SHIBARGHAN, a town and khanate of Afghan Turkestan. The town lies some 60 m. W. of Balkh, and contains 12,000 inhabitants, Uzbegs and Parsiwans. It has a citadel, but is not otherwise fortined, and is surrounded by good gardens and excellent cultivation. The khanate is one of the “four domains,” which were long in dispute between Bokhara and Kabul, but were allotted to the Afghans by the Anglo-Russian boundary agreement of 1873.
SHIBBOLETH, a Hebrew word, meaning an ear of corn or a stream or river, from shābal, to grow, increase, flow, used by Jephthah, probably in the second sense with reference to the river Jordan, as a test-word to distinguish the Ephraimites, who were unable to pronounce the sh, from the men of Gilead (see Judges xii. 6) at the passage of the Jordan. The word ciceri was similarly used at the time of the massacre of the French known as the Sicilian Vespers, for they betrayed their nationality by their inability to pronounce it. The term has also come generally to mean a watchword, catch-phrase or cry, to which the members of a party adhere after any significance or meaning which it may have imported has disappeared.
See Alphabet, i. 725, for a discussion of the sibilant difficulty involved in the test of Judges xii. 6.
SHIEL, LOCH, a lake near the Atlantic seaboard of Scotland, lying between the district of Moidart in Inverness-shire and the districts of Ardgour and Sunart in Argyllshire. The boundary line between the two counties is drawn lengthwise down the centre of the lake and is continued down the river Shiel to the sea. The loch is 17½ m. long and varies in width from 200 yds. to 1 m., and is only 11½ ft. above the sea. The maximum depth is 420 ft. with a mean depth of 81½ ft. The lake has an area of 4840 acres or 7½ sq. m., and drains directly a basin of 72½ sq. m., and with an outflow from Loch Dilate, or Doilake, of 85½ sq. m. Loch Dilate lies 1½ m. E. of Loch Shiel, into which it flows by the Polloch. It is 1½ m. long at its maximum, with a maximum depth of 55 ft., and covers an area of 142 acres. For fully three-fourths of its length Loch Shiel has a south-westerly direction, but at Eilean Fhianain (Finnan's Island) it strikes towards the west. It receives the Finnan and other small streams and discharges by the Shiel to the salt-water Loch Moidart. On the north-west and south-east it is skirted by lofty hills (Sgor Choileam (3164), Sgor nau Coireachan (3133) and others of over 2000 ft.), but the land at the western extremity in Ardnamurchan is low-lying.
SHIELD, WILLIAM (1748-1829), English musical composer, was born at Swalwell, near Newcastle, in 1748. His father began to teach him singing before he had completed his sixth year, but died three years later, leaving him in charge of guardians, who made no provision whatever for continuing his musical education, for which he was thenceforward dependent entirely upon his own aptitude for learning, aided by a few lessons in thorough bass which he received from Charles Avison. Notwithstanding the difficulties inseparable from this imperfect training, he obtained admission in 1772 to the orchestra at the Italian Opera in London, at first as a second violin, and afterwards as principal viola, and this engagement he retained for eighteen years. In the meantime he turned his serious attention to composition, and in 1778 produced his first English comic opera, The Flitch of Bacon, at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket, with so great success that he was immediately engaged as composer to Covent Garden Theatre, for which he continued to produce English operas and other dramatic pieces in quick succession until 1797, when he resigned his office, and devoted himself to compositions of a different class, producing a great number of very beautiful glees, some instrumental chamber music, and other miscellaneous compositions. In 1817 he was made master of the royal music. He died in London on the 25th of January 1829, and was buried in the south cloister at Westminster Abbey.
Shield's most successful dramatic compositions were Rosina, The Mysteries of the Castle, The Lock and Key and The Castle of Andalusia. As a composer of songs he was in no degree inferior to his great contemporary Charles Dibdin. Indeed The Arethusa, The Heaving of the Lead and The Post Captain are as little likely to be forgotten as Dibdin's Tom Bowling or Saturday Night at Sea. His vein of melody was inexhaustible, thoroughly English in character and always conceived in the purest and most delicate taste, and hence it is that many of his airs are still sung at concerts, though the operas for which they were written have long been banished from the stage. His Introduction to Harmony (1794 and 1800) contains a great deal of valuable information; and he also published a useful treatise, The Rudiments of Thoroughbass.
SHIELD (O. Eng. scild, cf. Du. and Ger. Schild, Dan. Skjold; the origin is doubtful, but may be referred to the root seen in “shell” or “scale”; another suggestion connects it with Icel. skjalla, to clash, rattle; it is not connected with the Indo-Ger. root skeu, seen in Gr. σκῦτος, κύτος Lat. cutis, skin, scutum, shield, O. Eng. hyd, hide, and in “sky”), a piece of defensive armour borne upon the left arm or carried in the left hand as a protection against missiles. Varying in shape and form, it was the principal piece of defensive armour from the Bronze and Iron Age to the introduction of fire-arms, and is still borne by savage warriors throughout the world (see Arms and Armour, and for the heraldic shield Heraldry).
In modern times the principle of the shield has been applied to guns of all calibres from 11 and 10 in. calibre downwards. Whereas the turret, barbette, cupola and other heavy-armoured structures are intended to be proof against the heaviest projectiles, the shield is usually only designed to resist rifle and shrapnel bullets or very light shells. For the application of shields to field artillery, &c., see the articles Artillery and Ordnance.
SHIELDS, JAMES (1810-1879), American soldier, was born in Dungannon, county Tyrone, Ireland, in 1810. He emigrated to the United States in 1826, and in 1832 began to practice law in Kaskaskia, Illinois. He was prominent in Democratic politics, was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1836-1838, was state auditor in 1841-1843, was judge of the supreme court of the state in 1843-1845, and was commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office in 1845-1847. In the Mexican War he served as a brigadier-general of volunteers under General Zachary Taylor on the Rio Grande, under General John E. Wool in Chihuahua, and under General Winfield Scott in the southern campaign; he was breveted major-general for gallantry at Cerro Gordo, where he was severely wounded, and he was again wounded at Chapultepec. In 1849-1855 he was a United States senator from Illinois; and in 1858-1859 was a senator from Minnesota. In 1860 he removed to California. In August 1861, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers; in March 1862 he succeeded to the command of General Frederick W. Lander's division; he was in command on the Federal side at Winchester (23 March 1862) and at Port Republic (9 June); and in March 1863 he resigned his commission. He then settled in Carrollton, Missouri, and in 1875 was a member of the State House of Representatives; in 1879 he was United States senator from Missouri for six weeks to fill an unexpired term. He died at Ottumwa, Iowa, on the 1st of June 1879.
SHIFNAL, or Shiffnal, a market town in the Newport (N.) parliamentary division of Shropshire, England, 154 m. N.W. from London on the Wolverhampton-Shrewsbury line of the Great Western railway. Pop. (1901) 3321. The church of St Andrew is cruciform and full of fine details of late Norman, Early English and Decorated work. Trade is mainly agricultural, and cattle-fairs are held. There are large iron-works. The name of the town was Idsall when in 1591 a fund was raised by royal favour in Shropshire and neighbouring counties in order to rebuild it after a serious fire.
Within 6 m. E. of Shifnal are Tong, Boscobel and the nunnery of White Ladies. Tong Castle shares with the castle of the same name in Kent the legend of the dealings of the Saxon Hengest with the British chieftain Vortigern. The medieval building was demolished late in the 18th century, and the present castle erected in mingled Gothic and Moorish styles. Tong church, of fine early Perpendicular work, contains a remarkable series of ornate tombs, mainly of the 15th and 16th centuries, to members of the Vernon and Stanley families, former owners of the castle.