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Tobold Hornblower

Other Names:
Old Toby
Tobold the Old

Location(s):
Longbottom, Southfarthing

Race/Species: Hobbit

Dates:
circa III 2670

Description:

A Hobbit of Longbottom in the Southfarthing, who pioneered the cultivation of pipe-weed:
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.... 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 1 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

[Said] Théoden, 'I had not heard that [Hobbits] spouted smoke from their mouths.'

'That is not surprising,' answered Merry; 'for it is an art which we have not practised for more than a few generations. It was Tobold Hornblower, of Longbottom in the Southfarthing, who first grew the true pipe-weed in his gardens, about the year 1070 according to our reckoning. How old Toby came by the plant...'

'You do not know your danger, Théoden,' interrupted Gandalf. 'These hobbits will sit on the edge of ruin and discuss the pleasures of the table, or the small doings of their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, and remoter cousins to the ninth degree, if you encourage them with undue patience. Some other time would be more fitting for the history of smoking.'....

[Said] Théoden. 'Farewell, my hobbits! May we meet again in my house! There you shall sit beside me and tell me all that your hearts desire: the deeds of your grandsires, as far as you can reckon them; and we will speak also of Tobold the Old and his herb-lore. Farewell!'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 8, The Road to Isengard


Notes
1It appears that the Hornblower brand that Tobold founded had the reputation at the end of the Third Age for being the finest quality product:

[Merry] produced a small leather bag full of tobacco. 'We have heaps of it,' he said.... Pippin... found two small barrels, washed up out of some cellar.... When we opened them, we found they were filled with this: as fine a pipe-weed as you could wish for, and quite unspoilt.'

Gimli took some and rubbed it in his palms and sniffed it. 'It feels good, and it smells good,' he said.

'It is good!' said Merry. 'My dear Gimli, it is Longbottom Leaf! There were the Hornblower brandmarks on the barrels, as plain as plain.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 9, Flotsam and Jetsam

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 1Mar10

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