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A transcript of the 1836 Act for the registering of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England

ANNO SEXTO & SEPTIMO

GULIEMI IV. REGIS.

CAP. LXXXVI.
An Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England [17th August 1836.]

Whereas it is expedient to provide the Means for a complete Register of the Births, Deaths, and Marriages of His Majesty's Subjects in England : And whereas an Act passed in the Fifty-second Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the Third, intituled An Act for the better regulating Parish and other Registers of Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials in England, and also an Act passed in the Fourth Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the Fourth, intituled An Act for amending the Laws respecting the Solemnization of Marriages in England, are insufficient for the Purpose aforesaid : Be it therefore enacted by the King'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 after the First Day of March in the Year One thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven so much of the said Acts as relates to the Registration of Marriages shall be repealed.

II. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for His Majesty to provide a proper Office in London or Westminster, to be called "The General Register Office," for keeping a Register of all Births, Deaths, and Marriages of His Majesty's Subjects in England, and to appoint for the said Office under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom a Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England, and from Time to Time at Pleasure remove the said Registrar General, and appoint some other Person in his Room.

III. And be it enacted, That the Lord Treasurer or Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, or any Three of them, or the Registrar General, subject to the Approval of the said Lords Commissioners, shall appoint from Time to Time such Officers, Clerks, and Servants as they shall deem necessary to carry on the Business of the General Registry Office, and at Pleasure remove them or any of them ; and the said Lord Treasurer or Lords Commissioners shall fix the Salary of the Registrar General, so that the same shall not at any time exceed the Sum of One thousand Pounds yearly, and shall fix the Salaries of the Officers, Clerks, and Servants in fit Proportion according to the Duties they may have to perform.

IV. And be it enacted, That the Salaries of the Registrar General, and of the said Officers, Clerks, and Servants, and the Amount of the Sums herein-after provided to be paid to the Superintendent Registrars for every Entry in the certified Copies of the Registers, and all Expences of carrying on the Business of the General Registry Office nor herein otherwise provided for, shall be paid by the said Lord Treasurer or Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

V. And be it enacted, That One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, or the Registrar General with the Approbation of such Principal Secretary, from Time to Time may make Regulations for the Management of the said Register Office, and for the Duties of the Registrar General, Clerks, Officers, and Servants of the said Office, and of the Registrars, Deputy Registrars, and Superintendent Registrars herein-after mentioned, in the Execution of this Act, so that they be not contrary to the Provisions herein contained ; and the Regulations so made and approved shall be binding on the said Registrar General, Clerks, Officers, and Servants, and on the Registrars, Deputy Registrars, and Superintendent Registrars.

VI. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall send once in every Year to One of the Principal Secretaries of State a General Abstract of the Numbers of Births, Deaths, and Marriages registered during the foregoing Year, in such Form as the said Secretary from Time to Time shall require ; and every such annual General Abstract shall be laid before Parliament within One Month after Receipt thereof or after the Meeting of Parliament.

VII. And be it enacted, That the Guardians of every Union declared under the provisions of an Act passed in the Fifth and Sixth Years of His present Majesty, intituled An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales, and also of every Parish or Place in which a Board of Guardians shall have been established under the Provisions of the last-named Act, shall, on or before the First Day of October in this Year, if the said Board of Guardians shall have been established before the passing of this Act, or within Three Calendar Months next after the Establishment of the Board, if the said Board shall not have been established before the passing of this Act, divide the Union or the Parish or Place of which they are the Guardians into such and so many Districts as they, subject to the Approval of the Registrar General, shall think fit ; and every such Division when made shall be published by the Guardians within the Union, Parish, or Place of which they are the Guardians, in such Manner as the said Registrar General shall direct; and every such District shall be called by a distinct Name, and shall be a Registrar's District; and the Guardians shall appoint a Person, with such Qualifications as the Registrar General may by any general Rule declare to be necessary, to be Registrar of Births and Deaths within each District, and in every Case of Vacancy in the Office of Registrar shall forthwith fill up the Vacancy ; and the Clerk to the Guardians of every such Union; Parish, or Place shall, if he shall think fit to accept such Office, and have such Qualifications as the Registrar General may by any general Rule declare to be necessary, be the Superintendent Registrar thereof; and in the event of his Refusal or Disqualification to act in that Capacity, the Guardians shall appoint a Person, with such Qualifications as the Registrar General may by any general Rule declare to be necessary, to be the Superintendent Registrar of each Union, or of such Parish or Place, and in every Case of Vacancy of the Office of Superintendent Registrar shall forthwith fill up the Vacancy; and every Registrar and Superintendent Registrar shall hold his Office during the Pleasure of the Registrar General.

VIII. Provided always, and be it enacted, That in every Case in which the Clerk to the Guardians of any Union, Parish, or Place, or any other Officer of any such Union, Parish, or Place, shall hold any Office under this Act, and shall be removed by the Poor Law Commissioners from his Office in such Union, Parish, or Place, and in every Case in which any Registrar or Superintendent Registrar shall be removed by the Registrar General from his Office under this Act, Notice of such Removal shall be forthwith given by. Advertisement in some Newspaper circulating in the County wherein the District for which such Officer may act shall be; and every such Person shall cease to hold his Office under this Act, and shall be incapable of being re-appointed thereto: Provided also, that the Appointment of any Officer of any such Union, Parish, or Place to any Office under this Act shall be subject to the Approval of the Poor Law Commissioners, except as herein-before directed with respect to the Clerk to the Guardians of any such Union, Parish, or Place.

IX. And be it enacted, That the Guardians shall provide and uphold, out of the Monies coming to their Hands or Control as such Guardians, a Register Office, according to a Plan to be approved by the Registrar General, for preserving the Registers to be deposited therein, as herein-after provided; and the Care of the said Office and the Custody of the Registers deposited therein shall be given to the Superintendent Registrar of the Union or Parish or Place having a Board of Guardians as aforesaid.

X. And be it enacted, That the Poor Law Commissioners for England and Wales shall, as soon as may be after the said First Day of October, form all the Parishes, Townships, and Places in England, in or for which a Board of Guardians shall not have been then established under the Provisions of the said Act for the Amendment of the Laws relating to the Poor, into temporary Districts, having Regard in the Formation thereof to the Boundaries of Parishes and Townships, and shall appoint a Registrar to each of such temporary Districts, subject to being displaced as herein-after provided ; and the Registrar General shall appoint a sufficient Number of fit Persons to be Superintendent Registrars for such temporary Districts, subject to being displaced as herein-after provided, and shall appoint the Districts which each shall superintend.

XI. And be it enacted, That in every Case in which a Board of Guardians shall be established, under the Provisions of the said Act for the Amendment of the Laws relating to the Poor, in or for any Parish, Township, or Place forming Part of any temporary District in or for which a Registrar or Superintendent Registrar shall have been previously appointed as last aforesaid, and as soon as a Registrar or Registrars shall have been appointed for the Districts into which the Guardians shall have divided the Union or Parish or Place of which they are Guardians as aforesaid, and the Clerk of the Guardians of such Union, Parish, or Place shall have accepted the Office of Superintendent Registrar, or the said Guardians shall have appointed a Superintendent Registrar for such Districts, in like Manner, as in the Unions formed before the passing of this Act, every such Parish or Place shall cease to be a Part of the temporary District to which it was so annexed by the Poor Law Commissioners, and every Registrar, Deputy Registrar and Superintendent Registrar appointed before the Election of such Board of Guardians as aforesaid in or for such Parish, Township, or Place shall cease to hold their respective Offices, so far as relates to such Parish, Township, or Place, unless re-appointed.

XII. And be it enacted, That for every District for which a Registrar of Births and Deaths shall be appointed by the Guardians as aforesaid the Registrar shall have Power, subject to the Approval of such Guardians, and for every District for which a Registrar shall be appointed by the said Poor Law Commissioners, such Registrar shall have Power, subject to the Approval of such Commissioners, to appoint by Writing under his Hand a fit Person to act as his Deputy in case of Illness or unavoidable Absence of such Registrar ; and every such Deputy Registrar whilst so acting shall have all the Powers and Duties and be subject to all the Provision and Penalties herein declared concerning Registrars, and in case of the Death of the Registrar shall act as Registrar until another Registrar is appointed ; and every Registrar shall be civilly responsible for the Acts or Omissions of his deputy.

XIII. And be it enacted, That the Appointments of Registrars, Deputy Registrars, and Superintendent Registrars, and the Duplicates and certified Copies of Registers herein-after mentioned shall be exempt from all Stamp Duties.

XIV. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall furnish to every Superintendent Registrar, for the Use of the Registrars under his Superintendence, a sufficient Number of strong Iron Boxes to hold the Register Books to be kept by such Registrar ; and every such Box shall be furnished with a Lock and Two Keys, and no more ; and one of such Keys shall be kept by the Registrar, and the other Key shall be kept by the Superintendent Registrar ; and the Register Books of each District, while in the Custody of the Registrar and not in use shall always be kept in the Register Box, and the Register Box shall always be left locked.

XV. And be it enacted, That in every Case in which any Registrar or Superintendent Registrar shall be removed from or cease to hold the said Office, all Register Boxes, Keys, Books, Documents, and Papers in his Possession as such Registrar or Superintendent Registrar shall be given as soon as conveniently may be to his Successor in Office ; and if any Person shall refuse to give up any such Box, Key, Books, Documents, or Papers in such Case as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for any Justice of the Peace for the County or other Jurisdiction where such Person shall be or reside, upon Application made for that Purpose, to issue a Warrant under his Hand and Seal for bringing such Person before any Two Justices of the Peace for the said County or other jurisdiction, and upon such Person appearing, or not be found, it shall be lawful for such justices to hear and determine the Matter in a summary Way ; and if it shall appear to the Justices that any such Box, Key, Books, Documents, or Papers are in the Custody or Power of any such Person, and that he has refused or wilfully neglected to deliver the same, the said Justices are hereby required to commit such Offender to the Common Gaol or House of Correction for the said County or Jurisdiction, there to remain without Bail until he hath delivered up the same, or until Satisfaction shall have been given in respect thereof to the Person in whose Custody the same ought to be ; and the said Justices may grant a Warrant to search for such a Box, Key, Books, Documents, or Papers, as in the Case of stolen Goods, in any Dwelling House or other Premises in which credible Witness shall prove upon Oath before them that there is reasonable Cause to suspect the same to be ; and the same when found shall be delivered to the Person in whose Custody they ought to be.

XVI. And be it enacted, That every Registrar and Deputy Registrar shall dwell within the District of which he is Registrar or Deputy Registrar, and shall cause his Name, with the Addition of Registrar or Deputy Registrar (as the Case may be) for the District for which he shall be so appointed to be placed in some conspicuous Place on or near the outer Door of his own Dwelling House ; and the Superintendent Registrar shall cause to be printed and published in the Districts which he superintend a list of the Name and Place of Abode of every Registrar and Deputy Registrar under his Superintendence.

XVII. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall cause to be printed on account of the said Register Office a sufficient number of Register Books for making Entries of all Births, Deaths, and Marriages of His Majesty's Subjects in England, according to the Forms of Schedules (A.) (B.) (C.) to this Act annexed ; and the said Register Books shall be of durable Materials, and in them shall be printed upon each Side of every Leaf the Heads of Information herein required to be known and registered of Births, Deaths, and Marriages respectively ; and every Page of each of such Books shall be numbered progressively from the Beginning to the End of the Book, beginning with Number One ; and every Entry shall be divided from the following Entry by a printed Line.

XVIII. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall furnish to every Superintendent Registrar, for the Use of the Registrars under his Superintendence, a sufficient number of Register Books of Births and of Register Books of Deaths, and of Forms for certified Copies thereof, as herein-after provided, at a reasonable Price, to be fixed from Time to Time by One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, the Cost whereof shall be borne by the Union, Parish, or Place in or for which the Superintendent Registrar is appointed, and shall be paid by the Guardians or by the Churchwardens and Overseers (as the Case may be), out of monies coming to their Hands or Control as such Guardians or Churchwardens and Overseers, to the Registrar, and shall be accounted for by him to the Registrar General ; and every Registrar shall be authorized and is hereby required to inform himself carefully of every Birth and every Death which shall happen within his District after the said First Day of March, and to learn and register soon after the Event as conveniently may be done, without Fee or Reward save as herein-after mentioned, in One of the said Books, the Particulars required to be registered according to the Forms in the said Schedules (A.) and (B.) respectively touching every such Birth or every such Death, as the Case may be, which shall not have been already registered, every such Entry being made in Order from the Beginning to the End of the Book.

XIX. And be it enacted, That the Father or Mother of any Child born, or the Occupier of every House or Tenement in England in which any Birth or Death shall happen, after the said First day of March, may, within Forty-two Days next after the Day of such Birth or within Five Days after the Day of such Death respectively, give Notice of such Birth or Death to the Registrar of the District ; and in case any new-born Child or any dead Body shall be found exposed, the Overseers of the Poor in the Case of the new-born Child, and the Coroner in the case of the dead Body, shall forthwith give Notice and Information thereof, and of the Place where such Child or dead Body was found, to the Registrar ; and for the Purpose of this Act the Master or Keeper of every Gaol, Prison, or House of Correction, or Workhouse, Hospital, or Lunatic Asylum, or public or charitable Institution, shall be deemed the Occupier thereof.

XX. And be it enacted, That the Father or Mother of every child born in England after the said First Day of March, or in case of the Death, Illness, Absence, or Inability of the Father or Mother, the Occupier of the House or Tenement in which such Child shall have been born, shall, within Forty-two Days next after the Day of every such Birth, give Information, upon being requested so to do, to the said Registrar, according to the best of his or her Knowledge and Belief, of the several Particulars hereby required to be known and registered touching the Birth of such Child.

XXI. And be it enacted, That if any Child of an English Parent shall be born at Sea on Board of a British Vessel, the Captain or Commanding Officer of the Vessel on board of which the said Child shall have been born shall forthwith make a Minute of the several Particulars herein-before required to be inserted in the register touching the Birth of such Child, so far as the same be known, and the Name of the Vessel wherein the Birth took place, and shall, on the Arrival of such a Vessel in any Port of the United Kingdom, or by any other sooner Opportunity, send a Certificate of the said Minute through the Post Office to the Registrar General, who shall file the same, and enter a Copy thereof under his hand in a Book to be kept for that Purpose in "The General Register Office", to be called the "Marine Register Book", and shall keep the said Book with the other Registers, according to the Provisions of this Act.

XXII. And be it enacted, That after the Expiration of Forty-two Days following the Day of the Birth of any Child it shall not be lawful for any Registrar to register such Birth, save as herein-after is next mentioned ; provided that, in case the Birth of any Child shall not have been registered according to the Provisions herein-before contained, it shall be lawful for any person present at the Birth of such Child, or for the Father or Guardian thereof, at any Time within Six Calendar Months next after the Birth, to make a solemn Declaration of the Particulars required to be known touching the Birth of such Child, according to the best of his or her Knowledge and Belief, and it thereupon be lawful for the said Registrar then and there, in the Presence of the Superintendent Registrar, to register the Birth of the said Child according to the Information of the Person making the said Declaration ; and in every such Case the Superintendent Registrar before whom the said Declaration is made shall sign the Entry of Birth as well as the registrar, and for every such Registry as last aforesaid the Superintendent Registrar shall be entitled to have a Fee of Two Shillings and Sixpence from the Person requiring the same to be registered ; and the Registrar, over and above the Fee herein-after enacted in respect of every birth registered by him, shall be entitled, unless the Delay shall have been occasioned by his Default, to have a Fee of Five Shillings from the person requiring the same to be registered ; and no Register of Births shall be given in Evidence to prove the Birth of any Child wherein it shall appear that Forty-two Days have intervened between the Day of the Birth and the Day of the Registration of the Birth of such Child, unless the Entry shall be signed by the Superintendent Registrar ; and every person who shall knowingly register or cause to be registered the Birth of any Child, otherwise than herein-before is last mentioned, after the Expiration of Forty-two Days following the Day of Birth of such Child, shall forfeit and pay for every such Offence a Sum not exceeding Fifty Pounds.

XXIII. And be it enacted, That after the Expiration of Six Calendar Months following the Birth of any Child it shall not be lawful for any Registrar to register the Birth of such Child, and no Register of Births, except in the Case of Children born at Sea, shall be given in Evidence to prove the Birth of any Child wherein it shall appear that Six Calendar Months have intervened between the Day of the Birth and the Day of the Registration of the Birth of such Child ; and every Person who shall knowingly register or cause to be registered the Birth of any Child after the Expiration of Six Calendar Months following the Day of the Birth of such Child shall forfeit and pay for every such Offence a Sum not exceeding Fifty Pounds.

XXIV. And be it enacted, That if any Child born in England whose Birth shall have been registered as aforesaid shall, within Six Calendar Months next after it shall have been so registered, have any Name given to it in Baptism, the parent or Guardian of such Child, or other Person procuring such Name to be given, may within Seven Days next after such Baptism, procure and deliver to the registrar or Superintendent Registrar, in whose Custody the Register of Birth of the Child may then happen to be, a Certificate, according to the Form of Schedule (G.) to this Act annexed, signed by the Minister who shall have performed the Rite of Baptism, which Certificate such Minister is hereby required to deliver immediately after the Baptism, whenever the same shall then be demanded, on Payment of the Fee of One Shilling, which he shall be therefore entitled to receive ; and the said Registrar or Superintendent Registrar, upon Receipt of such Certificate and on Payment of the Fee of One Shilling, which he shall therefore be entitled to receive, shall without any Erasure of the original Entry, forthwith register therein that the Child was baptized by such Name, and the Registrar shall thereupon certify upon the said Certificate the additional Entry so made, and shall forthwith send the said Certificate through the Post Office to the Registrar General.

XXV. And be it enacted, That some Person present at the Death or in attendance during the last Illness of every Person dying in England after the said First Day of March, or in the case of the Death, Illness, Inability, or Default of all such Persons, the Occupier of the House or Tenement, or if the Occupier be the Person who shall have died, some Inmate of the House or Tenement in which such Death shall have happened, shall, within Eight Days next after the Day of such Death, give Information, upon being requested so to do, to the said Registrar, according to the best of his or her Knowledge and Belief, of the several Particulars hereby required to be known and registered touching the Death of such Person : Provided always, that in every Case in which an Inquest shall be held on any dead Body the Jury shall inquire of the particulars herein required to be registered concerning the Death, and the Coroner shall inform the Registrar of the Finding of the Jury, and the registrar shall make the Entry accordingly.

XXVI. And be it enacted, That if any of His Majesty's English Subjects shall die at Sea on board of a British Vessel, the Captain or Commanding Officer of the Vessel on board of which such Death shall have happened shall forthwith make a Minute of the several Particulars herein-before required to be inserted in the Register touching such Death, so far as the same may be known, and the Name of the Vessel wherein the Death took place, and shall, on the Arrival of such Vessel in any port of the United Kingdom, or by any other sooner Opportunity, send a Certificate of the said Minute through the Post Office to the Registrar General, who shall file the same, and enter a Copy thereof under his Hand in the Marine Register Book, and keep the same with the other Registers, according to the Provisions of this Act.

XXVII. And be it enacted, That every Registrar, immediately upon registering any Death, or as soon thereafter as he shall be required so to do, shall, without Fee or Reward, deliver to the Undertaker or other Person having Charge of the Funeral a Certificate under his Hand, according to the Form of Schedule (E.) to this Act annexed, that such Death has been duly registered, and such Certificate shall be delivered by such Undertaker or other person to the Minister or officiating Person who shall be required to bury or to perform any religious Service for the Burial of the dead Body, and if any dead Body shall be buried for which no such Certificate shall have been so delivered, the Person who shall bury or perform any Funeral or any religious Service for the Burial shall forthwith give Notice thereof to the Registrar : Provided always, that the Coroner, upon holding any Inquest, may order the Body to be Buried, if he shall think fit, before Registry of the Death, and shall in such Case give a Certificate of his Order in Writing under his Hand, according to the Form of Schedule (F.) to this Act annexed, to such Undertaker or other person having Charge of the Funeral, which shall be delivered as aforesaid ; and every Person who shall bury or perform any Funeral or any religious Service for the Burial of any dead Body for which no Certificate shall have been duly made and delivered as aforesaid, either by the Registrar or Coroner, and who shall not within Seven Days give Notice thereof to the Registrar, shall forfeit and pay any Sum not exceeding Ten Pounds for every such Offence.

XXVIII. And be it enacted, That every Person by whom the Information contained in any Register of Birth or Death under this Act shall have been given shall sign his Name, Description, and Place of Abode in the Register ; and no Register of Birth or Death according to this Act shall be given in Evidence which shall not be signed by some Person professing to be the Informant, and to be such Party as is herein required to give such Information to the Registrar.

XXIX. And be it enacted, That every Registrar shall make out an Account Four Times in every Year of the Number of Births and Deaths which he shall have registered since the last quarterly Account, and the Superintendent Registrar shall verify and sign the same ; and the Guardians or Overseers of the Parish, Township, or Place in or for which he shall be Registrar, on Production of the said Account so verified and signed, shall pay to the said Registrar, out of Monies in their Hands or Power as such Guardians or Overseers, such Sums as he shall be entitled to receive on the said Account according to the following Scale ; (that is to say,) for the first Twenty Entries of Births and Deaths in every Year which he shall have registered, whether the same be of Births or of Deaths indiscriminately, Two Shillings and Sixpence each, and One Shilling for every subsequent Entry of Births or Deaths in each Year ; and in the Case of an Union the said several Sums shall be charged to the Account of the Parishes in which such Births or Deaths respectively shall have occurred.

XXX. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall furnish or cause to be furnished to the Rector, Vicar, or Curate of every Church and Chapel in England wherein Marriages may lawfully be solemnized, and also to every person whom the Recording Clerk of the Society of Friends commonly called Quakers, at their Central Office in London, shall from Time to Time certify in Writing under his Hand to the Registrar General to be a Registering Officer in England of the said Society, and also every person whom the President for the Time being of the London Committee of Deputies of the British Jews shall from Time to Time certify in Writing under his Hand to the Registrar General to be the Secretary of a Synagogue in England of Persons professing the Jewish Religion, a sufficient Number in Duplicate of Marriage Register Books, and Forms for certified Copies thereof, as herein-after provided ; and the Cost of all such Books and Forms shall be paid by the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Parish or Chapelry out of Monies in their Hands as such Churchwardens and Overseers, or by the Registering Officer or Secretary respectively to whom the same shall be furnished.

XXXI. And be it enacted, That every Clergyman of the Church of England, immediately after every Office of Matrimony solemnized by him, shall register in Duplicate in Two of the Marriage Register Books the several Particulars relating to that Marriage according to the Form of the said Schedule (C.) ; and every such Registering Officer of the Quakers, as soon as conveniently may be after the Solemnization of any Marriage between two Quakers in the District for which he is Registering Officer, and every such Secretary of a Synagogue, immediately after every Marriage solemnized between Two Persons professing the Jewish Religion, of whom the Husband shall belong to the Synagogue whereof he is Secretary , shall register or cause to be registered in Duplicate in Two of the said marriage Register Books the several Particulars relating to that Marriage according to the Form of the said Schedule (C.) ; and every such Registering Officer or Secretary, whether he shall or shall not be present at such marriage, shall satisfy himself that the Proceedings in relation thereto have been conformable to the Usage of the said Society, or of the Persons professing the Jewish Religion, as the Case may be ; and every such Entry as herein-before is mentioned (whether made by such Clergyman or by such Registering Officer or Secretary respectively aforesaid) shall be signed by the Clergyman or by the said Registering Officer or Secretary , as the case may be, and by the Parties married, and by Two Witnesses, and shall be made in Order from the Beginning to the End of each Book, and the Number of the Place of Entry in each Duplicate Marriage Register Book shall be the same.

XXXII. And be it enacted, That in the Months of April, July, October, and January, on such Days as shall from Time to Time be appointed by the Registrar General, every Registrar shall make, and deliver to the Superintendent Registrar of his District, on durable Materials, a true Copy, certified by him under his Hand according to the Form of Schedule (D.) to this Act annexed, of all the Entries of Births and Deaths in the Register Book kept by him since the last Certificate, the first of such Certificates to be given in the Month of July in the Year One thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, and to contain all the Entries made up to that Time ; and the Superintendent Registrar shall verify the same, and if found to be correct shall certify the same under his Hand to be a true Copy ; and if there shall have been no Birth or Death registered since the Delivery of the last Certificate the Registrar shall certify the Fact, and such certificate shall be delivered to the Superintendent Registrar as aforesaid, and countersigned by him ; and the Registrar shall keep safely each of the said Register Books until it shall be filled, and shall then deliver it to the Superintendent Registrar, to be kept safe by him with the Records of his Office.

XXXIII. And be it enacted, That the Rector, Vicar, or Curate of every such Church and Chapel, and every such Registering Officer and Secretary, shall, in the Months of April, July, October, and January respectively, make and deliver to the Superintendent Registrar of the District in which such Church or Chapel may be situated, or which may be assigned by the Registrar General to such Registering Officer or Secretary, on durable Materials, a true Copy certified by him under his Hand of all Entries of marriages in the Register Book kept by him since the last Certificate, the first of such Certificates to be given in the Month of July One thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, and to contain all the Entries made up to that Time, and if there shall have been no Marriage entered therein since the last Certificate, shall certify the Fact under his Hand, and shall keep the said Marriage Register Books safely until the same shall be filled ; and one Copy of every such Register Book, when filled, shall be delivered to the Superintendent Registrar of the District in which such Church or Chapel may be situated, or which shall have been assigned as aforesaid to such Registering Officer or Secretary, and the other Copy of every such Register Book kept by any such Rector, Vicar, or Curate shall remain in the keeping of such Rector, Vicar, or Curate, and shall be kept by him with the registers of Baptisms and Burials of the Parish or Chapelry within which the Marriages registered therein shall have been solemnized ; and the other Copy of every such Register Book of Marriages among the People called Quakers, and among Persons professing the Jewish Religion respectively, shall remain under the Care of the said People or Persons respectively, to be kept with their other Registers and Records, and shall, for the Purposes of this Act, be still deemed to be in the keeping of the Registering Officer or Secretary for the Time being respectively.

XXXIV. And be it enacted, That every Superintendent Registrar shall, Four Times in every Year, on such Days as shall be therefore named by the Registrar General, send to the Registrar General all the certified Copies of the Registers of Births, Deaths, and Marriages which he shall have so received during the Three Calendar Months next preceding such quarterly Days of Transmission respectively ; and if it shall appear, by Interruption of the regular Progression of Numbers or otherwise, that the Copy of any Part of any Book has not been duly delivered to him, he shall procure, as far as possible, consistently with the Provisions of this Act, that the same may be remedied and supplied ; and every such Superintendent registrar shall be entitled to receive the sum of Two-pence for every Entry in such certified Copies ; and every Superintendent Registrar shall make out an Account Four Times in every Year of the Numbers of Entries in the certified Copies sent to him during the last Quarter, and the certified Copies so sent to the General Registry Office shall be thereafter kept in the said Office in such Order and Manner as the Registrar General, under the Direction of the Secretary of State, shall think fit, so that the same may be most readily seen and examined.

XXXV. And be it enacted, That every Rector, Vicar, or Curate, and every Registrar, Registering Officer, and Secretary, who shall have the keeping for the Time being of any Register Book of Births, Deaths, or Marriages, shall at all reasonable Times allow Searches to be made of any Register Book in his keeping, and shall give a Copy certified under his Hand of any Entry or Entries in the same, on Payment of the Fee herein-after mentioned ; (that is to say,) for every Search extending over a Period not more than One Year the Sum of One Shilling, and Sixpence additional for every additional Year, and the Sum of Two Shillings and Sixpence for every single Certificate.

XXXVI. And be it enacted, That every Superintendent Registrar shall cause Indexes of the Register Books in his Office to be made, and kept with the other Records of his Office ; and that every Person shall be entitled at all reasonable Hours to search the said Indexes, and to have a certified Copy of any Entry or Entries in the said Register Books under the Hand of the Superintendent Registrar, on Payment of the Fees herein-after mentioned ; (that is to say,) for every general Search the Sum of Five Shillings, and for every particular Search the Sum of One Shilling, and for every such certified Copy the Sum of Two Shillings and Sixpence.

XXXVII. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall cause Indexes of all the said certified Copies of the Registers to be made and kept in the General Register Office ; and that every Person shall be entitled, on Payment of the Fees herein-after mentioned, to search the said Indexes between the Hours of Ten in the Morning and Four in the Afternoon of every Day, except Sundays, Christmas Day, and Good Friday, and to have a certified Copy of any Entry in the said certified Copies of the Registers ; and for every general Search of the said Indexes shall be paid the Sum of Twenty Shillings, and for every particular Search the Sum of One Shilling, and for every such certified Copy the Sum of two Shillings and Sixpence, and no more, shall be paid to the to the Registrar General or such other Officer as shall be appointed for that Purpose on his Account.

XXXVIII. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General shall cause to be made a Seal of the said Register Office, and the Registrar General shall cause to be sealed or stamped therewith all certified Copies of Entries given in the said Office ; and all certified Copies of Entries purporting to be sealed or stamped with the Seal of the said Register Office shall be received as Evidence of the Birth, Death, or Marriage to which the same relates, without any further or other Proof of such Entry ; and no certified Copy purporting to be given in the said Office shall be of any Force or Effect which is not sealed or stamped as aforesaid.

XXXIX. And be it enacted, That every Sum received under the Provisions of this Act by or on account of the Registrar General shall be accounted for and paid by the Registrar General, at such Times as the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury from Time to Time shall direct, into the Bank of England, to the Credit of His Majesty's Exchequer, according to the Provisions of an Act passed in the Fourth and Fifth Years of His Majesty, intituled An Act to regulate the Office of the Receipt of His Majesty's Exchequer at Westminster.

XL. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for every Clergyman of the Church of England who shall solemnize any Marriage in England, and for every Registering Officer of the Quakers, and every Secretary of a Synagogue, after the said First Day of March, to ask of the Parties married the several Particulars herein required to be registered touching such Marriage.

XLI. And be it enacted, That every Person who shall wilfully make or cause to be made, for the Purpose of being inserted in any Register of Birth, Death, or Marriage, any false Statement touching any of the Particulars herein required to be known and registered, shall be subject to the same Pains and Penalties as if he were guilty of Perjury.

XLII. And be it enacted, That every Person who shall refuse or without reasonable Cause omit to register any marriage solemnized by him, or which he ought to register, and every Registrar who shall refuse or without reasonable Cause omit to register any Birth or Death of which he shall have had due Notice as aforesaid, and every person having the Custody of any Register Book, or certified Copy thereof or any Part thereof, who shall carelessly lose or injure the same, or carelessly allow the same to be injured whilst in his Keeping, shall forfeit a Sum not exceeding Fifty pounds for every such Offence.

XLIII. And be it enacted, That every Person who shall wilfully destroy or injure, or cause to be destroyed or injured, any such Register Book, or any Part or certified Copy of any part thereof, or shall falsely make or counterfeit, or cause to be falsely made or counterfeited, any part of any such Register Book or certified Copy thereof, or shall wilfully insert or cause to be inserted in any Register Book or Certified Copy thereof any false Entry of any Birth, Death, or Marriage, or shall wilfully give any false Certificate, or shall certify any Writing to be a Copy or Extract of any Register Book, knowing the same Register to be false in any Part thereof, or shall forge or counterfeit the Seal of the Register Office, shall be guilty of Felony.

XLIV. Provided always, and be it enacted, That no Person charged with the Duty of registering any Birth, Death, or Marriage who shall discover any Error to have been committed in the Form or Substance of any such Entry, shall be therefore liable to any of the Penalties aforesaid if within One Calendar Month next after the Discovery of such Error, in the Presence of the Parents of the Child whose Birth may have been so registered, or of the Parties married, or of Two Persons attending upon any Person in his or her last Illness whose Death may have been so registered, or in the case of the Death or Absence of the respective Parties aforesaid, then in the Presence of the Superintendent Registrar and of Two other credible Witnesses who shall respectively attest the same, he shall correct the erroneous Entry, according to the Truth of the Case, by Entry in the Margin, without any Alteration of the original Entry, and shall sign the marginal Entry, and add thereunto the Day of the Month and Year when such Correction shall be made : Provided also, that in the Case of a Marriage Register he shall make the like marginal Entry, attested in like Manner in the Duplicate Marriage Register Book to be made by him as aforesaid, and in every Case shall make the like Alteration in the certified Copy of the Register Book to be made by him as aforesaid, or in case such certified Copy shall have been already made, provided he shall make and deliver in like Manner a separate certified Copy of the original erroneous Entry, and of the marginal Correction therein made.

XLV. And be it enacted, That all Fines and Forfeitures by the Act imposed, unless otherwise directed, shall be recovered before any Two Justices of the Peace for the County, City, or Place where the Offence shall have happened, upon the Information or Complaint of any Person ; and if on the Conviction of the Offender, either on his or her Confession, or by the Oath of any One or more credible Witness or Witnesses, (which Oath such Justices are hereby empowered to administer,) such Fines or Forfeitures, with the Costs of the Conviction, shall not be forthwith paid, the same shall be levied by Distress and Sale of Goods and Chattels of the Offender, by Warrant under the Hand and Seal of such Justices ; and for Want of Distress such Justices may commit every such Offender to the Common Gaol or House of Correction for the County, City, or Place where the Offender shall be committed, without Bail or Mainprize, for any Term not exceeding One Calendar Month, unless such Fine and Forfeiture, and all reasonable Charges attending the Recovery thereof, shall be sooner paid ; and one Moiety of all such Fines and Forfeitures shall go to the Person who shall inform and sue or prosecute for the same, and the other Moiety shall go to the Registrar General, or to such other Person as the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury shall appoint, for the Use of His Majesty ; and no Distress made by virtue of this Act shall be deemed unlawful, nor shall the Party making the same be deemed a Trespasser , on account of any Defect or Want of Form in the Summons, Conviction, or Warrant of Distress, or on account of any Irregularity which shall be afterwards committed by the Party distraining, but the Person or Persons aggrieved by such Irregularity shall recover full Satisfaction for the special Damages sustained in an Action on the Case.

XLVI. And be it enacted, That in all Cases where the Sum adjudged to be paid on any such summary Conviction shall exceed Five Pounds, any Person convicted may appeal to the next Court of General or Quarter Sessions which shall be holden not sooner than Twelve Days after the Day of such Conviction for the County or other District wherein the Cause of Complaint shall have arisen ; provided that such person shall give to the Complainant a Notice in Writing of such Appeal, and of the Cause and Matter thereof, within Three Days after such Conviction, and Seven clear Days at the least before such Sessions, and shall also either remain in Custody until the Sessions, or enter into a Recognizance, with Two sufficient Sureties, before a Justice of the Peace, conditioned personally to appear at the said Sessions, and to try such Appeal, and to abide the Judgement of the Court thereupon, and to pay such Costs as shall be by the Court awarded ; and upon such Notice being given, and such Recognzances being entered into, the Court at such Sessions shall hear and determine the Matter of the Appeal, and shall make such Order therein, with or without Costs, to either Party, as to the Court shall seem meet, and in case of the Dismissal of the Appeal, or the Affirmance of the Conviction, shall order and adjudge the Offender to be punished according to the Conviction, and to pay such Costs as shall be awarded, and shall, if necessary, issue Process for enforcing such judgement.

XLVII. And be it enacted, That no such Conviction or Adjudication made on Appeal therefrom shall be quashed for Want of Form, or be removed by Certiorari or otherwise into any of His Majesty's Superior Courts of Record, and no Warrant of Commitment shall be held void by reason of any Defect therein, provided it be therein alleged that the Party has been convicted, and there be a valid Conviction to sustain the same.

XLVIII. And be it enacted, That the Registrar General may receive and send by the General Post from and to Places in England all letters and packets relating exclusively to the Execution of this Act free from any Duty of Postage, provided that such Letters and Packets as shall be sent to the Registrar General be directed to the "Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages," at his Office, and that all such Letters and Packets as shall be sent by the Registrar General shall be in Covers, with the Words "Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages" printed on the same, and be sealed with the Seal of the said Registrar Office, and be signed on the Outside thereof under such Words with the Name of such Person as the said Registrar General, with the Consent of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, or any Three or more of them, shall appoint, in his own Handwriting, (such Name to be from Time to Time sent to the Secretary of General Post Office in London,) and under such other Regulations as the Lords Commissioners, or any Three or more of them, shall think fit ; and if the Person so to be appointed shall subscribe or seal any Letter or Packet whatever, except such only concerning which he shall receive the special Direction of his superior Officer, or which he shall himself know to relate exclusively to the Execution of this Act, or if the Person so to be appointed, or any other Person, shall send or cause to be sent under any such Cover any Letter, Paper, or Writing, or any Inclosure, other than shall relate exclusively to the Execution of this Act, every Person so offending shall forfeit and pay the Sum of One hundred Pounds, and be dismissed from his Office ; one Moiety of such Penalty to be paid to the Use of the Person who shall inform or sue for the same ; to be sued for and recovered in any of His Majesty's Courts of record at Westminster.

XLIX. Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing herein contained shall affect the Registration of Baptisms or Burials as now by Law established, or the Right of any Officiating Minister to receive the Fees now usually paid for the Performance or Registration of any Baptism, Burial, or Marriage.

L. And be it further enacted, That the said Registrar General shall, within Three Calendar Months after his Appointment to such Office, furnish to the respective Guardians of every Union, Parish, or Place printed Notices, which the said Guardians shall, as soon as conveniently may be after the Receipt thereof, cause to be fixed or placed on the outside of the several Church and Chapel Doors, or other public and conspicuous Buildings or Places, within their respective Unions, Parishes, or Places and which said Notices shall specify the several Acts required to be done by Persons who may be desirous of solemnizing Marriage, or of registering the Birth of any Child or the Death of any person, under the Provisions of this Act.

  

 Proof-read by Angela Corrina Petyt

Copyright Guy Etchells Ó 2001 All rights reserved.

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First published in 2001.

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