Thomas Crawford's Diary, 1825

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“A most disagreeable operation”

Entry for 21/07/1825

Thursday 21st. Soon after breakfast, the shaving commenced and it really was a most disagreeable operation, wet swabs put over the shoulders painted instead of being soaped with paint & either grease or tar shaved with a rusty hoop powdered with flower & water buckets of water dashed about the head & afterwards tumbled backwards into a boat of dirty water. After getting out of the boat there were buckets of dirty water thrown about. The worst of it was a handkerchief tied over the eyes before going forward to undergo this operation of shaving & different stuffs were made up in bottles which you were obliged to drink if you opened the mouth to answer the questions that were put, & if not taken voluntarily were thrown down the throat when the mouth was open. I did not like the operation of shaving at all. After being shaved I fell upon deck & sprained my shoulder, which caused much pain. The Ladies were not excuded from shaving with the rest in a hearty ducking; Mrs. & Miss Ryrie were soused with water. Soon after dinner the sailors were called aft to the [?] deck & danced till far in the evening, & were allowed a very tolerable quantity of spirits, in fact all were pretty much in the wind. After the dancing was over we went to the cabin & had some rum punch & a few songs.