Taylor in the London Tradesman (1747)

Campbell, Robert
Robert Cruikshank, "Nine Tailors making a man!-or foreign habits for a native prince!" (1819). British Museum 1868,0808.8482.


"Mr. Fashioner is not such a despicable Animal as the World imagines; ... he is really an useful Member in society..."

His Importance

No man is ignorant that a Taylor is the Person that makes our Cloaths ; to some he not only makes their Dress, but, in some measure, may be said to make themselves. There are Numbers of beings in and about this Metropolis who have no other identical Existence than what the Taylor, Milliner, and Perriwig-Maker bestow upon them: Strip them of these Distinctions, and they are quite different Species of Beings; have no more Relation to their dressed selves, than they have to the great Mogul, and are as insignificant in Society as Punch, deprived of his moving Wires, and hung up upon a Peg.

This makes some fanciful Persons imagine, that the Prometheus, so much mentioned in Heathen theology, was really no more than a Taylor, who, by his Art, metamorphosed Mankind so, that they appeared a new Species of Beings.

From all this I would infer, that Mr. Fashioner is not such a despicable Animal as the World imagines; that he is really an useful Member in society, and consequently that, though according to the vulgar saying, it takes nine Taylors to make one Man, yet you may pick up nine Men out of ten who cannot make a complete Taylor.


Text taken from R. Campbell, The London Tradesman. Being a compendious view of all the trades, professions, arts, both liberal and mechanic, now practised in the cities of London and Westminster. By R. Campbell, esq; Printed by T. Gardner, at Cowley's-Head in the Strand (London), 1747, p. 191-192. Transcription by Alain Kerhervé. Full book in ECCO.