very seldom was without it, except when dancing. His sword-knot was of some gay colour, and was very long; and he was solicitous as to the carriage of his sword. ' But my sword-does it hang careless?' asks Bookwit in the '' ; and yet withal the hilts very seldom seem to have been of much value, either


diamond-cut steel, gilt, or plain silver hilts. The following are some of the better sort, and of the most artistic merit. ' A large plain Silver hilted Sword with Scrowls and gilt in parts, with a broad gutter'd hollow Blade gilt at the shoulder, and the edges ground very sharp and a strong silver gilt handle.' 'A Hanger with a fine Aggat Haft, Belt, and Silver buckle.' 'A Silver gilt Sword, done with several Figures, with a Chequer Gold handle done one half of it with a Black Ribbon.' 'A Silver and Gold Hilted Sword wrought with Figures and Images about the handle, being tyed with a broad black Ribbon, the Blade broad from the Hilt halfway, and stain'd with blew and Gold.' ' A Silver and Gold hilted Sword of a Trophy Pattern, with a man on Horseback on the Middle of the Pommel, and the same in the Shell, with the Figures lying down on each side of the Horse, the Button of the Pommel being in Squares. '

Here is an advertisement which shows how a poor innocent was led astray: 'June 24, . Whereas a Gentleman coming to Bradbery's Hazard Table last Night, and not a Gamester, but brought by an Acquaintance to see the Nature of it, lost his Silver hilted Sword, which some of the Company took from his side; This is to give Notice that any body that produces the Sword to Mr. John Waters, Perfumer, in the Strand, over against the Talbot Inn; or to Mr. Hosier, over against the Bunch of Grapes in New Street, Fetter Lane, shall have 10s. Reward, and no Questions ask'd; and if the Sword is not produc'd, the Man that keeps the Table will be indited.'

Towards the end of Anne's reign swords were worn of a preposterous length, which excited the satire of the [39]  'When Jack Lizard made his first trip to town from the university, he thought he could never bring up with him enough of the gentleman; this I soon perceived in the first visit he made me, when I remember, he came scraping in at the door, encumbered with a bar of Cold iron so irksomely long, that it banged against his Calf, and jarred upon his right heel, as he Walked, and came rattling behind him as he ran down the stairs. But his sister Annabella's raillery soon


cured him of this awkward air, by telling him that his sword was only fit for going up stairs, or walking up hill, and that she shrewdly suspected he had stolen it out of the College kitchen.'

Equal, at least, in importance to the sword, was the cane, ' the nice conduct' of which was part of a gentleman's education-and, if swords were plentifully lost or stolen, how many more despairing owners mourned their canes? There were useful, as well as ornamental canes.

If the Strong Cane support thy walking Hand, Chairmen no longer shall the Wall command; Ev'n sturdy Car-men shall thy Nod obey, And rattling Coaches stop to make thee Way: This shall direct thy Cautious Tread aright, Though not one glaring Lamp enliven Night. Let Beaus their Canes with Amber tipt produce, Be theirs for empty Show, but thine for use.

[40]  The majority of those lost were hardly worth advertising for; but we will pick out a few, as specimens of what the better sort were like: 'A fine Cane with a Gold Head, engraved with a Cypher and Crown on the top of it.' 'A Cane with an Aggot head.' 'A small cane with an Amber head and a Black Silk Ribbond in it, a Princes Metal Hoop, and a Silver Ferril at the bottom.' 'A Cane with a Silver Head and a Black Ribbon in it, the top of it Amber, crack'd in two or three places, part of the Head to turn round, and in it a Perspective Glass.' 'A Cane with a croched Head, a Silver Ferrel and a Silver ring.' 'A Cane with a Silver Head, with the Figure of the Tower of Babel upon it, done in Chaced Work.' 'A Cane with a Silver Head and Scent Box, and a Ferril of Silver at the Bottom.'

His snuff-box, too, was an object of his solicitude, though, as the habit of taking snuff had but just come into vogue, there were no collections of them, and no beau had ever dreamed of criticising a box as did Lord Petersham, as 'a nice Summer box.' So many of them have come down to us that they need no description, and I may merely say that those of the middle classes were chiefly of silver, or tortoise-shell,


or mother-of-pearl; sometimes of 'Aggat' -or with a 'Moco Stone' in the lid. A beau would sometimes either have a looking-glass, or the portrait of a lady inside the lid.

We have seen how proud the beau was of his watch, which he wore in a fob, or pocket, in his breeches. A seal or two, generally of small value, and a watch key, were attached to it by a ribbon; chains, either of gold, silver, or steel, being sparingly used. The seals, of course, were then necessary, as, there being no gummed envelopes, every letter had to be properly sealed, either by wax or wafer. Tompion was the great watch-maker, and he lived at

the Three Crowns, at the corner of Water Lane in , where he was afterwards succeeded by George Graham. The value of Tompion's watches may be gathered from the fact that from seven to ten guineas were generally offered for their recovery when lost, or from eighteen to twenty-five guineas of our money.

The watch of that day, and indeed of the whole Georgian era, consisted of the watch proper, and an outer ornamental case, which was lined with a pad of coloured velvet or satin, to make it fit tight to the watch. We now never see watch-cases made of other materials than the precious metals, or imitations thereof; but then, beautiful cases were made of shagreen of various colours, or tortoiseshell inlaid, or studded, with gold. Some beautiful specimens may be seen in the library of the Corporation of the City of London, in the Clockmakers' Company's collection.

As umbrellas were not used by men, as being too effeminate, and india-rubber waterproofing was only to be discovered more than a century later, men, in Anne's reign, had to put their trust in good broadcloth coats or cloaks.

Nor should it prove thy less important Care, To Chuse a proper Coat for Winter's Wear. Now in thy Trunk thy Doily Habit fold, The silken Drugget ill can fence the cold; The Frieze's spongy Nap is soak'd with Rain, And Show'rs soon drench the Camlet's cockled Grain. True Witney Broad Cloth with its Shag unshorn, Unpierc'd is in the lasting Tempest worn: Be this the Horse man's Fence; for who would wear Amid the Town the Spoils of Russia's Bear ? Within the Roquelaure's Clasp thy Hands are pent, Hands, that stretch'd forth invading Harms prevent. Let the looped Bavaroy the Fop embrace, Or his deep Cloak be spatter'd o'er with Lace. That Garment best the Winter's Rage defends, Whose shapeless Form in ample Plaits depends; By various Names

A Joseph, a Wrap Rascal, etc.

in various Counties known, Yet held in all the true Surtout alone: Be thine of Kersey firm, though small the Cost, Then brave unwet the Rain, unchill'd the Frost.

Scarlet seems to have been the favourite colour for the roquelaure or cloak, and some must have been 'exceeding magnifical,' scarlet rocklows and rocliers, with gold buttons and loops, being advertised as lost. Ah! the men of that time! they were always losing something.

In doors, in their hours of ease, the precious furbelow wig was discarded, and their closely cropped or shaved heads were clad in handsomely worked caps-called night caps, although only worn in the daytime; some kind of night cap having been an article of dress ever since the time of Elizabeth. They were as common presents from ladies to gentlemen, as a pair of slippers, or a smoking-cap would be now. Says , 'Your fine Cap, Madam Dingley, is too little, and too hot. I will have that fur taken off; I wish it were far enough; and my old Velvet cap is good for nothing. Is it velvet under the fur ? I was feeling but cannot find; if it be, it will do without it, else I will face it; but then I must buy new velvet: but may be I may beg a piece. What shall I do?' [43] 

The loose dressing gown, too, was called a night gown-


why, I know not, because it was not worn at night. 'You must know I am in my night gown every morning betwixt six and seven, and Patrick is forced to ply me fifty times before I can get on my nightgown.' [44]  They were made of costly materials as well as 'Callicoe' ; indeed, they were generally of brocade, or some embroidered material. Men used even, early in the day, to lounge into the coffee-houses dressed in them. One example will show both their price
and the materials of which they were sometimes made. 'Whereas on Tuesday the 23d of December last, 3 Night Gowns was agreed for, and taken away from a Shop in Exchange Alley, viz. One Man's Night Gown of yellow Sattin with Red and white Flowers lined with a pale Blue Sattin, Value £pound;pound;6 10s. One ditto of blue Ground Sattin, with red and white Flowers, lined with a plain yellow Sattin, Value £pound;pound;5 10s. One ditto of red and white broad stript Thread Sattin, lined with a green and white Persian,


Value £pound;pound;2 10s. for which the Payment left was not satisfactory. If the Person who bought the said Gowns will give notice to Mr. Gray at the Rainbow and Punch bowl in Gilt Spur Street, so as they may be had again, shall have 6 Guineas Reward, and no Questions asked.'

As the ultimate fate of all these fine clothes was the old clothes man, a picture of him will as appropriately close this portion of the disquisition on male dress, as one of his mate will open that on female costume.


[1] The Careless Husband, 2nd ed., 1705.

[2] Hickelty Pickelty.

[3] Tatler, No. 113.

[4] Love Makes a Man, C. Cibber, ed. 1701.

[5] Spectator, 319.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] The Roving Husband Reclaim'd, ed. 1706.

[9] The Baboon a la Mode, A Satyr against the French.

[10] Protestant Mercury, July 10, 1700.

[11] London Spy.

[12] Daily Courant, Oct. 17, 1712.

[13] Postman, Nov. 13/16, 1708 (? misprint for 1707).

[14] The Levellers, a Dialogue.

[15] The Gamesters.

[16] London Spy.

[17] The Gentleman Cully, ed. 1702.

[18] Postman, Sept. 23/26, 1710.

[19] Journal to Stella, let. 13.

[20] Spectator, No. 319 (Budgell).

[21] Trivia, book 1.

[22] Ibid. book 3.

[23] Harl. MSS. 5931, 242.

[24] Guardian, No. 10.

[25] Small curls on the forehead.

[26] Tatler, No. 166.

[27] Journal to Stella.

[28] Tatler, No. 95.

[29] Ibid. 246.

[30] Ibid. 151.

[31] Journal to Stella, letter 6.

[32] Postboy, Feb. 25, 1714.

[33] Epilogue to Mrs. Centlivre's "Love's Contrivance," ed. 1703.

[34] Spectator, No. 145. 3 Postman, Nov. 15, 1707.

[35] Harl. MSS. 5931, 205.

[36] Spectator, 129.

[37] Spectator, No. 16.

[38] Trivia, book 1.

[39] Guardian, No. 143.

[40] Trivia, book 1.

[43] Journal to Stella, letter 8.

[44] Journal to Stella, letter 8.