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Isle of Man were united under one bishop in Norway. The English Bishop of Sodor and Man still retains the title. The Isle of Man has many Norse names, particularly in the south.
POSITION, BOUNDARIES, AREA, PROVINCES, COUNTIES, ETC.
1. Ireland is an island lying in the Atlantic Ocean, to the west of the larger island of Great Britain. The St. George's Channel, the Irish Sea, and the North Channel, are parts of an arm of the ocean which separates the two islands. The north-eastern shore reaches within thirteen miles of the Mull of Cantire in Scotland, and the eastern shore to within about sixty miles from the coast of Wales.
2. In shape Ireland is an irregular oval, its greatest length being from north-east to south-west, a distance of about 300 miles. Though its shores are much indented on the west side, as a whole the island is much less irregular in outline than its sister kingdom of Great Britain. Its area is about 32,500 square miles, which is somewhat greater than that of Scotland, and a little more than one-fourth of the British Isles.
3. Ireland is divided into four Provinces—Ulster, Munster, Connaught, and Leinster—and these provinces are sub-divided into counties. Ulster, in the north-east, consists of nine counties; Munster, in the south-west, of six ; Leinster, on the east, of twelve; and Connaught, on the west, of five-in all thirty-two counties.
4. The four provinces vary but little in area. Connaught, the smallest, has a little over four million acres. Munster, the largest, measures six million acres. The division into counties, too, is less unequal than in England and Scotland. Cork, the largest county, has but nine times the area of Louth, the smallest.
5. Ireland was united to Great Britain to form the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the year 1801,” but the island had been more or less a dependent province since the twelfth century, when its
conquest was begun by Henry II. It was raised into the dignity of a kingdom by Henry VIII., who received the title of King of Ireland in 1541.
6. Ireland cannot be said to be a prosperous country, like England or Scotland. This is no doubt due to some extent to the character of her people, but much more to the absence of those mineral treasures in iron and coal, which have raised Great Britain to the proud position of being the first manufacturing country in the world.
7. The people are dependent for their subsistence mainly on the produce of the soil, and when this fails famine and misery follow. In 1821 the population was a little over five millions. In 1845 it had increased to over eight millions. For two successive years after this the potato crop failed, and famine, and disease, and emigration, so thinned the population that in 1851 it was only six-and-a-half millions. In 1861. this had decreased by three-fourths of a million, in 1871 it had again decreased by one-third of a million, and in 1881 the population stands at a little less than five millions.
8. The number of emigrants who left Ireland in 1879 was 40,000, and the total number from the 1st May, 1851, to the 31st of December, 1879, was two-and-a-half millions.
LESSON XII I.
1. In its general features the surface of Ireland presents striking contrasts to that of England or Scotland. In England the high mountain ranges lie towards the west, and the principal rivers flow eastward. In Scotland the great mountains occupy the centre of the country, and the short rapid rivers flow from their slopes on every side. In Ireland the central part of the country is for the most part a great level plain, whilst the detached mountain
lie around and near to the coast.