Beilby Porteus, an English prelate, born in York, May 8, 1731, died in London, May 14, 1808. He was a sizar of Christ's college, Cambridge, where he obtained a fellowship. He first became known as a writer by his prize poem on death. In 1762 he became chaplain to Dr. Seeker, archbishop of Canterbury, by whom he was presented to several benefices, and in 1769 chaplain to George III. and master of the hospital of St. Cross, near Winchester. In 1776 he was made bishop of Chester, and in 1787 was promoted to the diocese of London, over which he presided till his death. He established a fund for the relief of the poorer clergy of his diocese, and founded three prizes in Christ's college, Cambridge. His collected works, including sermons, tracts, a " Summary of Christian Evidences," a "Life of Archbishop Seeker," etc, with a life by his nephew the Rev. Robert Hodgson, were published in 1811 (6 vols. 8vo, London).
Beira, Or Beyra, one of the six former provinces of Portugal, bounded N. by Minho and Tras-os-Montes, E. by Spain, S. by Estrema-dura and Alemtejo, and W. by the Atlantic; area, 9,244 sq. m.; pop. in 1868, 1,288,994. The surface is very mountainous; the soil is not fertile, but produces barley, wine, wheat, maize, olives, and fruits. The mountains, including the Sierra de Estrella, furnish fine pasturage for sheep, and yield iron, marble, and coal. The principal rivers are the Douro, which forms the northern boundary, the Mon-dego, which flows through the centre, and the Tagus, on the S. E. border. The province was in 1838 divided into Upper Beira, capital Viseu, and Lower Beira, capital Castello Branco. It is now divided into the administrative districts of Coimbra, Castello Branco, Aveiro, Viseu, and Guarda.
Beirut. See Beyrout.
Beisan. See Scythopolis.
Beit-El-Farih (house of the saint), a town of Arabia, 40 m. N. N. E. of Hodeida on the Red sea, and 85 m. N. of Mocha; pop. about 8,000. It contains a mosque and a strong citadel. The houses are built of brick and clay, and roofed with date leaves. Caravans from all parts of Arabia, Syria, Persia, and Egypt resort hither with Indian and British goods, spices and sugar, receiving in exchange, coffee, wax, and various gums. Much of the commercial importance of the place is owing to an annual festival of three days which is held at the tomb of a sheik near by. Another town of the same name, surnamed el-Kebir (the Great), is N. E. of Hodeida.
Beja, a city of Portugal, capital of a district in the southern part of the province of Alemtejo, 36 m. S. S. W. of Evora; pop. 7.000. It is built on a hill, in the midst of a fertile plain, and is surrounded by a wall, having 40 towers. It has a castle and a cathedral. Earthenware is manufactured, and there are several tanneries in the town.
Bel, Or Bil. See Belus.