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Title: Tobacco pipes from Birgu and Bormla, Malta
Authors: Wood, John
Keywords: Malta -- History -- Knights of Malta, 1530-1798
Tobacco pipes -- Malta -- History
Pipe smoking
Malta -- Antiquities
Manners and customs -- History
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: John Wood
Citation: Unpublished work
Abstract: Both Birgu and Bormla were at the hub of maritime activity when tobacco was first introduced on the island. in addition to the standard recreational facilities on offer in any port the demand for tobacco created a market for professional vendors. For example in 1636 Carlo Bartolo described himself as a 'tobacco retailer from Senglea'. During the period of the Knights the Inquisitor was the spiritual authority on the island. His residence is reputed to be one of the few that survive from an institution once widespread throughout Europe and the Roman Catholic world. To avoid the rigours of municipal law, rich businessmen in Malta including several tobacco merchants jostled to enlist as licensees of the Inquisitor. The Inquisitor's Palace is well preserved and contains a range of cells with original inscriptions dating back over centuries, an austere tribunal room, a chapel and a relatively sophisticated sanitary system. Of these artefacts 22 were retrieved from the Palace sanitary system, in an an excavation conducted by Heritage Malta. The other 11 were revealed during managed development in both wet and dry environments, namely harbour works in the vicinity of St Angelo wharf and the basement of a house in St Lazarus Street, Bormla.
Appears in Collections:Pipes from Malta

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