Wales, a great peninsula in the west of the island of Britain, bounded by the Irish Sea, St George's Channel, and the Bristol Channel, and touching the (now English) counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, Hereford, and Monmouth (q.v.). The area is 7363 sq. m., about a fifth larger than Yorkshire. The principality of Wales, administratively a part of England, though differing more or less widely in blood, language, national character, and religious temper, is a mountainous land, and contains Snowdon (q.v.), the highest point in South Britain; North Wales is especially picturesque. The minerals are extremely valuable, and South Wales contains some of the most important coal and iron industries in the United Kingdom. Copper, zinc, lead, tin, and gold are also found. The physical geography, geology, climate, etc. are dealt with at Great Britain. The established church is a part of the Church of England, with four episcopal sees; Nonconformists, especially Calvinistic Methodists, Con-gregationalists, Baptists, and Wesleyans, are very numerous, and claim to be a large majority of the total population (many of them eager for disestablishment); but the proportions are much disputed. There are university colleges at Aberyst-with, Bangor, and Cardiff, and theological colleges at Lampeter, etc. A Welsh university for the affiliation of the colleges was created in 1894. See the articles on the several Welsh counties, and on the towns, Cardiff, Swansea, etc. The following table shows the area and population of the twelve Welsh counties:

County.

Acres.

Pop. in 1881.

Pop. in 1901.

Anglesey...........................

193,511

61,416

50,590

Brecknockshire..............

460,158

57,746

59,906

Cardiganshire..................

443,387

70,270

60,273

Carmarthenshire..............

594,405

124,864

135,325

Carnarvonshire..............

369,477

119,349

126,835

Denbighshire.................

425,038

111,957

129,935

Flintshire...........................

161,807

80,441

81,725

Glamorganshire..............

516,959

511,433

860,022

Merionethshire..............

384,717

51,967

49,130

Montgomeryshire..............

495,089

65,710

54,892

Pembrokeshire..............

391,181

91,824

88,749

Radnorshire......................

276,552

23,528

23,263

Total.................

4,712,281

1,360,505

1,760,609

Of the total, 278,892 persons were set down as speaking Welsh only, 615,242 as speaking both Welsh and English; so that 894,134 (50.8 per cent. - as against 70 per cent. in 1881) did or could speak Welsh.