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An Act for taking the Census of England.
                                                                                                       [
10th August 1870.]

 

Whereas it is expedient to take the census of England in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one :
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 :

 

1. One of Her Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State shall have the care of superintending the taking of the census, and shall cause to be prepared and printed, for the use of the persons to be employed in taking it, 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 authority of such Secretary of State, with the consent of the Commissioners of the Treasury, under this Act, shall be paid out of such moneys as shall be provided by Parliament for that purpose.

 

2. Every registrar’s sub-district in England shall be formed into enumerator’s divisions 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 sub-districts into enu­merator’s divisions according to such instructions, and subject in each case to be revised by the superintendent registrar, and to the final revision and approval of the said Registrar General.

 

3. 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 act as enumerators within their several sub-districts, and such persons, when approved of by the superintendent registrar, shall be appointed by him enumerators for taking the census, subject nevertheless to the approval of the said Registrar General; and the registrar, with the approval of the superintendent registrar, shall assign a division to each enumerator, and shall distribute to the several enumerators in his sub-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.

 

4. Schedules shall be prepared by or under the direction of such Secretary of State for the purpose of being filled up by or on behalf the several occupiers of dwelling-houses as herein-after provided, with particulars of the name, sex, age, rank, profession or occu­pation, condition, relation to head of family, and birthplace of every. living, person who abode in every house on the night of Sunday the second day of April one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one, and also whether any were blind, or deaf and dumb, or imbecile or lunatic; and the registrars in England shall in the course of the week ending on Saturday the first day of April in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one leave or cause to be left at every dwelling-house within their respective sub-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 or sub-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 enumerator will collect all such schedules within his division on the Monday then next following; and every occupier of any dwelling-house, or of any district 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 enumerator 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 twenty shillings.

 

5. 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, so far as may be possible, on Monday the third day of April in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one, and shall complete such of the schedules 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 schedules, when completed and corrected, into books to be provided them for that purpose, and shall add thereunto an account, according to the best information which they shall be able to obtain, of all the other persons living within their division who shall not be included in the schedules so collected by them.

 

6. Every enumerator 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 division, and shall also take an account of all such particulars herein-before mentioned, and none others, according to the forms and instructions which may be issued under this Act; and in the book into which he shall have copied the householders schedules and other particulars, as herein-before directed, each enumerator shall distinguish & the several parishes within his division, or such parts thereof as shall be within his division, and shall also distinguish those parishes or parts ‘of parishes within his division 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 town within the jurisdiction of a local board, or of any commissioners intrusted by a local Act with draining, cleansing, lighting, or improving the town, or of any ecclesiastical district, or of any area prescribed in that behalf by the instructions, and shall deliver such book to the registrar of the sub-district, together with the householders schedules collected by him, and shall sign a form or declaration to. the effect that the said book has been truly and faithfully filled up by him, and that to the best of his knowledge the same is correct, 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.

 

7. The registrar to whom such enumerators books 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 book to be supplied so far as may be possible; and when the books shall 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.

 

8. The superintendent registrar shall examine all the books which  shall be 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 shall discover in  such books to be corrected so far as may be possible, and shall  return on or before the first day of May one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one, or such other day as may be fixed by the Registrar General, all the books which shall have been delivered to him to the Registrar General for the use of such Secretary of State.

 

9. The Secretary of State shall cause an abstract to be made of  the said returns; and such abstract 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 seventy-one, if Parliament be sitting, or if Parliament be not sitting, then within the first fourteen days of the Session then next ensuing.

 

10. 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.

 

11. The overseers of the poor in every parish in England, and  the constables, tithingmen, headboroughs, or other peace officers for such parishes, and the relieving officers in any union or parish not in union with a board of guardians acting under the provisions of an Act passed in the fifth year of King William the Fourth, intituled “An Act for the amendment and better admi­nistration of the laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales,” or the Acts amending the same, shall be bound to act as enumerators under this Act within their respective parishes 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.

 

12. The 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 persons who during the said night of Sunday the second day of April 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 him as aforesaid.

 

13. 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 seventy-one, if Parliament be sitting, or if Parliament be not sitting, then within the first fourteen days of the session then next ensuing.

 

14. The superintendent registrar of every district in England shall within one calendar month next after the taking of the census 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.

 

15. The Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury shall, through  the Registrar General, pay to each superintendent registrar, out of the moneys provided by Parliament for that purpose, the whole amount of the allowances to which the said 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 to the registrars in his district the allowances to which they the said registrars are entitled, and shall also pay over or cause to be paid 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 and registrars for payment of their said allowances shall be delivered to the superintendent registrar, who shall transmit the same, together with the receipt for his own allowance, to the Registrar General: 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.

 

16. Every superintendent registrar and registrar, and every enumerator and other person who is bound under this Act if required to act as enumerator, 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.

 

17. The enumerators and other persons employed in the execution of this Act shall be authorised 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.

 

18. All penalties imposed by this Act 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.

 

19. In the construction of this Act the term parish means a place for which a separate poor rate is or can be made, and has in the metropolis the same meaning as in “The Metropolis Manage­ment Act, 1855,” and the words “dwelling-house” shall include all buildings and tenements of which the whole or any part shall be used for the purpose of human habitation.

 

 

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First published in 2006.

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