On This Day: Raleigh’s Tobacco Adventures The Retrospectors

Sir Walter Raleigh brought tobacco back to Britain from Virginia on 27th July 1586 – and, in so doing, triggered a craze for smoking, which at the time was considered a tonic for halitosis, and even a cure for cancer.Despite Queen Elizabeth I being an advocate for the new drug, it didn’t take long for the anti-tobacco movement to kick into gear – with King James I writing a treatise against smoking by 1604.In this episode, Olly, Rebecca and Arion revisit the phenomenon of ‘Dry Drunkenness’; explain why Eton’s schoolboys were prescribed tobacco with their breakfast; and reveal what happened to Raleigh’s head after he was executed…Further Reading:• Bob Newhart’s Walter Raleigh sketch (1962):• ‘“This vile custome”: a history of tobacco's medical interpretations’ (Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh):• ‘Discovery of velvet bag may solve gory mystery of Walter Raleigh’s missing head’ (The Guardian, 2018): had EVEN MORE to say about Sir Walter Raleigh and his tobacco fixation. To hear bonus material this and every week*, support the show NOW at! (*top two tiers only)We'll be back tomorrow! Follow us wherever you get your podcasts: Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
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