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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 17, p. 307.


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MERGUI TOWN 307
Vaccination is compulsory only in Mergui town. In 1903-4 the
number of persons successfully vaccinated was 4,388, representing
49 per 1,ooo of population.
[Captain J. Butler, Mergui District Gazetteer (1884).]
Mergui Subdivision.-Subdivision of Mergui District, Lower
Burma, consisting of the MERGUI, PALAW, TENASSERIM, and BOKPYIN
townships.
Mergui Township.-Township of Mergui District, Lower Burma,
comprising the most important islands of the Archipelago and a small
piece of the mainland in the neighbourhood of Mergui. It extends
from 110 25' to 120 47' N. and from 97 30 to 980 58' E., with an area
of 1,879 square miles. The eastern islands, lying at the mouths of the
Tenasserim and Lenya rivers, are in muddy waters teeming with fish.
They support a large fishing population, but only King Island is culti
vated. The population was 32,448 1n 1891, and 43,070 in 1901, when
the township contained 152 villages and hamlets, besides MERGUI
TOWN (population, 11,987), the head-quarters. Outside the town
9o per cent. of the people speak Burmese, the rest being Karens,
Chinese, or Salons. Of the Burmans, nearly half are fishermen. The
cultivated area in 1903-4 was 64 square miles, of which about 41 square
miles were under rice, and the rest orchards and palm groves. The
land revenue in the same year amounted to Rs. 94,400.
Mergui Town.-Head-quarters of the District of the same name in
Lower Burma, situated in 120 26' N. and 980 36'E., on the Tenasserim
coast, just outside the principal mouth of the Tenasserim river, and
protected by the little hill-island of Pataw, which helps to form a good
natural harbour, and farther out by a ring of islands to the south and
west, including King Island, the largest of the Mergui Archipelago.
The principal Government buildings are on a ridge parallel to the
coast, rising abruptly from the sea, and affording a view of the harbour
backed by the pagoda-crowned hills of Pataw and Patet on the islands
opposite, and the distant heights of King Island beyond. The inner
town is densely packed, the houses being huddled together without
much regard for sanitation, especially on the foreshore, where they are
built over the mud. In the suburbs the buildings are scattered among
orchards, but roads are lacking everywhere.
The population of the town fell from 9,737 in 1872 to 8,633 in 1881,
but rose again to 10,137 in i89i and 11,987 in 1901. The Census,
however, is taken at a time when the fishermen and their families, who
number several thousands, are living in the islands. During the mon-
soon they move into the town. The population is very mixed. To
a European resident most families seem to have either Chinese or
Indian blood in them; but the census figures show only 1,400 Muham-
madans and loo Hindus in the town, while the total number of persons
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