The Greatest Smoker in Europe

I found this story on Futility Closet's blog here. The original source was Charles Bombaugh's Facts and Fancies for the Curious From the Harvest-Fields of Literature, 1905.

The greatest smoker in Europe died at Rotterdam, and left behind him the most curious of wills. He expresses the wish in his last testament that all the smokers of the country be invited to attend his obsequies, and that they smoke while following in the funeral cortege. He directs that his body be placed in a coffin, which shall be lined with wood taken from old Havana cigar boxes. At the foot of his bier, tobacco, cigars, and matches are to be placed. And the epitaph which he requests shall be placed upon his tombstone is as follows:

"Here Lies
TOM KLAES,
The Greatest Smoker in Europe.
He Broke His Pipe
July 4, 1872.
Mourned by his family and
all tobacco merchants.
STRANGER, SMOKE FOR HIM!
"

Sadly, I've attempted to track down further information on Tom Klaes (to see, for instance, if he died from smoking-related illness or how in the hell you can even measure what constitutes "The Greatest Smoker in Europe"–is it by how many different types of things he smoked, his ratio of time spent smoking versus not smoking, the sheer number of cigarettes/pipes he smoked, that he was a gourmand of tobacco, etc.?) but there is no info to be found. I'll update this post if anyone can tell me anything about him.

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