The Snuff Tobacco Reference

John Thomas Illingworth and the Illingworth Tobacco Concerns

John Thomas Illingworth (d. 1888) was a Kendal tobacco manufacturer who established himself in 1867, having previously worked as a commercial agent for the Gawith tobacco concern.1 Two of his sons certainly, namely George Rumney Illingworth and James Rumney Illingworth (d. 1937), became involved in the Illingworth tobacco firm;2 the latter persisted in the trade and during the First World War on 1916-09-12 incorporated as James Illingworth Limited.3 Parts of the James Illingworth company were subsequently spun-off and took the forms of Illingworth’s Snuffs Limited and Illingworth’s Tobaccos Limited, and by 1937 James Illingworth Limited was acquired by Gallaher Limited, who further spun-off the foreign interests into James Illingworth (Overseas) Limited and divested this to British-American Tobacco Company Limited.4 5 The two Illingworth’s companies were acquired in 1964-02 by Singleton and Cole Limited,6 who shortly thereafter was in turn acquired by the Canvenham group. All Cavenham tobacco operations were acquired by Imperial Group circa 1984-07,7 and Illingworth production was soon assumed by their Joseph and Henry Wilson Limited subsidiary, Aynam Mills, the Illingworth tobacco works, having been lost to fire in 1983-02.8 9 The Illingworth legacy is today the Dr. Rumney snuff tobacco brand, named for Dr. John Rumney relative of the Illingworth family,10 which is produced by Wilsons & Co. of Sheffield the good will and recipes having been acquired in 2016 from Imperial. (J. Hanson, personal communication, 2023-01-12.)


  1. Snuff Yesterday and Today. Cecil William Shepherd. Page 38. 1963. Digitised version
  2. Record of probate for Illingworth, John Thomas. Carlisle District Probate Registry. 1888.
  3. Stock Exchange Year-Book. James Illingworth, Limited. Edition of 1924; Page 2,586. 1924. Digitised version
  4. Untitled document. Page 170. Digitised version
  5. Letter from The Monopolies Comission to the British-American Tobacco Company Limited. Digitised version
  6. The Economist. Singleton & Cole Ltd.: Encouraging Current Sales Figures. Volume 212; Issue 6307; Date 1964-07-11; page 198. 1964. Digitised version
  7. Tobbaco Reporter. Markets are ‘up to snuff’. Jacques Cole. Volume 111; Number 7; Issue 1984-07; pages 25–28. 1984. Digitised version
  8. Tobacco. Triump Over Adversity. Issue 1983-05; Pages 3–4. 1983. Digitised version
  9. Tobacco. Sniffles and Snuff. Sonia Roberts. Issue 1983-12; Pages 9–13. 1983. Digitised version
  10. Tobacco. The techniques and the statistics of snuff selling in 1979. Sonia Roberts. Issue 1979-07; Pages 9–15. 1979. Digitised version