Birmah. See Burma.


Birmingham, the capital of Jefferson county, Alabama, and the most important seat of the iron industry of the southern states, is situated at the junction of several railways, 95 miles NNW. of Montgomery. It has numerous foundries, mills, factories, and machine-shops; and the development of the iron interests of its immediate vicinity has caused a marvellous growth of the city. Pop. 40,000.


Birnam, a Perthshire hill, 1324 feet high, near Dunkeld. Birnam Wood, forming part of an ancient royal forest, is immortalised by Shakespeare in Macbeth. Opposite Dunkeld is the pretty village of Birnam; pop. 394.


Birni, a ruinous town, the former capital of Bornu (q.v.)t 100 miles W. of Lake Chad.


Birr. See Parsonstown.


Birrenswark. See Brunswark.


Birstal, a woollen manufacturing town in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 7 miles SSW. of Leeds. Dr Priestley was born hard by. Pop. 6558.


Biru', a kingdom of Soudan, Western Africa, bounded on the E. by the Niger.


Bisaccia (Bisat'cha), a town of Italy, 60 miles E. of Naples. Pop. 6189.


Bisacquino (Bisaquee'no), a town of Sicily, 27 miles S. of Palermo. Pop. 9588.


Bisalnag'ar, a town of India, in Baroda, 220 miles NW. of Mhow. Pop. 21,000.


Bisalpur', a town of India, in the United Provinces, 24 miles E. of Bareli. Pop. 10,000.


Bis'cay, or Vizcaya, the most northerly of the Basque Provinces of Spain, is bounded N. by the Bay of Biscay. Area, 833 sq. m.; population, 312,000. Chief town, Bilbao (q. v.).


Biscay, Bay of (Fr. Golfe de Gascogne), that portion of the Atlantic Ocean which sweeps in along the northern shores of the Spanish peninsula from Cape Ortegal to St Jean de Luz, at the western foot of the Pyrenees, and thence curves northward along the west shores of France to the island of Ushant. The depth of water varies from 20 to 200 fathoms. The whole of the south coast is bold and rocky, but great parts of the French shores are low and sandy. Navigation of 'the bay' is frequently rendered dangerous by the prevalence of strong winds, especially westerly ones. Rennel's Current sweeps in from the ocean round the north coast of Spain.


Bisceglia (Bishel'ya), an Italian seaport, on the Adriatic, 21 miles NW. of Bari. Pop. 31,675.


Bischoff, Mount, a post-town of Tasmania, 60 miles W. of Launceston. Here were discovered in 1872 some of the richest tin-mines in the world, the yield of pure tin from the ore being from 70 to 80 per cent. The mount takes its name from the chairman of a land company (1828). There is railway communication with Emu Bay, 45 miles distant. Pop. 1420.


Bischweiler (Bishvi'ler), a town of Alsace, on the Moder, 17 miles N. of Strasburg. Pop. 7810.

Bisham Abbey

Bisham Abbey, a Tudor mansion, in Berkshire, on the Thames, opposite Great Marlow. Elizabeth resided here in Mary's reign.