The State contained 29 miles of railway in 1896, belonging to private companies.
British Vice-Consul. — H. L. Belincke.
There are published annually by the Handelskamnier, Jahresberlcht der Handel skammer and Tabellarische Ubersichten des Lubeckischeu Handels.
(Grossherzogthum Mecklenburg-Schwerin. ) Reigning Grand-duke.
Friedrich Franz IV., born April 9, 1882 ; son of Friedricli Franz III. ; succeeded to the throne on the death of his father, April 10, 1897. The Guardian during the minority of the Grand-duke is Duke Johanii Albrccht. (See below). Sisters of the Grand-duke are : 1. Alexandrine, born Decem- ber 24, 1879 ; married April 26, 1898, to Prince Christian, eldest son of Christian, Crown-prince of Denmark. 2. Cccilc, born September 20, 1886,
Uncles and Aunts of the Grand-dukc. — I. Paul Friedrich, born Sep- tember 19, 1852 ; married May 5, 1881, to the Duchess Maria of Windisch- Grajtz. Offspring : 1. Paul Friedrich, born May 12, 1882. 2. Marie Antoi- nette, born May 28, 1884, 3. Heinrich Borwin, born December 16, 1885. Duke Paul in 1884 renounced all hereditary rights to the Grand-duchy for himself and his descendants ; he himself became a Roman Catholic. II. Marie, born May 14, 1854 ; married August 28, 1874, to Grand-duke Vladimir, second son of Alexander II., Emperor of Russia. III. Johann Albrecht, born December 8, 1857 ; married, November 6, 1886, to Duchess Elizabeth, daughter of the Grand-duke of Saxe- Weimar-Eisenach. IV. Elisabeth, born August 10, 1869 ; married, October 24, 1896, to Prince August, heir-apparent to the Grand-duke of Oldenburg. V. Adolf Friedrich, born October 10, 1873. VI. Heinrich, born April 19, 1876.
The Grand-ducal house of Mecklenburg is the only reigning family in Western Europe of Slavonic origin, and claims to be the oldest sovereign house in the Western world. In their full title, the Grand-dukes style them- selves Princes of the Wends. The genealogical table of the reigning Grand- dukes begins with Niklot, who died 1160, and comprises 25 generations. The title of Grand-duke was assumed in 1815.
The political institutions of the Grand-duchy are of an entirely feudal character. The fundamental laws are embodied in the 'Union' of 1523, the 'Reversales' of 1572 and 1621, and the charters of 1755 and Nov. 28, 1817. Part of the legislative power (only in the Domain has the Grand- duke the whole legislative power) is in the hands of the Diet — 'Landtag.' There is only one Diet for both Grand-duchies, and it assembles every year for a few weeks ; when it is not in actual session it is represented by a committee of nine members — ' Engerer Ausschuss. ' Seats and votes in the Diet belong to the Ritterschaft — that is, tlie proprietors of Rittergiiter, or Knights' Estates — and to the Landschaft, consisting of the burgomasters oi