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Religious Smokers

Journal by janilye

At one period of its history smoking was so common that it
was actually practised in church.
Previous to the visit of James I. to the University of
Cambridge, in 1615, the Vice Chancellor issued a notice
to the students, which enjoined that "No graduate, scholer, or
student of this universitie presume to take tobacco in
Saint Maries Church, upon payne of finall expellinge the universitie."
The Rev. Dr. Parr, when perpetual curate of Hatton, Warwickshire,
which living he held from 1783 to 1790, regularly smoked in the
vestry while the congregation were singing long hymns, chosen for
the purpose, immediately before the sermon. The doctor was wont to
exclaim : " My people like long hymns, but I prefer a long pipe."
The Rev. Robert Hall, of Leicester, the well known Baptist minister,
regularly indulged in smoking during the intervals of Divine worship.
Sir Walter Scott, in his " Heart of Midlothian," refers to one
Duncan, of Knockdunder, an important personage, who smoked during the
whole of the sermon, from an iron pipe, tobacco borrowed from other
worshippers. We are told that, "at tbe end of the discourse he knocked
the ashes out of his pipe, replaced it in his sporran, returned the
tobacco pouch to its owner, and joined in the prayer with decency and
attention."
The Puritan Fathers, who settled in America, were greatly addicted
to smoking, indeed, the practice became so common that even these
strait-laced observers of time and seasons actually smoked in church.
The custom soon caused very considerable annoyance, as the religious
exercises were greatly disturbed by the clinking of steels and flints
and the clouds of the smoke in church.
Hence, in the year 1669, the colony passed this law :
"It is enacted that any person or persons that shall be
found smoking of tobacco on the Lord's Day, going to or
coming from the meetings, within two miles of the meeting
house, shall pay twelve pence for every such default."
Under this law several persons were actually fined, but
the punishment failed to secure the carrying out of the
arbitrary second portion of the enactment.
The custom of smoking during church service was not confined
to the laity and minor clergy, for it is recorded that an
Archbishop of York was once reproved by the Vicar of St.
Mary's, Nottingham, for attempting to smoke in the church vestry.
The Rev. John Disney, of Swinderly, in Lincolnshire, writing on the
13th of December, 1773, to James Grainger, says :
"The affair happened in St. Mary's Church,
Nottingham, when Archbishop Blackburn was
there on a visitation. The archbishop had ordered
some of the apparitors or other attendants to
bring him pipes and tobacco and some liquor
into the vestry for his refreshment after the
fatigue of confirmation. And this coming to
Mr. Disney's ears, he forbade their being
brought thither, and with a becoming spirit
remonstrated with the archbishop upon the
impropriety of his conduct, at the same time
telling his Grace that his vestry should not be
converted into a smoking-room

SOURCE
Dungog Chronicle
Friday 4 November 1898
Bowral Free Press
The Gundagai Independent

Surnames: DISNEY DUNCAN GRAINGER HALL PARR SCOTT
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by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2015-01-10 07:01:40

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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