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Timeline Event

Tobold Hornblower cultivates pipe-weed in the Southfarthing

Event Type: Cultural/Social

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Year: 2670

Description:

c. 2670
Tobold plants 'pipe-weed' in the Southfarthing.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

When Hobbits first began to smoke is not known, all the legends and family histories take it for granted; for ages folk in the Shire smoked various herbs, some fouler, some sweeter. But all accounts agree that Tobold Hornblower of Longbottom in the Southfarthing first grew the true pipe-weed in his gardens in the days of Isengrim the Second, about the year 1070 of Shire-reckoning. The best home-grown still comes from that district, especially the varieties now known as Longbottom Leaf, Old Toby, and Southern Star.

How Old Toby came by the plant is not recorded, for to his dying day he would not tell. He knew much about herbs, but he was no traveller. It is said that in his youth he went often to Bree, though he certainly never went further from the Shire than that. It is thus quite possible that he learned of this plant in Bree, where now, at any rate, it grows well on the south slopes of the hill. The Bree-hobbits claim to have been the first actual smokers of the pipe-weed.... [Their] claim is, I think, likely to be true.

From Herblore of the Shire, by Meriadoc Brandybuck
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Prologue, Concerning Pipe-weed

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 1Mar10

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