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The Basel Beatles

Portrait of William Laud
Archbishop William Laud. Copy of a portrait by Anthony van Dyck (1636)

The Basel theology graduate Jacob Battier (1604-1643) made his way to England like many other Swiss students; unlike them, he was naturalized in the 1630s and became secretary to the powerful Earl of Leicester. After the death of his cousin Johann Jacob Frey, Battier applied for the position of Dean of Armagh which Frey had been promised. Archbishop William Laud was not convinced by the young Swiss:

I received a letter […] from the Earl of Leicester […] for his Secretary [Jacob Battier] to be Dean of Armagh. The man himself brought me the letter. He told me he was a Deacon, and that my Lord of Lincoln ordained him. But I saw nothing in him or about him like a man in Orders. Young he was, and in long hair, his clothes all in the fashion, and to my eye most unfit every way to be a prime Dean in that kingdom. My answer was accordingly, that his Lordship might expect kindness from me, but it must be such as I might perform with my own honour. But I had spoken and written so much to your Lordship against putting young men into eminent places in the Church, that I could not now forget it, at all times after that I was with you.

This anecdote is confirmed by a diary entry which the Oxford tutor Thomas Crosfield made on 11 November 1632. Crosfield discusses "some scholars […] that had long hair when they were called to be matriculated" and were admonished "to make their hair be cut short". Crosfield muses on the changeability of fashion and then notes the following:

The Switzers and those ministers that live about Helvetia, Basel, to this day wear long hair, their reason being demanded is nothing but the example of their predecessors who in opposition to the shaven monks (perhaps) wear their hair so long.
Regula Hohl Trillini