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Is It Possible to Make Money from Beards?

The beard tax and Russian state economics at the beginning of the eighteenth-century
Percevoir de l’argent grâce à la barbe ? L’impôt sur la barbe et l’économie de l’État russe au début du xviiie siècle
Evgenii Akelev
p. 81-104

Résumés

Cet article est le premier dans la littérature existante à examiner d’un point de vue économique le célèbre décret de Pierre le Grand sur l’imposition des barbes. En analysant ce décret parallèlement à d’autres aspects de la politique financière de l’État russe au début du xviiie siècle, l’auteur fait valoir que Pierre le Grand avait compté sur cet impôt pour reconstituer le Trésor à un moment critique où les ressources de l’État étaient quasi exsangues par suite de l’épuisante guerre du Nord avec la Suède et de la baisse de moitié de la valeur du rouble. Basée sur des archives inédites, l’étude démontre l’impraticabilité de cette politique : les hypothèses du tsar et de ses conseillers sur la prospérité de ses sujets russes (la taxe sur la barbe était déraisonnablement élevée) étaient par trop optimistes et le gouvernement avait surestimé sa capacité administrative à appliquer le décret dans tout le royaume sans provoquer de résistance.

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Notes de l’auteur

Acknowledgments: The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 20-09-42050. I am grateful to Anna Joukovskaia, Elena Korchmina, Elena B. Smilianskaia, Alexander B. Kamenskii, Evgenii Trefilov, Ol´ga E. Kosheleva, Viktor Borisov, Sergey Polskoy and Petr Prudovskii for their critical remarks, which helped me as I worked on this text

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Texte intégral

Борода в казне доходы
Умножает по вся годы
М.В. Ломоносов, Гимн бороде (1757)

  • 1 See Lindsay Hughes, “‘A Beard Is an Unnecessary Burden’: Peter I’s Laws on Shaving and Their Roots (...)
  • 2 See E.V. Akelev, “The Barber of all Russia. Lawmaking, Resistance, and Mutual Adaptation during Pet (...)
  • 3 Ibid., 251-252, 273.

1On 16 January 1705 Peter the Great issued a decree enforcing compulsory shaving for all members of the male population of Russia, excluding clergy and peasants. This decree signified a break with the cultural tradition of the Muscovite state, where beard shaving was seen as the defilement of man’s God-given image and a sin for which he would be condemned to eternal damnation.1 For Peter and his supporters, however, the habit of growing a long beard had become a kind of visual code signifying one’s belonging to an “impolite” (or uncivilised) people.2 The war on beards started straight after the tsar’s return from his first trip to Europe (as part of the Grand Embassy) in the autumn of 1698. At first, beard shaving was imposed upon members of the court either by personal order of the tsar’s or through playful-shaving “spectacles”.3 Yet after a few years the tsar made adecisive attempt to “Europeanise” the appearance of all urban citizens in Russia.

  • 4 See, for example: I.I. Golikov, Deianiia Petra Velikogo, mudrogo preobrazitelia Rossii, sobrannye i (...)
  • 5 P.N. Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo Rossii v pervoi chetverti XVIII veka i reforma Petra Vel (...)
  • 6 See for more details: Akelev, “When Did Peter the Great Order Beards Shaved?”, Quaestio Rossica, 5, (...)

2Traditionally in academic literature, beard shaving has been seen as an important aspect of Peter the Great’s cultural politics.4 Despite this, the economic aspects of this policy have never been studied in depth. Yet the decree of 1705 included an order about the imposition of a yearly tax exclusively upon those who wanted to keep their beards (with the exception of the clergy or peasantry). It would be an oversight to ignore the question of the fiscal significance of the beard tax bearing in mind the political context of this period of Peter’s reign, when the government, embroiled in a gruelling war with Sweden, was frantically searching for any new sources of income.5 Why did Peter issue the state-wide decree about compulsory beard shaving specifically in 1705, while, as we know, his plan to introduce a beard tax had been ready since autumn 1698?6 What sum did Peter’s government count on collecting for the beards? By how much did the coffers of the Treasury increase thanks to Russia’s bearded? This article tries to find the answers to these questions through an examination of the beard tax from an economic perspective, in the context of other aspects of Russian state financial policy at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

The 1705 Beard Tax Decree in an Economic Context

  • 7 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 76, 175, 178-183, 551-568, 578-597.

3It is well known that the Northern War began for Russia with a crushing defeat at Narva on 30 November 1700 which exposed serious deficiencies in the organisation and preparation of the Russian army. Following on from this, a combination of military reorganisation and intensive shipbuilding projects led to an unusual increase in military spending (if in 1680 military expenditure constituted around 700 thousand roubles, in 1701-1702 the annual military budget had reached almost two million roubles, in 1703-1704 military spending was at an excess of 2.5 million and by 1705 had reached the colossal sum of 3.2 million roubles).7

  • 8 Ibid., 152.
  • 9 According to John Perry, after the monetary reform was underway the rouble saw a twofold drop in va (...)
  • 10 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 152-153.
  • 11 I.A. Zheliabuzhskii, “Dnevnye zapiski [Diary],” in Rozhdenie imperii. Nakanune petrov-skikh reform (...)
  • 12 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 140-141.
  • 13 Ibid., 166.

4In 1700 and 1701 Peter succeeded, to a large extent, in compensating quite rapidly for the growing military expenditure by re-minting coins. The high-grade silver kopecks of the seventeenth century were replaced by new low-grade silver and copper coins, which brought in an immense amount of wealth to the treasury. If in 1701 the net profit from re-minting coins constituted almost 800 thousand roubles, then in 1702 it had reached the record sum of 1.3 million roubles. In the years that followed, however, the profit from the coin operation began to reduce drastically as the old Russian silver coins gradually disappeared. In 1703 the total profit from coin re-minting dropped to 738,647 roubles, in 1704 to 396,801 and by 1705 was only 312,807 roubles.8 Yet from 1703-1704 the negative consequences of Peter’s coin re-minting policy began to manifest themselves. Dwindling profits coincided with a twofold drop in the value of the rouble.9 This dealt a significant blow to the Treasury, which bought up goods for the army from abroad, as all the taxes had to be levied according to the old rates.10 These serious financial difficulties transpired against a background of brutal war, a continued rise in military expenditure, the failure of the 1704 harvest11 and also coincided with the unavoi-dable payment of large military subsidies to the Polish king Augustus, who was one of Peter’s allies.12 It is precisely in this context that the desperate actions of Peter’s government become comprehensible. As P.N. Miliukov puts it, this is a period in which Russia’s administration “jump constantly between ideas as they try by any means possible to source money for their most pressing needs, simply to survive from one day to the next.”13

  • 14 Zheliabuzhskii, “Dnevnye zapiski,” 343; Arkhiv kniazia F.A. Kurakina, 1: 267-268, 270; D.O. Serov, (...)
  • 15 It is established knowledge that Peter left the capital on 27 February 1704 and triumphantly return (...)
  • 16 Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi imperii s 1649 goda: Sobranie pervoe s 1649 po 12 dekabria 1825  (...)
  • 17 PSZ, 4, no. 1977, 2013.
  • 18 PSZ, 4, no. 1966.
  • 19 A special chancellery was created for the taxation of beekeepers and apicultural holdings — Medovai (...)
  • 20 PSZ, 4, no. 2009.
  • 21 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 161-163.
  • 22 A.I. Aksenov, Genealogiia moskovskogo kupechestva XVIII v. (iz istorii formirovaniia russkoi burzhu (...)
  • 23 PSZ, 4, no. 2028. Thanks to the actions of Kurbatov, the net income of the Ratusha did indeed rise (...)
  • 24 The “bucket tax” was levied on the purchase of wine at the rate of 1 kopeck per bucket or half-buck (...)
  • 25 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 146.
  • 26 For more on this see Anna Joukovskaia, “Peremeny v fiskal´nom statuse d´iakov i pod´iachikh v tsars (...)

5It is no accident, then, that the period of peak activity for the pribyl´shchiki (“profiteers” or entrepreneurs who were paid to develop schemes which generated money for the government) occurs in the year 1704.14 We must assume that the tsar spent time reviewing the proposed financial projects during his stays in Moscow in the winter of 1703-1704 and again in the winter of 1704-1705, after which point many were put into effect.15 At the very beginning of 1704, for instance, Peter’s government launched a policy which placed a ban on private bathhouses and increased the number of state bathhouses in major towns, the income from which was to be collected centrally by a special chancellery (after just a month, however, they decided to allow private ownership of bathhouses, with the stipulation that they pay a yearly tax).16 At the same time another project was launched, which proposed a state monopoly on the rights to guesthouse ownership (all private inns were to be taken over by the Treasury and the owners were to be paid compensation). Soon, however, it was decided that the guesthouses should be returned to their owners, with the stipulation that they should pay the Treasury a quarter of their yearly income.17 A decree of 4 February 1704 stipulated that all owners of private mills were likewise required to pay the same percentage of their income to the government.18 Also in early 1704 the government launched a taxation policy targeted at beekeepers and apicultural holdings.19 The next winter a whole new series of financial projects was set in motion. On 1 January 1705 an official decree announced a state monopoly on the sale of salt,20 which from then on brought the Treasury a yearly income of 300 thousand roubles,21 but also brought about the bankruptcy of a string of merchant families who had made their living on the salt trade.22 In February 1705 Peter ordered his pribyl´shchik A.A. Kurbatov to inspect the finances of the Ratusha (a Moscow administrative institution which since 1699 had been the repository of a significant proportion of all taxes collected in the Muscovite State).23 New dues were introduced, such as the “bucket tax” and the “resale tax”,24 presumably at Kurbatov’s initiative, which brought the Treasury a considerable amount of income.25 At the same time, early in 1705, the government launched another of Kurbatov’s projects: the yearly taxation of governmentofficials according to income.26

  • 27 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 172.
  • 28 For details, see Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 246-248.

6Thus, the beard tax policy, initiated by the government in January 1705, can be seen on the one hand simply as one in a long line of many financial projects set in motion in 1704-1705 with aim of topping up the state Treasury in “one of the toughest moments in Russian financial history”, when state resources were stretched to breaking point as a result of the arduous Northern War with Sweden combined with a stee drop in the value of the rouble.27 Yet, on the other hand, this policy should be distinguished from the dozens of others that accompanied it. Its uniqueness lies, firstly, in the fact that the authorship of the policy belongs not to one of the many pribyl´shchiki, but to the tsar himself. There is clear evidence to suggest that the beard tax policy had been proposed and developed inSeptember-October 1698,28 i.e. more than a year before the appearance of the first pribyl´shchik A.A. Kurbatov, and financial entrepreneurship as a major pheno-menon in Russian public life. Evidently, the creator of this project could only have been the tsar himself, having just returned from his trip to western Europe.Moreover, as I will attempt to prove in this article, Peter and his agents thought this project to have particularly good prospects from a financial point of view.

Financial Details of the 1705 Beard Tax Decree

7Now I will examine the financial details of the beard shaving decree of 16 January 1705. The decree proclaims:

  • 29 PSZ, 4, no. 2015.

Henceforth, with this the great sovereign’s decree, all courtiers, officials, military servicemen, chancellery clerks, the gosti, members of the Gostinaia sotnia and all townsmen in Moscow and all the other towns are to shave beards and moustache. If some do not wish to shave beards and moustache, and wish to go about in beards and moustache, they are to be taxed yearly: courtiers, officials, and all ranks of military servicemen and chancellery clerks, 60 roubles per person; the gosti and members of the Gostinaia sotnia of the first rank, 100 roubles per person; members of the Gostinaia sotnia of the middle and low ranks who pay a tenth money [desiatyia den´ga, an irregular military tax] of less than 100 roubles, traders and townsmen, 60 roubles per person; third-rank townsmen, boyars’ servants, coachmen, cab drivers, and clergymen, except priests and deacons, and all ranks of Moscow residents, 30 roubles per person. The Moscow Police Chancellery (Prikaz zemskikh del) is to give such persons a token in receipt, as will the chancellery houses in the other towns, and these tokens are to be worn. In the Moscow Police Chancellery and the chancellery houses, registry and payment books should be made for this purpose. As for peasants, let a toll of two dengas [one kopeck] per beard be collected at the town gates each time they enter or leave town, and henceforth do not let peasants pass through town gates, coming or going, without paying this toll. This the great sovereign’s decree should be sent to all the military governors [voevody] and nailed on the gates of the towns. […] Those courtiers, officials, chancellery clerks, and townsmen who wish to go about in a beard should come to Moscow to the Police Chancellery to obtain a token. And tokens should be sent from Moscow to the Siberian and White Sea towns.29

8As we can see, the decree stipulated compulsory beard shaving for all categories of urban citizen in the Muscovite state, but made concessions for those wishing to keep their beards by imposing an annual tax. This levy differed in amount according to the social status of the bearded person: for those belonging to the merchant estates of the highest class (gosti and merchants of the gostinaia sotnia), the tax was 100 roubles. For noblemen attached to the court (tsaredvortsy), Moscow noblemen and provincial noblemen (Moskovskie i gorodovye dvoriane), governmentofficials (prikaznye liudi), and merchants, and townsmen of the lower estates (pervostateinye i vtorostateinye kuptsy i posadskie) the fee was 60 roubles. For other types of townsmen (carters, coachmen, servants and so on), the fee was 30 roubles. Of the urban population, only priests and deacons were spared. Upon payment of the annual tax, the bearded person received a special token that they were required to carry with them. Although the beard shaving decree was not targeted at rural areas, a one-off fee (of one kopeck) was imposed upon peasants every time they passed through the city gates.

9How significant was this tax for the average Muscovite citizen? In order to answer this question this article will consider, on the one hand, the salaries of different categories of сivil servants and military servicemen, and on the other hand, the prices of various goods in Moscow in 1703-1704.

  • 30 Calculated using data from the account statements of the Admiralty Chancellery: RGADA (Rossiiskii g (...)
  • 31 RGADA, f. 160, op. 1, 1704, d. 31, l. 123-149.
  • 32 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 102, l. 402 ob.-413 ob. Compare with D.F. Maslovskii, Stroevaia i polevaia (...)
  • 33 Foot soldiers and dragoons received a daily allowance of 3 kopecks (RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 92, l. (...)

10The most lucrative salaries were those of western European specialists who had been invited to work in Russia. For example, the annual salaries of the shipbuilding specialists invited from England fluctuated from about 80 to 400 roubles.30 The foreign captains of the Russian naval fleet (usually English, Dutch or Danish) received between 252 and 468 roubles a year, and lieutenants and navigators earned between 116 and 198 roubles a year. Foreign bosuns could count on a yearly income of 91 to 120 roubles, and foreign sailors earned 56-69 roubles a year, whereas Russian sailors received just 25 to 48 roubles a year.31 In the land army, colonels of the dragoon regiments who came from western Europe could count on an annual salary of 600 roubles. In the same dragoon regiments Russian colonels received 300 roubles a year, majors received 140 roubles, captains 100 roubles, lieutenants 80 roubles, ensigns 50 roubles32 and foot soldiers and dragoons received just 10 roubles a year.33

  • 34 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 152. These salaries hadn’t changed by 1719. See V.A. Durov, “Ocherk (...)
  • 35 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 152 ob.
  • 36 RGADA, f. 396, op. 2, d. 993, l. 154 ob., 183 ob.
  • 37 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 91, l. 106.
  • 38 Arkhiv kniazia F.A. Kurakina, 1: 274.
  • 39 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 91, l. 106.
  • 40 Pis´ma i bumagi imperatora Petra Velikogo [Letters and Papers of Emperor Peter the Great] (SPb.: Go (...)
  • 41 RGADA, f. 396, op. 2, d. 993, l. 267.
  • 42 Pis´ma i bumagi imperatora Petra Velikogo, 3: 185.
  • 43 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 97, l. 141 ob.

11At the Kadashevskii mint, where the new Russian money was produced, the annual salaries of foreign specialists were as follows: master goldsmiths received 400 roubles, master engravers received 146 roubles, their apprentices received 65 roubles a year each.34 At the same mint, the Russian master engravers earned just 40 roubles a year.35 L.F. Magnitskii, a teacher at the Moscow School of Mathematics and Navigation, earned a wage of 100 roubles a year.36 A foreign teacher in the Slav-Greek-Latin Academy received the same amount.37 Interestingly, in 1705 Prince B.I. Kurakin hired a private German tutor for his children at the same rate.38 Yet, a Russian teacher received only 22 roubles a year.39 In the Moscow chancelleries, the yearly salary for clerks (d´iaki) fluctuated from 100-300 roubles.40 For instance, the aforementioned pribyl’shchik A.A. Kurbatov received a maximum of 300 roubles per year.41 Scribes (pod´iachie) of the Moscow chancelleries, depending on their qualifications and on their place of work, earned 10-140 roubles.42 Police officers received 10 roubles, and executioners and guards earned five roubles a year.43

  • 44 PSZ, 4, no. 1886.
  • 45 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 219.

12The amount of the lowest salaries for government officials and military servicemen (5-10 roubles a year), it seems, is not accidental. Apparently at the time it was considered that an adult could live on a minimum of 1.5-3 kopecks per day (i.e. roughly 5-10 roubles a year). It is no coincidence that in 1701 the living allowance allotted to monks was precisely 10 roubles.44 Convicts working on war galleys were also allotted 1.5 kopecks per day for food (i.e. about five roubles a year).45

13I will now look at the prices of grocery products in Moscow in 1704. For this purpose, I am using the account book Patriarch’s Court Chancellery (Patriarshii dvortsovyi prikaz), in which the amount of money spent on various goods was recorded daily. The Moscow prices of some of the daily groceries as recorded in that book are summarised in the table below:

Table 1. Prices of certain grocery products in Moscow, 1704

Groceries Unit of Measurement Price
Rye flour Per pood 15 kopecks
Rice 1 rouble 20 kopecks
Salt 14 kopecks
Sugar 6 roubles
Honey 75 kopecks - 1 rouble
Onion 8 kopecks
Pike 41 kopecks
Pork fat 80 kopecks
Goose Per item 12 kopecks
Duck 6 kopecks
Chicken 4 kopecks
Turkey 10 kopecks
Eggs 10 items 1,5 kopecks
Hempseed oil Bucket 55 kopecks
Distilled spirit 80 kopecks
Vodka 2 roubles 24 kopecks
Beer Barrel 17 kopecks

Source: RGADA, f. 236, op. 1, d. 127, l. 5-7 ob., 11, 15 ob., 16 ob., 18 ob., 25, 28 ob., 48 ob., 51 ob., 71, 90 ob.-92 ob., 127.

14On the basis of these figures, we can see that in 1704 for 1.5 kopecks (the minimum daily living allowance allocated to convicts) one could buy a kilogram of rye flour, a flagon of wine and a couple of eggs at a Moscow market. For three kopecks (the minimum daily living allowance allocated to soldiers, the minimum wage for scribes, etc) one could buy half a chicken in addition to this.

  • 46 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 213 ob.; d. 111, l. 293 ob.; f. 236, op. 1, d. 127, l. 48, 76, 81 o (...)
  • 47 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 213 ob., 214-215.
  • 48 RGADA, f. 160, op. 1, 1704, d. 31, l. 101 ob.-102. When the new recruit Mark Ivanov was dispatched (...)
  • 49 RGADA, f. 236, op. 1, d. 127, l. 55 ob., 80.
  • 50 In 1705 the Armoury Chamber (Oruzheinaia palata) spent 1,786 roubles and 3 altyns on uniforms for 1 (...)
  • 51 RGADA, f.  396, op. 2, d. 997, l. 12, 124.

15Now I will look at the prices of other essential household goods, which I have collated by sifting through the account books of various chancelleries from the year 1704. A hundred tallow candles cost 25 kopecks.46 A cartload of birch firewood cost 10 kopecks.47 The cheapest price of a worn-out fur coat at a Moscow market was 56 kopecks (it was at this low price that fur coats were bulk bought for convicts who were sent to Siberia in 1704).48 A decent fur coat cost a lot more. For instance, a fur coat costing 3 roubles was bought for the coachman of the boyar I.A. Musin-Pushkin along with stockings and clogs for 1 rouble.49 Outfitting a soldier with his uniform cost the Treasury 1.5 roubles.50 But this was the minimum wholesale price. In fact, a good-quality outfit cost a lot more. For example, in 1705 the students of the Navigation school were allocated five roubles for uniform tailoring, and they were given the same amount to spend on stockings and clogs.51

  • 52 Here and below calculated using data from the record books of deeds: RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 447, (...)
  • 53 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 447, l. 645 ob.
  • 54 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 447, l. 662 ob.
  • 55 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 447, l. 651.

16The cost of living in Moscow can’t fully be gauged, however, without taking into consideration the cost of housing. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, only the occasional Moscow estate was worth more than 200 roubles. The cheapest accommodation (a building on church or monastic lands) could be acquired for seven roubles. The majority of Moscow properties were worth between 10-100 roubles (76 per cent of all transactions made in December 1703 fell within this bracket).52 For instance, the estate of Malafei Nikitin, a tradesman from the Novomeshchanskaia district, which was located not far from the Prechistenka Gates, was bought on 11 December 1703 for 29 roubles by Petr Shabkyn, a tradesman from the Basmannaia district.53 On 31 December 1703 the courtier Ivan Malygin sold his estate next to the Petrov Gates “including all main buildings and outhouses” to the courtier Stepan Ukhtomskii for 60 roubles.54 The estate of the merchant Zinovii Kolmakov in the Alekseevksaia district, which had an area of 933 square meters, was valued in that same December at 80 roubles.55

  • 56 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 567-642.
  • 57 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 586.
  • 58 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 583 ob.
  • 59 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 580 ob.
  • 60 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 626 ob.-627.

17In order to complete the overview of Moscow prices, I shall look at the cost of bondsmen and women. In November-December 1703 they were being sold, at a rate of three to 30 roubles, depending on their sex, age and other factors. The average cost of one male bondsman was 12.5 roubles, and of a bondswoman was 9.5 roubles.56 The most expensive bondsman cost 30 roubles. It was at this price that the Cossack ataman Maksim Frolov sold the 13-year-old “Latvian captive of the Swedish campaign” Iurii in Moscow on 17 November 1703.57 The slave woman who sold for the highest price in November-December 1703 was an 18-year-old “Finn” captive Anna, who was bought on 16 November 1703 by the tradesman Vasilii Polunin from the Cossack ataman Savelii Kochet for 25 roubles.58 Yet such high sums for individual bondsmen were, undoubtedly, rare. For example, on 20 November 1703 the Greek Aleksandr Ivanov bought three Latvian women in a single transaction for 20 roubles: the widow Marfa Davydova and two girls (possibly her daughters).59 On 10 December 1703 the noble widow Pelageia Chaplygina sold two families of bonded peasants to the scribe Ivan Olovennikov (12 people altogether) for just 50 roubles.60

  • 61 Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 246-249, ref. 28; Paul Bushkovitch, Peter the Great: The Strugg (...)

18And so, having looked at the Moscow salaries and prices in 1703-1704 we can conclude that Peter’s beard tax (30-100 roubles per year) was incredibly high. It was equal to the yearly income of a military serviceman or government official, and one far above the lowest income bracket at that. For 30 roubles (which was the minimum tariff for the right to have a beard), one could buy by a reasonable estate in Moscow or a whole family of bondsmen. There is no doubt, firstly, that the introduction of such an exclusively high tax on beards came directly from Peter the Great himself, and, secondly, that it was a deliberated action: preparatory work on the policy had started in the autumn of 1698 and the size of the fee was still being discussed in 1701.61

  • 62 It seems probable that it was A.A. Kurbatov who authored this project. The surveying of merchants w (...)
  • 63 RGADA, f. 248, op. 5, d. 218, l. 51, 163 ob.-164; RGADA, f. 9, op. 3, otdelenie II, d. 3, l. 491.
  • 64 Peter was aware of the Shustovs’ case: the tsar personally ordered that both the informer Nemchinov (...)

19There is reason to suggest that hidden behind these fantastically high tax rates were Peter’s exaggerated assumptions about his subjects’ prosperity. The realisation of another little-known project, dating to 1704-1705, points to this. According to a personal decree by the tsar of 1 February 1704, all merchants were required under threat of punishment to provide details of their business transactions, of their movable and immovable property, and an inventory of their silverware. These statements were to be read aloud publicly with the goal of exposing false information. The revelation of falsified details was to result in severe punishment in the form of the confiscation of their property, a quarter of which went to the informer as a reward.62 For example, one such denunciation, made by the merchant Mikhail Nemchinov on 12 June 1704, led to the discovery of 19,478 gold ducats hidden in the house of the Shustov merchants, along with old Russian silver kopecks totalling a value of 40,408 roubles.63 It could well be that this and other similar episodes only strengthened Peter’s opinion that many of his subjects were in possession of significant amounts of capital.64 He had only to find a way to force them to give the state their savings towards the war effort in this desperate year. It is possible that the introduction of the beard tax, a policy saved deliberately until the most critical moment, seemed a good way to substantially replenish the depleted funds of the state Treasury.

Peter’s Expectations Regarding the 1705 Beard Tax Decree

20How much were Peter and his associates counting on making from the decree on compulsory shaving? An answer to this question might be gained from looking at the records of the number of beard tokens (presented to the bearded upon payment of the tax) that were produced in 1705 (see Fig. 1).

Fig 1. Beard token from 1705 (from the collection of the State Historical Museum of Russia)

Fig 1. Beard token from 1705 (from the collection of the State Historical Museum of Russia)

Notes: Obverse inscription: “ДЕНГИ ВЗЯТЫ” (“Money Collected”). Reverse inscription: “1705 ГОДУ” (Year 1705).

Source: I. V. Rudenko, Borodovye znaki 1698, 1705, 1724, 1725 (Rostov-on-Don: Omega, 2013), 106-107.

21Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any accurate data on the number of beard tokens printed and issued in 1705. However, there are fragmentary accounts and tangential data which have allowed me to reconstruct an approximate picture of the number of beard tokens minted and the process of their distribution.

  • 65 The decision to distribute beard tokens locally in the remote towns at the north-east of the Sea of (...)
  • 66 RGADA, f. 1154, op. 1, d. 29, l. 1.
  • 67 RGADA, f. 210, op. 8, d. 35, n. 158, l. 19-22; d. 34, n. 107, l. 1-3.

22So, turning to the text of the 1705 decree, it declares that the Muscovite state was divided into three zones for the purposes of the collecting the beard tax and distri-buting tokens. Residents of Siberia (Zone 1) and Pomor´e, the far north of Russia (Zone 2) could pay their tax locally (consequently, the beard tokens would have been sent from Moscow to Siberia and to the north). The residents of all other towns (Zone 3) were required to appear in person at the Moscow PoliceChancellery, to pay their dues and collect their tokens.65 Thus, the decree sent to the town of Ryazhsk (more than 300 km to the south east of Moscow by modern roads) contained the following instruction: “if anyone refuses to shave their beard and moustache, but would rather walk around with a beard and moustache, then they must go to Moscow to pay a fee, and they will be given tokens in Moscow”.66 A similar instruction was included in the decrees sent to other southern towns (Bolkhov, Karachev, Orel, Kromy, Briansk, Rylsk, Putivl, Sevsk, Belev and others).67

  • 68 RGADA, f. 199, op. 1, d. 133, part 4, l. 185-186 ob., 215-216; Pamiatniki Sibirskoi istorii XVIII v (...)
  • 69 See for more details: N.Ia. Tokarev, “Blizhniaia kantseliariia pri Petre Velikom i ee dela [The Pri (...)
  • 70 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 23, l. 256 ob.-257.

23We know how many beard tokens were assigned to the citizens of the Siberian towns (Zone 1). On 18 April 1705 the town of Tobolsk received detailed instructions on how to implement the beard shaving decree in Siberia, together with an instalment of 5,000 tokens, which was later distributed among the Siberian towns.68 If we assume that the number of beard tokens sent from Moscow to Tobolsk was not chosen at random, then it follows that it was probably based on Muscovite assumptions about the urban population of Siberia. Peter and his associates did have access to this information: in 1701 the Siberian Chancellery provided an official statement to the Privy Chancellery (Blizhnaia kantseliariia, an institution founded by Peter in 1701 for controlling state finances69) about the population and economic situation of Siberia. According to this statement there were 19 towns in Siberia with a total male population of 11,636 government officials and military servicemen (provincial noblemen, Cossacks, dragoons, officials in the chancellery offices and so on) as well as 2,535 townsmen (in total, around 15,000 men).70 If we suppose that the tsar’s agents used this data when making their decisions about the distribution of beard tokens, they would have been counting on the fact that about one in threecitizens of the Siberian towns in 1705 would pay for the right to have a beard.

  • 71 On 22 March 1702 the Military Service Chancellery demanded a report from the Moscow Police Chancell (...)
  • 72 As Ia.E. Vodarskii has established, the average number of men in one townsman’s household, accordin (...)

24How many beard tokens were sent to Pomor´e (Zone 2)? Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any of these records. However, one could suppose that roughly the same number of tokens would have been allocated to the northern towns as to the Siberian towns (i.e. 5,000). According to the incomplete data from the Moscow Police Chancellery,71 in 15 of the Pomor’e towns there were 4,500 townsmen’s households with a total male population of around 13,000 people.72 In other words, the urban population of Siberia and the north coast, according the available data from Moscow, was about the same (although it is true that the population composition varied: if in the Siberian towns government officials and military menpredominated, then in Pomor’e it was townsmen).

  • 73 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 75, l. 291.
  • 74 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 75, l. 314.
  • 75 P.V. Sedov, Zakat Moskovskogo carstva: Carskij dvor konca XVII veka [The Decline of the Moscovite T (...)

25Of course, the tsar’s agents could not fail to take into account that the overwhelming majority of the social categories affected by the beard shaving decree lived in Moscow and other cities and towns in central and north-western Russia (Zone 3). According to the data sent from the Military Service Chancellery(Razriadnyi prikaz) to the Privy Chancellery, the number of court noblemen (tsaredvortsy) and Moscow noblemen (Moskovskie dvoriane) totalled 7,402 in 1702.73 The number of provincial noblemen (gorodovye or deti boiarskie, who were required to undertake military service and in return were granted estates) totalled 8,856 in 1702, not including minors.74 Thus, the total number of noblemen in 1702 was 16,258 people. Furthermore, the decree stipulated beard shaving for different categories of the “boyars’ servants.” The Military Service Chancellery collected the data about the number of the military slaves (boevye kholopy). For examples, in 1681 the Moscow noblemen could equip 7956 military slaves.75

  • 76 Pis´ma i bumagi Petra Velikogo, 3: 182-188.
  • 77 N.F. Demidova, Sluzhilaia biurokratiia v Rossii XVII v. i ee rol´ v formirovanii absoliutizma [The (...)

26According to the incomplete surviving records, in 1704 there were 1,106 government officials in the Moscow chancelleries who received a salary.76 According to N.F. Demidova’s calculations, based on documents from the Military Service Chancellery, the total number of civil servants in the 1690s reached 4,657, of which 2,739 worked in the central organs in Moscow, and 1,918 in local institutions (of these, no more than 300 served in the Siberian and Pomor’e towns).77

  • 78 G.V. Esipov, ed., Sbornik vypisok iz arkhivnykh bumag o Petre Velikom [A Collection of Notes from A (...)
  • 79 RGADA, f. 210, op. 7b, dela razriadnye, d. 1, l. 551-568 ob.; Vodarskii, Pavlenko, “Svodnye dannye (...)

27As regards the trading population of Russian towns, according to a 1701 statement from the Moscow Police Chancellery, there were 6,874 households belonging to gosti, merchants of the gostinaia sotnia, townsmen and craftsmen in Moscow (one can suppose this would have been no less than 20,000 men).78 According to the Moscow Police Chancellery data, across 108 Russian cities and towns (not including Moscow, Siberia, Pomor´e, the Volga and the Azov regions) there were 26,004 townsmen’s households (around 72,000 townsmen).79

28Thus, the total number of court noblemen, provincial noblemen, military slaves, government officials and townsmen of the central and northwestern towns was in excess of 120,000 people, according the same data that would have been available to the members of the “Council of ministers” when they were discussing the imposition of the beard tax in December 1704. Moreover, the decree targeted not only these, but also other categories of serviceman (foot soldiers, cavalry soldiers, musketeers (strel´tsy), lancemen and so on), household servants living in the towns, and also coachmen, who numbered among the tens of thousands. If, in Siberia, 5,000 beard tokens were prepared for an average urban male population of around 15,000, it seems logical to suggest that no fewer than 40,000 tokens would have been stockpiled in the Moscow Police Chancellery for distribution in Moscow and the central Russian towns.

29And so, the total number of beard tokens printed for distribution in 1705 could have been in the region of 50,000. If we consider that for every token the government planned on making a minimum of 30 roubles, then we can see that in the case of the successful implementation of the beard tax Peter’s government would have increased the wealth of the Treasury by the colossal sum of 1.5 million roubles!

  • 80 Ustrialov, Istoriia tsarstvovaniia imperatora Petra Velikogo, 4, pt. 2: 552. I thank P.I. Prudovsky (...)

30Of course, it is hard to imagine that Peter and his associates were actually relying on this most optimistic of outcomes when they initiated the project. At the same time, it is doubtful that the quantity of beard tokens minted and sent out to Russian towns, as well as the colossal size of the tax, was pure coincidence and bore no correspondence to their expectations of or plans for the project. There is information available which confirms that the tsar’s expectations of the beard tax were in fact very high. As early as 24 January 1701 the Austrian ambassador Otto Pleyer relayed information about Peter’s intentions to introduce the beard tax, which was supposed to be a sum of 50 roubles for a noblemen and 20 kopecks for commoners. Pleyer continues: “In my humble opinion (since many are willing to give up not just 50 roubles but their own heads if only to keep their beards) it will bring [the Treasury] large sums of money”.80 Conceivably, Pleyer is here conveying the mood of Peter and his associates on this question: that a Russian citizen would rather part with his life than with his beard, and thus would agree to hand over any savings (which he undoubtedly possessed) to the Treasury.

Implementation and Failure of the 1705 Beard Tax Decree

  • 81 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 26 (1701-1702), d. 79 (1703-1704), d. 112 (1705), d. 129 (1706), d. 145 (1 (...)

31As stated in the aforementioned decree, responsibility for the implementation of the beard tax project was placed upon the Moscow Police Chancellery. Unfortunately, their archive has been almost completely lost. However, sets of monthly and annual account statements survive from 1701-1708 which were compiled at the Moscow Police Chancellery and sent to the Privy Chancellery.81

  • 82 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 112, l. 3.

32In January 1705 in the financial account of the Moscow Police Chancellery a new source of income appeared – “from beards”.82 From this moment until 1708 the Moscow Police Chancellery gave monthly accounts to the Privy Chancellery of the sums it collected under this category. This information is displayed in the table and chart below.

Table 2. The monthly beard tax income distribution in Moscow from 1705-1708 (roubles)

Month / Year: 1705 1706 1707 1708 Total
January 47 280 210 270 807
February 28 785 60 313 1186
March 772 597 630 720 2719
April 475 60 620 259 1414
May 452 222 480 421 1575
June 1410 321 540 330 2601
July 292 131 240 150 813
August 346 198 60 599 1203
September 120 49 165 90 424
October 92 16 40 330 478
November 57 253 13 30 353
December 64 247 360 108 779
Total 4155 3159 3418 3620 14352

Sources: RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 112, l. 3, 11 ob., 16 ob., 24 ob., 35 ob., 41 ob., 47 ob., 54 ob., 60 ob., 65 ob., 72 ob., 79 ob.; d. 129, l. 2 ob., 9 ob., 22, 22 ob., 29 ob.-30, 37, 43, 50 ob., 57-57 ob., 70 ob., 77 ob., 81 ob., 85; d. 145. Л. 2 ob., 8 ob., 12-12 ob., 16 ob., 21 ob., 26, 29 ob., 35, 39 ob., 44 ob., 49 ob., 54 ob.; d. 168, l. 3, 7 ob., 12 ob., 20 ob., 24, 24 ob., 29 ob., 33 ob., 44, 50, 57, 62 ob.

Chart 1. The monthly beard tax income distribution in Moscow from 1705-1708

Chart 1. The monthly beard tax income distribution in Moscow from 1705-1708

33Looking at these numbers, what immediately stands out is the fluctuation in the income “from beards”. For instance, in June 1705 the Chancellery collected 1,410 roubles, whereas in October 1706 they only collected 16 roubles. Such inconsistency is explained by the following circumstance. Two sources of income are in fact being included under the single heading “from beards”, as we can see from the 1705 decree on beard shaving:

  1. An annual beard tax (from 30 to 100 roubles depending on the social status of the bearded person);
  2. A duty collected from bearded peasants at the city gates (one kopeck per entry or exit).

34Peasants had to pay a fee of one kopeck every time they passed through the city gates, which means that money “from peasant beards” should have been trickling in constantly. Representatives of all the other social groups who wished to keep their beards had to pay a tariff of 30 to 100 roubles annually, which means that in some months, when the Moscow Police Chancellery received payments of this yearly tax, the income “from beards” would have risen sharply in contrast to the consistent trickle of kopecks from the peasants. This explains the fluctuations visible on the chart. I will attempt now to disentangle these two sources of income and examine them individually.

  • 83 In November 1708 the Moscow Police Chancellery acquired 20 “limewood boxes”, which were placed “at (...)

35In January 1705, the first month that the decree was implemented, only 47 roubles and seven kopecks were collected “from beards”, and in February, just 28 roubles and one kopeck. Evidently in these first few months the collection of the annual tax was not yet got underway, and thus these sums were the result of the charge on the peasants. Knowing, according to the decree, that peasants were to be charged one kopeck on passing the city gates, it is easy to calculate that from 16 January 1705 (which was the day the decree was announced) to 31 January 1705 peasants were charged 4,707 times (294 times per day). In February 1705 peasants were charged with less frequency (only 2,801 times, on average 100 times a day). From the account books of the Moscow Police Chancellery it is also possible to establish that there were 20 toll booths in Moscow where peasants were taxed: at the gates of Kitai Gorod, Zemlianoi Gorod and Belyi Gorod.83 Thus we can calculate that in January 1705 peasants were charged on average 15 times a day at each of the 20 toll booths at the city gates, and in February of that same year five times a day on average (see Table 3).

  • 84 In the winter of 1705-1706 the beard shaving decree was indeed abolished in a string of major regio (...)
  • 85 RGADA, f. 371, op. 1, d. 458, l. 193-201. Thanks go to E.N. Trefilov for bringing this case to my a (...)

36Several investigative documents give insight into the daily operation of these toll booths at the city gates. In September 1706 a certain bearded man from Astrakhan, Kirill Zimin, turned up in the Preobrazhenskoe Chancellery (Preobrazhenskii prikaz), and, when interrogated, related the following story. He had left Astrakhan to find work early in 1705. In Moscow he was staying at an inn, making a living on “all sorts of cargo-boat work” (i.e. accompanying haulers transporting goods, helping them repair their vessels and so on). In the autumn of 1706 he was seized suddenly by two men, the soldier Pavel Cheryshnikov and the executioner of the Moscow Police Chancellery Vasilii Fedorov, and taken to the Moskvoretskie Gates to the appointed Police Chancellery official “who collects the tax on beards”. As Zimin had a beard, the tax-collector ordered him to be brought to the Moscow Police Chancellery. At the Chancellery he was interrogated by the official Daniil Berestov about “what rank he belonged to, and why he didn’t shave his beard”. Kirill explained that he was “an Astrakhan townsman, his beard was not shorn because residents of the Lower Volga towns are subject to a decree exempting them from having to cut off their beards”. Subsequently the interrogators summoned another Astrakhan citizen, who happened to be being held in the Moscow Police Chancellery, to confirm that Zimin was in fact from Astrakhan. After this, he was released.84 However, three days later Zimin was seized again by the same people and brought back to the same tax-collector at the Moskvoretskie gates. On this occasion, the tax-collector refused to accept the bearded man. When Zimin began to insult his assailants, however, the latter took it upon themselves to beat him, a scuffle arose, and all of them having thus disrupted the public order were handed over to the Preobrazhenskoe Chancellery, where Zimin gave this statement.85

37It seems unlikely to be a coincidence that Zimin was detained twice by the same people in the same district of the city and brought to the same tax-collector who was responsible for collecting the “beard toll” at the Moskvoretskie Gates. It is possible that the executioner Vasilii Fedorov and the soldier Pavel Cheryshnikov tracked him down in Kitai-Gorod specially, because they were under the jurisdiction of the tax-collector at the Moskvoretskie Gates and it was their duty to arrest bearded men and bring them to him. He, in turn, would make the decision about whether to take the bearded man in question to be dealt with at the Moscow Police Chancellery.

38From this data we can see how the collection of the beard tax was organised in Moscow. There were 20 toll booths at the city gates where tax-collectors from the Moscow Police Chancellery stood with sealed boxes. Each of these toll booths had spies attached to them whose job it was to patrol the various districts of Moscow in search of bearded people to arrest. They answered to the tax-collectors, who, in their turn, answered to the Moscow Police Chancellery.

39Now I will return to an analysis of the beard tax income from 1705. In March 1705 the first instalments of the annual beard tax start being paid to the Moscow Police Chancellery, which leads to a sharp increase in the monthly income “from beards” (see Table 2 and Chart 1). Annual payments from those firmly dedicated to their facial hair continued to arrive in the months that followed, reaching a peak in June 1705. Evidently June was the month when the majority of bearded men arrived in Moscow to pay their tax from the central Russian cities and towns. The payments continued, however, in following months, ending only towards the end of 1705. It seems likely that in November and December of that year the Moscow Police Chancellery only received funds from the peasants’ fees. In 1706 the duty collected from bearded peasants at the city gates occasionally appeared as an individual source of income, separate from the annual beard tax. All cases where the monthly income earned from the peasants’ tariff is known are displayed in the following table (Table 3):

Table 3. Frequency of beard taxation for peasants in Moscow in 1705-1706

Month, year Sum Frequency/month Average/day at all city gates Average/day at each city gate
01. 1705 47 roubles 7 kopecks 4707 294 14,7
02. 1705 28 roubles 1 kopeck 2801 100 5
11. 1705 57 roubles 24 kopecks 5724 190,8 9,5
12. 1705 64 roubles 73 kopecks 6473 208,2 10,4
01. 1706 40 roubles 79 kopecks 4079 131,5 6,5
02. 1706 35 roubles 41 kopecks 3541 126,4 6,3
04. 1706 10 roubles 34 kopecks 1034 34,4 1,7
08. 1706 18 roubles 3 kopecks 1805 58,2 2,9
09. 1706 19 roubles 35 kopecks 1935 64,5 3,2

Sources: RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 112, l. 3, 11 ob., 72 ob., 79 ob.; d. 129, l. 2 ob., 9 ob., 29 ob., 57, 70 ob.

  • 86 By contrast, other duties continued to be collected at the city gates: in 1724 a total of 254 roubl (...)

40As is clear from the table, the income from the taxation of peasants fluctuated quite dramatically depending on the season, which is not surprising. Minimal sums were collected during the seasons of agricultural labour, but began to increase around August and September when the peasants came to the city to sell their products, reaching a maximum during the winter months when the peasants came into town to find seasonal work. On average, the monthly income from the taxation of peasants’ beards was about 35 roubles, which means about 420 roubles a year.86 Of the total sum collected from beard taxation in 1705, then, which constituted 4,155 roubles, the kopeck charge for peasants at the city gates made up no more than 10 per cent. The remaining sum (around 3,700 roubles) was money earned from the annual beard tax payments.

41Having determined an approximate total income from the peasants’ tariff, it is then possible to work out the average number of citizens who decided to keep their beards and pay the annual tax. The annual fee for having a beard was 30, 60 or 100 roubles depending on the social status of the person. Basing my calculation on the average value, I can conclude that about 70-80 people paid the annual beard tax to the Moscow Police Chancellery in 1705 (see Table 4).

  • 87 For more details see: Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 268-269.

42How many of these 70-80 people, having paid in the first year, continued to do so in subsequent years? To answer this question there is more precise data to rely on, seeing as from September 1706 the taxing of peasants at the city gates was discontinued.87 This means that for the years 1707-1708 the total sum in the beard income category corresponds entirely to the amount of annual tax being paid (see Table 4):

Тable 4. The number of people paying the annual beard tax from 1705-1708

Year Total sum (roubles) Number of people in the 100-rouble tax bracket Number of people in the 50-rouble tax bracket Number of people in the 30-rouble tax bracket Average number
1705 ≈ 3700 37 74 123 78
1706 ≈ 3000 30 60 100 63
1707 3418 34 68 113 72
1708 3620 36 72 121 76
  • 88 For example, A.T. Shashkov, “Delo 1705 g. ‘o protivnosti i o preslushanii egotsarskogo velichestva (...)

43According to the data in the Moscow Police Chancellery account books, then, the number of people in Moscow and the central Russian towns prepared to pay an enormous yearly tax for the right to keep their beards does not decrease between 1705-1708, yet nor does it increase. The insignificant discrepancy can be explained by the fact that bearded citizens didn’t have to pay the entire yearly sum all at once, but could pay it in instalments.88 Although the exact number of these people is uncertain, it could not be more than 100 people.

  • 89 RGADA, f. 288, op. 1, d. 479, l. 93.

44This data is corroborated by several later documents. According to one statement compiled in 1754, there were 57 people paying the annual beard tax across the entire country in 1726, of which by 1754 there were only two remaining (the rest had died, fled, had been exiled for failing to pay their tax or had shaved off their facial hair).89

Conclusion

45Thus, from a financial point of view Peter’s 1705 decree on beard shaving turned out to be a total failure. Peter’s government was counting on the fact that tens of thousands of Russian subjects, convinced that shaving was a sin, would part with their savings and exercise their right to have a beard by paying an annual tax which would bring the Treasury great dividends. Yet as it turned out, in the whole of central Russia there were only a hundred people who were prepared to pay such a large sum to the government for their beards. As a result, the beard tax produced ridiculously small sums of money. What was the reason for this failure?

  • 90 See S.M. Shamin, “Moda v Rossii poslednei chetverti XVII stoletiia [Fashion in Russia in the Last Q (...)
  • 91 Esipov, “Raskol´nich´i dela XVIII veka,” 2, prilozhenie: 64-72; A.P. Bogdanov, Russkie patriarkhi, (...)
  • 92 See Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 252-259.
  • 93 Avakov, “Regional´nye osobennosti,” 39.

46The primary factor to take into consideration when answering this question is that Peter the Great and retinue clearly held an exaggerated opinion on how much their Russian subjects were prepared to sacrifice for the sake of their beards. Other scholars have already noted that beard shaving had been fashionable in Russia a long time before the Petrine reforms.90 In the 1690s Patriarchs Ioakim and Adrian were forced to address their flock with particular admonitions not to shave their beards.91 From 1698-1704, when beard shaving was already established by Peter in his court, the fashion for a clean-shaven chin quickly spread. By the time Peter’s famous decree was announced in 1705, many of his subjects had already parted with their beards, and what’s more, of their own free will.92 Many of those who continued to maintain their beards shaved them off without much fuss when they found out what price they would have to pay for them. In Azov, for example, there was not a single person who wished to exercise their right to keep their beard. As the Azov governor I.A. Tolstoy reported to Moscow in July 1705, “In Azov and the surrounding towns no rank of person wishes to take the beard tokens or pay money, and they are all shaving their beards and moustaches. The beard tokens are sitting in the Chancellery house.”93

  • 94 See Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 259-266.

47Yet at the same time, the government also overestimated the administrative capabilities required to achieve the successful implementation of this decree in all towns and cities without provoking dangerous resistance. As demonstrated by the analysis of the decree as it was implemented on the ground, the policy manifested itself differently in disparate regional contexts. These varying configurations were dependent on a number of factors: the personality of the local administrator, the extent to which he had the resources to influence the local population, the distance of the town from the capital, the degree of psychological preparation for the decree, the make-up of the population, and many others. Depending on the particular “style” of implementation, the townspeople chose different strategies of resistance to the decree – from peaceful demonstrations of “wilfulness” to open rebellion (the biggest of these was the Astrakhan Revolt of 1705).94

  • 95 Ibid., 266-270.

48By all appearances, Peter the Great’s high expectations regarding the prosperity of various categories of townsmen and government officials also turned out to be wrong. As it became clear that the beard tax decree was a financial failure, and the realisation dawned that its harsh implementation on the ground ran the risk of provoking dangerous revolts, the government decided to make significant changes to the decree. In 1706 three major amendments were introduced: the first two annulled the ban on beards for citizens of Siberia and the Lower Volga region, and the third banned the taxation of peasants at the town gates. From this point onwards, the Petrine government began to lose interest in this project.95

  • 96 For details, see: V.V. Kosatkin, “O borodachakh i raskol´nikakh, chtoby za borodu poshlinu platili (...)
  • 97 PSZ, 12, no. 9479.

49Although the Russian government undertook attempts to force Russian citizens to shave their beards and imposed fines for non-compliance between the 1720s and 1750s96, they no longer had any illusions about the financial benefit of this fiscal enterprise. One concluding example demonstrates this rather well. In 1747 two merchants from Belgorod, Vasilii Vorozheikin and Andrei Kurchaninov, approached the Senate with a project to organize a collection of fines for beards which, they assured them, “would bring her Imperial Majesty’s Treasury in this year 1748 the sum of more than 50,000 roubles”. This offer, however, was refused.97

50Translated from Russian by Rosie Finlinson

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Notes

1 See Lindsay Hughes, “‘A Beard Is an Unnecessary Burden’: Peter I’s Laws on Shaving and Their Roots in Early Russia,” in Roger Bartlett and Lindsey Hughes, eds., Russian Society and Culture and the Long Eighteenth Century: Essays in Honour of Anthony G. Cross (Münster: Lit, 2004), 21-34.

2 See E.V. Akelev, “The Barber of all Russia. Lawmaking, Resistance, and Mutual Adaptation during Peter the Great’s Cultural Reforms,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 17, 2 (2016): 242-246.

3 Ibid., 251-252, 273.

4 See, for example: I.I. Golikov, Deianiia Petra Velikogo, mudrogo preobrazitelia Rossii, sobrannye iz dostovernykh istochnikov i raspolozhennye po godam [The Deeds of Peter the Great, Wise Transformer of Russia] (M.: Nikolai Stepanov, 1837), 1: 154-155; N.G. Ustrialov, Istoriia tsarstvovaniia Petra Velikogo [The History of the Reign of Peter the Great], 5 vols. (SPb: Tipografiia Vtorogo otdeleniia Sobstvennoi Ego Imperatorskogo Velichestva Kantseliarii, 1858-1863), 3: 191-200; G.V. Esipov, Raskol´nich´i dela XVIII stoletiia: Izvlechennye iz del Preobrazhenskogo prikaza i Tainoi Rozysknykh del kantseliarii [Schismatic Cases of the 18th century. Extracted from Cases in the Preobrazhenskii Prikaz and the Secret Investigative Chancellery] (SPb.: Obshchestvennaia pol´za, 1861), 2: 159-186; V.O. Mikhnevich, Istoricheskie ėtiudy russkoi zhizni [Historical Sketches of Russian Life] (SPb.: F.S. Sushchinskii, 1882), 2: 29-108; S.M. Solov´ev, Sochineniia [Works], 18 vols. (M.: Mysl´, 1988-2000), 7: 549-550; 8: 100-101; A.B. Kamenskii, Ot Petra I do Pavla I: Reformy v Rossii XVIII veka, opyt tselostnogo analiza [From Peter I to Paul I : The 18th Century Reforms in Russia — an Attempt at Full Analysis] (M.: Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi gumanitarnyi universitet, 2001), 101; Hughes, “A beard is an unnecessary burden,” 21-34.

5 P.N. Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo Rossii v pervoi chetverti XVIII veka i reforma Petra Velikogo [Russia’s State Economy in the First Quarter of the 18th Century and the Reform of Peter the Great] (SPb.: M.M. Stasiulevich, 1905), 142-167; S.M. Troitskii, Finansovaia politika russkogo absoliutizma v XVIII veke [The Financial Policy of Russian Absolutism in the 18th Century] (M.: Nauka, 1966), 114-116; E.V. Anisimov, Podatnaia reforma Petra I: vvedenie podushnoi podati v Rossii, 1719-1728 gg. [Peter I’s Tax Reform : Introduction of the Poll Tax in Russia, 1719-1728] (L.: Nauka, 1982), 21-35; P. Gatrell, “The Russian Fiscal State, 1600-1914,” in B. Yun-Casalilla and P.K. O’Brien, eds., The Rise of the Fiscal State in Eurasia: A Global History, 1500-1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 198-200.

6 See for more details: Akelev, “When Did Peter the Great Order Beards Shaved?”, Quaestio Rossica, 5, 4 (2017): 1107-1130.

7 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 76, 175, 178-183, 551-568, 578-597.

8 Ibid., 152.

9 According to John Perry, after the monetary reform was underway the rouble saw a twofold drop in value (John Perry, The State of Russia, (London, 1716), 7). The Austrian ambassador Otto Pleyer reports on the drop in the rouble against the thaler and on the increase in the prices of various goods in his accounts from 1704-1705 (Ustrialov, Istoriia tsarstvovaniia imperatora Petra Velikogo, 4, pt. 2: 629-630, 641. Thanks go to P.I. Prudovsky for his help with the research on Pleyer’s accounts). The English ambassador Charles Whitworth also writes of the twofold drop in the rouble against the dollar in his account from 11 February 1707 (Sbornik Russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva [Collection of the Imperial Russian Historical Society] (SPb.: Tipografiia imperatorskoi akademii nauk, 1884), 39: 361-362). In his autobiography Prince B.A. Kurakin reports that in 1703, in the wake of the coin re-minting project, “the price of foreign goods began to rise” (Arkhiv kniazia F.A. Kurakina [Archives of Prince F.A. Kurakin], (SPb.: Tipografiia V.S. Balasheva,1890), 1:265).

10 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 152-153.

11 I.A. Zheliabuzhskii, “Dnevnye zapiski [Diary],” in Rozhdenie imperii. Nakanune petrov-skikh reform [The Birth of the Empire. On the Eve of Peter’s Reforms] (M.: Fond Sergeia Dubova, 1997), 342-343.

12 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 140-141.

13 Ibid., 166.

14 Zheliabuzhskii, “Dnevnye zapiski,” 343; Arkhiv kniazia F.A. Kurakina, 1: 267-268, 270; D.O. Serov, Administratsiia Petra I [Administration of Peter the Great] (M.: OGI, 2007), 181-182.

15 It is established knowledge that Peter left the capital on 27 February 1704 and triumphantly returned to Moscow from his victorious Narva campaign on 19 December 1704, where he remained until 18 February 1705 (Pokhodnyi zhurnal 1704 goda [Campaign Journal of the Year 1704] (SPb., 1854), 13; Pokhodnyi zhurnal 1705 goda [Campaign Journal of the Year 1705] (SPb., 1854), 1).

16 Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi imperii s 1649 goda: Sobranie pervoe s 1649 po 12 dekabria 1825 goda [The Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire since 1649. Collection One. 1649–1825] (hereafter PSZ), 45 vols. (SPb.: Tipografiia II-ogo otdeleniia Sobstvennoi Ego Imperatorskogo Velichestva Kantseliarii, 1830), 4, no. 1954, 1955, 1968.

17 PSZ, 4, no. 1977, 2013.

18 PSZ, 4, no. 1966.

19 A special chancellery was created for the taxation of beekeepers and apicultural holdings — Medovaia kantseliariia (the Honey Chancellery) — which was managed by the pribyl´shchik Paramon Starkov, former bondsman of Ivan Golovin, who came up with the idea for the project (PSZ, 4, no. 1961; Arkhiv kniazia F.A. Kurakina, 1: 267-268; N.P. Pavlov-Sil´vanskii, Proekty reform v zapiskakh sovremennikov Petra Velikogo: Opyt izucheniia russkikh proektov i neizdannye ikh teksty [Reform Projects in the Memoranda of the Contemporaries of Peter the Great: The Experience of Studying Russian Projects and their Unreleased Texts] (SPb.: Tipografiia V. Kirshbauma, 1897), 138-139).

20 PSZ, 4, no. 2009.

21 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 161-163.

22 A.I. Aksenov, Genealogiia moskovskogo kupechestva XVIII v. (iz istorii formirovaniia russkoi burzhuazii) [Genealogy of the Moscow Merchants of the 18th century (Notes to the History of the Formation of the Russian Bourgeoisie] (M.: Nauka, 1988), 44.

23 PSZ, 4, no. 2028. Thanks to the actions of Kurbatov, the net income of the Ratusha did indeed rise considerably (See Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 147).

24 The “bucket tax” was levied on the purchase of wine at the rate of 1 kopeck per bucket or half-bucket and 0.5 kopeck per quarter-bucket or mug (PSZ, 4, no. 2024). The “resale tax” (5 kopecks) was levied on all trade deals between merchants and producers where the intention was resale of the product (PSZ, 4, no. 2033).

25 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 146.

26 For more on this see Anna Joukovskaia, “Peremeny v fiskal´nom statuse d´iakov i pod´iachikh v tsarstvovanie Petra I i ikh sotsial´nye posledstviia [Changes in the Fiscal Status of D´iaki and Pod´iachie under Peter the Great and their Social Consequences],” Cahiers du Monde Russe, 55, 1-2 (2014): 31-49.

27 Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 172.

28 For details, see Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 246-248.

29 PSZ, 4, no. 2015.

30 Calculated using data from the account statements of the Admiralty Chancellery: RGADA (Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv drevnikh aktov – Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts), f. 396, op. 3, d. 92, l. 132-140.

31 RGADA, f. 160, op. 1, 1704, d. 31, l. 123-149.

32 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 102, l. 402 ob.-413 ob. Compare with D.F. Maslovskii, Stroevaia i polevaia sluzhba russkikh voisk vremen imperatora Petra Velikogo i imperatritsy Elizavety [Drill and Field Service of the Russian Troops in the Time of Emperor Peter the Great and Empress Elizabeth] (M.: Tipografiia Okruzhnogo shtaba, 1883), prilozhenie, 5.

33 Foot soldiers and dragoons received a daily allowance of 3 kopecks (RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 92, l. 140; d. 96, l. 198; d. 79, l. 288 ob.; d. 100, l. 21 ob.). State carpenters received the same amount (RGADA, f. 160, op. 1. 1704, d. 31, l. 101 ob.).

34 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 152. These salaries hadn’t changed by 1719. See V.A. Durov, “Ocherk nachal´nogo perioda deiatel´nosti Kadashevskogo monetnogo dvora v sviazi s denezhnoi reformoi Petra I [An Outline of the Initial Period of Functioning of the Kadashevskii Mint in Relation to the Monetary Reform of Peter the Great],” in L.G. Beskrovnyi, ed., Trudy Gosudarstvennogo ordena Lenina istoricheskogo muzeja, 47: Na rubezhe dvukh vekov. Iz istorii preobrazovanii petrovskogo vremeni [Proceedings of the State Historical Museum, 47: At the Turn of Two Centuries. Notes to the History of the Peter the Great’s Transformation] (M.: Sovetskaia Rossiia, 1978), 49.

35 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 152 ob.

36 RGADA, f. 396, op. 2, d. 993, l. 154 ob., 183 ob.

37 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 91, l. 106.

38 Arkhiv kniazia F.A. Kurakina, 1: 274.

39 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 91, l. 106.

40 Pis´ma i bumagi imperatora Petra Velikogo [Letters and Papers of Emperor Peter the Great] (SPb.: Gosudarstvennaia tipografiia, 1893), 3:182-184.

41 RGADA, f. 396, op. 2, d. 993, l. 267.

42 Pis´ma i bumagi imperatora Petra Velikogo, 3: 185.

43 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 97, l. 141 ob.

44 PSZ, 4, no. 1886.

45 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 219.

46 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 213 ob.; d. 111, l. 293 ob.; f. 236, op. 1, d. 127, l. 48, 76, 81 ob.

47 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 96, l. 213 ob., 214-215.

48 RGADA, f. 160, op. 1, 1704, d. 31, l. 101 ob.-102. When the new recruit Mark Ivanov was dispatched to Novgorod for service in 1705, the village elders in Valday bought him a padded winter coat for 90 kopecks (E.V. Anisimov, Vremia petrovskikh reform [The Era of Petrine Reforms] (L.: Lenizdat, 1989), 136).

49 RGADA, f. 236, op. 1, d. 127, l. 55 ob., 80.

50 In 1705 the Armoury Chamber (Oruzheinaia palata) spent 1,786 roubles and 3 altyns on uniforms for 1,200 soldiers (“on undyed cloth, buttons, sackcloth, coarse linen and tailors to do the job”) (RGADA, f. 396, op. 2, d. 997, l. 122). The Karelian village elders spent 2.5 roubles on recruit Mark Ivanov’s soldier’s uniform (Anisimov, Vremia petrovskikh reform, 136).

51 RGADA, f.  396, op. 2, d. 997, l. 12, 124.

52 Here and below calculated using data from the record books of deeds: RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 447, l. 622 ob.-663.

53 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 447, l. 645 ob.

54 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 447, l. 662 ob.

55 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 447, l. 651.

56 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 567-642.

57 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 586.

58 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 583 ob.

59 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 580 ob.

60 RGADA, f. 282, op. 1, d. 617, l. 626 ob.-627.

61 Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 246-249, ref. 28; Paul Bushkovitch, Peter the Great: The Struggle for Power, 1671–1725 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 227.

62 It seems probable that it was A.A. Kurbatov who authored this project. The surveying of merchants was entrusted to the boyar I.A. Musin-Pushkin, who headed the Monastery Chancellery (Monastyrskii prikaz). 752 statements about Moscow merchants from 28 different cities and towns are known to us today (E.I. Zaozerskaia, “Skazki torgovykh liudei Moskovskogo gosudarstva 1704 g. [Returns of Merchants of the Moscow State of the Year 1704],” Istoricheskie zapiski (M.: Izdatel´stvo Akademii nauk SSSR, 1945), 17: 245-264). Subsequently, the gathering and verification of the merchants’ statements about their trade deals and the verification of their property was carried out by the Ratusha, and punishment for providing false statements was made more severe. Further to having their property confiscated, merchants found guilty were exiled permanently with their wives and children to Azov in the south of Russia (PSZ, 4, no. 2076).

63 RGADA, f. 248, op. 5, d. 218, l. 51, 163 ob.-164; RGADA, f. 9, op. 3, otdelenie II, d. 3, l. 491.

64 Peter was aware of the Shustovs’ case: the tsar personally ordered that both the informer Nemchinov and the pribyl’shchik Kurbatov, who had orchestrated the whole thing, be rewarded with 5,000 roubles apiece, and then had all the gold coins discovered in Shustovs’ house sent to him at Narva (RGADA, f. 248, op. 5, d. 218, l. 52, 55, 103 ob., 111).

65 The decision to distribute beard tokens locally in the remote towns at the north-east of the Sea of Azov and in the Astrakhan region was taken when the implementation of the decree was already underway. In March 1705 the Moscow Police Chancellery sent 1,000 beard tokens to be dispatched to Azov (P.A. Avakov, “Regional´nye osobennosti i sotsial´no-politicheskie riski kul´turnykh preobrazovanii Petra I (na materiale gorodov Severo-Vostochnogo Priazov´ia) [Regional Characteristics and Socio-Political Risks of Cultural Transformations of Peter the Great (On the Material of the North-Eastern Azov Sea Area)],” Peterburgskiiistoricheskii zhurnal, 13 (2017): 38). It seems plausible to suggest that a similar instalment of beard tokens would have been sent from the Moscow Police Chancellery to Astrakhan in March 1705 (Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 260, ref. 58).

66 RGADA, f. 1154, op. 1, d. 29, l. 1.

67 RGADA, f. 210, op. 8, d. 35, n. 158, l. 19-22; d. 34, n. 107, l. 1-3.

68 RGADA, f. 199, op. 1, d. 133, part 4, l. 185-186 ob., 215-216; Pamiatniki Sibirskoi istorii XVIII veka [Monuments of Siberian History of the 18th Century] (SPb.: Ministerstvo vnutrennikh del, 1882), 1: 273-276.

69 See for more details: N.Ia. Tokarev, “Blizhniaia kantseliariia pri Petre Velikom i ee dela [The Privy Chancellery under Peter the Great and Its Records],” Opisanie dokumentov i bumag, khraniashchikhsia v Moskovskom arkhive Ministerstva iustitsii [Description of Documents and Papers, Preserved in the Moscow Archives of the Ministry of Justice] (M.: I.N. Kushnerev i Ko, 1888), 5, pt. 2: 43-101; Miliukov, Gosudarstvennoe khoziaistvo, 82-85.

70 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 23, l. 256 ob.-257.

71 On 22 March 1702 the Military Service Chancellery demanded a report from the Moscow Police Chancellery on the number of townsmen- and peasant households in every town and district. The Moscow Police Chancellery was able to present this information on the 24 March 1702, with the exception of the data on the Lower Volga Region (RGADA, f. 210, op. 7b, dela razriadnye, d. 1, l. 551-568 ob. Printed edition: Ia.E. Vodarskii, V.V. Pavlenko, “Svodnye dannye o kolichestve podatnykh dvorov Evropeiskoi Rossii po perepisi 1678 [Summary Data on the Number of Tax Households in European Russia according to the Census of the Year 1678],” Sovetskie arkhivy, 6 (1971): 69-72). The “Pomor´e towns” are allocated a separate section in this document (RGADA, f. 210, op. 7b, dela razriadnye, d. 1, l. 566 ob.-568 ob.) which, incidentally, contains information about townsmen’s households in 15 northern coastal towns (Arkhangel´sk, Kholmogory, Viatka, Kargopol´, Veliky Ustyug and others). For some reason, however, data on other towns in the area (Olonets, Kevrola, Solikamsk and others) which, according to the 1678 census, contained no less than 1,500 townsmen’s households, is absent in this document (See: M.M. Bogoslovskii, Zemskoe samoupravlenie na russkom Severe v XVII v. [Civil Self-Administration in the Russian North in the 17th century] (M.: Universitetskaia tipografiia, 1909), 1, prilozhenie III: 66-69). Thus, the population of townsmen in the Pomor´e towns at the beginning of the eighteenth century constituted around 6,000 households with a male population of no less than 17 thousand.

72 As Ia.E. Vodarskii has established, the average number of men in one townsman’s household, according to the 1678 census, was 2.8 (Ia.E. Vodarskii, Naselenie Rossii v kontce XVII nachale XVIII veka (Chislennost´, soslovno-klassovyi sostav, razmeshchenie) [The Population of Russia at the End of the 17th and Beginning of the 18th Century (Numbers, Estate-Class Composition, Distribution] (M.: Nauka, 1977), 130). I use this index to calculate the number of male townsmen from the data available on the number of households.

73 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 75, l. 291.

74 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 75, l. 314.

75 P.V. Sedov, Zakat Moskovskogo carstva: Carskij dvor konca XVII veka [The Decline of the Moscovite Tsardom: the Tsar’s Court in the Late 17th Century] (SPb.: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2008), 471.

76 Pis´ma i bumagi Petra Velikogo, 3: 182-188.

77 N.F. Demidova, Sluzhilaia biurokratiia v Rossii XVII v. i ee rol´ v formirovanii absoliutizma [The Service Bureaucracy in 17th Century Russia and Its Role in the Formation of Absolutism] (M.: Nauka, 1987), 21-38.

78 G.V. Esipov, ed., Sbornik vypisok iz arkhivnykh bumag o Petre Velikom [A Collection of Notes from Archives on Peter the Great] (M.: Katkov i Ko., 1872), 2: 309-310.

79 RGADA, f. 210, op. 7b, dela razriadnye, d. 1, l. 551-568 ob.; Vodarskii, Pavlenko, “Svodnye dannye o kolichestve podatnykh dvorov,” 69-72. The calculations are my own.

80 Ustrialov, Istoriia tsarstvovaniia imperatora Petra Velikogo, 4, pt. 2: 552. I thank P.I. Prudovsky for his help in translating this document.

81 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 26 (1701-1702), d. 79 (1703-1704), d. 112 (1705), d. 129 (1706), d. 145 (1707), d. 168 (1708).

82 RGADA, f. 396, op. 3, d. 112, l. 3.

83 In November 1708 the Moscow Police Chancellery acquired 20 “limewood boxes”, which were placed “at the town gates for the taxation of unlawful attire” (RGADA, f. 396, op. 1, d. 168, l. 58 ob.). There is every reason to suggest that there was one such box allocated to each collection point. This is attested to by later practice. It is known that in 1720s, for instance, 40 soldiers stood in twos at each of the 20 city gates collecting dues for “unlawful attire” (See: I.S. Beliaev, “Shtraf za russkoe plat´e pri imperatore Petre Velikom [Unlawful Attire Due under Peter the Great],” Chteniia v Imperatorskom obshchestve istorii i drevnostei rossiiskikh pri Moskovskom universitete [Readings of the Imperial Society of Russian History and Antiquities at Moscow University], 188 (1899): 4). Although in 1708 the tax on peasant’s facial hair had already ceased be collected, it seems plausible that in 1705-1706 the taxation might have operated from these same points.

84 In the winter of 1705-1706 the beard shaving decree was indeed abolished in a string of major regions, including in the towns of the Lower Volga region. For details, see: Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 266-269.

85 RGADA, f. 371, op. 1, d. 458, l. 193-201. Thanks go to E.N. Trefilov for bringing this case to my attention.

86 By contrast, other duties continued to be collected at the city gates: in 1724 a total of 254 roubles was collected from those wearing illicit attire, in 1725 it was 217 roubles, and in 1726 it was 145 roubles (Beliaev, “Shtraf za russkoe plat´e,” 4).

87 For more details see: Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 268-269.

88 For example, A.T. Shashkov, “Delo 1705 g. ‘o protivnosti i o preslushanii egotsarskogo velichestva ukazu tomskikh zhitelei o nemetskom plat´e i o britii borod,’ [A Case on ‘the Disobedience to the German Dress and Beard Shaving Decrees in Tomsk in 1705’]” in A.T. Shashkov, ed., Problemy istorii Rossii, 2: Opyt gosudarstvennogo stroitel´stva XV–XX vv. [Problems of Russian History, Vol. 2. The State Construction Experience of the 15th-
20th Centuries] (Ekaterinburg: Volot, 1998), 314-315.

89 RGADA, f. 288, op. 1, d. 479, l. 93.

90 See S.M. Shamin, “Moda v Rossii poslednei chetverti XVII stoletiia [Fashion in Russia in the Last Quarter of the Seventeenth Century],” Drevniaia Rus´: Voprosy medievistiki, 1 (2005): 34-36; P.V. Sedov, “‘I v sobore, i u vladyki byl v vengerskom plat´e’ (Izmenenie vneshnego vida novgorodtsev v kontse XVII–nachale XVIII v.) [Transformation of the Appearance of Novgorodians in the End of the 17th and the Beginning of the 18th Centuries],” in Novgorodika–2012: U istokov rossiiskoi gosudarstvennosti [Novgorodika–2012: At the Origins of RussianStatehood] (Velikii Novgorod: Novgorodskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 2013), 231-233.

91 Esipov, “Raskol´nich´i dela XVIII veka,” 2, prilozhenie: 64-72; A.P. Bogdanov, Russkie patriarkhi, 1589–1700 [Russian Patriarchs, 1589–1700] (M.: TERRA, Respublika, 1999), 2: 330–333.

92 See Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 252-259.

93 Avakov, “Regional´nye osobennosti,” 39.

94 See Akelev, “The Barber of All Russia,” 259-266.

95 Ibid., 266-270.

96 For details, see: V.V. Kosatkin, “O borodachakh i raskol´nikakh, chtoby za borodu poshlinu platili i v ukaznom plat´e khodili [Realization of the Decrees on the Beard Shaving Decrees and Unlawful Attire],” Trudy Vladimirskoi uchenoi arkhivnoi komissii (Vladimir: Gubernskoe pravlenie, 1899), 1: 59-82; I.N. Iurkin, “Staroobriadets i ego kostium v russkom gorode vtoroi chetverti XVIII veka [An Old Believer and his Costume in the Russian City of the Second Quarter of the XVIII century],” in Mikhail Karpachev, ed., Obshchestvennaia i kul´turnaia zhizn´ Tsentral´noi Rossii v XVII–nachale XX veka [Social and Cultural Life of the Central Russia in the 17th early 20th Centuries] (Voronezh: Izdatel´stvo Voronezhskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 1999), 115–138; E.V. Akel´ev and E.N. Trefilov, “Proekt evropeizatsii vneshnego oblika poddannykh v Rossii pervoi poloviny XVIII v.: Zamysel i realizatsiia [Europeanizing the Appearance of Russian Subjects, the First Half of the 18th Century: Initial Plans and Practical Realization],” in ed. M.M. Krom and L.A. Pimenova, eds., Fenomen reform na zapade i vostoke Evropy v nachale Novogo vremeni [XVI–XVIII vv.]: Sbornik statei [The Reforms in the West and East of Europe at the Beginning of the New Time] (SPb.: Evropeiskii universitet, 2013), 161-162.

97 PSZ, 12, no. 9479.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig 1. Beard token from 1705 (from the collection of the State Historical Museum of Russia)
Légende Notes: Obverse inscription: “ДЕНГИ ВЗЯТЫ” (“Money Collected”). Reverse inscription: “1705 ГОДУ” (Year 1705).
Crédits Source: I. V. Rudenko, Borodovye znaki 1698, 1705, 1724, 1725 (Rostov-on-Don: Omega, 2013), 106-107.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/monderusse/docannexe/image/11923/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 160k
Titre Chart 1. The monthly beard tax income distribution in Moscow from 1705-1708
URL http://journals.openedition.org/monderusse/docannexe/image/11923/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 44k
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Evgenii Akelev, « Is It Possible to Make Money from Beards? »Cahiers du monde russe, 61/1-2 | 2020, 81-104.

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Evgenii Akelev, « Is It Possible to Make Money from Beards? »Cahiers du monde russe [En ligne], 61/1-2 | 2020, mis en ligne le 01 janvier 2024, consulté le 23 juillet 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/monderusse/11923 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/monderusse.11923

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Evgenii Akelev

National Research University Higher School of Economics, eakelev@hse.ru

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