Malacca. 1. A name sometimes applied to the Malay peninsula, which is attached to Further India by the isthmus of Kra. Sometimes it is taken to include the country as far as British Burma, from which it is separated by the Pakshan. Bounded on the E. by the Gulf of Siam and the China Sea, and the W. by the Bay of Bengal and the Malacca Strait, the country is well wooded, and is traversed by mountain ranges of considerable height. From the mountains the ground slopes to fertile plains, while on the coast are miles of mangrove swamps, and off the coast is a fringe of islands. The chief productions are tin, gold, silver, lead, ebony, sandalwood, and camphor; and coal and iron are found, but not worked. Rice. sugar, cotton, tobacco, cocoa-nuts, and areca-nuts are the chief objects of cultivation. The climate is not good for Europeans. The various divisions, Malacca, Singapore, etc., are separately treated.
2. A British settlement and town on the S.W. coast of the Malay peninsula, 100 miles from Singapore, having a length of 42 miles and a breadth varying from 8 to 25 miles, and an area of 659 square miles. Inland are low hills, but the coast districts are swampy, owing to their low level and the great rainfall. The chief products are tin, tapioca, rice, pepper, and fruits - tin and tapioca forming articles of export. The town is on a river of the same name, which divides the old Dutch town from the Malay and Chinese quarter, which is on the left bank. The trade once possessed by it has passed away to Penang and Singapore. Originally Portuguese, it has passed backwards and forwards between Holland and England till it finally became British in 1824.