Content associated with: Population tables I, Vol. I. England and Wales. Divisions I-VII, 1851    Page clvii

An Act for taking account of the Population of Great Britain.

[5 August 1850]

13 & 14 Vict. c.53



Account of the Population to be taken.
Whereas it is expedient to take an Account of the total Number of Persons within Great Britain: Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That at the Time and in the Manner herein-after directed an Account shall be taken of the Number of Persons who at the Time of taking such Account shall be within England and Scotland respectively, and the Persons employed in taking such Account shall set down the several Particulars respecting the same according to such Form as shall be prescribed as herein-after mentioned.
Secretary of State to superintend the taking an Account of the Population. II. And be it enacted, That One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State shall have the Care of superintending the taking of such Account, and shall cause to be prepared and printed, for the Use of the Persons to be employed in taking such Account, such Forms and Instructions as he shall deem necessary; and the Registrar General shall issue all such Forms and Instructions to the Persons for whose Use they shall be intended; and all the Expenses which shall be incurred by such Secretary of State under this Act, and not herein otherwise provided for, shall be paid out of such Monies as shall be provided by Parliament for that Purpose.
Registrars Districts in England to be formed into Enumeration Districts. III And be it enacted, That every Registrar's District in England shall be formed into Enumeration Districts according to Instructions to be prepared by or under the Direction of such Secretary of State, who shall cause a sufficient Number of Copies of such Instructions to be sent to every Registrar of Births and Deaths in England; and the Registrars, with all convenient Speed, shall divide the several Districts into Enumeration Districts according to such Instructions, and subject in each Case to be revised by the Superintendent Registrars, and to the final Revision and Approval of the said Registrar General.
Enumerators to be appointed. IV. And be it enacted, That the several Registrars of Births and Deaths in England shall make and return to their respective Superintendent Registrars a List containing the Names and Places of Abode of a sufficient Number of Persons, duly qualified according to Instructions to be prepared by or under the Direction of such Secretary of State, to take account of the Population within their several Districts, and such Persons, when approved of by the Superintendent Registrar, shall be appointed by him Enumerators for taking such Account, subject nevertheless to the Approval of the said Registrar General; and the Registrar, with the Approval of the Superintendent Registrar, shall assign a District to each Enumerator, and shall distribute to the several Enumerators in his District the Forms and Instructions which shall have been issued for that Purpose by the Registrar General, and shall personally ascertain that each Enumerator thoroughly understands the Manner in which the Duties required of him are to be performed.
Enumerators to take the Account in England on 31st March 1851. V. And be it enacted, That upon Monday the Thirty-first Day of March in the Year One thousand eight hundred and fifty-one every such Enumerator, under the Direction of the Registrar of the District, shall visit every House within his District, except as hereinafter provided, and shall take an Account in Writing of the Name, Sex, Age, and Occupation of every living Person who abode therein on the Night of Sunday the Thirtieth Day of the said Month of March, and shall also ascertain which of such Persons are Foreigners, and shall also take an Account of the occupied Houses, and of the Houses then building and therefore uninhabited, and also of all other uninhabited Houses within his District; and shall also take an Account of all such further Particulars as by the Forms and Instructions which may be issued under this Act they may he directed to inquire into ; and in such Account each Enumerator shall distinguish the several Parishes or Places maintaining their own Poor within his District, or such Parts thereof as shall be within his District, and shall also distinguish Parishes and Places or Parts of Parishes and Places within his District which are within the Limits of any City or Borough returning or contributing to return a Member or Members to serve in Parliament, or of any incorporated City or Borough, or of any Ecclesiastical District, and shall sign and deliver such Account to of the Registrar of the District, and also a Form or Declaration to the Effect that the said Account has been truly and faithfully taken by him, and that to the best of his Knowledge the same is correct, so far as may be known; which Form of Declaration shall be prepared by or under the Direction of such Secretary of State, and issued by the Registrar General with the Forms and Instructions aforesaid.
Registrars to verify the Accounts. VI. And be it enacted, That the Registrar to whom such Accounts shall be delivered shall examine the same, and shall satisfy himself that the Instructions in each Case have been punctually fulfilled, and if not shall cause any Defect or Inaccuracy in the said Accounts to be supplied, so far as may appear possible; and when the Accounts shall have been made as accurate as is possible the Registrar shall deliver them to the Superintendent Registrar of his District.
Superintendent Registrars to collect Accounts, and return them to Secretary of State. VII. And be it enacted, That the Superintendent Registrar shall examine all the Accounts which shall be so delivered to him, and shall satisfy himself how far the Registrars have duly performed the duties required of then by this Act; and shall cause any Inaccuracies which he shall discover in such Accounts to be corrected, so far as may be possible, and shall return on or before the First Day of June One thousand eight hundred and fifty-one all the Accounts which shall have been delivered to him to the Registrar General, for the Use of such Secretary of State.
Abstracts of Returns to be printed, and laid before Parliament. VIII. And be it enacted, That such Secretary of State shall cause Abstracts to be made of the said Returns; and such Abstracts shall be printed, and laid before both Houses of Parliament within Twelve Calendar Months next after the First Day of June in the Year One thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, if Parliament be sitting, or, if Parliament be not sitting, then within the first Fourteen Days of the Session then next ensuing.
Copies of this Act, &c. to be sent to the Sheriffs, Provosts, &c. in Scotland. IX. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall send a printed Copy of this Act, and also a sufficient Number of all Forms and Instructions which the said Secretary of State shall have caused to be prepared, to the Sheriff of every County in Scotland, and to the Provost or other Chief Magistrate of every Royal Burgh, and of every Parliamentary Burgh having a Provost and Magistrates, in Scotland, with such Alterations in the said Forms and Instructions as to such Secretary of State shall seem necessary to make them applicable to the Circumstances of each Case.
Sheriffs, &c. in Scotland to appoint Schoolmasters or other Persons to take the Account required in Scotland. X. And be it enacted, That the Sheriffs in their respective Counties, and the Provost or other Chief Magistrate of the Royal and Parliamentary Burghs within the said Burghs, shall nominate and appoint, in Writing under the Hand of their respective Clerks, the Schoolmaster or other fit Person or Persons in each Parish or Part of a Parish or Place within their respective Jurisdictions to take account of the several Matters required by this Act; and the Sheriffs Officers and Town Officers respectively shall forthwith deliver the Forms and Instructions prepared as aforesaid for their Use to the Schoolmaster or other Person or Persons so appointed; and on the said Thirty-first Day of March in the Year One thousand eight hundred and fifty-one the Schoolmaster or other Person or Persons so appointed shall visit every House within their District, and shall take an Account in Writing of the Name, Sex, Age, and Occupation of every living Person who abode therein on the Night of the said Thirtieth Day of the said Month of March, and shall also ascertain which of such Persons are Foreigners, and also take an Account of the occupied Houses, and of the Houses then building and therefore uninhabited, and also of all other uninhabited Houses within their District, and shall also take an Account of all such further Particulars as by the Forms and Instructions which may be issued under this Act they may be directed to inquire into, and in such Account the Enumerators shall distinguish the several Parishes and Places maintaining their own Poor, and shall also distinguish those Parishes and Places, or Parts of Parishes and Places, which are within the Limits of any City, Burgh, or Town returning or contributing to return a Member or Members to serve in Parliament, or Royal Burgh, and shall then exhibit the same to the Minister of the Parish, for his Correction and Approbation, and for any Observations which he may think fit to write thereupon; and the several Schoolmasters and other Persons appointed shall thereafter sign the same with their Names and ordinary Designations.
Returns to be made to the Sheriffs, &c. in Scotland. XI. And be it enacted, That the Sheriffs and the Provost or other Chief Magistrates of the Royal and Parliamentary Burghs, within their respective Jurisdictions, shall appoint a Time or Times, which shall not be sooner than the Seventh nor later than the Thirtieth Day of April One thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, for the Schoolmaster, Person or Persons, appointed by them as aforesaid, to attend at their Offices, or at such other Places as they shall appoint, with their Returns to be made under this Act, and the said Sheriffs and Provosts other Chief Magistrates shall cause Notice to be given to them respectively for that Purpose accordingly, and shall then and there receive the Returns to be made as aforesaid, and cause every Schoolmaster or Person appointed to make such Returns as aforesaid to make a Declaration to the Effect that the said Account has been truly and faithfully taken, and that to the best of his Knowledge the same is correct, so far as may be known; and such Sheriffs and Provosts or other Chief Magistrates aforesaid, if they see Cause, may examine the said Schoolmaster, Person or Persons, touching any of the Matters contained in such Questions and Answers, especially as to the distinct Population of Parts of Parishes not only contained in one and the same County, or partly included in any Parliamentary Burgh (as aforesaid) or Royal Burgh, and shall thereafter direct the Clerks of their respective Jurisdictions to indorse the same (if not previously indorsed) with the Name of the County and District thereof wherein the Parish or Place therein mentioned is situated, or otherwise (in Cases where the said Sheriffs shall think proper) they shall direct the Schoolmasters and other Persons aforesaid to verify the said Returns and Answers before any Justice of the Peace within the County, and thereafter to transmit the Schedule, previously to the said Thirtieth Day of April in any convenient Manner, to the said Sheriffs, who shall direct the same to be indorsed as aforesaid.
Original Accounts taken by Schoolmasters in Scotland to be transmitted to Secretary of State. XII. And be it enacted, That the Sheriffs and Provosts or other Chief Magistrates of the Royal and Parliamentary Burghs, in Scotland, shall on or before the First Day of June One thousand eight hundred and fifty-one send the several original Accounts so taken in Writing by the Schoolmasters or other Persons appointed as aforesaid in every Parish or Place in Scotland (together with a List of the Parishes and Places within their respective Counties, Ridings, or Divisions from whence no Returns have been made to them,) to the Registrar General for the Use of such Secretary of State, who shall cause Abstracts thereof to be made and printed and laid before both Houses of Parliament within Twelve Months after the said First Day of June if Parliament be sitting, or, if Parliament be not sitting, then within the first Fourteen Days of the Session then next ensuing.
Householders Schedules to be left at Dwelling Houses.


Occupiers to fill up the Schedules, and sign and deliver them to the Enumerator.

Penalty for Neglect.
XIII. And be it enacted, That Schedules shall be prepared by or under the Direction of such Secretary of State for the Purpose of being filled up by the several Occupiers of Dwelling Houses as herein-after provided; and the Registrars in England and Wales, and the Schoolmasters and other Persons charged with taking the said Account in Scotland, shall in the course of the Week ending on Saturday the Twenty-ninth Day of March in the Year One thousand eight hundred and fifty-one leave or cause to be left at every Dwelling House within their respective Districts One or more of the said Schedules for the Occupier or Occupiers thereof or of any Part thereof, and upon every such Schedule shall be plainly expressed that it is to be filled up by the Occupier of such Dwelling House, (or where such Dwelling House is let in different Stories or Apartments, and occupied distinctly by different Persons or Families, by the Occupier of each such distinct Story or Apartment,) and that the Person charged with taking the said Account will collect all such Schedules within his District on the Monday then next following; and every Occupier of any Dwelling House, or of any distinct Story or Apartment in any Dwelling House, with or for whom any such Schedule shall have been left as aforesaid, shall fill up the said Schedule to the best of his or her Knowledge and Belief, so far as relates to all Persons dwelling in the House, Story, or Apartment occupied by him or her, and shall sign his or her Name thereunto, and shall deliver the Schedule, so filled up, or cause the same to be delivered, to the Person charged with taking the said Account, when required so to do; and every such Occupier who shall wilfully refuse or without lawful Excuse neglect to fill up the said Schedule to the best of his or her Knowledge and Belief, or to sign and deliver the same as herein required, or who shall wilfully make, sign, or deliver, or cause to be made signed, or delivered, any false Return of all or any of the Matters specified in the said Schedule, shall forfeit a Sum not more than Five Pounds nor less than Two Pounds.
Schedules to be collected from House to House, and corrected if found to be erroneous. XIV. And be it enacted, That the Persons charged with taking the said Accounts in Great Britain shall collect all the Schedules so left within their District from House to House, and, so far as may be possible, on the said Monday the Thirty-first Day of March, and shall complete such of the Returns so made to them as upon Delivery thereof to them shall appear to be defective, and correct such as they shall find to be erroneous, and shall copy the Returns so made to them, when completed and corrected, into the Account which they are required to take of the Persons living within their several Districts, and shall add thereunto the Accounts which they shall have taken of all the other Persons living within their District, in the Manner herein prescribed, who shall not be included in the Returns so made to them.
Masters &c. of Gaols, &c. to be appointed Enumerators of the Inmates thereof. XV. And be it enacted, That the Master or Keeper of every Gaol, Prison, or House of Correction, Workhouse, Hospital, or Lunatic Asylum, and of every public or charitable Institution, which shall be determined upon by the said Registrar General shall be the Enumerator of the Inmates thereof, and shall be bound to conform to such Instructions as shall be sent to him by the Authority of one of the said Secretaries of State, for obtaining the Returns required by this Act, so far as may be practicable, with respect to such Inmates.
Overseers, Relieving Officers, and peace Officers bound to act as Enumerators.
4 & 5 W. 4. c. 76.
XVI. And be it enacted, That the Overseers of the Poor in every Parish, Township, and Place in England and Wales, and the Constables, Tithingmen, Headboroughs, or other Peace Officers for such Parishes, Townships, and Places, and the Relieving Officers in any Union formed under the Provisions of an Act passed in the Fifth Year of the Reign of His late Majesty, intituled An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales, shall be bound to act as Enumerators under this Act within their respective Townships, Parishes, and Places, and Unions, if required so to act by one of the said Secretaries of State, and where they shall so act shall be entitled to Allowances as Enumerators under the Provisions of this Act; and every such Overseer, Relieving Officer, Constable, Tithingman, Headborough, and other Peace Officer who shall refuse or wilfully neglect so to act, and duly to perform the Duties required of the said Enumerators by this Act, shall for every such Offence forfeit a Sum not more than Ten Pounds nor less than Five Pounds.
Returns of houseless Poor and of Persons travelling or on Shipboard. XVII. And be it enacted, That such Secretary of State shall obtain, by such Ways and Means as shall appear to him best adapted for the Purpose, Returns of the Particulars required by this Act with respect to all houseless Persons, and all Persons who during the said Night of Sunday the Thirtieth Day of March were travelling or on Shipboard, or for any other Reason were not abiding in any House of which Account is to be taken by the Enumerators, Schoolmasters, and other Persons as aforesaid, and shall include such Returns in the Abstracts to be made by him as aforesaid.
Table of allowances to Enumerators in England. XVIII. And be it enacted, That one of the said Secretaries of State shall, cause to be prepared a Table of Allowances to be made to the several Enumerators, Registrars, Superintendent Registrars, and other Persons in England employed in the Execution of this Act; and such Table, when approved by the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament on or before the First Day of March One thousand eight hundred and fifty-one, if Parliament be sitting, or, if Parliament be not sitting, then within the first Fourteen Days of the Session then next ensuing.
Manner in which the Payments shall be made to Persons employed in execution of this Act in England.

Apportionment of Payments when more than One Parish in a District.
As to extra-parochial Places.
XIX. And be it enacted, That the Guardians of the Poor, or, where there are no such Guardians, the Overseers of the Poor in every Superintendent Registrar's District in England, shall pay to such Superintendent Registrar, out of the Monies in their Hands as such Guardians or Overseers, the whole Amount of the Allowances to which the said Superintendent Registrar, and the Registrars, Enumerators, and other Persons in that District, are severally entitled, according to the said Table; and each Superintendent Registrar shall pay over to the Registrars in his District the Allowances to which the said Registrars, Enumerators, and other Persons are entitled; and each Registrar shall pay over to the Enumerators and other Persons in his District the Allowances to which they are severally entitled, according to the said Table; and the Receipts to be given by the Enumerators and other Persons, Registrars and Superintendent Registrars, for Payment of their said Allowances, shall be delivered to the Guardians or Overseers, as the Case may be; and where the District of any Superintendent Registrar, Registrar, or Enumerator contains more than One Parish or Place, or Parts of more than One Parish or Place, the Guardians established under the said Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales, or, if there be no such Guardians, the Superintendent Registrar, shall apportion the whole Sum so paid or to be paid on account of that District among the several Parishes and Places of which any Part is within such District, in such Manner as to them or him shall seem just; and such Apportionment shall be binding upon all Persons, and the Payment thereof shall be allowed in the Accounts of the Guardians and Overseers of the Poor of the said several Parishes and Places; and in every extra-parochial or other Place not having Overseers of the Poor the Persons appointed to collect the County or Borough Rates therein shall be deemed Overseers of the Poor within the Meaning of this Act, and shall pay the Amount charged to the Account of such Place under the Provisions of this Act to the Guardians of the Union in which such Place is situated, or, if it be not situated in any Union, to the Superintendent Registrar, out of the next Monies in their Hands collected for the County or Borough Rate within such Place, and shall be allowed such Payment in their Accounts; and if there be any extra-parochial Place in which no County or Borough Rate, or Rate in the Nature of a County Rate, is collected, the Treasurer of the County, Riding, or Division, or Borough, shall pay the Amount charged to the Account of such Place out of the Monies in his Hands as such Treasurer, and shall be allowed such Payment in his Account: Provided always, that no such Payment shall be made to any Enumerator or other Person who shall be required to act as an Enumerator under this Act, but upon Production of a Certificate under the Hand of the Registrar that the Duties required of such Enumerator or other Person acting as Enumerator by this Act have been faithfully performed, and the like Certificate shall be required under the Hand of the Superintendent Registrar with respect to the Registrar before any Payment shall be made to the Registrar, and the like Certificate under the Hand, of the said Registrar General with respect to the Superintendent Registrar before any Payment shall be made to the Superintendent Registrar.
Payments to be certified to the Registrar General. XX And be it enacted, That the Superintendent Registrar of every District in England shall within One Calendar Month next after any such Payment shall have been made as aforesaid certify to the said Registrar General the total Amount of the Allowances to which he, and the Registrars, Enumerators, and other Persons in that District, are respectively entitled, according to the said Table.
Parishes, &c. to be reimbursed out of Monies to be provided by Parliament. XXI. And be it enacted, That all Allowances defrayed as aforesaid by any Parish or Place, or by the Guardians or Overseers on behalf thereof, or by the Treasurer of any County, Riding, Division, or Borough shall be reimbursed to such Parish, Place, or Treasurer by the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, out of such Monies as shall be provided by Parliament for that Purpose.
Payments to be made to Persons in Scotland. XXII. And be it enacted, That the Sheriffs and Provosts or other Chief Magistrates of the Royal and Parliamentary Burghs, in Scotland, shall allow to the Sheriff Clerk or Town Clerk respectively, for the Return which shall be made and transmitted from every Parish or Place in Scotland, the Sum of One Shilling, and to the Sheriff Officer or Town Officer who shall distribute the Schedule to the Schoolmasters and others, for the like, the Sum of Two Shillings and Sixpence; and the said Sheriffs and Provosts or other Chief Magistrates of the Royal Burghs and other Burghs, in Scotland, herein specified, shall allow to the Schoolmasters and others a reasonable Compensation for the Trouble by them necessarily taken, and also for the Expenses (if any) by them necessarily incurred in the Execution of this Act, and shall order Payment thereof, and also of the Sums respectively payable to the Sheriff Clerk or Town Clerk, and to the Sheriff Officer or Town Officer, to be made by the Collector of the Land Tax of and for the Shire or other Place (as the Case shall require), out of any Money in his Hands, and such Collector shall pay the same accordingly.
Penalty for wilful Default. XXIII. And be it enacted, That every Superintendent Registrar and Registrar, and every Enumerator and other Person who shall be required to act as Enumerator, in England, and also every Schoolmaster or other Person in Scotland, so appointed as aforesaid, making wilful Default in any of the Matters required of them respectively by this Act, or making any wilfully false Declaration, shall for every such wilful Default or false Declaration forfeit a Sum not exceeding Five Pounds nor less than Two Pounds.
Penalty for refusing Information or giving false Answers. XXIV And be it enacted, for the better enabling the said Secretary of State, Registrar General, Enumerators, Schoolmasters and other Persons employed in the Execution of this Act, to make the said Inquiries and Returns, That the said Enumerators, Schoolmasters, and other Persons shall be authorized to ask all such Questions as shall be directed in any Instructions to be prepared by or under the Direction of the said Secretary of State, which shall be necessary for obtaining the Returns required by this Act, and every Person refusing to answer or wilfully giving a false Answer to such Questions or any of them shall for every such Refusal or wilfully false Answer forfeit a Sum not exceeding Five Pounds nor less than Twenty Shillings.
Recovery and Application of Penalties. XXV And be it enacted, That Forfeitures imposed by this Act for Offences in England shall be recovered in a summary Manner before Two Justices of the Peace having Jurisdiction in the County or Place where the Offence is committed, in the Manner prescribed by Law in this Behalf, and Forfeitures imposed by this Act for Offences in Scotland may be recovered before the Sheriff or Two Justices, who may proceed in a summary Way, and grant Warrant for bringing the Parties complained upon immediately before him or them, and on Proof on Oath by One or more credible Witness or Witnesses, or other legal Evidence, he or they may forthwith determine and give Judgment, without any written Pleadings or Record of Evidence, and grant Warrant for the Recovery of the Penalties and Expenses decerned for, and, failing Payment within Eight Days after Conviction, by Poinding and Imprisonment for a Period, at the Discretion of the Sheriff or Justices, not exceeding Fourteen Days, and Forfeitures recovered in England under this Act shall be paid, one Half to the Informer, and the other, Half to the Treasurer of the County or Place for which the Justices before whom the Forfeiture is recovered shall have acted, and Forfeitures recovered in Scotland under this Act shall be paid, one Half to the Informer, and the other Half to the Collector of the Land Tax of such County wherein the Offence shall be committed, to be by him applied in aid of the Expenditure incurred by reason of this Act
Explanation Clause. XXVI And be it enacted and declared, for Explanation of the full Intent and Meaning of certain Words used in this Act, That the Words "Parish or Place, Parishes or Places," shall include the various Denominations of Townships, Tithings, Hamlets, Villages, Chapelries, Quarters, Wards, Parcels, Lordships, Manors, or Parts of any Parish, and all other Places, whether denominated Vills, Precincts, or otherwise, and whether connected with any Parish or deemed to be extra-parochial.
Act may be amended, &c. XXVII. And be it enacted, That this Act may be amended or repealed by any Act to be passed in this present Session of Parliament.