False teeth.. (Parish Records)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 16:33 (2777 days ago) @ m p griffiths

Brilliant find as ever MPG !

Keen readers of the "Sharpe" novels about the Napoleonic wars will know these fictional stories are very well researched historically from contempory diaries etc, not just from a military viewpoint but also wrt the social behaviour of the early 1800s such as how poorly-paid soldiers tried to eke out their pittance. It speaks of an experienced officer who removed his false front teeth before a battle, mainly for safe-keeping but also to help his frightening appearance. Healthy real teeth were so valuable then that soldiers would carry pincers and became expert at pulling them from the fallen after rifling their pockets. These could then be sold on for good money, being far preferable to the wealthy than the more normal wooden false teeth.
And we get squeamish over a visit to the dentist !

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