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BEARDSLEY

beard in order. About this time the clergy began to break with the long tradition of smooth faces. A priest in 1531 is commanded to abstain from wearing a beard, and Cardinal Pole, coming from the court of a bearded pope, appears bearded like a Greek patriarch. The law too, the church’s kinswoman, begins to forbid, a sign of the change, and from 1542 the society of Lincoln’s Inn makes rules for fining and expelling those who appear bearded at their mess, rules which the example of exalted lawyers caused to be withdrawn in 1560.

The age of Elizabeth saw lawyers, soldiers, courtiers and merchants all bearded. Her Cecils, Greshams, Raleighs, Drakes, Dudleys and Walsinghams have the beard. A shaven chin such as that seen in the portrait of Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, is rare, but the beards take a hundred fashions, and satirists and Puritan pamphleteers were busy with them and with the men who wasted hours in perfuming or starching them, in dusting them with orris powder, in curling them with irons and quills. Stubbs gives them a place amongst his abuses. “It is a world to consider how their mowchatowes must be preserved or laid out from one cheek to another and turned up like two horns towards the forehead.” Of the English variety of beards Harrison has a good word: “beards of which some are shaven from the chin like those of Turks, not a few cut short like to the beard of Marquess Otto, some made round like a rubbing brush, others with a pique de vant (O! fine fashion) or now and then suffered to grow long, the barbers being grown to be so cunning in this behalf as the tailors. And therefore if a man have a lean and straight face, a Marquess Otto’s cut will make it broad and large; if it be platter-like, a long slender beard will make it seem the narrower; if he be weasel-becked, then much hair left on the cheeks will make the owner look big like a bowdled hen, and as grim as a goose, if Cornelis of Chelmersford say true.” Nevertheless he adds that “many old men do wear no beards at all.” The Elizabethan fashions continued under King James, the beard trimmed to a point being common wear; but under King Charles there is a certain reaction, and the royal style of shaving the cheeks and leaving the moustache whose points sweep upward and the chin beard like a downward flame is followed by most of the gentry. With some the beard disappears altogether or remains a mere fleck below the lip. Archbishop Laud has a cavalier-like chin tuft and upturned moustache, but Abbot his predecessor wore the spade beard, the “cathedral beard” of Randle Holme, seen in all its dignity on the Chigwell brass of Samuel Harsnett, archbishop of York (died 1631), a grim figure with his angry moustache and a long and broad beard, cut square at the bottom.

From the Restoration year the razor comes more into use. Young men shave clean. The restored king curls a few dark hairs of a moustache over each cheek, but his brother James is shaven. With the reign of Queen Anne the country enters the beardless age, and beards, moustaches and whiskers are no more seen. In the 18th century the moustache indicated a soldier from beyond sea. A Jew or a Turk was known by the beard, an appendage loathsome as comic. Matthew Robinson, the second Lord Rokeby, was indeed wearing a beard in 1798, but he was reckoned a madman therefor, and Phillips’s Public Character pictures him as “the only peer and perhaps the only gentleman of either Great Britain or Ireland who is thus distinguished.” That George III. in his madness should have been left unshaved was a circumstance of his misery that wrung the hearts of all loyal folk. But in the very year of 1798, when Lord Rokeby’s image was engraved for the curious, the Worcestershire militia officers quartered near Brighton were copying the Austrian moustache of the foreign troops, and we may note that the hair of the face, which disappeared when wigs came in, began to reappear as wigs went out. Early in the 19th century the bucks began to show a patch of whisker beside the ear, and the soldier’s moustache became a common sight. Before Waterloo, guardsmen were complaining that officers of humbler regiments imitated their fashion of the moustache, and by the Waterloo year most young cavalry officers were moustached. The Horse Artillery were the next moustached corps, the rest of the army, already whiskered, following their example in the ’fifties. But for a civilian to grow a moustache was long reckoned a piece of unseemly swagger. Clive Newcome, it will be remembered, wore one until the taunting question whether he was “going in the Guards” shamed him into shaving clean. When in 1840 Mr George Frederick Muntz appeared in parliament with a full beard there were those who felt that this tall Radical had taken his own strange method of insulting English parliamentary institutions. James Ward, R.A. (d. 1859), painter of animals, was another breaker of the unwritten law, defending his beard in a pamphlet of eighteen arguments as a thing pleasing at once to the artist and to his Creator. Freedom in these matters only came when the troops were home from the Crimea, when officers who had grown beards and acquired the taste for tobacco during the long months in the trenches showed their beards and their cigars in Piccadilly. Then came the Volunteer movement, and every man was a soldier, taking a soldier’s licence. The dominant fashion was the moustache, worn with long and drooping whiskers. But the “Piccadilly weepers” of the ’sixties were out of the mode for the younger men when the ’eighties began, and by the end of the century whiskers were seen in the army only upon a few veteran officers. The fashion of clean shaving had made some way, the popularity of the shaven actor having a part in this. In 1909 all modes of dealing with the hair of the face might be recognized, but the full beard had become somewhat rare in England and the full whiskers rarer still. The upper class showed an inclination to shave clean, although the army grudgingly recognized a rule which ordered the moustache to be worn. Naval men, by regulation, shaved or wore both beard and moustache, but their beards were always trimmed. Most barristers shaved the lips, although the last judge unable to hear an advocate whose voice a moustache interrupted had left the bench. Clergymen followed the lay fashions as they did under the first Stuart kings, although there was still some prejudice against the moustache as an ornament military and inappropriate. A newspaper of 1857, describing the appearance of Livingstone the missionary at a Mansion House meeting, records that he came wearing a moustache, “braving the prejudices of his countrymen and thus evincing a courage only inferior to that exhibited by him amongst the savages of Central Africa.” Even as late as 1884 the Pall Mall Gazette has some surprised comments on the beard of Bishop Ryle, newly consecrated to the see of Liverpool.

The footman, whose full-dress livery is the court dress of a hundred years ago, must show no more than the rudimentary whisker of the early eighteen-hundreds, and butler, coachman and groom come under the same rule. The jockey and the hunt whip are shaven likewise, but the courier has the whiskers and moustache that once marked him as a foreigner in the English milor’s service, and the chauffeur, a servant with no tradition behind him, is often moustached.

Lastly, we may speak of the practice of the royal house since England came out of the beardless century. The regent took the new fashion, and sat “in whiskered state,” but his brother and successor shaved clean and disliked even the hussar’s moustache. The prince consort wore the moustache as a young man, adding whiskers in later years. King Edward VII. wore moustache and trimmed beard, and his heir apparent also followed the fashion of many fellow admirals.  (O. Ba.) 


BEARDSLEY, AUBREY VINCENT (1872-1898), English artist in black and white, was born at Brighton on the 24th of August 1872. In 1883 his family settled in London, and in the following year he appeared in public as an “infant musical phenomenon,” playing at several concerts with his sister. In 1888 he obtained a post in an architect’s office, and afterwards one in the Guardian Life and Fire Insurance Company (1889). In 1891, under the advice of Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Puvis de Chavannes, he took up art as a profession. In 1892 he attended the classes at the Westminster School of Art, then under Professor Brown; and from 1893 until his death, at Mentone, on the 16th of March 1898, his work came continually before the public, arousing a storm of criticism and much hostile feeling. Beardsley had an unswerving tendency towards the fantastic of