Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
355
BANNS OF MARRIAGE—BANTAM

improvised banners. Their cries of "slay, slay!" seemed to the wearied English to betoken the advance of a great reserve, and in a few minutes the whole English army broke and fled in disorder down the slope. Many perished in the burn, and the demoralized fugitives were hunted by the peasantry until they re-crossed the English border. One earl, forty-two barons and bannerets, two hundred knights, seven hundred esquires and probably 10,000 foot were killed in the battle and the pursuit. One earl, twenty-two barons and bannerets and sixty-eight knights fell into the hands of the victors, whose total loss of 4000 men included, it is said, only two knights.

See J. E. Shearer, Fact and Fiction in the Story of Bannockburn (1909).


BANNS OF MARRIAGE (formerly bannes, from A.S. gebann, proclamation, Fr. ban, Med. Lat. bannum), the public legal notice of an impending marriage. The church in earliest days was forewarned of marriages (Tertullian, Ad Uxorem, De Pudicitia, c. 4). The first canonical enactment on the subject in the English church is that contained in the 11th canon of the synod of Westminster in London (A.D. 1200), which orders that "no marriage shall be contracted without banns thrice published in the church, unless by special authority of the bishop." It is, however, believed that the practice was in France as old as the 9th century, and certainly Odo, bishop of Paris, ordered it in 1176. Some have thought that the custom originated in the ancient rule that all "good knights and true," who elected to take part in the tournaments, should hang up their shields in the nearest church for some weeks before the opening of the lists, so that, if any "impediment" existed, they might be "warned off." By the Lateran Council of 1215 the publication of banns was made compulsory on all Christendom. In early times it was usual for the priest to betroth the pair formally in the name of the Blessed Trinity; and sometimes the banns were published at vespers, sometimes during mass. In the United Kingdom, under the canon law and by statute, banns are the normal preliminary to marriage; but a marriage may also be solemnized without the publication of banns, by obtaining a licence or a registrar's certificate. In America there is no statutory requirement; and the practice of banns (though general in the colonial period) is practically confined to the Roman Catholics.


BANNU, a town and district of British India, in the Derajat division of the North-West Frontier Province. The town (also called Edwardesabad and Dhulipnagar) lies in the north-west corner of the district, in the valley of the Kurram river. Pop. (1901) 14,300. It forms the base for all punitive expeditions to the Tochi Valley and Waziri frontier.

The district of Bannu, which only consists of the Bannu and Marwat tahsils since the constitution of the North-West Frontier Province in 1901, contains an area of 1680 sq. m. lying north of the Indus. The cis-Indus portions of Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan now comprises the new Punjab district of Mianwali. In addition to the Indus the other streams flowing through the district are the Kurram (which falls into the Indus) and its tributary the Gambila. The valley of Bannu proper, stretching to the foot of the frontier hills, forms an irregular oval, measuring 60 m. from north to south and about 40 m. from east to west. In 1901 the population was 231,485, of whom the great majority were Mahommedans. The principal tribes inhabiting the district are: (1) Waziri Pathans, recent immigrants from the hills, for the most part peaceable and good cultivators; (2) Marwats, a Pathan race, inhabiting the lower and more sandy portions of the Bannu valley; (3) Bannuchis, a mongrel Afghan tribe of bad physique and mean vices. The inhabitants of this district have always been very independent and stubbornly resisted the Afghan and Sikh predecessors of the British. After the annexation of the Punjab the valley was administered by Herbert Edwardes so thoroughly that it became a source of strength instead of weakness during the Mutiny. The inhabitants of the valley itself are now peaceful, but it is always subject to incursion from the Waziri tribes in the Tochi valley and the neighbouring hills. Salt is quarried on government account at Kalabagh and alum is largely obtained in the same neighbourhood. The chief export is wheat. A military road leads from Bannu town towards Dera Ismail Khan. The Indus, which is nowhere bridged within the district, is navigable for native boats throughout its course of 76 m. The chief frontier tribes on the border are the Waziris, Battannis and Dawaris. All these are described under their separate names.


BANSDA, a native state in the south Gujarat division of Bombay, India, belonging to the Surat agency. Area, 215 sq. m. Pop. (1901) 40,382, showing a decrease of 2% in the decade; estimated revenue £19,508. Its chief is a rajput. About half the total area of the state is cultivable, but the bulk is forested.


BANSHEE (Irish bean sidhe; Gaelic ban sith, "woman of the fairies"), a supernatural being in Irish and general Celtic folklore, whose mournful screaming, or "keening," at night is held to foretell the death of some member of the household visited. In Ireland legends of the banshee belong more particularly to certain families in whose records periodic visits from the spirit are chronicled. A like ghostly informer figures in Brittany folklore. The Irish banshee is held to be the distinction only of families of pure Milesian descent. The Welsh have the banshee under the name gwrach y Rhibyn (witch of Rhibyn). Sir Walter Scott mentions a belief in the banshee as existing in the highlands of Scotland (Demonology and Witchcraft, p. 351). A Welsh death-portent often confused with the gwrach y Rhibyn and banshee is the cyhyraeth, the groaning spirit.

See W. Wirt Sikes, British Goblins (1880).


BANSWARA (literally "the forest country"), a rajput feudatory state in Rajputana, India. It borders on Gujarat and is bounded on the N. by the native states of Dungarpur and Udaipur or Mewar; on the N.E. and E. by Partabgarh; on the S. by the dominions of Holkar and the state of Jabua and on the W. by the state of Rewa Kantha. Banswara state is about 45 m. in length from N. to S., and 33 m. in breadth from E. to W., and has an area of 1946 sq. m. The population in 1901 was 165,350. The Mahi is the only river in the state and great scarcity of water occurs in the dry season. The Banswara chief belongs to the family of Udaipur. During the vigour of the Delhi empire Banswara formed one of its dependencies; on its decline the state passed under the Mahrattas. Wearied out by their oppressions, its chief in 1812 petitioned for English protection, on the condition of his state becoming tributary on the expulsion of the Mahrattas. The treaty of 1818 gave effect to this arrangement, Britain guaranteeing the prince against external enemies and refractory chiefs; he, on his part, pledging himself to be guided by her representative in the administration of his state. The chief is assisted in the administration by a hamdar or minister. The estimated gross revenue is £17,000 and the tribute £2500. The custom of suttee, or widow-burning, has long been abolished in the state, but the people retain all their superstitions regarding witches and sorcery; and as late as 1870, a Bhil woman, about eighty years old, was swung to death at Kushalgarh on an accusation of witchcraft. The perpetrators of the crime were sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment, but they had the sympathy of the people on their side. The chief town is Banswara, situated about 8 m. W. of the Mahi river, surrounded by an old disused rampart and adorned by various Hindu temples, with the battlements of the chief's palace overlooking it. Its population in 1901 was 7038. The petty state of Kushalgarh is feudatory to Banswara.


BANTAM, the westernmost residency of the island of Java, Dutch East Indies, bounded W. by the Strait of Sunda, N. by the Java sea, E. by the residencies of Batavia and Preanger, and S. by the Indian Ocean. It also includes Princes Island and Dwars-in-den-weg ("right-in-the-way") Island in Sunda Strait, as well as several smaller islands along the coasts. Bantam had a population in 1897 of 709,339, including 302 Europeans, 1959 Chinese and 89 Arabs and other Asiatic foreigners. The natives are Sundanese, except in the northern or Serang division, where they are Javanese. The coast is low-lying and frequently marshy. The northern portion of the residency constitutes the most fertile portion, is generally flat with a hilly group in the middle, where the two inactive volcanoes, Karang and Pulosari,