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BILOXI—BIMETALLISM

and several bishops in the chapter-house at Westminster, he was convicted of heresy, sentence being deferred while efforts were made to induce him to recant, which eventually he did. After being kept for more than a year in the Tower, he was released in 1529, and went back to Cambridge. Here he was overcome with remorse for his apostasy, and after two years determined to preach again what he had held to be the truth. The churches being no longer open to him, he preached openly in the fields, finally arriving in Norwich, where the bishop, Richard Nix, caused him to be arrested. Articles were drawn up against him by Convocation, he was tried, degraded from his orders and handed over to the civil authorities to be burned. The sentence was carried out in London on the 19th of August 1531. A parliamentary inquiry was threatened into this case, not because parliament approved of Bilney’s doctrine but because it was alleged that Bilney’s execution had been obtained by the ecclesiastics without the proper authorization by the state. In 1534 Bishop Nix was condemned on this charge to the confiscation of his property. The significance of Bilney’s execution lies in the fact that on essential points he was an orthodox Roman Catholic.

See Letters and Papers of Henry VIII. vols. iv.-v.; Foxe’s Acts and Monuments; Gairdner’s History of the Church; Pollard’s Henry VIII.

 (A. F. P.) 

BILOXI, a city of Harrison county, Mississippi, U.S.A., in the south part of the state, on Biloxi Bay, a branch of the Mississippi Sound, which is a part of the Gulf of Mexico. By rail it is 80 m. N.E. of New Orleans and 61 m. S.E. of Mobile, Alabama. Pop. (1880) 1540; (1890) 3234; (1900) 5467 (949 being negroes and 455 foreign-born); (1910) 7988. The city is served by a branch of the Louisville & Nashville railway, and by an electric railway extending to Bay St Louis, through Gulfport (pop., 1900, 1060; 1910, 6386), 13 m. S.W., the port of entry of the Pearl River customs district, whose exports, chiefly timber, lumber, naval stores and charcoal, were valued at $8,392,271 in 1907. Biloxi is both a summer and a winter resort, particularly for the people of New Orleans and Mobile, and has a fine beach, extending for about 12 m. around its peninsula, and bordered by an automobile drive; along the beach are some attractive residences, hotels and boarding houses, and several sanatoriums. The city’s principal industries are the canning of oysters, shrimp, fish, figs and vegetables, and the manufacture of fertilizers and flour. A beautiful thin faience with remarkable metallic glazes is made here. The municipality owns the water-works, the water being obtained from artesian wells. Pierre le Moyne d’Iberville (1661-1706) in 1699 built Fort Maurepas across the bay from the present city; and the settlement there, called Biloxi after the Biloxi Indians, was the first to be established by the French in this region. In 1702 this post, known as Old Biloxi, was abandoned, and the seat of government was removed to the Mobile river. In 1712 a settlement was made on the present site, being the first permanent settlement within what is now the state of Mississippi. Many of the early settlers were French Canadians, who came down the Mississippi to join the new colony. Biloxi was again the capital from 1719 until 1722. It was incorporated as a village in 1872, and was chartered as a city in 1896.

BILSTON, a market town of Staffordshire, England, 2½ m. S.E. of Wolverhampton and 124 N.W. of London, in the Black Country. Pop. of urban district (1901) 24,034. It is served by the Great Western railway, and by the London & North-Western at Ettingshall Road station. In the vicinity are very productive mines of coal and ironstone, as well as sand of fine quality for casting, and grinding-stones for cutlers. Bilston contains numerous furnaces, forges, rolling and slitting mills for the preparation of iron, and a great variety of factories for japanned and painted goods, brass-work and heavy iron goods. Though retaining no relics of antiquity, the town is very ancient, appearing in Domesday. The parish church of St Leonard, dating as it stands mainly from 1827, is on the site of a building of the 13th century. Bilston suffered severely from an outbreak of cholera in 1832. The town is within the parliamentary borough of Wolverhampton.

BILTONG, a South African Dutch word (from bil, buttock, and tong, tongue), for sun-dried strips of antelope or buffalo meat.

BIMANA (Lat. “two-handed”), a word first used by the naturalist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach to distinguish the order of man from Quadrumana or other mammals. The term was popularized by Cuvier, and the majority of writers followed him in its adoption. In 1863, however, Huxley in his Man’s Place in Nature demonstrated that the higher apes might fairly be included in Bimana. Again and again it has been proved that the human great toe can be by constant practice used as a thumb; artists exist who have painted pictures grasping the brush with their toes, and violinists have been known to play their instruments in the same manner. Among many savage races there is developed a remarkable power of foot-grasp, which in a lesser degree is often so noticeable among sailors. Haeckel calls attention to the fact that a baby can hold a spoon with the big-toe as with a thumb. Man, in a word, is potentially quadrumanous.

BIMETALLISM. The very general employment of both gold and silver for currency purposes (see Money) has given rise to serious practical difficulties which have in turn led to keen theoretical discussion as to the proper remedies to be employed. Though every arrangement under which two metals form the money of a region may be described as “bimetallism,” the term—as often happens in economics—has received a specialized meaning. It denotes a system under which the two metals are freely received by the mint and are equally available as legal tender. The last clause implies the establishment of a definite ratio in value between the two metals (e.g. 1 oz. of gold = 15½ oz. of silver) so that the title “rated bimetallism” may be given to it, in contradistinction to the “unrated bimetallism” which exists wherever two metals circulate together, but have their relative values determined, not by law, but by “the higgling of the market.” Further, the inventor of the term—H. Cernuschi in 1869—regarded it as properly applicable to an international arrangement by which a number of states agree to adopt the same ratio, rather than to the use of the two metals by a single country, which may be described as national bimetallism. International bimetallism is at all events the form which has attracted attention in recent times, and it is certainly the most important.

Regarded from the historical point of view it appears that the failure of separate countries to maintain the two metals in circulation was the cause which produced the idea of bimetallism as an international system. We find first the upholders of a national double standard, as in France and the United States, and these are followed by the advocates of bimetallism set up by a combination of countries. The theoretical considerations which underlie the controversy between the supporters and the opponents of bimetallism find their appropriate place in the article Money, as does also the earlier history of the double standard. The circumstances that have led to the prominence of the bimetallic question and the principal events that have marked the course of the movement form the subject of this article.

In the earlier years of the 19th century, when the monetary disturbances that resulted from the Revolutionary wars had ceased, we find France (1803) and the United States (1792) with the double standard legally established. England, on the other hand, had in 1816 accepted by law the gold standard, which had come into use in the 18th century. Silver formed the currency of the other European countries. The great discoveries of gold in California (1848) and Australia (1851) brought about the displacement of silver by gold in France, and the continuance of gold as the principal currency metal in the United States, where by the law of 1834 it had been somewhat over-rated (1 : 16), as compared with the ratio adopted in France (1 : 15½), and had therefore expelled most of the silver previously in circulation. Between 1848 and 1860 over £100,000,000 of gold was coined in France, while an equivalent amount of silver was exported, principally to the East.

At this time the weight of economic and official opinion was very decidedly in favour of the single gold standard as the best system. In 1865 the Latin Union was established, in which the French currency system was adopted and was followed by the