Table Of Population, 1801 to 1901
The county taken in this table is that existing subsequently to 7 & 8 Vict., chap. 61 (1844).
By this Act detached parts of counties, which had already for parliamentary purposes been amalgamated with the county by which they were surrounded or with which the detached part had the
longest common boundary (2 & 3 Wm. IV, chap. 64—1832), were annexed to the same county for
all purposes ; some exceptions were, however, permitted.
By the same Act (7 & 8 Vict., chap. 61) the detached parts of counties, transferred to other
counties, were also annexed to the hundred, ward, wapentake, &c. by which they were wholly or
mostly surrounded, or to which they next adjoined, in the counties to which they were transferred.
The hundreds, &c. in this table are also given as existing subsequently to this Act.
As is well known, the famous statute of Queen Elizabeth for the relief of the poor took the thenexisting ecclesiastical parish as the unit for Poor Law relief. This continued for some centuries
with but few modifications; notably by an Act passed in the thirteenth year of Charles II's reign
which permitted townships and villages to maintain their own poor. This permission was necessary
owing to the large size of some of the parishes, especially in the north of England.
In 1801 the parish for rating purposes (now known as the civil parish, i.e. 'an area for
which a separate poor rate is or can be made, or for which a separate overseer is or can be
appointed') was in most cases co-extensive with the ecclesiastical parish of the same name; but
already there were numerous townships and villages rated separately for the relief of the poor,
and also there were many places scattered up and down the country, known as extra-parochial
places, which paid no rates at all. Further, many parishes had detached parts entirely surrounded
by another parish or parishes.
Parliament first turned its attention to extra-parochial places, and by an Act (20 Vict.,
chap. 19—1857) it was laid down (a) that all extra-parochial places entered separately in the
1851 census returns are to be deemed civil parishes, (b) that in any other place being, or being
reputed to be, extra-parochial, overseers of the poor may be appointed, and (c) that where, however, owners and occupiers of two-thirds in value of the land of any such place desire its
annexation to an adjoining civil parish, it may be so added with the consent of the said parish.
This Act was not found entirely to fulfil its object, so by a further Act (31 & 32 Vict., chap. 122—
1868) it was enacted that every such place remaining on 25 December, 1868, should be added
to the parish with which it had the longest common boundary.
The next thing to be dealt with was the question of detached parts of civil parishes, which was
done by the Divided Parishes Acts of 1876, 1879, and 1882. The last, which amended the one of
1876, provides that every detached part of an entirely extra-metropolitan parish which is entirely
surrounded by another parish becomes transferred to this latter for civil purposes, or if the population
exceeds 300 persons it may be made a separate parish. These Acts also gave power to add detached
parts surrounded by more than one parish to one or more of the surrounding parishes, and also to
amalgamate entire parishes with one or more parishes. Under the 1879 Act it was not necessary
for the area dealt with to be entirely detached. These Acts also declared that every part added to
a parish in another county becomes part of that county.
Then came the Local Government Act, 1888, which permits the alteration of civil parish boundaries and the amalgamation of civil parishes by Local Government Board orders. It also created the
administrative counties. The Local Government Act of 1894 enacts that where a civil parish is partly
in a rural district and partly in an urban district each part shall become a separate civil parish ; and
also that where a civil parish is situated in more than one urban district each part shall become a
separate civil parish, unless the county council otherwise direct. Meanwhile, the ecclesiastical parishes
had been altered and new ones created under entirely different Acts, which cannot be entered into
here, as the table treats of the ancient parishes in their civil aspect.
The first census of England was taken in 1801, and was very little more than a counting
of the population in each parish (or place), excluding all persons, such as soldiers, sailors, &c., who
formed no part of its ordinary population. It was the de facto population (i.e. the population
actually resident at a particular time) and not the de jure (i.e. the population really belonging
to any particular place at a particular time). This principle has been sustained throughout
The Army at home (including militia), the men of the Royal Navy ashore, and the registered
seamen ashore were not included in the population of the places where they happened to be,
at the time of the census, until 1841. The men of the Royal Navy and other persons on board
vessels (naval or mercantile) in home ports were first included in the population of those places
in 1851. Others temporarily present, such as gipsies, persons in barges, &c. were included in
1841 and perhaps earlier.
Up to and including 1831 the returns were mainly made by the overseers of the poor
and more than one day was allowed for the enumeration, but the 1841–1901 returns were
made under the superintendence of the registration officers and the enumeration was to be
completed in one day. The Householder's Schedule was first used in 1841. The exact dates
of the censuses are as follows:—
|10 March, 1801
||30 May, 1831
||8 April, 1861
||6 April, 1891
|27 May, 1811
||7 June, 1841
||3 April, 1871
||1 April, 1901
|28 May, 1821
||31 March, 1851
||4 April, 1881||
NOTES EXPLANATORY OF THE TABLE
This table gives the population of the ancient county and arranges the parishes, &c. under the
hundred or other sub-division to which they belong, but there is no doubt that the constitution of
hundreds, &c. was in some cases doubtful.
In the main the table follows the arrangement in the 1841 census volume.
The table gives the population and area of each parish, &c. as it existed in 1801, as far
The areas are those supplied by the Ordnance Survey Department, except in the case of those
marked 'e,' which are only estimates. The area includes inland water (if any), but not tidal water
† after the name of a civil parish indicates that the parish was affected by the operation
of the Divided Parishes Acts, but the Registrar-General failed to obtain particulars of every
such change. The changes which escaped notification were, however, probably small in area
and with little, if any, population. Considerable difficulty was experienced both in 1891 and
1901 in tracing the results of changes effected in civil parishes under the provisions of these
Acts; by the Registrar-General's courtesy, however, reference has been permitted to certain
records of formerly detached parts of parishes, which has made it possible approximately to
ascertain the population in 1901 of parishes as constituted prior to such alterations, though the
figures in many instances must be regarded as partly estimates.
* after the name of a parish (or place) indicates that such parish (or place) contains a union
workhouse which was in use in (or before) 1851 and was still in use in 1901.
‡ after the name of a parish (or place) indicates that the ecclesiastical parish of the same name
at the 1901 census is co-extensive with such parish (or place).
O in the table indicates that there is no population on the area in question.
— in the table indicates that no population can be ascertained.
The word 'chapelry' seems often to have been used as an equivalent for 'township' in 1841,
which census volume has been adopted as the standard for names and descriptions of areas.
The figures in italics in the table relate to the area and population of such sub-divisions of
ancient parishes as chapelries, townships, and hamlets.