John Hawkins introduces tobacco to Britain

(94 words)

Historical Context Note

John Hawkins was a naval commander and merchant. He is perhaps best known as the chief architect of the Elizabethan navy that defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. He was also heavily involved in establishing new trades across the Atlantic, and can be said to have developed the 'triangular trade' of the slave trade, making a profit at each leg of the voyage from either slaves or produce. In 1564, he is also credited with being the first to introduce the practice of tobacco smoking, which he had observed among native Americans, to a British audience.

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