Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

in a mass of long tangled hairs—the cotton. The embryo is generally large with much-folded cotyledons and a small amount of endosperm.

The largest genus, Hibiscus, contains 150 species, which are widely distributed chiefly in the tropics; H. rosasinensis is a well-known greenhouse plant. Abutilon (q.v.) contains 80 species, mainly tropical; Lavatera, with 20 species, is chiefly Mediterranean; Althaea has about 15 species in temperate and warm regions, A. rosea being the hollyhock (q.v.); Malva has about 30 species in the north-temperate zone. Several genera are largely or exclusively American.

MALVASIA (Gr. Monemvasia, i.e. the “city of the single approach or entrance”; Ital. Napoli di Malvasia; Turk. Mengeshe or Beneshe), one of the principal fortresses and commercial centres of the Levant during the middle ages, still represented by a considerable mass of ruins and a town of about 550 inhabitants. It stood on the east coast of the Morea, contiguous to the site of the ancient Epidaurus Limera, of which it took the place. So extensive was its trade in wine that the name of the place became familiar throughout Europe as the distinctive appellation of a special kind—Ital. Malvasia; Span. Malvagia; Fr. Malvoisie; Eng. Malvesie or Malmsey. The wine was not of local growth, but came for the most part from Tenos and others of the Cyclades.

As a fortress Malvasia played an important part in the struggles between Byzantium, Venice and Turkey. The Byzantine emperors considered it one of their most valuable posts in the Morea, and rewarded its inhabitants for their fidelity by unusual privileges. Phrantzes (Lib. IV. cap. xvi.) tells how the emperor Maurice made the city (previously dependent in ecclesiastical matters on Corinth) a metropolis or archbishop’s see, and how Alexius Comnenus, and more especially Andronicus II. (Palaeologus) gave the Monembasiotes freedom from all sorts of exactions throughout the empire. It was captured after a three years’ siege by Guillaume de Villehardouin in 1248, but the citizens retained their liberties and privileges, and the town was restored to the Byzantine emperors in 1262. After many changes, it placed itself under Venice from 1463 to 1540, when it was ceded to the Turks. In 1689 it was the only town of the Morea which held out against Morosini, and Cornaro his successor only succeeded in reducing it by famine. In 1715 it capitulated to the Turks, and on the failure of the insurrection of 1770 the leading families were scattered abroad. As the first fortress which fell into the hands of the Greeks in 1821, it became in the following year the seat of the first national assembly.

See Curtius, Peloponnesos, ii. 293 and 328; Castellan, Lettres sur la Morée (1808), for a plan; Valiero, Hist. della guerra di Candia (Venice, 1679), for details as to the fortress; W. Miller in Journal of Hellenic Studies (1907).

MALVERN, an inland watering-place in the Bewdley parliamentary division of Worcestershire, England, 128 m. W.N.W. from London by the Great Western railway, served also by a branch of the Midland railway from Ashchurch on the Bristol-Birmingham line. Pop. of urban district(1901), 16,449. It is beautifully situated on the eastern slopes of the Malvern Hills, which rise abruptly from the flat valley of the Severn to a height of 1395 ft. in the Worcestershire Beacon. The district still bears the name of Malvern Chase, originally a Crown-land and forest, though it was granted to the earldom of Gloucester by Edward I. A ditch along the summit of the hills determined the ancient boundary. Becoming a notorious haunt of criminals, the tract was disafforested by Charles I., with the exception of a portion known as the King’s Chase, part of which is included in the present common-land formed under the Malvern Hills Act of 1884.

Malvern was in early times an important ecclesiastical settlement, but its modern fame rests on its fine situation, pure air, and chalybeate and bituminous springs. The open-air cure for consumptive patients is here extensively practised.

The name Malvern is collectively applied to a line of small towns and villages, extending along the foot of the hills for 5 m. The principal is Great Malvern, lying beneath the Worcestershire Beacon. It has a joint station of the Great Western and Midland railways. Here was the Benedictine priory which arose in 1083 out of a hermitage endowed by Edward the Confessor. The priory church of SS. Mary and Michael is a fine cruciform Perpendicular building, with an ornate central tower, embodying the original Norman nave, and containing much early glass and carved choir-stalls. The abbey gate and the refectory also remain. There are here several hydropathic establishments, and beautiful pleasure gardens. Malvern College, founded in 1862, is an important English public school. A museum is attached to it. Mineral waters are manufactured. At Malvern Wells, 2½ m. S., are the principal medicinal springs, also the celebrated Holy Well, the water of which is of perfect purity. There are extensive fishponds and hatcheries; and golf-links. The Great Western railway has a station, and the Midland one at Hanley Road. Little Malvern lies at the foot of the Herefordshire Beacon, which is crowned by a British camp, 1½ m. S. of Malvern Wells. There was a Benedictine priory here, of which traces remain in the church. Malvern Link, 1 m. N.E. of Great Malvern, of which it forms a suburb, has a station on the Great Western railway. West Malvern and North Malvern, named from their position relative to Great Malvern, are pleasant residential quarters on the higher slopes of the hills.

MALWA, an historic province of India, which has given its name to one of the political agencies into which Central India is divided. Strictly, the name is confined to the hilly table-land, bounded S. by the Vindhyan range, which drains N. into the river Chambal; but it has been extended to include the Nerbudda valley farther south. Its derivation is from the ancient tribe of Malavas about whom very little is known, except that they founded the Vikrama Samvat, an era dating from 57 B.C., which is popularly associated with a mythical king Vikramaditya. The earliest name of the tract seems to have been Avanti, from its capital the modern Ujjain. The position of the Malwa or Moholo mentioned by Hsuan Tsang (7th century) is plausibly assigned to Gujarat. The first records of a local dynasty are those of the Paramaras, a famous Rajput clan, who ruled for about four centuries (800-1200), with their capital at Ujjain and afterwards at Dhar. The Mahommedans invaded Malwa in 1235; and in 1401 Dilawar Khan Ghori founded an independent kingdom, which lasted till 1531. The greatest ruler of this dynasty was Hoshang Shah (1405–1435), who made Mandu (q.v.) his capital and embellished it with magnificent buildings. In 1562 Malwa was annexed to the Mogul empire by Akbar. On the break-up of that empire, Malwa was one of the first provinces to be conquered by the Mahrattas. About 1743 the Mahratta peshwa obtained from Delhi the title of governor, and deputed his authority to three of his generals—Sindhia of Gwalior, Holkar of Indore, and the Ponwar of Dhar who claims descent from the ancient Paramaras. At the end of the 18th century Malwa became a cockpit for fighting between the rival Mahratta powers, and the headquarters of the Pindaris or irregular plunderers. The Pindaris were extirpated by the campaign of Lord Hastings in 1817, and the country was reduced to order by the energetic rule of Sir John Malcolm. Malwa is traditionally the land of plenty, in which sufferers from famine in the neighbouring tracts always take refuge. But in 1899–1900 it was itself visited by a severe drought, which seriously diminished the population, and has since been followed by plague. The most valuable product is opium.

The Malwa agency has an area of 8919 sq. m. with a population (1901) of 1,054,753. It comprises the states of Dewas (senior and junior branch), Jaora, Ratlam, Sitamau and Sailana, together with a large portion of Gwalior, parts of Indore and Tonk, and about 35 petty estates and holdings. The headquarters of the political agent are at Nimach.

Malwa is also the name of a large tract in the Punjab, south of the river Sutlej, which is one of the two chief homes of the Sikhs, the other being known as Manjha. It includes the British districts of Ferozpore and Ludhiana, together with the native states of Patiala, Jind, Nabha and Maler Kotla.

See J. Malcolm, Central India (1823); C. E. Luard, Bibliography of Central India (1908), and The Paramars of Dhar and Malwa (1908).

MAMARONECK, a township of Westchester county, New York, U.S.A., on Long Island Sound, about 20 m. N.E. of New York City and a short distance N.E. of New Rochelle. Pop. (1890), 2385; (1900) 3849; (1905) 5655; (1910)