Source 5

‘A letter from Jerard Gore to Anthony Williams. Send a spaniel, sugar, pipes, tobacco, 5 September 1623. Catalogue Ref: SP 46/66 f.24.


The muskmelon mentioned in this letter was a sweet fleshy melon, grown in the Mediterranean area in the ‘Middle Ages’. In the fifteenth century, the explorer Christopher Columbus carried seeds from the fruit on one of his voyages to the Americas and planted them. By the time this letter was written, muskmelon was being grown in English colonies in North America.


London this 5th September 1623


Master. Williams my love remembred [remembered] Sir: According to

my promise I have sent you thise  [these] few lines giving

you to understand that I haue [have] sent you by this

bearer Oranghorne the Spaniell I told you of, as

allso I have sent eight pounds of sugar for your

mother to preserve withall desiring you to accompt [account] of

it, I have likewise sent her a muskmelon in faire

[damaged, unreadable] dozen of

my best pipes & a small piece of tobacco in the boxe

which I pray drinke out for my sake, concerning the

particular I spoke unto you of if you can procure

if at your leisure [I] shall rest beholding unto you

news heere [here] is not any certaine, and therefore unfitt any

such discourse thus with remembrance of my love

unto your father your mother Mr Carltonn and your best

beloved harlely [Unclear- could be a name?] thanking you for any late kind

entertainment here I rest.


Your Loving Friend

Jerard Gore


« Return to Tobacco
  • What is the date of this letter?
  • What gifts did Jerard Gore give to his friend Anthony Williams, other than tobacco?
  • How was tobacco presented as a gift?
  • How does Jerard suggest that Anthony should use the tobacco? What phrase does he use?
  • What does this source suggest about male forms of gift giving and behaviour at this time?
  • What possessions, according to this source, helped to fashion male gender roles at this time?
  • How could the lesson illustration image be seen as evidence of the self-fashioning a particular male identity by smoking tobacco?