Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/136

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have had a house and a mission in Ceylon. The order has no history. The habit is blue.

See Helyot, Histoire des ordres religieux (1718), vi. c. 21; Max Heimbucher, Orden u. Kongregationen (1907), i. § 30; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchenlexicon (ed. 2).  (E. C. B.) 

SIMANCAS, a town of Spain, in the province of Valladolid; 8 m. S.W. of Valladolid, on the road to Zamora and the right bank of the river Pisuerga. Pop. (1900) 1129. Simancas is a town of great antiquity, the Roman Septimanca, with a, citadel dating from the Moorish occupation in the 9th century, a fine bridge of seventeen arches, and many remains of old walls. In 934 it was the scene of a bloody battle between the Moors and Christians. The citadel is now the Archivo General del Reino, to which the national archives of Spain were removed by order of Philip II. in 1563. Their transference thither was first suggested to Charles V. by Cardinal Ximenes or Cisneros (d. 1517). The extensive alterations were made by three celebrated 16th-century architects, Juan de Herrera, Alonso Berruguete and Juan Gomez de Mora; the arrangement of the papers was entrusted to Diego de Ayala. They occupy forty-six rooms, and are arranged in upwards of 80,000 bundles (33,000,000 documents), including important private as well as state papers. The archives of the Indies were transferred in 1784 to the Lonja of Seville (q.v.). Permission to consult the documents at Simancas can be readily obtained.

SIMBIRSK, a government of E. Russia, on the right bank of the middle Volga, with the government of Kazan on the N., Samara on the E., Saratov on the S., and Penza and Nizhniy-Novgorod on the W. It has an area of 18,095 sq. m. and occupies the E. of the great central plateau of middle Russia. Its higher parts range from 750 to 1000 ft. above the sea, and form the Zhegulev range of hills, which compels the Volga to make its great bend at Samara. In the W. a broad depression, traversed by numerous rivers and streams, extends along the left bank of the Sura. The Volga flows for 300 m. along the E. boundary, separating Simbirsk from Samara. The shallow Sviyaga rises in the Samarskaya Luka Hills and flows parallel to the Volga, at a distance of 2 to 20 m. but in the opposite direction. The Sura, also flowing N., drains the W. of Simbirsk; it is navigable for more than 270 m. A few lakes and marshes exist in the W. The climate is severe, and the extremes are great. At the city of Simbirsk the average temperature is 38.7°, but the thermometer sometimes reaches 115° F., and frosts of −47° F. are not uncommon; the average rain and snowfall is only 17.6 in. In respect to the geology, all systems, beginning with the Carboniferous, are represented in the government. The exact age of the “Variegated Marls,” the subject of animated polemics among Russian geologists, remains problematic, but the inquiries of Professor Pavlov have definitely settled the geological age of the Jurassic formations. Triassic deposits appear in the N.; Carboniferous and Cretaceous predominate in the E. of the province, where they are covered in many places by Tertiary deposits; Chalk and Eocene deposits crop up chiefly in the W. and the Chalk in the S. Post-Pliocene deposits, containing bones of the mammoth and other extinct mammals, overlie the older formations. Sulphur, asphalt, salt, ochre, and iron-ore are extracted, as well as various building stones.

The estimated pop. in 1906 was 1,783,000. Nearly all the inhabitants either belong to the Russian Orthodox Church or are Nonconformists, there being only 145,000 Mussulmans. The greater number (about two-thirds) are Great Russians, the remainder being Mordvinians (12%), Chuvashes (8%), and Tatars (8%), with about 1000 Jews. The Mordvinians are settled chiefly in the N.W., in Ardatov and Alatyr, and on the Volga in Sengilei; the Chuvashes make about one-third of the population of the districts of Buinsk and Kurmysh, contiguous to Kazan; the Tatars constitute about 35% in Buinsk and 18% in Sengilei. The villages in Simbirsk are large, many of them having 3000 to 5000 inhabitants. The government is divided into eight districts, the chief towns of which are Simbirsk, Alatyr, Ardatov, Buinsk, Karsun, Kurmysh, Sengilei and Syzran.

School gardens and school farms have been widely introduced, while bee-keeping is taught in over 50 schools. Owing to the efforts of the zemstvos (local councils), sanitation is well looked after. Agriculture is the principal occupation. Out of the total area the peasant village communities hold 40%, private owners 20%, the imperial domains 5%, and the towns and the crown 0.6%. The area under forests amounts to 30% of the whole and over 50% is under cultivation. The peasants are rapidly buying land in considerable quantities. Most of their allotments (more than 76%) are cultivated, and besides what they own they rent over 500,000 acres from private owners. The principal crops are wheat, rye, oats, barley and potatoes. Good breeds of horses are kept, and considerable numbers are exported. Fishing (sturgeon) is carried on in the Volga and the Sura, timber trade in the N. and shipbuilding on the Sura. Domestic trades give employment to over 15,000 persons; carts, sledges, wheels and all sorts of wooden wares are made in the villages, as also felt goods, boots, gloves, caps, handkerchiefs, ropes and fishing-nets, all extensively exported. The factories employ less than 20,000 persons. They comprise mainly cloth mills, flour-mills and distilleries, with tanneries, glass, oil and starch works. There are 82 fairs, the most important of which are held at Simbirsk, Syzran and Karsun. There is a considerable export trade in grain, mostly rye, and in flour.

The first Russian settlers made their appearance in the Simbirsk region in the 14th century, but did not go E. of the Sura. Not till two centuries later did they cross, that river and the district begin to be peopled by refugees from Moscow. The Zhegulev Mountains in the S. still continuing to be a place of refuge for the criminal and the persecuted, the town of Simbirsk was founded in 1648, with a string of small forts extending to the Sura. The region thus protected was soon settled, and, as the Russian villages advanced farther S., Syzran was founded, and a second line of small forts to the Sura was erected. The aboriginal Mordvinians rapidly lost their ethnographical individuality, especially since the middle of the 19th century.  (P. A. K.; J. T. Be.) 

SIMBIRSK, a town of Russia, capital of the government of the same name, 154 m. by the Volga S.S.W. from Kazan, between the Volga and the Sviyaga. Pop. (1897) 44,111. It is one of the best built provincial towns of Russia. It is an episcopal see of the Orthodox Greek Church. The central part of Simbirsk—the Crown (Venets), containing the cathedral and the best houses—is built on a hill 560 ft. above the Volga. Adjoining this is the commercial quarter, while farther down the slope, towards the Volga, are the storehouses and the poorest suburbs of the city; these last also occupy the W. slope towards the Sviyaga. There are three suburbs on the left bank of the Volga, communication with them being maintained in summer by steamers. A great fire having destroyed nearly all the town in 1864, it has been built again on a new plan, though still mostly of wood. The cathedral of St Nicholas dates from 1712. The new cathedral of the Trinity was erected in 1824–1841 in commemoration of the French invasion of 1812. The historian Karamzin (born in 1766 in the vicinity of Simbirsk) has a monument here, and a public library bearing his name contains about 15,000 volumes. The trade is brisk, corn being the principal item, while next come potash, wood, fruits, wooden wares and manufactured produce. Simbirsk fair has a turnover of £650,000 annually. The city was founded in 1648, and in 1670 endured a long siege by the rebel leader Stenka Razin.

SIMCOE, JOHN GRAVES (1752–1806), British soldier and first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada, was born at Cotterstock, Northumberland, England, on the 25th of February 1752. His father, John Simcoe, who was a captain in the Royal Navy, died in 1759, and his only brother was drowned in early youth. During Simcoe’s childhood the family removed to Exeter. He was sent to Eton at the age of fourteen, and three years later entered Merton College, Oxford. After two years of college life, he became ensign in the 35th regiment, first seeing active service at Boston in 1775, and remaining in America during the greater part of the Revolutionary War. In 1776 he secured command of the Queen’s Rangers with the rank of major. His military career in America ended with the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown (Oct. 19, 1781). He returned to England on parole, and for the next ten years divided his time between London and his family estate in Devon. In December