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MAXWELL


82


MAYA


capo Iw fled in disguise to Kranci'. He aiid Lady Nithsdale spent their last years in great poverty, in Rome, in attendance on tlieir exiled king.

M. M. Maxwell Scott.

Maxwell, Winifred, Countes.s of Nithsdale, d.at Rome, May. 174i). She was the daughter of William, first Marriuis of Powis, who foUoweil James II into ex- ile. She is famous in history for the heroic deliver- ance of hor husband from the Tower on 23 Feb., 1716. Her married life was [)assed chiefly at the family seat of Terregles, and here she received the fatal news of her husbaiul's defeat at Preston. After concealing the family papers in a spot still pointed out, she hast- ened to London to intercede for her husband, having little hope however, for, to use her own words: "A Catholic u[ion the borders and one who had a great fol- lowing and whose family had ever upon all occasions stuck to the royal family, could not look for mercy". And so it proved; even her personal appeal to George I was disrcgartled, and Lord Nithsdale was to owe his safety to her alone, ^^'ith great courage and ingenu- ity she contrived his escape from the Tower in female dres.s — on the eve of the day appointed for his execu- tion, according to Lady Cowper's " Diary," 1st ed., p. 85, a reprieve was signed for Lord Nithsdale on the very night of his escape — and after concealing him in London and arranging for his journey to France, this heroic lady returned again to Scotland to secure the family papers which she knew would be of vital im- portance to her son. In fact her zeal made Lady Nithsdale's position a hazardous one, and King George declared she had done him "more mischief than any woman in Christendom". As soon as she was able she joined Lord Nithsdale abroad and they spent their long exile in Rome, where she survived her husband for aljout five years. The autograph letter in which Lady Nithsdale gives the account of her husljand's es- cape, and the l)rown cloak worn by him on the occa- sion, are now in possession of the Duchess of Norfolk, who represents th(^ Nithsdales in the female line.

Fraser. Book of Cacrlareroch (Edinburgh. 1873); Paul, The Scots Peerage (Edinburgh, 1909), VI; Maxwell Scott. The Making of Abbotsford and Incidents in Scottish History (London,

1897). M. M. M.\xwELL Scott.

Maya Indians, the most important of the cul- tured native peoples of North America, both in the degree of their civilization and in population and re- sources, formerly occupying a territory of about 60,- 000 square miles, including the whole of the peninsula of Yucatan, Southern Mexico, together with the adja- cent portion of Northern Guatemala, and still consti- tuting the principal population of the s.-inie region outside of tlie liiTKcr cities. Their lanf;u:itri', which is actually sui>plantiiiK Sp;inish to a grciit cxiinl, is still spoken by about 300,000 persons, of whuni Uvu-lhirds are pure Maya, the remainder being whitesantl of mixed blood. The Mayan linguistic stock includes some twenty tribes, speaking closely related dialects, and (excepting the Huastec of northern Vera Cruz and south-east San Luis Potosi, Mexico) occupying contigu- ous territory in Taliasco, Chiapas, and the Yucatan peninsula, :i large part of Guatemala, and smaller por- tions of Honduras and Salvador. The ancient build- ers of the ruined cities of Palenque and Copan were of the same stock. The most important tribes or na- tions, ;ifter the Maya proper, were the Quiche and Cakchiquel of Guatemala. All the tribes of this stock were of liigh culture, the Mayan civilization being the most advanced, and probably the most ancient, in aboriginal North America. They still number alto- gether about two million souls.

I. Hlstorv. — The Maya proper seem to have en- tered Yucatan from the west. As usual with ancient nations, it is difficult in the beginning to separate myth from history, their earliest mentioned leader and deified hero, Itzamnd, being considered by Brinton


to be .simply the sun-god common to the whole Mayan stock, lie is represented as having led the first migra- tion from the Far East, beyond the ocean, along a pathw;iy miraculously opened through the waters. The .second migration, which seems to have lieen his- toric, w:is led from the west by Kukulcan, a miracu- lous priest and teacher, who became the founder of the May:i kingdom and civilization. F:iiily good author- ity, based upon stuily of the Maya chronicles and cal- end:ir, places this lie^innin'; near the close of the .sec- ond century of the (Christian Era. Under Kukulcan the people were divided into four tribes, ruled l)y as many kingly families: the Cocom, Tutul-xiu, Itza, and Chele. To the first family lielonged Kukulcan him- self, who established his residence at Mayapan, which thus became the capital of the whole nation. The Tutul-xiu held vassal rule at Uxmal, the Itzd. at Chi- chen-Itza, and the Chele at Izamal. To the Chele was appointed tlic hereditary high priesthood, and their city li<'c:ime the sacred city of the Maya. Each pro- vincial king was obliged to spend a part of each year with the monarch at Mayapan. This condition con- tinued down to about the eleventh centur\-, when, as the result of a successful revolt of the provincial kings, Mayapan was destroyed, and the svijirenie rule p;issed to the Tutul-xiu at Uxmal. Later on Mayapan was rebuilt and was again the capital of the nation until about the middle of the fifteenth century, when, in consequence of a general revolt against the reigning dynasty, it was finally destroyed, and the monarchy was split up into a number of independent petty states, of which eighteen existed on the peninsula at the arrival of the Spaniards. In consequence of this civil war a part of the Itzd emigrated south to Lake Peten, in Guatemala, where they established a king- dom with their capital and sacred city on Floras Island, in the lake.

On his second voyage Columbus heard of Y'ucatan as a distant country of clothed men. On his fifth voy- age (1503-04) he encountered, south-west of Cuba, a canoe-load of Intlians with cotton clotliing for barter, who said that the,\' came from the country' of Maya. In 150(5 Pinzon sighted the coast, and in 1511 twenty men untler \'aklivia were wrecked on the shores of the sacred island of Cozurael, several being captiireil and sacrificed to the idols. In 1517 an expedition under Francisco de Cordova landed on the north coast, dis- covering well-built cities, but, after several bloody en- gagements with the natives, was compelled to retire. Father Alonso Gonzalez, who accompanied this expe- dition, found opportunity at one landing to explore a temple, and bring off some of the sacred images and gold ornaments. In 1518 a strong expedition under Juan de Cirijalva, from Cuba, landed near Cozumel and took formal possession for Spain. For Father Juan Diaz, who on this occasion celebrated Mass upon the summit of one of the heathen temples, the honour is also claimed of having afterwards been the first to celebrate Mass in the City of Mexico. Near Cozumel, also, was rescued the young monk Aguilar, one of the two survivors of Valdivia's party, who, though naked to the breech-cloth, still carried his Breviary in a pouch. Proceeding northwards, Grijaba made the en- tire circuit of the peninsula before returning, having had another desperate engagement with the Maya near Campeche. After the conquest of Mexico, in 1521, Francisco de Montejo, under commission as Governor of Yucatan, landed (1527) to effect the con- quest of the country, but met with such desperate re- sistance that after eight years of incessant fighting every Spaniard had been driven out. In 1.540, after two more years of the same desperate warfare, his son Francisco established the first Spanish settlement at Campeche. In the next year, in a bloody battle at Tihoo, he completely broke the power of Maya resist- ance, and a few months later (Jan., 1,542) founded on the site of the ruined city the new capital, Merida. In