Content associated with: Population. Administrative counties, England and Wales. Vol. I, 1891    Page 352

An Act for taking the Census of England

[18 August 1890]

53 & 54 Vict. c.61

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, as follows:
Census to be taken in 1891. 1. 1. A census for England and Wales shall be taken in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-one, and the census day shall be Sunday the fifth day of April in that year.
Central authority to superintend taking of census. 2. (1.) The Local Government Board (herein-after referred to as "the Board") shall superintend the taking of the census, and shall prescribe such forms and instructions as the Board deem necessary for the use of the persons to be employed in taking it.
(2.) The Registrar General shall cause such forms and instructions to be prepared and printed and shall issue them to the persons for whose use they are intended.
(3.) All the expenses incurred by authority of the Board, with the consent of the Treasury, for the purposes of the census, shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament.
Formation of enumerators divisions. 3. Every registrar of births and deaths shall divide his sub-district into enumerators divisions according to instructions issued under this Act but the division shall be subject to the revision of his superintendent registrar, and to the final revision and approval of the Registrar General.
Appointment of enumerators. 4. (1.) Every registrar of births and deaths shall make and return to his superintendent registrar a list containing the names and places of abode of a sufficient number of persons, qualified according to instructions issued under this Act to act as enumerators within his sub-district, and such persons, when approved by the superintendent registrar, shall be appointed by him enumerators for taking the census, subject nevertheless to the approval of the Registrar General.
(2.) Every registrar, with the approval of his superintendent registrar, shall assign a division to each enumerator, and shall distribute to the several enumerators in his sub-district the forms and instructions issued for that purpose under this Act and shall personally ascertain that each enumerator thoroughly understands the manner in which the duties required of him are to be performed.
Preparation and filling up of schedules. 5. (1.) Schedules shall be prepared by or under the direction of the Board for the purpose of being filled up by or on behalf of the several occupiers of dwelling-houses, with the following particulars, and no others, namely, particulars showing the name, sex, age, profession or occupation, condition as to marriage, relation to head of family, and birth place of every living person who abode in every house on the night of the census day, and in the case of a dwelling-house within Wales or the county of Monmouth, whether any such person speaks Welsh only or both Welsh and English, and showing also whether any such person was blind or deaf and dumb, or imbecile or lunatic; and also where the occupier is in occupation of less than five rooms the number of rooms occupied by him.
(2.) Every registrar shall in the course of the week ending on the Saturday next before the census day leave or cause to be left at every dwelling-house within his sub-district one or more of the said schedules for the occupier or occupiers thereof or of any part thereof, and on every such schedule shall be plainly expressed that it is to be filled up by the occupier with or for whom it is left, and that the enumerator will collect all such schedules within his division on the Monday then next following.
(3.) Every occupier with or for whom any such schedule has been so left, shall fill up the 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 thereto, and shall deliver the schedule so filled up, or cause the same to be delivered, to the enumerator when required so to do.
(4.) If any such occupier wilfully refuses or without lawful excuse neglects to fill up the schedule to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, or to sign and deliver the same as by this Act required, or wilfully makes, signs, or delivers, or causes to be made, signed, or delivered, any false return of all or any of the matters specified in the schedule, he or she shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five pounds.
(5.) In this section the expression "dwelling-house" shall include every building and tenement of which the whole or any part is used for the purpose of human habitation, and where a dwelling-house is let or sub-let in different stories or apartments and occupied distinctly by different persons or families, a separate schedule shall be left with or for and filled up by the occupier of each such distinct story or apartment.
Collection and correction of schedules. 6. The enumerators shall visit every house in their respective divisions, and shall collect all the schedules so left within their division, from house to house, and so far as may be possible on the day next following the census day, and shall complete such of the schedules as on delivery thereof to them appear to be defective, and correct such as they find to be erroneous, and shall copy the schedules, when completed and corrected, into books to be provided for that purpose, and shall add thereto an account, according to the best information which they are able to obtain, of all the persons present within their division on the night of the census day, but not included in the schedules collected by them.
Particulars as to houses. 7. Every enumerator shall also take an account of the inhabited houses, and of the houses then building and therefore uninhabited, and of all other uninhabited houses within his division.
Particulars as to local areas. 8. Every enumerator shall in the book into which he has copied the householders schedules and other particulars distinguish the several parishes within his division, or such parts thereof as are within his division, and also those parishes or parts of parishes within his division which are within the limits of any administrative county, or of any parliamentary borough, or of any municipal borough, or of any urban sanitary district, or of any rural sanitary district, or of any ecclesiastical district or parish, or of any area prescribed in that behalf by the instructions.
Summary of contents and delivery of book to registrar. 9. Every enumerator shall make a summary in accordance with instructions issued under this Act of the contents of the book, and shall deliver the book to the registrar of his sub-district, with the householders schedules collected by him, and shall sign a declaration, in a form prescribed by the Board, to the effect that the book has been truly and faithfully filled up by him, and that to the best of his knowledge the same is correct.
Registrars to verify enumerators books. 10. The registrar to whom the enumerators books are delivered shall examine the same, and shall satisfy himself that the instructions in each ease have been punctually fulfilled, and if they have not, shall cause any defect or inaccuracy in the books to be supplied so far as may be possible; and when the books have been made as accurate as is possible the registrar shall deliver them to the superintendent registrar of his sub-district, and thereafter shall transmit the householders schedules to the Registrar General.
Examination of books and return to Registrar General. 11. The superintendent registrar shall examine all the books so delivered to him, and shall satisfy himself how far the registrars have duly performed the duties required of them by this Act, and shall cause any inaccuracies which he may discover in the books to be corrected so far as may be possible, and shall, on or before the expiration of one month after the census day, or such other time as may be fixed by the Registrar General, return all the books to the Registrar General for the use of the Board.
Abstract of returns to be printed and laid before Parliament. 12. The Board shall cause a detailed abstract to be made of the said returns, and also a preliminary abstract which shall be printed and laid before both Houses of Parliament within five months next after the census day, if Parliament be then sitting, or if Parliament be not then sitting, then within the first fourteen days of the session then next ensuing.
Masters, &c. of gaols, &c. to be enumerators of the inmates thereof. 13. The governor, master, or keeper of every gaol, lock-up, workhouse, hospital, or lunatic asylum, and of every public or charitable institution which may be determined upon by the Registrar General, shall be the enumerator of the inmates thereof, and shall conform to such instructions as may be sent to him by the authority of the Board for obtaining the returns required by this Act, so far as may be practicable, with respect to such inmates.
Overseers, peace officers, and relieving officers to act as enumerators. 14. (1.) The overseers of the poor and the constables or other peace officers in every parish, and the relieving officers of every poor law union, shall act as enumerators under this Act within their respective parishes and unions, if required so to act by the Board; and where they so act shall be entitled to allowances as enumerators under this Act.
(2.) If any such overseer, relieving officer, constable, or other peace officer refuses or wilfully neglects so to act, and duly to perform the duties required of enumerators under this Act, he shall for every such offence be liable to a fine not exceeding ten pounds.
Returns of persons travelling or on shipboard, or not in houses. 15. The Board shall obtain, by such ways and means as appear to them best adapted for that purpose, returns of the particulars required by this Act with respect to all persons who during the night of the census day 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 and other persons as aforesaid, and shall include such returns in the abstract to be made by them as aforesaid.
Table of allowances to enumerators and others. 16. The Board shall cause to be prepared a table of allowances to be made to the several enumerators, registrars, superintendent registrars, and other persons employed in the execution of this Act; and that table, when approved by the Treasury, shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament on or before the first day of March next preceding the census day if Parliament be then sitting, or if Parliament be not then sitting, then within the first fourteen days of the session then next ensuing.
Certificate of payments to be made. 17. The superintendent registrar of every district shall within one month next after the census day certify to the 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.
Payment of persons employed in execution of Act. 18. The Treasury shall, through the Registrar General, pay to each superintendent registrar, out of the money provided by Parliament for that purpose, the whole amount of the allowances to which the superintendent registrar, and the registrars, enumerators, and other persons in each district, are severally entitled according to the said table; and each superintendent registrar shall pay over or cause to be paid over to the registrars, 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 registrars, enumerators, and other persons for payment of their said allowances shall be delivered to the superintendent registrar, who shall transmit the same, with the receipt for his own allowance, to the Registrar General.
Provided that no such payment shall be made to any enumerator or other person required to act as enumerator under this Act, except upon production of a certificate signed by the registrar that the duties required of such enumerator or other person by this Act have been faithfully performed, and the like certificate shall be required from the superintendent registrar with respect to the registrar before any payment is made to the registrar, and from the Registrar General with respect to the superintendent registrar before any payment is made to the superintendent registrar.
Penalty for wilful default. 19. If any superintendent registrar, registrar, enumerator, or other person who is bound under this Act if required to act as enumerator, makes wilful default in any of the matters required of him by this Act, or makes any wilfully false declaration, he shall for each offence be liable to a fine not exceeding five pounds.
Penalty for refusing information or giving false answers. 20. The enumerators and other persons employed in the execution of this Act shall be authorised to ask all such questions as are directed in any instructions to be prepared by or under the direction of the Board which are necessary for obtaining the returns required by this Act; and if any person refuses to answer or wilfully gives a false answer to such questions, or any of them, he shall for each offence be liable to a fine not exceeding five pounds.
Recovery of penalties. 21. All fines imposed by this Act shall be recovered in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts.
Extent of Act. 22. This Act shall not extend to Scotland or Ireland.
Short title. 23. This Act may be cited as the Census (England and Wales) Act, 1890.