Page images
PDF
EPUB

and reformed by St. Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux, in 1116; and the Carthusians, from the Chartreux (hence Charter-house), founded by Bruno about 1080. The Benedictine order was introduced into England by Augustin, in 596; and William I. built an abbey for it on the plain where the battle of Hastings was fought, 1066; see Battle-Abbey. William de Warrenne, earl of Warrenne, built a convent at Lewes, in Sussex, in 1077. Of this order it is reckoned that there have been 40 popes, 200 cardinals, 50 patriarchs, 116 archbishops, 4600 bishops, 4 emperors, 12 empresses, 46 kings, 41 queens, and 3600 saints. Their founder was canonised. Baronius. The Benedictines have taken little part in politics, but have produced many valuable literary works. The congregation of St. Maur published the celebrated "l'Art de Vérifier les Dates," in 1750, and edited many ancient authors.

BENEFICE (literally a good deed or favour), or FIEF. Clerical benefices originated in the 12th century, when the priesthood began to imitate the feudal lay system of holding lands for performing certain duties: till then the priests were supported by alms and oblations at mass. Vicarages, rectories, perpetual curacies, and chaplaincies, are termed benefices, in contradistinction to dignities, such as bishoprics, &c. A rector is entitled to all the tithes; a vicar, to a small part or to none.-All benefices that should become vacant in the space of six months, were given by pope Clement VII. to his nephew, in 1534. Notitia Monastica. An act for the augmentation of poor benefices by the sale of some of those in the presentation of the lord chancellor, was passed in 1863, and an act respecting the sequestration of benefices and their union was passed, 1871.

BENEFIT OF CLERGY, see Clergy. BENEFIT SOCIETIES, see Friendly Societies.

BENEVENTUM (now Benevento), an ancient city in South Italy, said to have been founded by Diomedes the Greek, after the fall of Troy. rhus of Macedon, during his invasion of Italy, was totally defeated near Beneventum, 275 B.C. Near it was erected the triumphal arch of Trajan, A.D. 114. Benevento was formed into a duchy by the Lombards, 571. At a battle fought here, 26 Feb. 1266, Manfred, king of Sicily, was defeated and slain by Charles of Anjou, who thus became virtually master of Italy. The castle was built 1323; the town was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, 1688, when the archbishop, afterwards pope Benedict XIII., was dug out of the ruins alive, and contributed to its subsequent rebuilding, 1703. It was seized by the king of Naples, but restored to the pope on the suppression of the Jesuits, 1773. Talleyrand de Périgord, Bonaparte's arch-chancellor, was made prince of Benevento, 1806. Benevento was taken by the French, 1798, and restored to the pope in 1815.

BENEVOLENCES (Aids, Free Gifts, actually Forced Loans) appear to have been claimed by our Anglo-Saxon sovereigns. Special ones were levied by Edward IV., 1473, by Richard III., 1485 (although a statute forbidding them was enacted in 1484), by Henry VII., 1492; and by James I., in 1613, on occasion of the marriage of the princess Elizabeth with Frederick, the elector palatine, afterwards king of Bohemia. In 1615 Oliver St. John, M.P., was fined 5000l., and chief justice Coke disgraced, for severely censuring such

modes of raising money. Benevolences were declared illegal by the bill of rights, Feb. 1689.

BENGAL, chief presidency of British India, containing Calcutta, the capital. Its governors were appointed by the sovereigns of Delhi, till 1340, when it became independent. It was added to the Mogul empire by Baber, about 1529; see India and Calcutta.

The English first permitted to trade to Bengal.
They establish a settlement at Hooghly
Factories of the French and Danes set up
Bengal made a distinct agency

The English settlement removed to Fort William
Imperial grant vesting the revenues of Bengal in the
company, by which it gained the sovereignty of
the country
12 Aug. 1765
India Bill; Bengal made chief presidency; supreme
court of judicature established
Bishop of Calcutta appointed
Railway opened.

Awful famine in Orissa (which see)
Lieut.-governor, Hon. Wm. Grey
Geo. Campbell .

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

1534 about 1652

1664 1680

1698

16 June, 1773 21 July, 1813 15 Aug. 1854 1865-66

1867

1871

BENZOLE, or BENZINE, a compound of hydrogen and carbon, discovered by Faraday in oils (1825), and by C. B. Mansfield in coal tar (1849) the latter of whom unfortunately died in consequence of being severely burnt while experimenting on it (25 Feb. 1855). Benzole has become useful in the arts. Chemical research has produced from it aniline (which see), the source of the celebrated modern dyes, mauve, magenta, &c., and others; see Alizarine.

BERBICE (S. America), settled by the Dutch, 1626, who surrendered it to the British, 23 April, 1796, and 22 Sept. 1803; and finally in 1814. It was united to Demerara and named British Guiana, Pyr-1831.

BEOWULF, an ancient Anglo-Saxon epic poem, describing events which probably occurred in the middle of the 5th century, supposed to have been written subsequent to 597. An edition by Kemble was published in 1833. It has been translated by Kemble, Thorpe, and Wackerbarth.

archdeacon of Angers, who about 1049, opposed the BERENGARIANS, followers of Berengarius, Romish doctrine of transubstantiation, or the real presence in the Lord's supper. Several councils of the church condemned his doctrine, 1050-79. died grieved and wearied in 6 Jan. 1088. After much controversy he recanted about 1079, and

BERESINA, a river in Russia, crossed by the French main army after its defeat by the Russians, 25-29 Nov. 1812. The French lost upwards of 20,000 men, and their retreat was attended by great calamity and suffering.

BERG (W. Germany), on the extinction of its line of counts, in 1348, was incorporated with Juliers. Napoleon I. made Murat grand-duke in 1806. The principal part is now held by Prussia.

BERGAMO (N. Italy), a Lombard hy, was annexed to Venice, 1428; which chiefly held it till it revolted, and was joined to the Cisalpine republic, 1797. It was awarded to Austria in 1814, and ceded to Sardinia, 1859.

BERGEN (Norway), founded 1070; was the royal residence during the 12th and 13th centuries.

BERGEN (in Germany), BATTLE OF, between the French and allies, the latter defeated, 13 April, 1752.—(In HOLLAND) 1. The allies under

the duke of York were defeated by the French, under gen. Brune, with great loss, 19 Sept. 1799. 2. In another battle, fought 2 Oct. same year, the duke gained a victory over Brune; but on the 6th, the duke was defeated, before Alkmaer, and on the 20th entered into a convention, by which his army was exchanged for 6000 French and Dutch prisoners in England.

BERGEN-OP-ZOOM, in Holland. This place, whose works were deemed impregnable, was taken by the French, 16 Sept. 1747, and again in 1795. An attempt, made by the British under general sir T. Graham (afterwards lord Lynedoch), to carry the fortress by storm, was defeated; after forcing an entrance, their retreat was cut off, and a dreadful slaughter ensued; nearly all were cut to pieces or made prisoners, 8 March, 1814.

BERGERAC, France. Here John of Gaunt, then earl of Derby, defeated the French, in 1344, and here a temporary treaty of peace between the Catholics and Protestants, establishing liberty of conscience, was signed 17 Sept. 1577.

BERKELEY CASTLE, Gloucestershire, was begun by Henry I. in 1108, and finished in the next reign. Here Edward II. was cruelly murdered by the contrivance of his queen Isabella (a princess of France), and her paramour, Mortimer, earl of March, 21 Sept. 1327. Mortimer was hanged at the Elms, near London, 29 Nov. 1330; and Edward III. confined his mother in her own house at Castle Rising, near Lynn, in Norfolk, till her death, 1357.

On 27

BERLIN (capital of Prussia, in the province of Brandenburg), alleged to have been founded by the margrave Albert the Bear, about 1163. Its five districts were united under one magistracy, in 1714; and it was subsequently made the capital of Prussia and greatly improved by the sovereigns. It was taken and held by the Russians and Austrians, 9-13 Oct. 1760. Establishment of the Academy of Sciences, 1702; of the university, 1810. Oct. 1806, after the battle of Jena (14 Oct.), the French entered Berlin; and from this place Napoleon issued the famous Berlin decree, an interdict against the commerce of England, 20 Nov. It declared the British islands to be in a state of blockade, and ordered all Englishmen found in countries occupied by French troops to be treated as prisoners of war. Un 5 Nov. 1808, Napoleon entered into a convention with Prussia, by which he remitted to Prussia the sum due on the war-debt, and withdrew many of his troops to reinforce his armies in Spain. The railway to Magdeburg opened The first constituent assembly held here An insurrection commenced here Berlin was declared in a state of siege The continuation of this state was declared to be illegal without its concurrence by the lower chamber 25 April, 1849 A treaty of peace between Prussia and Saxony was signed 21 Oct. 1866 The victorious army entered Berlin, 20 Sept, 1866; and 16 June, 1871.

. 12

See Prussia, 1866, 1871.

BERLIN WORK, see Embroidery.

BERMUDAS or SUMMERS' ISLES, a group in the North Atlantic ocean, discovered by Juan Bermudas, a Spaniard, in 1522, but not inhabited until 1609, when sir George Summers was cast away upon them. They were settled by stat. 9 James I., 1612. Among the exiles from England during the civil war was Waller, the poet, who

wrote, while resident here, a poetical description of the islands. There was an awful hurricane here, 31 Oct. 1780, and by another, a third of the houses was destroyed, and the shipping driven ashore, 20 July, 1813. A large iron dry dock here, which cost 250,000l., was towed from the Medway to the Bermudas, in June and July, 1869. Governors, sir Fred. E. Chapman, 1867; gen. J. H. Lefroy, March, 1871.

BERNAL COLLECTION of articles of taste and virtù, formed by Ralph Bernal, Esq., many years chairman of committees of ways and means He died 26 Aug. 1854. in the house of commons. The sale in March, 1856, lasted 31 days, and enormous prices were given. The total sum realised was 62,6801. 68. 8d.

BERNARD, MOUNT ST., so called from a 962. Velan, its highest peak, is about 8000 feet monastery founded on it by Bernardine Menthon in high, covered with perpetual snow. Hannibal, it is said, conducted the Carthaginians by this pass into Italy (218 B.C.); and by the same route, in May, 1800, Bonaparte led his troops to Italy before the battle of Marengo, 14 June. On the summit of Great St. Bernard is the ancient monastery still held by a community of monks, who entertain travellers.

BERNARDINES, or WHITE MONKS, a strict order of Cistercian monks, established by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, about 1115. He founded many monasteries.

BERNE, the sovereign canton of Switzerland, joined the Swiss League, 1352; the town Berne was made a free the emperor Frederick, May, 1218; it successfully resisted Rudolph of Hapsburg, 1288. It surrendered to the French under general Brune, 12 April, 1798. The town has bears for its arms, and some of these animals are still maintained on funds specially provided for the purpose. It was made capital of Switzerland, 1848.

BERRY (the ancient Biturigum regis), central France, held by the Romans since the conquest by Cæsar (58-50 B.c.) till it was subdued by the Visigoths; from whom it was taken by Clovis in A.D. 507. It was erected into a duchy by John II. in 1360, and was not incorporated into the royal domains till 1601.

BERSAGLIERI, the sharpshooters of the Sardinian army, first employed about 1848.

10 Sept. 1841 21 June, 1842

BERWICK-ON-TWEED, a fortified town on the north-cast extremity of England, the theatre of many bloody contests while England and ScotMarch, 1848 land were two kingdoms; it was claimed by the

""

Scots because it stood on their side of the river. Here John Baliol did homage for Scotland, 30 Nov. 1292. It was annexed to England in 1333; and after having been taken and retaken many times, was finally ceded to England in 1482. In 1551 it was made independent of both kingdoms. The town surrendered to Cromwell in 1648, and to general Monk in 1659. Since the union of the crowns (James 1. 1603), the strong fortifications have been neglected.

Russia, part of the ancient Dacia. BESSARABIA, a frontier province of European After being possessed by the Goths, Huns, &c., it was conquered by the Turks, 1474, seized by the Russians, 1770, and ceded to them in 1812.

BESSEMER STEEL, see Steel.

BETHLEHEM now contains a large convent, enclosing, as is said, the very birthplace of Christ; a church erected by the empress Helena in the form of a cross, about 325; a chapel, called the Chapel of the Nativity, where they pretend to show the manger in which Christ was laid; another, called the Chapel of Joseph; and a third, of the Holy Innocents. Bethlehem is much visited by pilgrims.-The Bethlehemite monks existed in England in 1257.

BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL (so called from having been originally the hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem), a royal foundation for the reception of lunatics, incorporated by Henry VIII. in 1547. The old Bethlehem Hospital, Moorfields, erected in 1676, pulled down in 1814, was built in imitation of the Tuileries at Paris. The present hospital in St. George's-fields was begun April, 1812, and opened in 1815. In 1856 extensive improvements were completed under the direction of Mr. Sydney Smirke.

BETHNAL GREEN, E. London, a poor, populous parish; said to have been th seat of Henry de Montfort, hero of the "Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green" (Percy Ballads). Many churches have been recently erected by the instrumentality of bishop Blomfield and others, and the district has been much favoured by the baroness Burdett-Coutts. The East London Museum here, a branch of that at South Kensington, was opened by the prince of Wales, 24 June, 1872. Sir Richard Wallace lent to it for a year a collection of fine pictures and valuable curiosities.

BETHUNE, France, an independent lordship since the 11th century, was annexed to the monarchy by the treaty of Utrecht, 1713, after several changes.

BETTING-HOUSES, affording much temptation to gaming, and consequent dishonesty, in the lower classes, were suppressed by an act passed in 1853 (16 & 17 Vict. c. 119). A Pari-mutuel, or mutual betting machine, in Aug., and the "Knightsbridge Exchange," a betting company, 2 Nov., 1870, were declared illegal, see Races.

BEYROUT (the ancient Berytus), a seaport of Syria, colonised from Sidon. It was destroyed by an earthquake, 566; was rebuilt, and was alternately possessed by the Christians and Saracens ; and after many changes, fell into the power of Amurath IV. It was taken during the Egyptian revolt by Ibrahim Pacha, in 1832. The total defeat of the Egyptian army by the allied British, Turkish, and Austrian forces, and evacuation of Beyrout (the Egyptians losing 7000 in killed, wounded, and prisoners, and twenty pieces of cannon), took place 10 Oct. 1840. Sir C. Napier was the English admiral engaged. Beyrout suffered greatly in consequence of the massacres in Syria in May 1860. In Nov. 1860 above 27,000 persons were said to be in danger of starving; see Syria.

BHURTPORE (India), capital of Bhurtpore, was besieged by the British, 3 Jan. 1805, and attacked five times up to 21 March, without success. After a desperate engagement with Holkar, the Mahratta chief, 2 April, 1805, the fortress was surrendered to general Lake. By a treaty, the rajah of Bhurtpore agreed to pay twenty lacs of rupees, ceded territories that had been granted to him, and delivered his son as hostage, 17 April, 1805. On the rajah's death, during a revolt against his son, Bhurtpore was taken by storm, by lord Combermere, 18 Jan. 1826; see India.

BHOOTAN, a country north of Lower Bengal, with whom a treaty was made 25 April, 1774. After fruitless negotiations, Bhootan was invaded by the British in Dec. 1864, in consequence of injurious treatment of an envoy; see India, 1864-5.

BIANCHI (Whites), a political party at Florence, in 1300, in favour of the Ghibelines or imperial party, headed by Vieri de' Cerchi, opposed the Neri (or Blacks), headed by Corso de' Donati. The latter banished their opponents, among whom was the poet Dante, in 1302. "Bianchi " were also male and female penitents, clothed in white, who travelled through Italy in Aug. 1399; and were suppressed by pope Boniface IX., 1400.

BIARCHY. When Aristodemus, king of Sparta, died, he left two sons, twins, Eurysthenes and cedence' should be given, placed both upon the Procles; and the people not knowing to whom prethrone, and thus established the first biarchy, 1102 B.C. The descendants of each reigned for about 800 years. Herodotus.

BIARRITZ, a bathing-place near Bayonne. Here resided the comtesse de Montijo and her daughter Eugénie, empress of the French, till her marriage, 29 Jan. 1853. It was frequently visited by the emperor and empress.

BIBERACH (Wurtemberg). Here Moreau twice defeated the Austrians,-under Latour, 2 Oct. 1796, and under Kray, 9 May, 1800.

BEVERLEY, E. Yorkshire, the Saxon Bever-testants; lac, or Beverlega. St. John of Beverley, archbishop of York, founded a stately monastery here, OLD TESTAMENT. † and died 721; and on his account the town received Genesis contains the history of the world honours from Athelstane, William I., and other sovereigns. It was disfranchised for corruption in 1870, after a long investigation.

BIBLE (from the Greek biblos. a book), the name especially given to the Holy Scriptures. The Old Testament is said to have been collected and arranged by Ezra between 458 and 450 B.C. The Apocrypha are considered as inspired writings by the Roman Catholics, but not by the Jews and Prosee Apocrypha.

from B.C. 4004-1635

535-1490

Exodus
Leviticus.
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Job
Joshua
Judges.
Ruth

1st and 2nd Samuel

1st and 2nd Kings
1st and 2nd Chronicles

Book of Psalms (principally by David).

1490 1490-1451

. 1451 about 1520

from 1451-1420

1425-1120 1322-1312

1171-1017

.

1015- 562 1004-536 1063-1015

* In April, 1865, was published a proposal for raising a fund for exploring Palestine in order to illustrate the Bible by antiquarian and scientific investigation. The first meeting was held 22 June, 1865, the archbishop of York in the chair; see Palestine.

The division of the Bible into chapters has been ascribed to archbishop Lanfranc in the 11th, and to archbishop Langton in the 13th century; but T. Hartwell Horne considers the real author to have been cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro, about the middle of the 13th century. The division into sections was commenced by Rabbi Nathan (author of a Concordance), about 1445, and completed by Athras, a Jew, in 1661. The present division into verses was introduced by the celebrated printer, Robert Stephens, in his Greek Testament (1551) and in his Latin Bible (1556-7).

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

The most ancient copy of the Hebrew Scriptures existed at Toledo, called the Codex of Hillel; it was of very early date, probably of the 4th century after Christ; some say about 60 years before Christ. The copy of Ben Asher, of Jerusalem, was made about 1100. The reputed oldest copy of the Old and New Testament in Greek, is that in the Vatican, which was written in the 4th or 5th century. Mai's edition appeared in 1857. The next in age is the Alexandrian Coder (referred to the 5th century) in the British Museum, presented by It has been the Greek patriarch to Charles I. in 1628. printed in England, edited by Woide and Baber, 17861821.--Codex Ephraemi, or Codex Regius, ascribed to the 5th century, in the Royal Library, Paris: published by Tischendorf in 1843.

The Codex Sinaiticus, probably written in the 4th century, was discovered by M. Constantine Tischendorf, at St. Katherine's monastery in 1844 and 1859, and presented to the present czar of Russia, at whose cost a splendid edition was published in 1862.

The Hebrew Psalter was printed at Bologna in 1477. The complete Hebrew Bible was first printed by Soncino in Italy in 1488, and the Greek Testament (edited by Erasmus) at Rotterdam, in 1516. Aldus's edition was printed in 1518; Stephens' in 1546; and the textus receptus (or received text) by the Elzevirs in 1624.

TRANSLATIONS.

The Old Testament, in Greek, termed the Septuagint (which sec), generally considered to have been made by order of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, about 286 or 285 B.C.; of this many fabulous accounts are given.

Origen, after spending twenty-eight years in collating MSS., commenced his polyglot Bible at Cæsarea in A.D. 231; it contained the Greek versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, all made in or about the 2nd century after Christ. The following are ancient versions:-Syriac, 1st or 2nd century; the old Latin version, early in the 2nd century, revised by Jerome, in 384; who, however, completed a new version in 405, now called the VULGATE, (which see); the first edition was printed (without date)

about 1456; the first dated 1462;-Coptic, 2nd or 3rd century; Ethiopic; Armenian, 4th or 5th century; Slavonic, 9th century; and the Morso-Gothic, by Ulfilas, the apostle of the Goths, about 360, a manuscript copy of which, called the Codex Argenteus, is at Upsal. The Psalms were translated into Saxon by bishop Aldhelm, about 706; Cædmon's metrical paraphrase of a portion of the Bible, about 680; and the Gospels by bishop Egbert, about 721; parts of the Bible by Bede, in the 8th century.

ENGLISH VERSIONS AND EDITIONS.

MS. paraphrase of the whole Bible at the Bodleian
Library, Oxford, dated by Usher.
Versions (from the Vulgate) by Wickliffe and his
followers (above 170 MS. copies extant)

[Part published by Lewis, 1731; by Baber, 1810; the whole by Madden and Forshall, at Oxford 1850.] William Tyndale's version of Matthew and Mark from the Greek printed, 1524; of the whole New Testament, 1525; 6 editions Miles Coverdale's version of the whole Bible; printing finished 4 Oct. 1535

1525-30

[Ordered by Henry VIII. to be laid in the choir of every church, "for every man that will to look and read therein."]

T. Matthews' (said to be fictitious name for John Rogers) version (partly by Tyndale* and Coverdale)

Cranmer's Great Bible (Matthews' revised), the first printed by authority

[Bible reading prohibited]

Geneva version, "Breeches Bible," (the first with
figured verses), 1540-1557; published
Archbishop Parker's, called "The Bishops' Bible"
(eight of the fourteen persons employed being
bishops).

King James' Bible, the present authorised version -revision began 1604; published

Flemish

Spanish (Valencian)

German

[Dr. Benjamin Blayney's revised edition, 1769.] Roman Catholic authorised version: New Testament, at Rheims, 1582; Old Testament, at Douay,

[blocks in formation]

re

Authorised Jewish English version The revision of the English version now in use was commended by the bishops in convocation, 10 Feb. 1870. The committee, including eminent scholars of various denominations, appointed in May, held their first meeting at Westminster Abbey 22 June, 1870.

MODERN TRANSLATIONS.t

1522

1526

1290

1356-84

1526

1524

. 1537

1543

1519

1567

1574

1539 1542-57

1560

1551

1661

1602

N. TEST. BIBLE. 1477

1478

1712

1748

1666

1808

1638

1814

1568

1611

1609-10 1851-61

1530

1535

1487

1541

1550

1475

1471

1569

1822

1588

1589

1488

1561

1663

1686

1743

1748

1767

1814

1822

1821

1823

The British and Foreign Bible Society continue to make and print translations of the Bible in all the dialects of the world; see Polyglot.

* He was strangled at Antwerp, 6 Oct. 1536, at the instigation of Henry VIII. and his council. His last words were, "Lord, open the king of England's eyes!" 14 editions of his Testament had then been published.

"The Bible of Every Land," ed. 1860, published by Messrs. Bagsters, London, is full of information respecting ancient and modern versions of the Bible.

[blocks in formation]

the reputed bequest of the Biddenden maids, two sisters named Chulkhurst. In 1656, Wm. Horner, the rector, was non-suited in an attempt to add the "Bread and Cheese lands" to his glebe.

BIGAMY. The Romans branded the guilty party with an infamous mark; and in England the punishment, formerly, was death. An act respecting it was passed 5 Edw. I. 1276. Viner's Statutes. Declared to be felony, without benefit of clergy, I James I. 1603. Punishable, by imprisonment or transportation, 35 Geo. III. 1794.

BIG BETHEL (Virginia, U.S.). On 10June, 1861, the Federals were defeated in an attack on some Confederate batteries at this place.

BILBOA (N.E. Spain), founded about 1300; was taken by the French and held a few days July 1795. It was delivered from the Carlists by Espartero, assisted by the British, 24 Dec. 1836.

BILL OF EXCEPTIONS. The still existing right of tendering such a bill to a judge, either to his charge, to his definition of the law, or to other errors of the court, at a trial between parties, was provided by the 2nd statute of Westminster, 13 Edw. I. 1284.

BILL OF PAINS, &c.; see Queen Caroline. BILL OF RIGHTS, &c.; see Rights.

BILLIARDS. The French ascribe their invention to Henrique Devigne, an artist, about 1571. Slate billiard tables were introduced in England in 1827.

BILLINGSGATE, the fish-market in London, is said to have derived its name from Belinus Magnus, a British prince, the father of king Lud, 400 B.C., but Stow thinks from a former owner. It was the old port of London, and the customs were paid here under Ethelred II., A.D. 979. Stow. Billingsgate was made a free market, 1699. Chamberlain. Fish by land-carriage, as well as sea-borne, now arrives daily here. In 1849, the market was extended and improved, and a new one was erected in 1852, Mr. Bunning, architect.

BILLS OF EXCHANGE were invented by the Jews as a means of removing their property from nations where they were persecuted, 1160. Anderson. Bills are said to have been used in England, 1307. The only legal mode of sending money from England, 4 Richard II. 1381. Regulated, 1698; first stamped, 1782; duty advanced, 1797; again, June 1801; and since. It was made capital to counterfeit bills of exchange in 1734. In 1825, the year of disastrous speculations in bubbles, it was computed that there were 400 millions of pounds sterling represented by bills of exchange and promissory notes. The present amount is not supposed to exceed 50 millions. The many statutes regarding bills of exchange were consolidated by act 9 Geo. IV. 1828. An act regulating bills of exchange passed 3 Vict. July, 1839. Great alterations were made in the law on the subject by 17 & 18 Vict. c. 83 (1854), and 18 & 19 Vict. c. 67 (1855). Days of grace were abolished in the case of bills of exchange payable on sight in Aug. 1871. Forgery of bills to a large amount to obtain discount was detected by the bank of England, 1 March, 1873.

BILLS OF MORTALITY FOR LONDON. These bills were first compiled by order of Cromwell, about 1538, 30 Hen. VIII., but in a more formal and recognised manner in 1603, after the great plague of that year. No complete series of them has been preserved. They have been superseded by the weekly returns of the registrar-general, since 1837.

« PreviousContinue »