Garrow’s Law: FAQ – servants and beards and wigs, oh my!

13 November, 2009 at 3:01 pm 3 comments

“Garrow’s Law” has obviously garnered a loyal fellowship within a very short time. That’s great, and they’re very curious and observant people! So I got more mails in a week than I usually get in two months. Here are some answers to the questions (and criticisms) I found in my mailbox; I hope the answers will be helpful.

“Who played the servant girl in episode 1, and where have I seen her before?”

gl03

Tessa Nicholson and Andrew Buchan in "Garrow's Law".

The actress who played Elizabeth Jarvis, the servant girl accused of having murdered her bairn is Tessa Nicholson. The link goes to her IMDB profile; maybe you’ve seen her in one of the productions listed there?

“Who was THE MONSTER?”

gl16

Joel Gillman as Renwick Williams in "Garrow's Law".

Renwick Williams, the not-monster, was played by Joel Gillman. For more information about the actual case used for this episode, please read this very interesting article by Mark Pallis.

“There was this one guy with a beard who heckled Silvester. They had no beards in the 18th century?!”

gl17

To shave or not to shave...

Now that is a very good question! By no means am I an expert on hairstyles, but I’d say that it would have been highly unlikely to see a young man of some status (judging by his clothes, his presence in the court room and his company) to wear a beard. The 18th century was a very bad time for beards, so yes, I agree:  that scene wasn’t realistic or historical correct, imo. I hate beards, though, so I’m biased. Beard-experts are welcome to come forward with further information.

“Why are some men wearing wigs and others aren’t?”

gl18

Chicks dig wigs - Andrew Buchan as William Garrow in "Garrow's Law".

“Garrow’s Law” is set in the late 18th century; 1780s, I’d say. By that time, younger men would rather powder their own hair than wear a wig (unless it was, like in Garrow’s case, part of the dress code for his profession). While the portrayal of wig-wearing (or lack thereof) looks correct to me, I doubt that somebody like publisher Mr. Angerstein would have appeared in court without a wig.  An older gentleman would stick with his wig, as it had been a symbol of rank and status for centuries. Then again, Mr. Angerstein wasn’t really a gentleman, now was he…!

“Hangedhangedhanged! WTF scriptwriter! Men are HANGED, not HUNG!”

As far as grammar is concerned, you are correct. However, if we take anatomy into consideration… next question, please!

Edited to add: looks like I was only half-right with my reply (well, as far as the grammar part is concerned). Mark Pallis gives a more thorough answer to the “hanged or hung” debate here.

For those interested, here are two links to interviews with actor Andrew Buchan, who plays William Garrow in “Garrow’s Law”.

Daily Record: The Fixer star Andrew Buchan on his new TV role as a Scots pioneer

Digital Spy

He definitely doesn’t share our enthusiasm for pigtails and coats. Heh!

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Entry filed under: 18th century, garrow's law, resource, tv. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Event tip: BBC Children in Need comes to Hartlepool Maritime Experience Review: “Garrow’s Law”, BBC1: Episode 3 – The Killing of the Mighty Squash

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. garrowslaw  |  13 November, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Molly,

    On hanged or hung, have a look at these cases, you may be in for a surprise!!

    http://garrowslaw.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/hanged-or-hung/

    with best wishes

    mark pallis

    Reply
    • 2. joyfulmolly  |  13 November, 2009 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks a lot, Mark! I’ve edited the entry and added a link to your entry. “Hung / Hanged” must be to experts of the English language what “Winged / Not Winged Balrogs” are to Lord of the Ring fans.

      Reply
  • 3. Hanged or Hung? « Garrow's Law  |  24 October, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    […] Garrow’s Law: FAQ – servants and beards and wigs, oh my! « Joyful Molly says: November 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm […]

    Reply

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