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8
ST HELENA

in the population. Since the substitution of steamships for sailing vessels and the introduction of new methods of preserving meat and vegetables (which made it unnecessary for sailing vessels to take fresh provisions from St Helena to avoid scurvy) the population has greatly diminished. In 1871 there were 6444 inhabitants; in 1909 the civil population was estimated at 3553. The death-rate that year, 6.4 per 1000, was the lowest on record in the island. The only town, in which live more than half the total population, is Jamestown. Longwood, where Napoleon died in 1821, is 3½ m. E. by S. of Jamestown. In 1858 the house in which he lived and died was presented by Queen Victoria. to Napoleon III., who had it restored to the condition, but unfurnished, in which it was at the time of Bonaparte's death.

Agriculture, Industries, &c.-Less than a third of the area of the island is suitable for farming, while much of the area which might be (and formerly was) devoted to raising crops is under grass. The principal crop is potatoes, which are of very good quality. They were chiefly sold to ships-especially to “passing " ships. They are now occasionally exported to the Cape. Cattle and sheep were raised in large numbers when a garrison was maintained, so that difficulty has been found in disposing of surplus stock now that the troops have been withdrawn. The economic conditions which formerly revailed were entirely altered by the substitution of steamers ibr sailing vessels, which caused a great decrease in the number' of ships calling at Jamestown. A remedy was sought in the establishment of industries. An attempt made in 1869-1872 to cultivate cinchona proved unsuccessful. Attention was .also turned to the 'aloe (Furcraea gigantea), which grows wild at mid elevations, and the New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax), an introduced plant, for their utilization in the manufacture of fibre. From 1875 to 1881 a company ran a mill at which they turned out both aloe and Bax fibre, but the enterprise proved unremunerative. In 1907 the government, aided by a grant of £4070 from the imperial exchequer, started a mill at Longwood for the manufacture of phormium fibre, with encouraging results. Fish curing and lace making are also carried on to some extent.

Trade is chiefly dependent upon the few ships that call at Jamestown-now mostly Whalers or vessels in distress. There is also some trade with ships that “pass” without “ calling.”1 In thirty years (1877-1907) the number of ships “ calling " at the port sank from 664 with 449,724 tonnage to 57 with 149,182 tonnage. In the last named year the imports were valued at £35,614; the exports (excluding specie) at £1787~but the goods supplied to “passing” vessels do not figure in these returns. In 1908 fibre and tow (valued at, {3557) were added to the exports, and in 1909 a good trade was done with Ascension in sheep. St Helena is in direct telegraphic communication with Europe and South Africa, and there is a regular monthly mail steamship service.

Government, Revenue, éfc.-St Helena is a Crown colony. The island has never had any form of local legislative chamber, but the governor (who also acts as chief justice) is aided by an executive council. The governor alone makes laws, called ordinances, but legislation can also be efiected by the Crown by order in council. The revenue, £10,287 in 1905, had fallen in 1909 to £8778 (including a grant in aid of £2500), the expenditure in each of the five years (1905-1909) being in excess of the revenue. Elementary education is provided in government and private schools. St Helena is the seat of an Anglican bishopric established in 1859. Ascension and Tristan da Cunha are included in the diocese.

History.-The island was discovered on the 21st of May 1 502 by the Portuguese navigator Joao de Nova, on his voyage home from India, and by him named St Helena. The Portuguese found it uninhabited, imported live stock, fruit trees and vegetables, built a chapel and one or two houses, and left their sick there to be taken home, if recovered, by the next ship, but they formed no permanent settlement. Its first known permanent resident was Fernando Lopez, a Portuguese in India, who had turned traitor and had been mutilated by order of Albuquerque. He preferred being marooned to returning to Portugal in his maimed condition, and was landed at St Helena in 1513 with three or four negro slaves. By royal command he visited Portugal some time later, but returned to St Helena, where he died in 1546. In 1584 two Japanese ambassadors to Rome landed at the island. The first Englishman known to have visited it was Thomas Cavendish, who touched there in June 1 588 during his voyage round the world. Another English 1 “ Ca11ing" ships are those which have been boarded by the harbour master and given pratique. Since 1886 boatmen are allowed to communicate with shrps that have not obtained pratique, and these are known as “ passing " ships.

seaman, Captain Kendall, visited St Helena in 1 591, and in 1 593 Sir James Lancaster stopped at the island on his way home from the East. In 1603 the same commander again visited St Helena on his return from the first voyage equipped by the East India Company. The Portuguese had by this time given up calling at the island, which appears to have been occupied by the Dutch about 1645. The Dutch occupation was temporary and ceased in. 1651, the year before they founded Cape Town. The British East India Company appropriated the island immediately after the departure of the Dutch, and they were confirmed in possession by a clause in their charter of 1661. The company built a fort (16 58), named after the duke of York (James II .), and established a garrison in the island. In 1673 the Dutch succeeded in obtaining possession, but were ejected after a few months' occupation. Since that date St Helena has been in the undisturbed possession of Great Britain, though in 1706 two ships anchored off Jamestown were carried off by the French. In 1673 the Dutch had been expelled by the forces of the Crown, but by a new charter granted in December of the same year the East India Company were declared “ the true and absolute lords and proprietors” of the island. At this time the inhabitants numbered about 1000, of whom nearly half were negro slaves. In 1810 the company began the importation of Chinese from their factory at Canton. During the company's rule the island prospered, thousands of homeward-bound vessels anchored in the roa.dstead in a year, staying for considerable periods, re titting and re victualling. Large sums of money were thus expended in the island, where wealthy merchants and officials had their residence. The plantations were worked by the slaves, who were subjected to very barbarous laws until 1792, when a new code of regulations ensured their humane treatment and prohibited the importation of any new slaves. Later it was enacted that all children of slaves born on or after Christmas Day 1818 should be free, and between 1826 and 1836 all slaves were set, at liberty.

Among the governors appointed by the company to rule at St Helena was one of the Huguenot refugees, Captain Stephen Poirier (1697-1707), who attempted unsuccessfully to introduce the cultivation of the vine. A later governor (1741-1742) was Robert Jenkin (q.v.) of “ Jenkin's ear ” fame. Dampier visited the island twice, in 1691 and 1701; Halley's Mount commemorates the visit paid by the astronomer Edmund Halley in 1676-1678-the first of a number of scientific men who have pursued their studies on the island.

In 181 5 the British government selected St Helena as the place of detention of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was brought to the island in October of that year and lodged at Longwood, where he died in May 1821. During this period the island was strongly garrisoned by regular troops, and the governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, was nominated by the Crown. After Napoleon's death the East India Company resumed full control of St Helena until the 22nd of April 1834, on which date it was in virtue of an act passed in 1833 vested in the Crown. As a port of call the island continued to enjoy a fair measure of prosperity until about 1870. Since that date the great decrease in the number of vessels visiting Jamestown has deprived the islanders of their principal means of subsistence. When steamers began to be substituted for sailing vessels and when the Suez Canal was opened (in 1869) fewer ships passed the island, .while of those that still pass the greater number are so well found that it is unnecessary for them to call (see also § Inhabitants). The withdrawal in 1906 of the small garrison, hitherto maintained by the imperial government, was another cause of depression. During the Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1902 some thousands of Boer prisoners were detained at St Helena, which has also served as the place of exile of several Zulu chiefs, including Dinizulu. BIBLIOGRAPHY.*'J. C. Melliss, St Helena: a Physical, Historical and Topographical Description of the Island, including- its Geology, Fauna, Flora and Meteorology (London, 1875); E. L. Jackson, St Helena (London, 1903); T. H. Brooke, History of the Island of St Helena . . to 1823 (znd ed., London, 1824), in this book are cited many early accounts of the island; General A. Beatson (governor of the island 1808-1813), Tracts Relative to the Island of St Helena