1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Alice Maud Mary

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ALICE MAUD MARY, Grand-Duchess of Hesse-Darmstadt (1843-1878), second daughter and third child of Queen Victoria, was born at Buckingham Palace, on the 25th of April 1843. A pretty, delicate-featured child — “cheerful, merry, full of fun and mischief”, as her elder sister described her — fond of gymnastics, a good skater and an excellent horsewoman, she was a general favourite from her earliest days. Her first years were passed without particular incident in the home circle, where the training of their children was a matter of the greatest concern to the queen and the prince consort. Among other things, the royal children were encouraged to visit the poor, and the effect of this training was very noticeable in the later life of Princess Alice. After the marriage of the Princess Royal in 1858, the new responsibilities devolving upon Princess Alice, as the eldest daughter at home, called forth the higher traits of her character, and brought her into still closer relationship with her parents, and especially with her father. In the summer of 1860, at Windsor Castle, Princess Alice first met her future husband, Prince Louis of Hesse. An attachment quickly sprang up, and on the prince's second visit in November they were formally engaged. In the following year, on the announcement of the contemplated marriage, the House of Commons unanimously voted a dowry of L. 30,000 and an annuity of L. 6000 to the princess. In December 1861, while preparations were being made for the marriage, the prince consort was struck down with typhoid fever, and died on the 14th. Princess Alice nursed her father during his short illness with the utmost care, and after his death devoted herself to comforting her mother under this terrible blow. Her marriage took place at Osborne, on the 1st of July 1862. The princess unconsciously wrote her own biography from this period in her constant letters to Queen Victoria, a selection of which, edited by Dr. Carl Sell, were allowed to be printed in 1883. These letters give a complete picture of the daily life of the duke and duchess, and they also show the intense love of the latter for her husband, her mother and her native land. She managed to visit England every year, and it was at her special request that when she died her husband laid an English flag upon her coffin.

In the war between Austria and Prussia in 1866, Hesse-Darmstadt was upon the side of the Austrians; Prince Louis accompanied his troops to the front, and was duly appointed by the grand-duke to the command of the Hessian division. This was a time of intense trial to the princess, whose husband and brother-in-law, the crown prince of Prussia, were necessarily fighting upon opposite sides. The duke of Hesse also took part in the principal battles of the Franco-Prussian war, while the duchess was actively engaged in organizing hospitals for the relief of the sick and wounded. The death of the duke's father, Prince Charles of Hesse, on the 20th of March 1877, was followed by that of the grand-duke on the 13th of June, and Prince Louis succeeded to the throne as Grand Duke Louis IV. In the summer of 1878 the grand-duke and duchess, with their family, came again to England, and went to Eastbourne, where the duchess remained for some time. She returned to Darmstadt in the autumn, and on the 8th of November 1878 her daughter, Princess Victoria, was attacked by diphtheria. Three more of her children, as well as her husband, quickly caught the disease, and the youngest, “May”, succumbed on the 16th. On the 7th of December the princess was herself attacked, and, being weakened by nursing and anxiety, had not strength to resist the disease, which proved fatal on the 14th of December, the seventeenth anniversary of her father's death. She left one son and four daughters.

See Carl Sell, Alice: Mittheilungen aus ihrem Leben und Briefen, &c. (Darmstadt, 1883), with English translation by the Princess Christian, Alice: biographical sketch and letters (1884).

(G. F. B.)


ALIDADE (from the Arab.), the movable index of a graduated arc, used in the measurement of angles. The word is used also to designate the supporting frame or arms carrying the microscopes or verniers of a graduated circle.


ALIEN (Lat. alienus), the technical term applied by British constitutional law to anyone who does not enjoy the character of a British subject; in general, a foreigner who for the purposes of any state comes into certain domestic relations with it, other than those applying to native-born or naturalized citizens, but owns allegiance to a foreign sovereign.

English law, save with the special exceptions mentioned, admits to the character of subjects all who are born within the king's allegiance, that is, speaking generally, within the British dominions. In the celebrated question of the post-nati in the reign of James I. of England, it was found, after solemn trial, that natives of Scotland born before the union of the crowns were aliens in England, but that, since allegiance is to the person of the king, those born subsequently were English subjects. A child born abroad, whose father or whose grandfather on the father's side was a British subject, may claim the same character unless at the time of his birth his father was an attainted traitor, or in the service of a state engaged in war against the British empire (4th Geo. II. c. 21). Owing to this exceptional provision some sons of Jacobite refugees born abroad, who joined in the rebellion of 1745, were admitted to the privilege of prisoners of war.

It has been enacted in the United Kingdom with regard to the national status of women and children that a married woman is to be deemed a subject of the state of which her husband is for the time being a subject; that a natural-born British woman, having become an alien by marriage, and thereafter being a widow, may be rehabilitated under conditions slightly more favourable than are required for naturalization; that where a father or a widow becomes an alien, the children in infancy becoming resident in the country where the parent is naturalized, and being naturalized by the local law, are held to be subjects of that country; that those of a father or of a widow readmitted to British nationality or who obtains a certificate of naturalization, becoming during infancy resident with such parent in the British dominions in the former case or in the United Kingdom in the latter, become readmitted or naturalized (Naturalization Act 1870, s. 10). The nationality of children not covered by these enactments is not affected by the change of their parents' nationality. The same statute provides that a declaration of alienage before a justice of peace or other competent judge, having the effect of divesting the declarant of the character of a British subject, may be made by a naturalized British subject desiring to resume the nationality of the country to which he originally belonged, if there be a convention to that effect with that country; by natural-born subjects who were also born subjects of another state according to its law; or by persons born abroad having British fathers.

Naturalization, which means conferring the character of a subject, may now, under the act of 1870, be obtained by applying to the home secretary and producing evidence of having resided for not less than five years in the United Kingdom, or of having been in the service of the crown for not less than five years, and of intention to reside in the United Kingdom or serve under the crown. Such a certificate may be granted by the secretary of state to one naturalized previously to the passing of the act, or to a British subject as to whose nationality a doubt exists, or to a statutory alien, i.e. one who has become an alien by declaration in pursuance of the act of 1870.

In the United States the separate state laws largely determine the status of an alien, but subject to Federal treaties. (For further particulars see ALLEGIANCE and NATURALIZATION.)

Many of the disabilities to which aliens were subject in the United Kingdom, either by the common law or under various acts of parliament, have been repealed by the Naturalization Act 1870. It enables aliens to take, acquire, hold and dispose of real and personal property of every description, and to transmit a title to it, in all respects as natural-born British subjects. But the act expressly declares that this relaxation of the law does not qualify aliens for any office or any municipal, parliamentary or other franchise, or confer any right of a British subject other than those above expressed in regard to property, nor does it affect interests vested in possession or expectancy under dispositions made before the act, or by devolution of law on the death of any one dying before the act. A ship, any share in which is owned by an alien, shall not be deemed a British ship (Merchant Shipping Act 1894, s. 1). By the Juries Act 1870, s. 8, aliens who have been domiciled for ten years in England or Wales, if in other respects duly qualified, are liable to serve on juries or inquests in England or Wales; and by the Naturalization Act 1870, s. 5, the aliens' old privilege of being tried by a jury de medietate linguae (that is, of which half were foreigners), was abolished.

It seems to be a rule of general public law that an alien can be sent out of the realm by exercise of the crown's prerogative; but in modern English practice, whenever it seems necessary to expel foreigners (see EXPULSION), a special act of parliament has to be obtained for the purpose, unless the case falls within the extradition acts or the Aliens Act 1905. The latter prohibits the