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MALDIVE ISLANDS—MALEBRANCHE

in 1870 to form the town of Everett. Malden was the birthplace of Adoniram Judson, the “ apostle to Burma.” Michael Wigglesworth was pastor here from 1656 until 1705. See D. P. Corey, History of Malden (Malden, 1899); and Malden, Past and Present (Malden, 1899).


MALDIVE ISLANDS, an archipelago of coral islets in the Indian Ocean, forming a chain between 7° 6' N. and 0° 42' S. It consists of seventeen atolls with an immense number of islands, of which some three hundred are inhabited. In the extreme south are the isolated atolls of Addu and Fua-Mulaku, separated from Suvadiva by the Equatorial Channel, which is itself separated from the main chain of atolls by One-and-ahalf-degree Channel! Following the chain northward from

this channel we have Haddumati and Kolumadulu, after which the chain becomes double: to the east the chief atolls are Mulaku, Felidu, South Malé, North Malé, Kardiva (where the channel of the same name, 3 5 m. broad, partly breaks the chain), and Fadiffolu. To the west are South Nilandu, North N ilandu, Ari, South Mahlos, North Mahlos and Miladumadulu. To the north again are Tiladumati and Ihavandifulu. Finally, to the north of Eight-degree Channel is Minikoi, 71 m. from the nearest point of the Maldives, and 110 m. from that of the Laccadives to the north. The main part of the archipelago, north of One-a'nda-half-degree Channel, consists of a series of banks either surrounded or studded all over with reefs (see J. S. Gardiner, “ Formation of the Maldives, ” in Geographical Jonrn. xix. 277 seq.). Mr Gardiner regarded these banks as plateaus rising to different elevations beneath the surface of the sea from a main plateau rising steeply from the great depths of the Indian Ocean. After the Portuguese, from about 1518 onwards, had attempted many times to establish themselves on the islands by force, and after the Maldivians had endured frequent raids by the Mopla pirates of the Malabar coast, they began to send tokens of homage and claims of protection (the first recorded being in 1645) to the rulers of Ceylon, and their association with this island has continued practically ever since. The hereditary sultan of the archipelago is tributary to the British government of Ceylon. The population of the Maldives is estimated at 30, o0o. All are Mahommedans. By Messrs. Gardiner and Cooper they are classed in four ethnological divisions. (1) Those of the atolls north of the Kardiva Channel. Here the reefs are generally less perfect than elsewhere, seldom forming complete central lagoons, and as they were formerly exposed to the constant attacks of the Mopla pirates from India, the people are hardier and more vigorous than their less warlike southern neighbours. They annually visited the coasts of India or Ceylon, and often married Indian wives, thus acquiring distinct racial characters of an approximately Dravidian type. (2) Those of the central division, comprising the atolls between North Malé and Haddumati, who are under the direct rule of the sultan, and have been more exposed to Arab influences. They formerly traded with Arabia and Malaysia, and many Arabs settled amongst them, so that they betray a strong strain of Semitic blood in their features. (3 and 4) The natives of Suvadiva, Addu, Mulaku and the other southern clusters, who have had little communication with the Central Malé people, and probably preserve more of the primitive type, approximating in appearance to the Sinhalese villagers of Ceylon. They are an intelligent and industrious people, growing their own crops, manufacturing their own cloth and mats, and building their own boats, while many read Arabic more or less fluently, although still believers in magic and witchcraft. The language is a dialect of Sinhalese, but indicating a separation of ancient date and more or less mahommedanized.

The sul.tan's residence and the capital of the archipelago is the island of Malé. From the earliest notices the production of coir, the collection of cowries, and the weaving of excellent textures on these islands have been noted. The chief exports of the islands besides coir and cowries (a decreasing trade) are coco-nuts, copra, tortoise-shell and dried bonito-ish. These and other channels in the locality are named from their position under parallels of latitude.

Minikoi atoll, with the numerous wrecks on its reefs, its lighthouse, and its position on the track of all eastward-bound vessels, is a familiar sight to seafarers in these waters. The atoll, which is pear-shaped and disposed in the direction from S.W. to N.E. is 5 m. long, with an extreme breadth of nearly 3 m., with a large but shallow lagoon approached from the north by a passage two fathoms deep. The atoll is growing outwards on every side, and at one place rises 19 ft. above sea-level. The population, which numbers about 3000, is sharply divided into five castes, of which the three highest are pure Maldivians, the lower two the same as in the Laccadives. All are centred in a small village opposite Mou Rambu Point on the West or lagoon side; but most' of the men are generally absent, many being employed with the Lascar crews on board the large liners plying in the eastern seas.

In 1899-1900 Messrs. ]. Stanley Gardiner and C. Forster Cooper carried out an expedition to the Maldives and Laccadives, for the important results of which see The Fauna and Geography of the Maldive and Laccadiae Archipelagoes, ed. I. S. Gardiner (Cambridge, 1901-1905), also Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, vol. xi. pt. I (1900), and the Geographical Journ., loc. cit., '&c. A French adventurer, Frangois Pyrard de la Val, was wrecked in the Maldives in 1602 and detained there five years; he wrote an interesting account of the archipelago, Voyage de F. P. de la Val (Paris, 1679; previous editions 1611, &c.). See also A. Agassiz, “An Expedition to the Maldives " in Amer. Journ. Science, vol. xiii. (1902).


MALDON, a market town, municipal borough and port, in the Maldon parliamentary borough of Essex, England, on an acclivity rising from the south side of the Blackwater, 43 m. E.N.E. from London by a branch from Witham of the Great Eastern railway. Pop. (1901), 5565. There are east and west railway stations. The church of All Saints, dating from 1056, but, as it stands, Early English and later, consists of chancel, nave and aisles, with a triangular Early English tower (a unique form) at the west end surmounted by a hexagonal spire. The tower of St Mary's Church shows Norman work with Roman materials. The other public buildings are the grammar school, founded in 1547; the town-hall, formerly D'Arcy's tower, built in the reign of Henry VI.; and the public hall. There are manufactures of crystallized salt, breweries, an oyster fishery and some shipping. On Osea Island, in the Blackwater estuary, there is a farm colony for the unemployed. A mile west of Maldon are remains of Beeleigh Abbey, a Premonstratensian foundation of the 12th century. They consist of the chapter-house and another chamber, and are of fine Early English work. The borough is under a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. Area, 3028 acres.

At Maldon (Maelduna, Melduna, Mealdon or Meaudon) palaeolithic, neolithic and Roman remains that have been found seem to indicate an early settlement. It is not, however, an important Roman site. An earthwork, of which traces exist, may be Saxon or Danish. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle relates that Edward the Elder established a “ burh ” there about 921, and that Ealdorman Brihtnoth was killed there by the Danes in 991. The position of Maldon may have given it some commercial importance, but the fortress is the point emphasized by the Chronicle. Maldon remained a royal town up to the reign of Henry I., and thus is entered as on terra regis in Domesday. Henry II. granted the burgesses their first charter, probably in 1155, giving them the land of the borough and suburb with sac and soc and other judicial rights, also freedom from county and forest jurisdiction, danegeld, scutage, tallage and all tolls, by the service of one ship a year for forty days. This charter was confirmed by Edward I. in 1290, by Edward III. in 1344, and by Richard II. in 1378. In 1403 the bishop of London granted further judicial and financial rights, and Henry V. confirmed the charters in 1417, Henry VI. in 1443, and Henry VIII. in 1525. Maldon was incorporated by Philip and Mary in 1554, and received confirmatory charters from Elizabeth in 1563 and 1592, from Charles I. in 1631, Charles II. and James II. In 1768 the incorporation charter was re granted, with modifications in 1810.


MALEBRANCHE, NICOLAS (1638-1715), French philosopher of the Cartesian school, the youngest child of Nicolas