Land varies in value according to the amount of water available, but as a rule commands an extraordinarily high price. In the Terrenos de secano, or non-irrigable districts, the average price of an acre ranges from £7 to £17; in the Terrenes de riego, or irrigable land, it ranges from £100 to £250. Until 1853 wine was the staple product, and although even the finest brand (known as Vidonia) never equalled the best Madeira vintages, it was largely consumed abroad, especially in England. The annual value of the wine exported often exceeded £500,000. In 1853, however, the grape disease attacked the vineyards; and thenceforward the production of cochineal, which had been introduced in 1825, took the place of viticulture so completely that, twenty years later, the exports of cochineal were worth £556,000. France and England were the chief purchasers. This industry declined in the later years of the 19th century, and was supplanted by the cultivation of sugar-cane, and afterwards of bananas, tomatoes, potatoes and onions. Bananas are the most important crop. Other fruits grown in smaller quantities include oranges, figs, dates, pineapples, guavas, custard-apples and prickly pears. Tobacco-planting is encouraged by the Spanish government, and the sugar trade is maintained, despite severe competition. The grain harvest does not supply the needs of the islanders. Pigs and sheep of a small, coarse-woolled breed, are numerous; and large herds of goats wander in an almost wild state over the higher hills. Fishing is a very important industry, employing over 10,000 hands. The fleet of about 2200 boats operates along some 600 m. of the African coast, between Cape Cantin and the Arguin Bank. Shipbuilding is carried on at Las Palmas; and the minor industries include the manufacture of cloth, drawn-linen (calado) work, silk, baskets, hats, &c. A group of Indian merchants, who employ coolie labour, produce silken, jute and cotton goods, Oriental embroideries, wrought silver, brass-ware, porcelain, carved sandal-wood, &c. The United Kingdom heads the import trade in coal, textiles, hardware, iron, soap, candles and colonial products. Timber comes chiefly from North America and Scandinavia, alcohol from Cuba and the United States, wheat and flour from various British possessions, maize from Morocco and Argentina. Large quantities of miscellaneous imports are sent by Germany, Spain, France and Italy. Bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, sugar and wine are exported. The total value of the foreign trade fluctuates very greatly, and the difficulty of forming an estimate is enhanced in many years by the absence of official statistics; but imports and exports together probably amount in a normal year to about £1,000,000. The chief ports are Las Palmas and Santa Cruz, which annually accommodate about 7000 vessels of over 8,000,000 tons. In 1854 all the ports of the Canaries were practically declared free; but on the 1st of November 1904 a royal order prohibited foreign vessels from trading between one island and another. This decree deprived the outlying islands of their usual means of communication, and, in answer to a protest by the inhabitants, its operation was postponed.
History.—There is ground for supposing that the Phoenicians were not ignorant of the Canaries. The Romans learned of their existence through Juba, king of Mauretania, whose account of an expedition to the islands, made about 40 B.C., was preserved by the elder Pliny. He mentions “Canaria, so called from the multitude of dogs of great size,” and “Nivaria, taking its name from perpetual snow, and covered with clouds,” doubtless Teneriffe. Canaria was said to abound in palms and pine trees. Both Plutarch and Ptolemy speak of the Fortunate Islands, but from their description it is not clear whether the Canaries or one of the other island groups in the western Atlantic are meant; see Isles Of The Blest. In the 12th century the Canaries were visited by Arab navigators, and in 1334 they were rediscovered by a French vessel driven among them by a gale. A Portuguese expedition, undertaken about the same time, failed to find the archipelago, and want of means frustrated the project of conquest entertained by a grandson of Alphonso X. of Castile, named Juan de la Cerda, who had obtained a grant of the islands and had been crowned king of them at Avignon, by Pope Clement VI. Two or possibly more Spanish expeditions followed, and a monastic mission was established, but at the close of the 14th century the Guanches remained unconquered and unconverted. In 1402, however, Gadifer de la Salle and Jean de Béthencourt (q.v.) sailed with two vessels from Rochelle, and landed early in July on Lanzarote. The relations between these two leaders, and their respective shares in the work of conquest and exploration, have been the subject of much controversy. Between 1402 and 1404 La Salle conquered Lanzarote and part of Fuerteventura, besides exploring other islands; Béthencourt meanwhile sailed to Cadiz for reinforcements. He returned in 1404 with the title of king, which he had secured from Henry III. of Castile. La Salle, thus placed in a position of inferiority, left the islands and appealed unsuccessfully for redress at the court of Castile. In 1405 Béthencourt visited Normandy, and returned with fresh colonists who conquered Hierro. In December 1406 he left the Canaries, entrusting their government to his nephew Maciot de Béthencourt, and reserving for himself a share in any profits obtained, and the royal title. Eight years of misrule followed before Queen Catherine of Castile intervened. Maciot thereupon sold his office to her envoy, Pedro Barba de Campos; sailed to Lisbon and resold it to Prince Henry the Navigator; and a few years afterwards resold it once more to Enrique de Guzman, count of Niebla. Jean de Béthencourt, who died in 1422, bequeathed the islands to his brother Reynaud; Guzman sold them to another Spaniard named Paraza, who was forced to re-sell to Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile in 1476; and Prince Henry twice endeavoured to enforce his own claims. Meanwhile the Guanches remained unconquered throughout the greater part of the archipelago. In 1479 the sovereignty of Ferdinand and Isabella over the Canaries was established by the treaty of Alcaçova, between Portugal and Castile. After much bloodshed, and with reinforcements from the mother country, the Spaniards, under Pedro de Vera, became masters of Grand Canary in 1483. Palma was conquered in 1491, and Teneriffe in 1495, by Alonzo de Lugo. The archipelago was included for administrative purposes in the captaincy-general of Andalusia until 1833, when it was made a separate province. In 1902 a movement in favour of local autonomy was repressed by Spanish troops.
Bibliography.—For a general description of the islands, see Les Îles Canaries, by J. Pitard and L. Proust (Paris, 1909); Madeira and the Canary Islands, by A. Samler Brown, a guide for travellers and invalids, with coloured maps and plates (London, 1901); A Guide to the Canary Islands, by J. H. T. Ellerbeck (London, 1892); The Canary Islands as a Winter Resort, by J. Whitford (London, 1890, with maps and illustrations); De la Tierra Canaria, by L. and A. Millares Cubas (Madrid, 1894); and Physikalische Beschreibung der kanarischen Inseln, by L. von Buch (Berlin, 1825). Besides the interesting folio atlas of von Buch (Paris, 1836), good modern maps have been published by E. Stanford (London, 1891, 12½ English m. to 1 in.), and M. Perez y Rodriquez (Madrid, 1896–1898, 4 sheets). See also Histoire naturelle des îles Canaries, by P. Barker-Webb and S. Berthelot (Paris, 1835–1849); and “Les Îles Canaries et les parages de pêche canariens,” by Dr. A. Taquin, in the B.S.R. Beige G. 26 (1902), and 27 (1903); and, for history and antiquities, the Historia general de las islas Canarias, by A. Millares Cubas, in 10 vols. (Las Palmas, 1893–1895), and Historia de la Inquisicion en las islas Canarias, by the same author (Las Palmas, 1874); Antiquités canariennes, by S. Berthelot (Paris, 1879).
CANCALE, a fishing port of north-western France in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine on the Bay of Cancale, 9 m. E.N.E. of St Malo by road. Pop. (1906) town 3827, commune 7061. It exports oysters, which are found in its bay in large numbers and of excellent quality, and equips a fleet for the Newfoundland cod-fisheries. The harbour is protected by the rocks known as the Rochers de Cancale. In 1758 an English army under the duke of Marlborough landed here for the purpose of attacking St Malo and pillaged the town. It was again bombarded by the English in 1779.
CANCEL (from the Lat. cancelli, a plural diminutive of cancer, a grating or lattice, from which are also derived “chancel” and “chancellor”), a word meaning to cross out, from the