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STRAIN—STRAITS SETTLEMENTS

Finally Charles yielded, giving his fatal assent on the 10th of May. Strafford met his fate on the 12th of May on Tower Hill, receiving Laud's blessing, who was then also imprisoned in the Tower, on his way to execution.

Thus passed into history “the great person,” as Clarendon well calls him, without doubt one of the most striking figures in the annals of England. Strafford's patriotism and ideas were fully as noble as those of his antagonists. Like Pym, a student of Bacon's wisdom, he believed in the progress of England along the lines of natural development, but that development, in opposition to Pym, he was convinced could only proceed with the increase of the power of the executive, not of the parliament, with a government controlled by the king and not by the people. He was equally an upholder of the union of interests and affection between the sovereign and his subjects, but believed this could only exist when the king's will, and not that of the parliament, was paramount. The development of the constitution, in his opinion, either in the direction of a democracy or an aristocracy, was equally fatal and could only lead to anarchy, to the waste of national resources and to degeneration. With a strong and untrammelled executive directed by a single will, wise reforms could be carried out, the weak defended against the strong, the resources of the country developed to their full extent, the hesitations, delays and contradictions caused by barren discussions avoided, and the national forces concentrated on objects worth the aim. For one brief moment it was given to Strafford to carry out his ideals, and the final failure of his Irish administration, and especially its inability to endure in spite of its undoubted suc- cesses, has afforded an object-lesson in one-man government for all time. If such was the event in Ireland, where political ideas were still rude and elementary, still less could success be expected from the attempt to introduce the centralization and absolute power of the executive into England, where principles of government had been highly developed both in theory and practice, and a contrary tendency had long been established towards the increase of the rights of the individual and the power of parliament.

While arousing in the course of his career the most bitter enmities—and no man's death was ever received with more public rejoicing—Strafford was capable of inspiring strong friendships in private life. Sir Thomas Roe speaks of him as “Severe abroad and in business, and sweet in private conversation; retired in his friendships but very firm; a terrible judge and a strong enemy.” His appearance is described by Sir Philip Warwick: “In his person he was of a tall stature, but stooped much in the neck. His countenance was cloudy whilst he moved or sat thinking, but when he spake, either seriously or facetiously, he had a lightsome and a very pleasant air; and indeed whatever he then did he performed very gracefully.” He himself jested on his own “bent and ill-favoured brow,” Lord Exeter replying that had he been " cursed with a meek brow and an arch of white hair upon it," he would never “have governed Ireland nor Yorkshire.”

Strafford was married three times: (1) in 1611 to Lady Margaret Clifford, daughter of Francis, 4th earl of Cumberland; (2) in 1625 to Lady Arabella Holies, daughter of John, 1st earl of Clare; (3)in 1632 to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Godfrey Rhodes. He left three daughters and one son, William, 2nd earl of Strafford.

See the article on Strafford in the Diet. Nat. Biog. by S. R. Gardiner; Strafford's Letters, ed. by W. Knowler (1739); R. Browning's Life of Strafford, with introduction by C. H. Firth (1892); Papers relating to Thos. Wentworth. ed. by C. H. Firth for the Camden Society (1890), Camden Miscellany, vol. ix. ; Private Letters from the Earl of Strafford to his third Wife (Philobiblon Soc. Biog. & Hist. Misc. 1854, vol. i.) ; Lives by H. D. Traill (1889) in “English Men of Action Series,” and by Elizabeth Cooper (1886); Cat. of State Papers, Domestic and Irish, esp. 1633–1647 Introduction; Hist. MSS. Comm. MSS. of Earl Cowper; Strafford's Correspondence, of which the volumes published by Knowler represent probably only a small selection, remains still in MS. in the collection of Earl Fitzwilliam at Wentworth Woodhouse.  (P. C. Y.) 


STRAIN (through O. Fr. straindre, estraindre, mod. étreindre, from Lat. stringere, to draw tight, related to stress, stretch, string, &c), to draw out, extend, stretch, especially with the idea of great effort or beyond measure or limit; hence, from the idea of pressure or constriction, to separate coarser matte' or light solids from a liquid by pressure through a " strainer," which may be either a sieve or a colander (Lat. colore, to strain), a metal vessel with perforations in the bottom. Another type is the filter (q.v.). Straining can also be effected by means of cloths, and the name strainer is used of a coarse open cloth usually of flax; a coarser cloth of a more open texture is technically known as “screw.”

For “strains” and “stresses” in physics see Mechanics; Elasticity and Strength of Materials.

STRAITS SETTLEMENTS, the collective name given to the crown colony formed by the British possessions on or adjacent to the mainland of the Malay Peninsula, as opposed to the Federated Malay States, the British protectorates in the same region. The Straits Settlements consist of the island of Singapore with about a score of islets of insignificant size lying in its immediate vicinity, of the town and territory of Malacca, the islands and territory of the Dindings, the island of Penang, sometimes officially called Prince of Wales Island, and Province Wellesley.

The colony of the Straits Settlements is administered by the governor with the aid of an executive council, composed wholly of official members, and there is a legislative council, composed partly of official and partly of nominated members, of which the former have a narrow permanent majority. The governor of the Straits Settlements is also high commissioner for the Federated Malay States of the peninsula, for British North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak in Borneo, and since the administration of the colony of Labuan, which for a period was vested in the British North Borneo Company, has been resumed by the British government he is also governor of Labuan. The Cocos Keeling Islands (which were settled and are still owned by a Scottish family named Ross) and Christmas Island were formerly attached to Ceylon, but in 1886 the care of these islands was transferred to the government of the Straits Settlements. Penang and Malacca are administered, under the governor, by resident councillors. British residents control the native states of Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Pahang, but since the 1st of July 1896, when the federation of these states was effected, a resident-general, responsible to the high commissioner, has been placed in supreme charge of all the protectorates in the peninsula. The work of administration, both in the colony and in the Federated Malay States, is carried on by means of a civil service whose members are recruited by competitive examination held annually in London.

Area in
Square

Miles.

Popula-

tion in

1891.

Population in 1901.

Euro-

Eura-

Other

Total.

peans.

sians.

Chinese.

Malays.

Indians.

Nationalities.

Singapore ......

206

184,554

228 ,555

3824

4120

164,041

36,080

17,823

2667

Penang, Province Wellesley and

 Dindings

381

235,618

248,207

1160

1945

98,424

106,000

38,051

2627

Malacca . .. .. .

659

92,170

95,487

74

1598

19,468

72,978

1,276

93

Total .

1246

512,342

572,249

5058

7663

281,933

215,058

57,150

5387