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any approach to accuracy any fact wherein numbers are concerned, whether it be the date of an historical event, the remoteness of celestial bodies, the distances on the earth's surface, the numbers of its inhabitants,-who recoil, in selfdefence, from any questioning on such subjects-who could not trust themselves to hazard an answer, lest they should prove preposterously and ludicrously mistaken-who, having been told perhaps a hundred times the population of London, may yet be a million wrong in their estimate, if so rash as to make one. All this every one's experience, either of himself or others, must show to be true enough; and hitherto the statisticians have gone on announcing their numbers, and their hearers forgetting them, as though each had acknowledged the fitness of such a division of labour. But there is in the present day a strong desire to popularize science. There is an increasing yearning for sympathy in all intellectual exertions; fields of thought hitherto held barren of general interest are being daily reclaimed, and forced upon public attention; and statisticians themselves are emulous, though little hopeful of a more favourable acceptance of their numerical discoveries. There is something almost pathetic in the appeal for public interest with which the papers before us inaugurate the thousands upon thousands of pages of figures which they present to an apathetic world as the results of the census. Feeling that these pages do hide wonderful facts, important truths, great moral lessons, they would fain engage the world's attention to them; recalling the enormous amount of thought and organized labour which have been expended in their compilation, they long that men should realize and value their useful toils. But experience teaches them how little of this kind of reward may be looked for. It is thus, in the language of his craft, believing figures the most trustworthy vehicle for knowledge, and instinctively measuring all by this scale, that Mr. Cheshire expresses the modesty of his hopes, in the preface to his pamphlet, detailing some of the principal features of the census papers.

'The labour of condensing so voluminous and elaborate a publication into a hundredth part of its original bulk has been considerable; but the Author will be adequately rewarded if one in a thousand of the British population, herein enumerated, care to possess, in a concise form, some of the most interesting details concerning their own country which ever emanated from a Government Department.

"The popular impression that a census consists of an accumulation of numbers only, is most erroneous. A census comprises information of deep and varied interest, but unfortunately the magnitude of the undertaking necessitates a publication of corresponding proportions; hence the more interesting details, and many very important results, lie buried in such a mass of statistics, that it is extremely doubtful whether one person in a

million ever takes the trouble to become acquainted with the contents of a census.'-Cheshire, Preface.

And again he thus pleads for the intelligence, as well as industry, which must have been brought into exercise to produce so remarkable a result.

'Public opinion allots to the Registrar-General very prosaic duties. Persons in general consider it a very simple matter to record the births, marriages, and deaths, as they occur; to draw up an annual report concerning them; and once in every ten years to count the people. It is true, in the latter case, they understand that to number the heads of the British population involves a certain amount of trouble, but they imagine that the task could be easily accomplished by a subdivision of labour, and that when a series of operations in simple addition had been performed, the result was completed. Those, however, whose investigations lead them to consult the elaborate and voluminous reports which issue from the General Register and Census Offices, form a widely-different opinion of the ability displayed, and of the laborious operations carried forward, in those important departments of the State.'-Ibid. Introd. p. 9.

And this is very true. In reading the Report, and also in turning over for ourselves the folios of various thickness which constitute the result of these labours, we are astonished at the variety and accuracy of the information gathered together. When the whole results are given, for which a concluding publication is promised, it will seem as if all that could be said of our aggregate population may be found therein. Indeed it is almost alarming to each individual unit to find in how many relations he has been the subject of state inquiries, and how far his privacy has been invaded. Lodged, if not buried, within piles of figures, tracing himself from one table to another, each reader sees himself the object of vigilant scrutiny; his sex, his age, his present locality, his birthplace, his house, his occupation, the sources of his subsistence, the number and sex of his servants, his condition as married, single, or widower, parent, or childless, householder, or less responsible inmate; his freedom from or subjection to personal infirmities; his creed, his education, his civil and political rights, everything about him but his inmost heart and soul have been penetrated into, and made subject of calculation, the ground-work of theories and matter for legislation. Nor are these pages. wanting in another likeness to the grave to which, for their secrecy and tenacity, we may well compare them. In them all are equal. The circumstances of all have been equal matter of interest and curiosity; the duke and the pauper occupy the same room on the paper; no doubt the Queen herself has helped to fill up a householder's schedule, and taken up no more space than the humblest of her subjects. We gladly avail ourselves of Mr. Cheshire's condensed history of the means used for taking the census, drawn from the official Report.

'The inquiries undertaken at the census of 1851 were of a far more extensive character than those pursued at any previous enumeration, for it was resolved to exhibit not only the statistics of parishes, and of parliamentary and municipal boroughs, but also of such other large towns in England and Scotland as appeared sufficiently important for separate mention, and of all the ecclesiastical districts and new ecclesiastical parishes which, during the last forty years, had been created in England and Wales. In addition, also, to the inquiry concerning the occupation, age, and birthplace of the population, it was determined to ascertain various relationships, such as husband, wife, son, daughter,-the civil condition, as married, unmarried, widower, or widow,-and the number of blind, or deaf and dumb. Moreover, the design was formed of collecting statistics as to the accommodation afforded by the various churches and other places of public worship throughout the country, and the number of persons generally frequenting them; also as to existing educational establishments, and the actual number of scholars under instruction. It was, however, subsequently considered doubtful whether the Census Act rendered it compulsory upon parties to afford information upon these points; this inquiry was, therefore, pursued as a purely voluntary investigation.

'The local machinery by which the objects thus contemplated were to be attained differed considerably in England and Scotland. In England and Wales the Registration Districts, which, for the most part, are conterminous with the Unions, were made available for enumerating the population. Of these districts there were 624, each having a superintendent registrar; and these were divided into 2,190 sub-districts, each having a local registrar of births and deaths. Under the supervision of their 624 superintendents, the 2,190 registrars were directed to form their sub-districts into Enumeration Districts, according to certain instructions. The number of such enumeration districts in England and Wales was 30,610, each district being the portion assigned to one enumerator, who was required to complete his enumeration in one day.'—Cheshire, p. 10.

We need not describe the schedules, which our readers will remember filling up with more or less alacrity; some jealous of what seemed unconstitutional prying into private affairs, others amused with this new form of self-portraiture, and responding with minuteness to the nation's curiosity; but they may be interested to know that the total weight of these schedules was forty tons, and their number 7,000,000. The time, the 31st of March, was chosen as being in the season when there is the least displacement of the population.

'In the winter season of the year people are in the greatest numbers at home; while in summer, in the hay, the corn, and the hop harvest, many of the labouring, and all the vagrant classes of the nation, wander about and sleep in fields, in barns, and in sheds, or under trees and tents. The Irish have for many years crossed the sea in large numbers before harvest, and afterwards returned home. Business, fairs, festivals, the sessions. assizes, fashion, watering-places, railways, and great works of every kind, displace the people; and it is impossible to take the census at any period of the year when some of these disturbing causes are not in operation; but it was considered, on the whole, that no better day in 1851 could be fixed on, to avoid their interference, than the last day of March; which was also the month in which the first census of Great Britain was taken.'— Census Report, p. xxiv.

No one present on that night was to be omitted, and no person absent was to be included, except policemen and others on night duty, miners and potters, and whoever else habitually worked in the night; travellers were enumerated at the hotels at which they might stop on the following morning. Bargemen, tramps, and gipsies were numbered in their boats, tents, and en、 campments, to the great annoyance of some of them; one tribe Of gipsies taking a great deal of fruitless trouble to escape te general scrutiny. Houses, as well as inhabitants, were recko up, and an exact account taken of all that were uninhab or building.

When the enumerators had transcribed the househ schedules into the enumeration book with which eac supplied, and completed the various summaries and est for which one week was allowed, they forwarded them,







with the voluntary returns relating to schools, churchs, &c., to the respective registrars; and here the enumerators' labours ended. The census returns were now in the hands of 3,220 The business of these

registrars, or dividers of districts.

registrars was to give a careful and systematic examination and revision of the documents laid before them, and then to prepare selves to the superintendent registrar for a further revision. a summary to be transmitted with the enumeration books themA fortnight was allowed for this work, at the end of which the functions of the registrare ceased. The summaries and enumeration books were now in the hands of 624 superintendent-registrars, who, after further investigation, transmitted them to the Census Ofice, not exempt even then from a final scrutiny before the commencement of the abstract, which reduces the nearly 40,000 enumeration books into three thick portentous folios, the marrow of which Mr. Cheshire has endeavoured to condense The efforts by which the Report endeavours to make us comprehend the numbers and vast aggregates with which it has to say and which it would fain Iress on the imagination of it were, are in exact accordance with the whole tenour of the vote Counting has given us this prodigious amount of wing met make us realize Multitude and 2 114 Liter, or else

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take upwards of thirteen hours and a half to count them at the rate of one a second. The army recently encamped at Chobham (9,000), converted for the nonce into enumerators, would not have sufficed to enumerate a fourth of the population of Great Britain.'-Cheshire, p. 11.

And thus the Report, not without success, first announces the number of the people, and then would have us pause, and count them up for ourselves, and finally range them in their sexes and professions, to pass in review before the mind's eye.

The number of people in Great Britain, including the islands in the British Seas, on March 31st, 1851, was 20,959,477; and the men in the Army, Navy, Merchant Service, and East India Company's Service, abroad, on the passage out, or round the coasts, belonging to Great Britain, amounted on the same day to 162,490. The population of Great Britain may therefore be set down at Twenty-one millions, one hundred and twenty-one thousand, nine hundred and sixty-seven (21,121,967).

The number of people in England and Wales was 17,927,609, namely, 16,921,888 in England, and 1,005,721 in Wales; the number of people in Scotland was 2,888,742: 143,126 inhabited the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and other small islands in the British Seas; and 162,490 were at sea, or serving abroad in the army.

It is difficult to form any just conception of these large numbers, for men are rarely seen in large masses, and when seen their numbers are seldom known. It is only by collecting, as in other cases of measuring, the units into masses, these masses into other masses, and thus ascending progressively to an unit comprehending all others, that the mind attains any adequate notion of such a multitude as a million of men. Thus from a file of ten persons, which the eye takes in at one view, the mind readily conceives ten such groups or a hundred, and again ascending to ten hundred or a thousand; to ten thousand or a myriad; to ten myriads or a hundred thousand; and to ten hundred thousand or a million-arrives at a conception of the Twenty-one millions of people which Great Britain contained within its shores on the night of March 30th, 1851. Another way of arriving at this conception is by considering the numbers in relation to space; as 4,840 persons might stand without crowding on the 4,840 square yards in an acre; 3,097,600 persons would cover a square mile (equal 640 acres); and the twenty-one millions of people in Great Britain, allowing a square yard to each person, would therefore cover seven square miles.

'The building of the Great Exhibition in London enclosed eighteen acres, and 50,000 or 60,000 persons often entered it daily; on the 9th of October, 93,224 persons filled its floor and galleries, and could almost be surveyed by the eye at one time. Of 100,000 persons a general notion can be formed by all those who witnessed this spectacle at the Crystal Palace; it is a number greater than were ever, at one time, in a building covering eighteen acres, but somewhat less than the greatest number (109,915) that ever entered it on one day, October 7th. The population then of Great Britain, including men, women, and children, exceeds 211 hundred thousands; and at the rate of a hundred thousand a day, could have passed through the building in 211 days; the English, as they are 169 hundred thousand-in 169 days; the Welsh, 10 hundred thousand, in ten days; the Scotch, 29 hundred thousand, in twenty-nine days; the 143,126 Islanders in the British Seas, in less than one and a-half day; the 162,490 soldiers and seamen absent from the country when the census was taken, in less than two days. The population of Great Britain in 1801 amounted in round numbers to 109 hundred thousands; and 102 of the 211 hundred thousands in 1851, or as many as could pass through such a

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