(Just to note – not Mark Twain – that was Clemens)

Samuel Clements (16 February 1780 – 15 May 1857) was the son of Charles Clements and Mary Duglass.  He was born in Henley-on-Thames, England.

Not much is known about his life, but from documentary evidence it is known that he was a hairdresser, and was based on Bell Street in Henley from 1823.  His business expanded to include “perfumer and fancy toy dealer” in 1830.

Hairdressing in this period meant the maintenance and dressing of wigs.  The fashion for wearing wigs instead of natural hair had been very popular in the eighteenth century, but by the nineteenth century had been declining.  It was still however necessary to weary a wig in court, and for barristers and judges in the daily performance of their work – a uniform of sorts. No doubt this is why his business started to diversify in the 1830s.

Samuel married Ann Mellett the 11th of December 1806 at St Mary of the Virgin in Henley.  Together they had nine children: Sarah (1808), Henry (1809), Samuel (1813), Ann (1814), Catherine (1816), James (1818), Thomas (1819), William (1820) and Alfred (1823).  His son Thomas followed him into the business, continuing it at the same location after his father’s death.  His son-in-law George Paulin (Sarah) also ran a hairdressing business on Bell Street, and likewise expanded his operations to perfumery and stationary. 

Samuel Clements died the 15 May 1857.



Henley-on-Thames City directories

St Mary of the Virgin registers, Henley-on-Thames

Will of Samuel Clements, British National Archives