A chapter summary from Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay (from volume one of the 1852 edition):
Early modes of wearing the hair and beard—Excommunication and outlawry decreed against curls—Louis VII.’s submission thereto the cause of the long wars between England and France—Charles V. of Spain and his courtiers—Peter the Great—His tax upon beards—Revival of beards and moustaches after the French Revolution of 1830—The King of Bavaria (1838) orders all civilians wearing moustaches to be arrested and shaved—Examples from Bayeux tapestry
While we are on the subject of religion and beards, a week ago a boy from Bangladesh asked me if I had a beard because of my religion. I answered "No. I grew it because I am lazy", but then I added "You could say that laziness is my religion".