Actually, however, recorded agitation about smoke began in England. In 1257 when Queen Eleanor moved from Nottingham to Tutbury Castle. As recounted, she told her husband, King Henry III, she could no longer stand the “unendurable smoke of the sea coal.” Translated, that means she couldn’t stand the neighbors’ burning bituminous coal.
As a result the English Parliament in 1273 passed a law prohibiting the burning of soft coal. Despite the law, the situation became so bad that in 1307, King Edward I appointed a commission to enforce the anti-smoke law in London. In legal language, the king instructed the commission “To inquire of all such who burnt sea-coal in the city, or parts adjoining, and to punish them for first offense with great fines and ransoms, and for the second offense to demolish their furnaces.”
- HISTORY of the Air Pollution Control Association. Christy, G William. 2012. New York : Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association, 19. March 2012. 0002-2470.