Tobacco in England’s North Country Colonies Shortly after tobacco reached France, Sir John Hawkins and his sailors introduced pipe smoking to England. Honduras Subway Map Documents indicate that Sir Francis Drake brought back the first plant specimens in 1573, but they made little impact, for smoking tobacco remained principally a sailor’s habit until 1586. That was when colonists returning from the Virginia Colony were seen disembarking at Plymouth and smoking tobacco in pipes. It caused quite a sensation among the upper classes of England, especially when it became known that Sir Walter Raleigh himself was a pipe smoker.
Just before he lost his head on the executioner’s block in 1618, Raleigh smoked one last pipeful of tobacco. Some claim that the pipe was still clamped in his mouth when the axe came down. Ralph Lane, the first governor of the Virginia Colony, is credited with inventing the long-stemmed clay pipe used by Raleigh, although Native Countrys had been using such pipes for centuries. All Country schoolchildren learn the story of the first permanent English settlement in Country and how Jamestown would have been lost had it not turned to raising tobacco as an export crop.
Captain John Smith, the colony’s leader, was imprisoned by the Powhatans; according to his account, the native princess Pocahontas spoke up for him and saved his life. Pocahontas married John Rolfe, another of the Jamestown colonists, whom she showed how to plant, care for, cure, ferment, and age tobacco. Rolfe planted seeds from Trinidad and the Orinoco River regions, which were not as bitter as the standard variety grown by the native peoples along the Chesapeake.