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CAPGRAVE


was abandoned during the period of Spanish ascendancy over Portugal (1580–1640) in favour of Ribeira Brava (4000), on the north coast, a town which now has a considerable trade.

Sal (750), in the north-east of the archipelago, has an area of 75 sq. m. It was originally named Lana, or Lhana (“plain”), from the flatness of the greater part of its surface. It derives its modern name from a natural salt-spring, but most of the salt produced here is now obtained from artificial salt-pans. Towards the close of the 17th century it was inhabited only by a few shepherds, and by slaves employed in the salt-works. In 1705 it was entirely abandoned, owing to drought and consequent famine; and only in 1808 was the manufacture of salt resumed. A railway, the first built in Portuguese territory, was opened in 1835. The hostile Brazilian tariffs of 1889 for a time nearly destroyed the salt trade. Whales, turtles and fish are abundant, and dairy-farming is a prosperous industry. There are many small harbours, which render every part of the island easily accessible.

Boa Vista (2600), the most easterly island of the archipelago, has an area of 235 sq. m. It was named São Christovão by its discoverers in the 15th century. Its modern name, meaning “fair view,” is singularly inappropriate, for with the exception of a few coco-nut trees there is no wood, and in the dry season the island seems nothing but an arid waste. The little vegetation that then exists is in the bottom of ravines, where corn, beans and cotton are cultivated. The springs of good water are few. The coast is indented by numerous shallow bays, the largest of which is the harbour of the capital, Porto Sal-Rei, on the western side (pop. about 1000). A chain of heights, flanked by inferior ranges, traverses the middle of Boa Vista, culminating in Monte Gallego (1250 ft.), towards the east. In the north-western angle of the island there is a low tract of loose sand, which is inundated with water during the rainy season; and here are some extensive salt-pans, where the sea-water is evaporated by the heat of the sun. Salt and orchil are exported. A good deal of fish is taken on the coast and supplies the impoverished islanders with much of their food.

Maio (1000) has an area of 70 sq. m., and resembles Sal and Boa Vista in climate and configuration, although it belongs to the Sotavento group. Its best harbour is that of Nossa Senhora da Luz, on the south-west coast, and is commonly known as Porto Inglez or English Road, from the fact that it was occupied until the end of the 18th century by the British, who based their claim on the marriage-treaty between Charles II. and Catherine of Braganza (1662). The island is a barren, treeless waste, surrounded by rocks. Its inhabitants, who live chiefly by the manufacture of salt, by cattle-farming and by fishing, are compelled to import most of their provisions from São Thiago, with which, for purposes of local administration, Maio is included.

São Thiago (63,000) is the most populous and the largest of the Cape Verde Islands, having an area of 350 sq. m. It is also one of the most unhealthy, except among the mountains over 2000 ft. high. The interior is a mass of volcanic heights, formed of basalt covered with chalk and clay, and culminating in the central Pico da Antonia (4500 ft.), a sharply pointed cone. There are numerous ravines, furrowed by perennial streams, and in these ravines are grown large quantities of coffee, oranges, sugar-cane and physic-nuts, besides a variety of tropical fruits and cereals. Spirits are distilled from sugar-cane, and coarse sugar is manufactured. The first capital of the islands was Ribeira Grande, to-day called Cidade Velha or the Old City, a picturesque town with a cathedral and ruined fort. It was built in the 15th century on the south coast, was made an episcopal see in 1532, and became capital of the archipelago in 1592. In 1712 it was sacked by a French force, but despite its poverty and unhealthy situation it continued to be the capital until 1770, when its place was taken by Praia on the south-east. Praia (often written Praya) has a fine harbour, a population of 21,000 and a considerable trade. It contains the palace of the governor-general, a small natural history museum, a meteorological observatory and an important station for the cables between South America, Europe and West Africa. It occupies a basalt plateau, overlooking the bay (Porto da Praia), and has an attractive appearance, with its numerous coco-nut trees and the peak of Antonia rising in the background above successive steps of tableland. Its unhealthiness has been mitigated by the partial drainage of a marsh lying to the east.

Fogo (17,600) is a mass of volcanic rock, almost circular in shape and measuring about 190 sq. m. In the centre a still active volcano, the Pico do Cano, rises to a height of about 10,000 ft. Its crater, which stands within an older crater, measures 3 m. in circumference and is visible at sea for nearly 100 m. It emits smoke and ashes at intervals; and in 1680, 1785, 1799, 1816, 1846, 1852 and 1857 it was in eruption. After the first and most serious of these outbreaks, the island, which had previously been called São Felippe, was renamed Fogo, i.e. “Fire.” The ascent of the mountain was first made in 1819 by two British naval officers, named Vidal and Mudge. The island is divided, like Santo Antão, into a fertile and a sterile zone. Its northern half produces fine coffee, beans, maize and sugar-cane; the southern half is little better than a desert, with oases of cultivated land near its few springs. São Felippe or Nossa Senhora da Luz (3000), on the west coast, is the capital. The islanders claim to be the aristocracy of the archipelago, and trace their descent from the original Portuguese settlers. The majority, however, are negroes or mulattoes. Drought and famine, followed by severe epidemics, have been especially frequent here, notably in the years 1887–1889.

Brava (9013), the most southerly of the islands, has an area of 23 sq. m. Though mountainous, and in some parts sterile, it is very closely cultivated, and, unlike the other islands, is divided into a multitude of small holdings. The desire to own land is almost universal, and as the population numbers upwards of 380 per sq. m., and the system of tenure gives rise to many disputes, the peasantry are almost incessantly engaged in litigation. The women, who are locally celebrated for their beauty, far outnumber the men, who emigrate at an early age to America. These emigrants usually return richer and better educated than the peasantry of the neighbouring islands. To the north of Brava lie a group of reefs among which two islets (Ilheus Seccos or Ilheus do Rombo) are conspicuous. These are usually known as the Ilheu de Dentro (Inner Islet) and the Ilheu de Fóra (Outer Islet). The first is used as a shelter for whaling and fishing vessels, and as pasturage for cattle; the second has supplied much guano for export.

History.—The earliest known discovery of the islands was made in 1456 by the Venetian captain Alvise Cadamosto (q.v.), who had entered the service of Prince Henry the Navigator. The archipelago was granted by King Alphonso V. of Portugal to his brother, Prince Ferdinand, whose agents completed the work of discovery. Ferdinand was an absolute monarch, exercising a commercial monopoly. In 1461 he sent an expedition to recruit slaves on the coast of Guinea and thus to people the islands, which were almost certainly uninhabited at the time. On his death in 1470 his privileges reverted to the crown, and were bestowed by John II. on Prince Emanuel, by whose accession to the throne in 1495 the archipelago finally became part of the royal dominions. Its population and importance rapidly increased; its first bishop was consecrated in 1532, its first governor-general appointed about the end of the century. It was enriched by the frequent visits of Portuguese fleets, on their return to Europe laden with treasure from the East, and by the presence of immigrants from Madeira, who introduced better agricultural methods and several new industries, such as dyeing and distillation of spirits. The failure to maintain an equal rate of progress in the 18th and 19th centuries was due partly to drought, famine and disease—in particular, to the famines of 1730–1733 and 1831–1833—and partly to gross misgovernment by the Portuguese officials.

The best general account of the islands is given in vols. xxiii. and xxvii. of the Boletim of the Lisbon Geographical Society (1905 and 1908), and in Madeira, Cabo Verde, e Guiné, by J. A. Martins (Lisbon, 1891). Official statistics are published in Lisbon at irregular intervals. See also Über die Capverden (Leipzig, 1884) and Die Vulcane der Capverden (Graz, 1882), both by C. Dölter. A useful map, entitled Ocean Atlantico Norte, Archipelago do Cabo Verde, was issued in 1900 by the Commissão de Cartographia, Lisbon.


CAPGRAVE, JOHN (1393–1464), English chronicler and hagiologist, was born at Lynn in Norfolk on the 21st of April 1393. He became a priest, took the degree of D.D. at Oxford, where he lectured on theology, and subsequently joined the order of Augustinian hermits. Most of his life he spent in the house of the order at Lynn, of which he probably became prior; he was certainly provincial of his order in England, which involved visits to other friaries, and he made at least one journey to Rome. He died on the 12th of August 1464.

Capgrave was an indefatigable student, and was reputed one of the most learned men of his age. The bulk of his works are theological: sermons, commentaries and lives of saints. His reputation as a hagiologist rests on his Nova legenda Angliae, or Catalogus of the English saints, but this was no more than a recension of the Sanctilogium which the chronicler John of Tinmouth, a monk of St Albans, had completed in 1366, which in its turn was largely borrowed from the Sanctilogium of Guido, abbot of St Denis. The Nova legenda was printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1516 and again in 1527. Capgrave’s historical works are The Chronicle of England (from the Creation to 1417), written in English and unfinished at his death, and the Liber de illustribus Henricis, completed between 1446 and 1453. The latter is a collection of lives of German emperors (918–1198), English kings (1100–1446) and other famous Henries in various parts of the world (1031–1406). The portion devoted to Henry VI. of England is a contemporary record, but consists mainly of ejaculations in praise of the pious king. The accounts of the