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  • 1555:Franciscan Friar Andr Thevet of Angouleme reports on Brazil's Tupinamba Indians' use

of Petun.

  • 1556: FRANCE: Tobacco is introduced. Revolutionary monk Thevet claims he was the first

to transplant Nicotiana tabacum from Brazil; many dispute this. In his writings he describes tobacco as a creature comfort. (ATS)

  • 1558: PORTUGAL: Tobacco is introduced.

  • 1559: SPAIN: Tobacco is introduced by Francisco Hernandez de Toledo, Philippe II. of

Spain's personal physician, who had been sent the year before to investigate the products of Mexico. The seeds Hernandez brings back are at first used only to grow ornamental plants in court.

  • 1560: PORTUGAL, FRANCE: Jean Nicot de Villemain, France's ambassador to Portugal,

writes of tobacco's medicinal properties, describing it as a panacea. Nicot sends rustica plants to French court.

  • 1561: FRANCE: Nicot sends snuff to Catherine de Medici, the Queen Mother of France, to

treat her son Francis II's migraine headaches. She later decrees tobacco be termed Herba Regina (There is confusion in sources: some claim it cured Catherine's own headaches (by making her sneeze))

  • 1564 or 1565: ENGLAND: Tobacco is introduced into England by Sir John Hawkins and/or

his crew. Tobacco is used cheifly by sailors, including those employed by Sir Francis Drake, until the 1580s. (Chroniclers of the day took little note of the customs of sailors. Crews under the command of less famous captains than Hawkins would be given even less notice. But Spanish and Portuguese sailors spread the practice around the world--probably first to fellow sailors at port cities. There is no reason to suppose Hawkins' crew particularly advanced in comparison to those on other English ships. In sum, there could well have been a small underground of seafaring tobacco users in England for decades before officialdom took notice. Hawkins and his crew are usually given the credit, but in reality, take this with a grain of sea- salt.)

  • 1568: FRANCE: Andre Thevet writes the first description of tobacco use. In Brazil, he wrote,

the people smoke it and it cleans the "superfluous humours of the brain". Thevet smoked it himself. (LB)

  • 1570: Claimed first botanical book on tobacco written by Pena and Lobel of London.(TSW)

  • 1571: GERMANY: MEDICINE: Dr. Michael Bernhard Valentini's Polychresta Exotica

(Exotic Remedies) describes numerous different types of clysters, or enemas. The tobacco smoke clyster was said to be good for the treatment of colic, nephritis, hysteria, hernia, and dysentery.

  • 1571: SPAIN: MEDICINE: Monardes, a doctor in Seville, reports on the latest craze among

Spanish doctors--the wonders of the tobacco plant, which herbalists are growing all over Spain. Monardes lists 36 maladies tobacco cures.

  • 1571:BOOKS: Jos de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary is sent to Peru; records some of the

earliest and most vivid descriptions of Native South American life and tobacco use. ( De natura novi orbis libri duo (Salamanca, 1588-1589)

  • 1573: ENGLAND: Sir Francis Drake returns from the Americas with 'Nicotina tobacum'.


  • 1575: MEXICO: LEGISLATION: Roman Catholic Church passes a law against smoking in

any place of worship in the Spanish Colonies

  • 1577: ENGLAND: MEDICINE: Frampton translates Monardes into English. European

doctors look for new cures--tobacco is recommended for toothache, falling fingernails, worms, halitosis, lockjaw & cancer.


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