This figure may be said rather to represent the usual dress of the farmers’ servants in the southern parts of the kingdom.
The frock, which he wears over his other clothes, is made of coarse linen, much in the same form as a shirt, except that the front is close, and usually stitched or plaited in a fanciful manner, as are also the shoulders and back part of the neck. The small keg, seen on the ground, contains his beverage, when employed in the fields, and his provisions he carries in a wallet.
These laborers are, in general, a hardy, robust class of men, and furnish the best soldiers in our armies. It may be observed here, that the peasantry and farmers’ servants in the southern counties of England are far behind their brethren in the more northern parts both in the cleanness and neatness of their dress.
Source: Picturesque representations of the dress and manners of the English by William Alexander (1767-1816). London: Printed for Thomas M’Lean by Howlett and Brimmer, 1813.
by Virginia Postrel (Author)