Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/530

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515
PROVINS—PROVISION

handicapped. Whaling retains a remnant of its old importance, and there are also mackerel and shore fisheries, oil-works, cold storage establishments for preserving fish for food and bait, and canning works for herring. The first settlement here was made about 1680; it became a “ district ” or precinct of Truro in 1714, and was established as a township with its present name in 1727. Provincetown harbour was possibly visited by Gaspar Cortereal in 1501; Gosnold explored it and its vicinity in 1602, and John Smith was here in 1614. It was in this harbour that the “ Mayflower ” compact (see MASSACHUSETTS) was drawn up and signed by the Pilgrims before they proceeded to Plymouth, in 1620; here John Carver was chosen the first governor of Plymouth Colony, and Provincetown was the first landing place (on Saturday the 11th [0.S.] of November) of the Pilgrims in the New World. A memorial of the “ compact, ” of polished Acton granite, 6 ft. high, with two bronze tablets, was erected before the town-hall by the Old Colony Commission, and on High Pole Hill on the 2oth of August 1907 the cornerstone of a second memorial (completed in 1909, dedicated Aug. 5, 1910), a granite tower, 252 ft. high, was laid, addresses being delivered by President Roosevelt, James Bryce and H. C. Lodge. In Provincetown harbour, on the 1st of January 1862, James M. Mason and John Slidell, the envoys of the Confederate States to Great Britain and France respectively, who had been taken by a Federal vessel from the British ship “ Trent, ” were restored by the Federal authorities to H.B.M.S. “Rinaldo, ” after their detention in Fort Warren in Boston harbour.


PROVINS, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement of the department of Seine-et-Marne, at the junction of the Durtain with the Voulzie (an affluent of the Seine), SQ m. E.S.E. of Paris by rail. Pop. (1906), 7546. The town enjoys a certain reputation for its mineral waters (which contain iron, lime, and carbonic acid, and are used for bathing and drinking), and is also known from its trade in roses, but it derives a higher interest from numerous remains of its medieval prosperity. Provins is divided into two quarters-the ville-haute and the less ancient ville-basse-which in the 13th century were surrounded by fortifications. There still remains a great part of these fortifications, which made a circuit of about 4 m., strengthened at intervals by towers, generally round, and now, being bordered with fine trees, form the principal promenade of the town. The large tower situated within this line, and variously known as the king's, Caesar's or the prisoners' tower, is one of the most curious of the 12th century keeps now extant. The base is surrounded by a thick mound of masonry added by the English in the 15th century when they were masters of the town. The tower serves as belfry to the church of St Quiriace, which dates its foundation from the 12th century. These two buildings in the ville-haute rise picturesquely from the crest of a steep wooded hill above the ville-basse. The church preserves among its treasures the pontifical ornaments of St Edmund of Canterbury (d. 1242). The interior is plain, but very beautifully proportioned. The appearance of the exterior suffers from an inappropriate dome erected above the crossing. The palace of the counts of Champagne, some fragments of which also belong to the 12th century, is occupied by the communal college. The old tithe-barn is a building of the 13th century with two fine vaulted chambers, one of which is below ground. The church of St Ayoul dates from the 12th to the 16th centuries, the transept being the oldest part; it is in a state of great dilapidation, and the choir is used as a storehouse. St Croix belongs partially to the 13th century. Extensive cellars, used as warehouses in the middle ages, extend beneath portions of the town. On Mont Ste Catherine, opposite Provins, the general hospital occupies the site of an old convent of St Clare, of which there remains a cloister of the 14th century. The sub-prefecture, tribunals of first instance and of commerce are among the public institutions. There is an active trade in grain, livestock and wool, and the industries include flour milling, nursery-gardening, brick making, and the manufacture of porcelain, pianos, gas and petrol engines, agricultural implements and sugar.

Provins began to figure in history in the 9th century. Passing from the counts of Vermandois to the counts of Champagne, it rapidly attained a high degree of prosperity. Cloth and leather were its staple manufactures, and its fairs, attended by traders from all parts of Europe, were of as much account as those of Beaucaire, while its money had currency throughout Europe. In the 13th century the population of the town is said to have reached 60,000; but the plague of 1348 and the famine of 1349 proved disastrous. The Hundred Years' War, during which Provins was captured and recaptured, completed the ruin of the town. During the religious wars it sided with the Catholic party and the League, and Henry IV. obtained possession of it in 1 592 only after thirteen days' siege.

See Felix Bourquelot, Histoire de Provins (2 vols., Provins, 183Q-1840).


PROVISION (Lat. provisio), a term meaning strictly the act of providing, or anything provided, especially in respect of food (provisions) or other necessaries. In constitutional law it signifies the act by which an ecclesiastical office or benefice is conferred by a person having competent authority for the purpose; and the word is specially used of appointments made by the pope in derogation of the rights of ecclesiastical patrons. Innocent III. (1198-1216) seems to have been the first pope who directed prelates to collate his nominees to canonries and other benefices, but it was during the pontificate of Innocent IV. (1243-1254) that the practice first assumed alarming proportions. Vigorous protests were then made in England and France against the large number of papal provisions in favour of nonresident Italian clerks. These protests were not without effect for a while; but the popes, finding it impossible to carry on the work of government without this means of rewarding their servants, soon began to show little regard to national protests. The English parliament held at Carlisle in 1307 petitioned the king for a remedy against this abuse, but though he promised redress nothing was done. Meanwhile the popes had been asserting claims to appoint bishops in certain events on their own initiative, and at last Clement V. (1305-1313) reserved to himself the right of appointment in all cases. After his time there is scarcely an instance of an English bishop being elected in accordance with the older procedure by the cathedral chapter. If an election were made the pope usually either overrode it by another appointment or, ignoring the election, appointed the elected clerk by a bull of provision. The Hundred Years' War caused an outburst of indignation against the use of papal provisions, whether to the canonries and collative offices or to bishoprics. The popes had taken up their residence at Avignon and had become mere creatures of the kings of France. The English nobility and gentry were bitter at seeing vast sums of money pass out of the country into the hands of their enemies. To remedy the evil the first Statute of Provisors was enacted in 1351. It declared that the free elections of bishops and other dignitaries should take place in accordance with the ancient practice; that bishops and ecclesiastics should have free presentations to benefices and offices in their gift; that in the event of any provision being made by the pope the king should have the same right of collation as his progenitors had before they granted free election; and similarly where the pope provided to a benefice or office in the gift of secular or regular clergy the king was to have the collation for that occasion. Provisors who interfered with the rights of the king or patron were liable to arrest and imprisonment on conviction.;I' he act was supplemented in 1353 by the first Statute of Praemunire, by which appeals outside the realm were prohibited and persons who offended were made liable to outlawry. This legislation against papal provisions was anti-clerical rather than anti-papal. There are no signs that it was promoted by the English clergy, who seem to-have accepted the claim of the popes to control their patronage. In spite of the statutes the popes still continued, as the papal registers show, to make provisions to English benefices and offices, and it is evident that the statutes were not enforced. The Statute of Provisors was confirmed by a second statute in 1364, but this again seems to have had little effect. Attempts were made to