King of England James I.

The essayes of a prentise, in the divine art of poesie. Edinburgh. 1585. A counterblast to tobacco. London, 1604 online

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in the cold Eafterne Countries. Yea the Miftreffe
cannot in a more manerly kinde, entertaine her fer-
uant, then by giuing him out of her faire hand a pipe
of Tobacco. But herein is not onely a great vanitie,
but a great contempt of Gods good giftes, that the
fweeteneffe of mans breath, being a good gift of God,
mould be willfully corrupted by this {linking fmoke,
wherein I muft confeffe, it hath too ftrong a vertue :
and fo that which is an ornament of nature, and can
neither by any artifice be at the firft acquired, nor
once loft, be recouered againe, fhall be filthily cor-
rupted with an incurable ftinke, which vile qualitie is
as directly contrary to that wrong opinion which is
holden of the wholefomneffe thereof, as the venime of
putrifaction is contrary to the vertue Preferuatiue.

Moreouer, which is a great iniquitie, and againfl all
humanitie, the husband fhall not bee afhamed, to
reduce thereby his delicate, wholefome, and cleane
complexioned wife, to that extremitie, that eiiher fhee
muft alfo corrupt her fweete breath therewith, or elfe
refolue to Hue in a perpetuall {linking torment.

Haue you no!: reafon then to bee afhamed, and to
forbeare this filthie noueltie, fo bafely grounded, fo
foolifhly receiued and fo groffely miftaken in the right
vfe thereof? In your abufe thereof finning againft
God, harming your felues both in perfons and goods,
and raking alfo thereby the markes and notes of vanitie
vpon you : by the cuflome thereof making your felues
to be wondered at by all forraine ciuil Nations, and
by all ftrangers that come among you, to be fcorned
and contemned. A cuflome lothfome to the eye, hate-
full to the Nofe, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to

the Lungs, and in the blacke {linking fume there-
of, neerefl refembling the horrible Sti-
gian fmoke of the pit that is
bottomeleffe.



ON THE EARLY USE OF TOBACCO IN ENGLAND. 113

The foregoing Invective was written by the King of Great
Britain. How early its royal authorfliip was avowed, I know
not : but it was generally known long before its infertion in
the collected edition, of the King's IVorkes, publifhed in
1616.

But King James flopped not, in his Crufade againft Tobacco,
at words. In the following Comniiflio pro Tabacco he added
Fines and Blows.

JAMES, by the grace of God &>. to our right Trustie and right Welbeloued
Cousen and Counsellor, Thomas Earle of Dorset our High Treasourer of
Englande, Greetinge.

Whereas Tabacco, being a Drugge of late Yeres found out. and by Mer
chants, as well Denizens as Strangers, brought from forreign Partes in small
quantitie into this Realm of England and other our Dominions, was used
and taken by the better sort both then and nowe onelye as Phisicke to pre-
serve Healthe, and is now at this Day, through evell Custome and the Tol-
leration thereof, excessivelie taken by a noniber of ryotous and disordered
Persons of meane and base Condition, whoe, contrarie to the use which Per-
sons of good Callinge and Qualitye make thereof, doe spend most of there
tyme in that idle Vanitie, to the evill example and corrupting of others, and
also do consume that Wages whiche manye of them gett by theire Labour,
and wherewith there Families should be releived, not caring at what Price
they buye that Drugge, but rather devisinge how to add to it other Mixture,
therebye to make it the more delightfull to their Taste, though so much the
more costly to there Purse ; by which great and imoderate takinge of Tn-
bacco the Health of a great nomber of our People is impayred, and theire
Bodies weakened and made unlit for Labor, the Estates of many mean Per-
sons soe decayed and consumed as they are thereby dryven to unthriftie
Shifts onclie to maynteyne their gluttonous exercise thereof, besides that
also a great part of the Treasure of our Landeis spent and exhausted by this
onely Drugge so licentiously abused by the meaner sorte, all which enormous
Inconveniences ensuinge thereuppon We doe well perceave to proceed prin-
cipally from the great quantitie of Tabacco daily brought into this our Realm
of England and Dominions of Wales from the Partes beyond the Seas by
Merchauntes and others, which Excesse We conceave might in great part
be restrayned by some good Imposition to be laid uppon it, whereby it is
likelie that a lesse Quantitie of Tabacco will hereafter be broughte into this
our Realm of England, Dominion of Wales and Town of Barwtck then in
former tymes, and yet sufficient store to serve for their necessarie use who
are of the better sort, and have and will use the same with Moderation to
preserve their Healthe ;

We do therefore will and command you our Treasurer of Englande, and
herebye also warrant and aucthorise you to geve order to all Customers
Comptrollers Searchers Surveyors, and other Officers of our Portcs, that,
from and after the sixe and twentith Day of October next comynge, they
shall demaunde and take to our use of all Merchauntes, as well Englishe as
Strangers, and of all others whoe shall bringe in anye Tabacco into this
Realme, within any Porte Haven or Creek belonging to any theire severall
Charges, the Somme of Six Shillinges and eighte Pence uppon everye Pound
Waight thereof, over and above the Custome of Twoo Pence uppon the
Pounde Waighte usuallye paide heretofore ;

And for the'better execution hereof, bothe in the Reformation of the saide
Abuses, and for the avoydinge of all Fraude and Deceipte concerninge the
Paymente of the saide Imposition and Custome, Our Will and Pleasure is
that you shall in our Name straightlye charge and commaunde all Collectors
Customers Comptrollers Surveyors, and other Officers whatsoever to whome
the same maye belonge, that they suffer noe Entries to be made of anye
Tabacco at anye tyme hereafter to be broughte into anye Porte Haven or
Creeke within this our Realme of Englande, and Dominion of Wales, and
H



H4 ON IHF EARLY USE OF TOBACCO IN ENGLAND.

Towne of Barwicke, or anye parteof the same, by anye Englishe or Stranger,
or anye other Per>one ivhatsoever, before the said- Custo;:.c and I
before specified be firste satisfied and paide, i made for the

same with our saide Customers, Collectors, or other Officers to whorae the
enme apperteyneth, uppon Payne that if anye Merchant
Straur.^er. or other whatsoever, shall presume to brinjre in anye of the saide
Tobacco, before suche Payemente and Satisfactione firste made, That then
he shall not onelie forfeite the saide Tobacco, but alsoe shall ur.derg
furtheie Penalties and corporall Punishmente as the Qualitie of suche soe
Contempte against our Royall and expresse Commaundemente in
this mannere published shall deserve.

\Vytnes our self at IVestmiiisier the seaventeenth Day of October. [1604].
Per ipsvm /.'

Rymer Facdfra, xvi. oox. Ed. 1715.

> iBF.RT AYTON [b. 1570 d. an unmarried man in 1638]
left among his MSS. the following Sonnet, firft printed among
his frtws, Edinburgh, 1844. Ed. by C. R

ON TOBACCO.

. jn of all comforts but these two,
d my pipe, I sit and muse
On u'. . and almost accuse

The Heav'ns for dealing with me as th
Then Hope steps in, and with a smiling brow
Such cheerful expectations doth infuse

kes me think ere long I cannot choose
But be some grandee, whatsoe'er I'm now.
But having spent my pipe, I then per_
That hopes and dreams are cpu-
Then mark I this conclusion in my mi

- one thing both lend into one scope
.2 upon Tobacco and on Hope,
The one's but smoke, the ether is hut wind. /. 53.

1606. " The copy of a Letter written by E. D. Doclour of Phy-
ficke to a Gentleman, by whom it was pubiimed. The former
part contcincth Rules for the prcffruation of health, and -

extreme olde age. Herein is inferted the
A nt hairs opinion of Tobacco." . . .

E. D. argues that Tabacco is i) not safe for y - horteneth life :

; any diseases : '4) it bieedeth melancholy : 5 it hurteth the
minde : 6 it is ill for the Smokers' issue ~ eth life : and

"To conclude, sith it is sohurtfull and dangerous to youth, 1 with (in com-
passion of them that it might haue the permtious nature expressed in the
name, and that it were as well knowen by the name of Youths-bane, as by
the name of Tabacco." //. 3-5-

1607. A flxe-fclde Politician, by I[OHN] M [ELTON], has the
following allufion to Tobacco Smoking :

And a< the enterludes may be tearmed. the Schoole-houses of yanitie, and

wantor.nes ; so these [vaine poets and plaiers] are the schoolemaist -

of: and meth:: Haue tasted of the sweete fountains water, run-

- Academick mothers brt. - shold

-cd from their scrihling profession, that they see their writings and

conceits sold at a common doore to euery base companion for a penny. But

most of their conceits are too deere at that rate, and therefore may well bee

had in the same request that Tobacco is ;. . : to be taken of



ON THE EARLY USE OF TOBACCO IN ENGLAND. 115

great gentlemen, and gallants, now made a frequent and familiar Companion

of euery Tapster and Horse-keeper. And their conceits are

likest Tobacco of any tiling : for as that is quickly kindled, Conceits saiio-

makes a stinking smoake, and quickly goes out, but leaues ring of no

and inhering stinke in the nostrils and stomackes of the ittdgemeirt or

takers, not to be drawne out, but by putting in a worse sa- stvdtiU like

uour, as of Onions and Garlick, According to theprouerbe : Tobacco

the smel of Garlicke takes away the stink of dunghils,; so smoke.

the writing of ordinarye Play-bookes, Pamphlets, and such

like, may be tearmed the mushrum conceptions of idle braines, moste of them

are begotte oner night in Tobacco smoake and muld-sacke, and vttered and

deliuered to the worlds presse by the helpe and midwifery of a caudle the

next morning. //. 34-36.

1610. (i.) 'EjJDMUND] G[ARDINER]. Gent, and Practitioner in
Phyficke,' wrote a medical defence, under the title of The Triad
of Tabacco. ll'/itTi'ia, his worth is mojl worthily expreffed, as, in
the name, nalitir, aiul qiialitie oftkefayd h.-arb, kis/peciall rje in
all Phvfe'-kc, u'it/i the t> lie and right vfe of taking it, etc. . . .

(2.) Under this year may a!fo be put GEORGE SANDYS. A
Relation of a Journey begun An. Dom. 1610. Foure
Containing a defcription of the Turkifli Empire, of sEgypt, of the
Holy Land, of the Remote parts of Italy, and JJlands ad'wyiiing.
London. 1615.

The Tnrkes are also incredible takers of Opium, whereof the lesser Asia
affurdeth them plenty : carrying it about them both in peace and in warre ;
which they say expelleth all feare, and makes them coum-i-ms : but I rather
thinke giddy headed, and turbulent dreamers ; by them, as should seetne by
what hath bene said, religiously affected. And perhaps for the selt'e same
cause they also delight in Tobacco; they take it through reeds that hai!>:
ioyned vnto them great heads of wood to containe it : I doubt not but lately
taught them, as brought them by the English : and were it not sometimes
luokt into (for Mortii Bassa not long since commanded a pipe to be thrust
through the nose of a Turke, and so to be led in derision through the Citie,)
no question but it would proue a principal! commodity. Neuerthelesse they
will take it in corners, and are so ignorant therein, that that which in Kng-
land is not saleable, doth passe here amongst them for most excellent. Bk.
I. /. 66.^

So England took Tobacco firfl to Turkey.

1611. Perfuming of Tobacco, and the great Abufe committed in
it. See Lowndcs.

1614. (i.) WILLIAM BARCLAY, M.A., M.D., publifhed at
Edinburgh, what was perhaps the firfl flat contradiction to the
Counterblafte viz.: Nepenthes, or the l-\-rtues of Ta!>acco. This
tract which I fhould, had fpace permitted, have been glad to
have entirely reprinted here was publifhed by the Spalding
Club in their Mifcellany, i. //. 257-274. It begins thus

HERCVI.ES to obey the commandement and will of IV WO, busied him-
selfe to ouerthrow the most famous monsters of his time, his Arme.s were a
bagge and a club. A most worthie Ladie, and, if I durst say so, the very
IVNO of our lie hath commanded me to destroy some r.ionstruous Diseases
so that to imitate the most chiualrous Chiftan of the worlde, I haue armed
my selfe with a boxe for his bagge, and a pipe for his club : a boxe to conserue
my Tabacco, and a pipe to vse it, by those two Godwilling, to ouercome
many maladies. If the hostes of such Diseases do not betray my endeuoures
to their hating and hated guests by not vsing or abusing my weapons. But
before I enter in the list, I must whet as it were my wits with these two
points, First why doe I treat of a matter so often handled by so many, so
odious to Princes, so pernicious to sundrie, and so costly to all ?



n6 Ox THE EARLY USE OF TOBACCO IN ENGLAND.

Secondly why doe I as another CLODIVS reueale mysttria bcrut Detr,
and prophane the secrets of Physicke ? I answere that a good matter is not
the worse to be maintained by many : and Pitts rieient oculi yuam ocnlus.
As concerning the hatred of Princes, one mans meate is another mans poy-
son. The wine prince of liquors hateth vehemently colworts, and yet beere,
aile, sider water, oyle. honey, and all other liquors doe well agree with col-
The king of Fiance drinketh neuer Orleans wine notwithstanding
his subjects doe loue it well.

I know sundrie men that haue such Antipathic with butter that they dare
not smell it. It hath bene pernicious to sundrie I grant it, so hath wine, so
hath bread, so hath gold, so hath land, and what so wholsome thing is that
cannot be turned to abuse ? If it be costly rse the lesse of it. What ': is not
Rheubarbe coastly ': is not Muske coastly? is not An:. '< rgncse c :i~:ly ': As
touching the second point of my reuealing this secret of Physicke, I answere,
1 mean but to reformeti.e harme whirhproceedeth of the abu'-e, and to shew
to my countrey men that I am more willing to pleasure them then to profile
my selfe, neither did I sweare to conceale that point when in a robe of pur-
pure I wedded the metamorphosed DAPHNE. It resteth now to vnfold what
moued me to entitule this treatise Xepcutkes, because it hath certaine melli-
fluous delicacie, which deliteth the senses, and spirits of man with a mindful
obliuion, insomuch that it maketh and induceth KO.KV iwifrjOov d TTOLVTUV
the forgetting of all sorrowes and miseries. And there is such hostilitie be-
twene it and melancholic, that it is the only medicament in the world or-
dained by nature to entertaine good companie : insomuch that it worketh
neuer so well, as when it is giuen from mar. to man, as a pledge of friend-
shippe and amitie.



Frenchmen which haue receiued it in their counirey as in a colonie call it

. , in this our lie of Brittainr, as in all other maritime parts, we vse

.>h name .( Taiacco. But esteeming it worthie of a more loftie

name, I haue chosen for gossip the faiie and famous Helena, and giuen to

her the honour to name this most profitable plant, Xffenthes.

Albeit this heroe disdaines not to be nourished in many gardens in Sfaine,
in J '/a/if. France, FlanJers, Germanic and Brittahie, yet neuerthelesse only
that wlii :n India and brought home by Mariners and Traffiquers

is to be vsed, as after you shall heare the reason is.

Xon omnisfert omnia telliis.

But auarice and greedines of gaine haue moued the Marchants to apparell
some European plants with Indian coats, and to enstall them in shops as
righteous and legittime Tabacco .... So that the most fine.

:hat which is brought to Eurofe'm leaues, and not rolled in puddings,
as the English Xavigator> first brought home.

In Tabacco there is nothing which is not medecin, the root, the stalke, the
leaues, the seeds, the smoke, the ashes, and to be more particular, Tabacco
may serue for the vse of man either greene or dry. . . .

To the cure and peregrination of an armie of malacves, Tabacco must be
used after this maner. Take of leafe Tabacco as much as being folded to-
gether, may make a round ball of such bignesse that it may fill the patient's
mouth, and inclyne his face downward towards the ground, keeping the
mouth open, not moiling a whit with his tongue, except now and then to
waken the medicament, there shall flow such a flood of water from his brain
and his stqmacke, and from all parts of his body that it shall be a wonder.
This he must do fasting in the morning, and if it be for presentation, and
the body very cacochyme, or full of *uil humours, he must take it once a
weeke, otherwise once a month : But if it bee to cure the Epilepsie or Hy-
dropisie once euery day. Thus haue I vsed Tabacco my self, and thus vsed
Tobacco, lean Greis a venerable old man at Xatites in the French Britain,
who liued whill he was six score yeares of age. and who was known for the
only refuse of the poore afflicted souldiers of I'tnus wheii they were wounded
with the French Pickes, 1 should haue said Pockes. Thus much for the vse



ON THE EARLY USE OF TOBACCO IN ENGLAND. 117

of Tabacco in substance. As concerning the smoke, it may be taken more
frequently, and for the said effects, but always fasting, and with an emptie
stomack, not as the English abuses do, which make a smoke-boxe of their
skull, more fit to be caried vnder his arme that selleth at Paris, dnnoir a
noircir to blacke men's shoes, then to carie the braine of him that can not
walke, can not ryde except the Tabacco Pype be in his month. I chanced
in company on a tyine with an English merchant in Nonnandie betweene
Roivcn and Neiv-hnuen. This fellow was a merrie man, but at euery house
he must have a Cole to kindle his Tabacco : the Frenchmen wondered, and
I laughed at his intemperancie. But there is one William Alsop an honest
man dwelling iir Bishops-gate street, hard within the gate that selleth the
best Tabacco in England, and vseth it most discreetly. . . .

(2.) " The Hone/lie of this Age. Proouing by good circum-
flance that the world was neuer honed till now. By BARNAUKI:
RYCH Gentleman, Seniant to the Kings mod Excellent Maieftie."
has the following.

But he that some fortie or fifty yeares sithens, should haue asked after a
Pickadilly, \ wonder who could haue vnderstood him, or could haue told
what a Pickadilly had beene, either fish or flesh.

But amongst the trades that are newly taken vp, this trade of Tobacco
doth exceede : and the money that is spent in smoake is vnknowne, and (I
thinke 1 vnthought on, and of such a smoake as is more vaine, then the smoake
of fayre words, for that they say) will serue to feede /''odes, but this smoake
maketh Fwles of ii'isetiten : mee thinks experience were enough to teach
the most simple witted. that before Tobacco was euer knowne in Kn salami,
that we lined in as perfect health, and as free from sicknesse, as we haue
done sithens, and looke vppon those (whereof there are a number at this
present houre that did neuer take Tobacco in their lines, and if they doe not
line as healthsome in bodie, and as free from all manner of diseases, as those
that doe take it fastest : they say it is good for a Cold, for a I'ose, for Keivins,
for . / dies, for Dropsies, and for all manner of diseases proceeding of moyst
humours; but I cannot see but that those that doe take it fastest, areasmuch
(or more) subiect to all these infirmities, (yea and to the poxe it selfe' as those
that haue nothing at all to doe with it : then what a wonderfull expence might
very well bee spared, that is spent and consumed in this ne-jules^e vanitie.

There is not so base a groome, that commes into an Alehouse to call for his
pot, but he must haue his pipe of Tobacco, for it is a commoditie that is nowe
as vendible in euery Tauerne, Inne, and Ale house, as eyther Wine, Ale, or
Beare, and for Apothicaries Shops, Grosers Shops, Chatindlcrs Shops, they
are (almost) neuer without company, that from morning till night are still
taking of Tobacco, what a number are there besides, that doe keepe houses,
set open shoppes, that haue no other trade to liue by, but by the selling ot
Tobacco.

I haue heard it tolde that now very lately, there hath bin a Cathalogne
taken of all those new erected houses that haue set vppe that Trade of sell-
ing Tobacco, in London and neare about London, and if a man may beleeue
what is confidently reported, there are found to be vpward of 7000. houses,
that doth liue by that trade.

I cannot say whether they number Apothicaries shoppes, Grosers shops,
and Chaundlers shops in this computation, but let it be that these were thrust
in to make vppe the number : let vs now looke a little into the Vidimus of
the matter, and let vs cast vppe but a sleight account, what the expence
might be that is consumed in this smoakie vapoure.

If it be true that there be 7000. shops, in and about London, that doth vent
Tobacco, as it is credibly reported that there be oner and aboue that number;
it may well bee supposed, to be but an ill customed shoppe, that taketh not
flue shillings a day, one day with another, throughout the whole yeare, or if
one doth take lesse, two other may take more : but let vs make our account,
but after 2 shillings sixe pence a day, for he that taketh lesse than that,
would be ill able to pay his rent, or to keepe open his Shop Windowes, neither



Il8 O-V THE EARLY USE OF TOBACCO IX ENGLAND.

would Tobacco houses make such a muster as they doe, and that almost in
euery Lane, and in euery by-corner round about London.

Let vs then reckon thus. 7000. halfe Crowns a day amounteth just to 3I.-9375
poundes a yeare. Sitnnna totalis. All spent in tinoake.

I doe not reckon now what is spent in Tauernes, in Innes, in Alehouses,
nor what gentlemen doe spend in their owne houses and chambers. :
amount to a great reckoning, but if I cou'de deliuer truly what is spent
throughout the whole Realme of England, in that idle vanitie, I :
woulde make a number of good people (that haue anie feare of God in them)
to lament, that such a masse of Treasure, should be so basely consumed,
that might be imployed to many better purposes.//. 25-27.

(3.) JOSHUA SYLVESTER, the tranflator of Du Bartas, wrote a
poem, under the title of Tvbacco battered ; and the Pipes JJwttfred
(About their Earcs that idlely Idolize fo bafe and barbarous a
or at least-wife- oner-lone fo loathfome Vanitie:) of holy

Shot thundered from Mount Helicon. The calibre of this Invec-
tive may be meafured by its concluding lines

. . . How iuster will the Heau'nly GOD,

Th' Eternal, punish with infernal Rod,

In Hell's darke (Fomace, with black Fumes, to choak)

Those, that on Earth will still ttffend in Smoak *

Offend their Friends, with a Most -'rt-Kesfect :

Offend their Wiues and Children, with Neglect :

Offend the Eyes, with foule and loathsom Spawlings :

Offend the Nose, with filthy Fumes exhalings :

Offend the Eares, with lowd lewd Execrations:

Offend the Mouth, with ougly Excrealions :

Offend the Sense, with stupefying Sense :

Offend the Weake, to follow their Offense :

Offend the Body, and offend the Minde :

Offend the Conscience in a fearefull kinde :

Offend their Baptisme. and their Secorui Birth :

Offend the Maiestie of Heau'n and Earth.

Woe to the World because of Such Offenses ;

So voluntaire, so voyd of all pretenses

Of all Excitse ;saue Fashion, Custome.

In so apparant, proued. granted. ///.

Woe, woe to them by Whom Offences come,

So scandalous to AH our CHRISTENDOME.

1615. An Adi ice hcni' to plant Tobacco in Eug'..ind: and hcnv to
to colour and perfection, to whom it may be ptvfitabls, and

t harmfull. 7 he Tertues of the //< <;ll, as

well in the outward application as taken in FvME. IVtth the
danger oftJie Spanijh Tobacco. Written by C. T.

.vork gives us a good idea of the rapid growth of To-
bacco Smoking in England.

I haue heard it reported, by men of good judgement, that there is paid out
of England and Ireland, neere the value of two hundred thousand pounds
euery yeare for Tobacco ; and that the greatest part thereof is b
ready maney. Sure I am, that when our Engli>hmen for these seuen or eight
yeares last past, traded for it at Trinidado, or in Orrnoqiie. ihat great store

. Siluer, Coine, and plate was carried hence, and giuen to ;he Spaniard
there in exchange. For so greedy were our English of the Indian Tobacco,
as where in the beginning of our traffique there, some yeare^ since, the
Spaniards as in all new plantations^ were prest with all s-irts of wa
had neither cl :-T them, nor shooes to tread on, nor tread to

eate, and did therefore exchange their Tobacco f>r Fish. Wine. Aqua-v.tae,
all sorts of lasting food, for woollen stockins, hats, threed. hatchets, nrd the
like : they became in a short time so cloyd with all these commodities, as


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Online LibraryKing of England James IThe essayes of a prentise, in the divine art of poesie. Edinburgh. 1585. A counterblast to tobacco. London, 1604 → online text (page 9 of 10)