clay tobacco pipes

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The presence or absence of pipes is a crucial aid to dating archaeological sites from the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, when tobacco smoking was introduced into Britain. The changing styles and decoration of pipes also provides broad dating for later periods. See David Crossley, Post‐Medieval Archaeology (1990), and Edward Fletcher, Clay Pipes (1977). In 1619 a company of pipemakers was established in London; provincial manufacture began during the first half of the 17th century. York and Bristol had pipemakers’ guilds by the 1650s. The Gateshead pipemakers’ guild, established in 1675, sold their wares over much of north‐eastern England and into Scotland. Most production centres catered for local markets, though they were said in 1677 to have a great export trade. Pipes made in the Shropshire parishes of Broseley, Benthall, and Much Wenlock were carried down the Severn and along the coast to London, and some found their way to America. Many pipes can be dated by makers’ marks by the mid‐17th century. A wide variety of local clays were suitable for pipe manufacture, particularly those on the coalfields. Many local industries have been studied; see, for example, Peter J. Hammond, ‘The Clay Tobacco‐Pipe Making Industry of Newark’, Thoroton Society Transactions, 89 (1985).

Subjects: History.

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