❧By the King.
❧A Proclamation to restraine the planting of Tobacco in England and Wales.

IT is not vnknowen what dislike Wee haue euer had of the vse of Tobacco, as tending to a generall and new corruption, both of mens bodies and manners: Neuertheles it is of the two, more tolerable, that the same should bee imported amongst many other vanities and superfluities which come from beyond the Seas, then permitted to be planted here within this Realme, there­by to abuse and misimploy the soyle of this fruitfull Kingdome: For which purpose by Our direction, Letters of late haue bene addressed from our Councell of State, prohibiting the plantation thereof within a certaine distance of Our City of London: But entring into further consideration of the manifold inconueniences of suffering this nou­rishment of vice (and nothing else) as a noysome and running Weede, to multiply and ouer­spread within this Our Kingdome, Wee are resolued vpon many and weightie reasons of State, to make the sayd Prohibition generall.

For first, Wee are informed, That whereas the vse of forreine Tobacco was chiefly vented, and receiued in Cities and great Townes, where riot and excesse vseth to take place, it is now by the Inland plantation become promiscuous, and begun to be taken in euery meane Uillage, euen amongst the basest people.

Secondly, We are giuen to vnderstand from diuers persons of skill and experience, That the English Tobacco, howsoeuer some doe presume or imagine by industrie and experience to rectifie it, and make it good (wherein it is easie for opinion to doe mischiefe) yet it is certeinly in it selfe more crude, poysonous and dangerous for the bodies and healths of Our Subiects then that that comes from hotter Climates; So that the medicinall vse of Tobacco (which is that that is only good in it, and to be approued) is in this kind also corrupted and infected.

Thirdly, Whereas Our Colonies and Plantations in Virginia and the Sommer Ilands, (being proper and naturall Climates for that plant, and the true temper thereof) receiue much comfort by the Importation therof into this Kingdome, (which is to be respected at least in the Interim, vntill Our said Colonies may grow to yeeld better and more solide commodities) Now the said Trading from thence is and will be by the Plantation within this Realme, choaked and ouer­throwen.

[Page]Fourthly, Wee doe find also, that the reason that mooued Us to interdict the planting there­of neere the Citie of London, (which was in regard of the conuersions of garden grounds, and rich soyled grounds from diuers Roots and Herbes, fit for victuall and sustenance[?], vnto this harmefull vanity) extendeth likewise vnto all Cities, Townes and Uillages, and rather more, by how much the pouertie is greater there, then here aboue.

And lastly, for that it doeth manifestly tend to the diminution of Our Customes, which is a thing, that although in case of good Manufactures, and necessary commodities Wee doe little esteeme, Yet where it shall be taken from Us, and no good but rather hurt thereby redound to Our people, Wee haue reason to preserue.

Wee therefore intending in time to prouide a remedie for this spreading euill, which hath in a very few yeares dispersed it selfe into most parts of Our Kingdomes, doe heereby straightly charge and command all and euery person and persons of what degree or condition soeuer, That they or any of them, by themselues, their seruants, workemen or labourers, doe not from and after the second day of February next, presume to sow, set, or plant, or cause to be sowen, set or planted within this Our Realme of England, or Dominion of Wales, any sort or kinde of Tobacco whatsoeuer; And that they or any of them, shall not, or doe not hereafter main­taine, or continue any old stockes, or plants of Tobacco, formerly sowen or planted, but shall foorthwith vtterly destroy and roote vp the same, conuerting and imploying the ground and soyle thereof to some other lawfull vses and purposes, as to them shall seeme best, vpon paine of contempt of Our Royall commaundement, to be proceeded with according to Our Lawes, and Prerogatiue Royall with all seueritie.

And therefore, for the more due execution of the premisses, Wee doe further will, require and command all Mayors, Sheriffes, Iustices of Peace, Bayliffes, Constables, and other Officers and ministers, to whom it shall or may appertaine, That they and euery of them, shall from time to time diligently and carefully intend the due and exact obseruation of this Our Royall pleasure, And that they permit not, nor suffer any thing to be done, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this Our Proclamation, but withstand the same to their vttermost power, as they tender Our seruice: And further that they take order that such offendors, labourers, or workemen, as shal persist in the sowing or planting of Tobacco, in this Our Realme or Domi­nion of Wales, or in the maintaining or continuing any old stocks, or former plantations there­of hereafter, may be called before them, & be bound in Recognizances of good summes of Our vse, to appeare in Our Court of Starrechamber, there to be prosecuted by Our Attourney ge­nerall, as contemners of Our expresse Commandement, Proclamation, & Prerogatiue Royall, wherein (especially in a cause of this nature) Wee will expect, and require of all Our Subiects, their due conformitie and obedience.

God saue the King.

❧Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, and Iohn Bill, Printers to the Kings most Excellent Maiestie.


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