Territorial Sub-Divisions

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1. Houses

Classification of structures

Much of what has preceded may have been written of a nation wandering like the Israelites through the wilderness, without settled habitations. The house fixes man to the soil. It is his home, and the centre round which all his activity and business turn. And the house, one of the greatest products of skill and labour, is in a certain harmony with its inhabitants. It is informed by and informs them. Hence a census of a civilized nation—which is always a nation living in houses—is scarcely complete without a full classified account of those various structures. That distinction and classification are required is evident; for what differ more than a mud-hut, a thatched cottage, a farmhouse, the squire's hall, a shop occupied by a tradesman, a public-house, a lodging-house, and a dwelling-house well fitted with all modern appliances in the best end of a city. One dwelling barely affords shelter against the weather, has a hearth, and a floor; another has fire, light, and water at command in all seasons, cooking apparatus in kitchens, sweet cleanliness in all the offices, stores, pleasant chambers, libraries, and rooms, some fitted for hospitality, and others for the bright gatherings of society. Houses, in towns like London, differ extremely in form, cubical content, windows, apartments, doors, and sanitary appliances in different quarters; but in England we had not under the Act the same power of inquiry as was conferred under the Irish and Scotch Acts. The enumerators were, however, supplied with books in which they were requested to describe the houses at which they left householders schedules prior to the Census day,1 and to state whether they were private houses or public houses, bakers', grocers', or any other shops, schools, coach-houses with rooms over, lodging-houses, and the like; those books thus contain information which may be hereafter analysed with advantage.

The Census returns of England since 1801 distinguish only Inhabited Houses, Uninhabited Houses, and Houses building.

Census definition of a house

The enumerators of the United Kingdom were instructed as in 1861 in conformity with the decisions of the Statistical Congress, to class under House—every habitation— "each separate house comprising by definition all the space within the external and party walls of the building." The confusion arising from counting "flats" as houses it was believed would be thus, obviated.

The popular use of the word House is quite in conformity with the above definition, and the word has probably been applied in the same way at all the censuses. Assuming this to be so, the mean number of persons to a house rose from 5.64 in 1801 to 5.75 in 1821 when the increase of population was at a maximum; and then declined to 5.33 in 1871. Thus in 1821 there were 575 persons on an average to 100 inhabited houses, and 533 in 1871.

This average gives a very imperfect notion of the actual house accommodation; and some such further inquiry may be made as was commenced in the Census Report of 1861,2 showing in only 14 selected sub-districts how many houses contained 1, 2, 3, 4, up to 81 inhabitants. The importance of the determination is apparent: of 48,273 2,417 were uninhabited, leaving 45,856 houses inhabited by 5.63 persons on an average; but 1,501 contained only one person, 5,361 contained two persons, 7048 contained four persons, 16 contained from 51 to 64 persons, and one lodging house was filled by 81 people. The facilities for the spread of zymotic disease, and the morality of the people are very much influenced by the accumulation of large numbers in lodging and other houses. The importance of minute information of this kind to the Legislature may be illustrated by a single instance: if the same proportion of English houses are occupied by one person in 1871 as in the houses inquired into at the previous Census some 100,000 or more houses are inhabited by one solitary person. These hermits of the century in town and country sometimes die in their solitude, and occasionally no witness under the present state of the law can give such information as authorises the registrar to record their deaths. Such deaths consequently remain unregistered if the coroner refuse to hold sin inquest on their bodies.

Annual value of houses

Although we have not been able to classify the houses adequately the Inland Annual value Revenue returns supply the means of determining the number of houses of 20 annual value and upwards, subject to the house duty in 1862 and in 1871. The number of such houses was 519,991 in 1862 and 748,719 in 1871; the increase was 228,728 in ten years. The increase in the number of such houses was 44 per cent.; while the increase in houses below that annual value was 290,884, or only 9 per cent. on the ten years. This may be accounted for by a general rise in the price of houses, which has lifted many out of the lower into the higher category; by a rise in the assessed value; or by an increased proportion of good houses in the numbers newly erected.

The variation in the values of houses will give a general notion of the variety of those structures; and we find that while only 778 were valued at 1,000l. a year and upwards, 68,737 were valued at 100l. a year and upwards. Some may be surprised that the number of such houses is not greater; but conjecturers are often much mistaken in their guesses at numbers of this kind; so impressed is the mind by a few singular instances of magnitude that it translates it into multitude. The number of houses of 50l. annual value and upwards is 221,632; of 20l. and under 50l. is 527,087.

Concerning the rental of the 3,510,398 houses under 20l. of annual value the return gives no direct information; but the series of numbers increases so regularly as the value descends from 200l. to 20l. that we have ventured to continue it from 45l. -50l. to 40l. -45l. . . . . . to 3l. -5l. and subjoin the results to the table: it makes the number of houses of 10l. and upwards 2,146,367, or rather greater than the numbers below that annual value. The mean annual value of houses of 20l. and upwards was 53l. 16s. ; while the estimated mean value of houses below that figure was 9l. 2s. The mean annual value of all houses thus determined was 15l. 10s. in 1861, and 16l. 18s. in 1871. The mean rental of a house rose from 6s. a week in 1861 to 6s. 6d. in 1871.

Aggregate value of houses

The estimated annual value of the houses is 72,176,365l. Means should be adopted, as they easily might, for determining exactly the relation between the annual value and the capitalized value of this vast mass of property: this has not been done, but taken at 15 years purchase of their annual value, the houses of England and Wales are worth 1,082,645,475l. It was considered a sign of prosperity when houses were fully occupied and new houses were built, so at each Census since 1811 the number of houses "building" has been returned. The number increased from 16,207 in 1811 to 27,444 in 1841, and remained nearly the same in 1851-61; but in 1871 the numbers ran up to 37,803. One house was "building" or being built to 114 standing inhabited and uninhabited in 1811; to 105 in 1831; to 144 in 1861; to 120 in 1871. The number of houses " building " on the Census day as we pointed out in 18613 depends not only on the number erected annually but on the time employed in the process, so that a decline in the number enumerated on one day does not imply a decline in the number of houses built yearly. The architect there cited is of opinion that houses on an average are built in six months (1861), but that is by no means certain. The houses building vary with the season; and with the facilities small builders find of obtaining advances of money. But as we know that houses are built in as short a time now as in previous censuses, and as the season of the year has been the same, it is quite certain that the increase of "houses, building" to 37,803 on the last Census day implies a rapid, increase in the number of new houses. This is proved too by houses inhabited and uninhabited in ten years having increased by 596,263, that is at the rate of 59,626 new houses yearly. But new houses were also built in the same period to replace the houses out of 3,924,199 existing in 1861 that fell to decay, or were taken down; assuming as was done in 1861 that houses last about 100 years and perish at the rate of one per cent. annually then at the end of the ten years 375,223 houses must have disappeared. The new houses built in the ten years replaced these houses and added 596,263 to their number, so about 971,486 new houses have been built in the 10 years; of which about 920,194 inhabited were of the annual value of 14,907,143l. , and worth at 15 years purchase 223,607,145l.

While the number of houses "building" increased so did the number of houses "uninhabited"; the numbers were 184,694 in 1861, and 261,345 in 1871. By houses "uninhabited" we understand houses in which no person slept on the Census night; and the increase is probably due in great part to the increase of offices occupied during the day and left empty at night.

The houses in England are generally built of brick except in parts of the country where suitable stone is available; and in towns although wood enters into the structure of nearly every house, its main body consists of a more durable and less combustible material. This was not the case in 1666, when a large portion of London was burnt down. The houses are now better than they were in past times; better than they were in 1801 when 1,633,399 were counted; and better than the 986,482 houses were in 1759 when 330,000 had less than seven windows, and 282,429 were cottages not charged on account of poverty.4 The English houses in towns are of moderate dimensions and in that have sanitary advantages over large houses with a common staircase; but they lack architectural beauty to which English builders and house proprietors have been hitherto blind in the absence of art education; the sewers and sanitary arrangements too are still often defective. On these heads we may hope the next Census will report progress.

2. Cities and Towns.

A city consists essentially of the citizens living together under some polity; but the word is most commonly used to designate the houses and land within walls, or some such other recognized boundary. Borough is employed in the same sense. A town is properly a collection of numerous dwellings near each other, within a limited area: it has properly a market-place, and its shops provide a continual open market for the supply of goods, and especially of foreign and of manufactured goods.

Rise of towns and cities

The houses of a people are at first dispersed in distant farms over the country, when property enjoys a certain degree of security; but with the progress of industry and knowledge new houses are built in streets with a central market-place or town-hall; and the number of such towns increases with the refinement and culture of the nation. The passage from barbarism to a higher social state has been so associated with cities that it has been called civilization.

England is in this age still a great agricultural country; but its cities are extending beyond their ancient borders, and the wider population is associated with them hi popular apprehension, though disassociated from them as to the privileges of municipal organization. The metropolis is a remarkable example of this state of things.

Villages and small places are rising up to the importance of large towns. Thus Barrow-in-Furness in Lancashire, not long ago an inconsiderable village, is now a municipal borough with 18,245 inhabitants; and Middlesborough in Yorkshire, inconsiderable in 1831, with its 383 inhabitants, has now 39,563 inhabitants under municipal government. In the absence of the old tried municipal form of local government, many towns have adopted improvement commissions and the special powers conferred by the Local Government Act. Every city, borough, district under either a Local Board or an improvement commission, and small towns have all been carefully analysed in their constituent parts under their respective counties5 and now we have classified these towns, as we shall call them generically for the sake of brevity, in a comprehensive series of tables.

Increase of town populations

The number and the population of towns have increased largely since 1851, when we gave the population of 580 towns, and even since 1861, when the number of towns distinguished had risen to 781. In 1871 we give the population and area of 938 towns, distinguishing municipal boroughs, towns under improvement Acts, and towns of some 2,000 or more inhabitants without any organization other than the parish vestry. The additional number of towns consists of places under the Municipal and the Local Government Acts.

The towns in England and "Wales stand thus at the three censuses of 1851-61-71:—

1851. 1861. 1871.
Number of Towns 580 781 938
Area in Acres 1,724,406 1,913,945 2,213,421
Population 8,990,809 10,960,998 14,041,404
Increase of population in preceding 10 years 1,970,189 3,080,406

The towns as above defined are unequally distributed in number over the country:. Middlesex and Surrey with their vast populations contain 32 towns; Cheshire and Lancashire 129; Yorkshire alone 160. Other divisions are more sparingly endowed. The three eastern counties have only 46 towns.

Largest cities and towns

Next to London in population stands Liverpool with 493,405 inhabitants: and including London and Liverpool there are 13 towns with populations of 100,000 inhabitants and upwards; namely, Portsmouth with 113,569 inhabitants, Bristol with 182,552, Birmingham 343,787, Manchester 351,189, Salford 124,801, Oldham 113,100, Bradford 145,830, Leeds 259,212, Sheffield 239,946, Hull 123,892, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 128,443.

Again, including these large cities there are in the aggregate 103 towns of 20,000 inhabitants and upwards, containing in the aggregate 9,543,968 inhabitants. Their increase since 1801 is 7,221,527, the increase of the Metropolis being 2,295,397, of the other large towns 4,926,130 in 70 years. The 103 towns contain more inhabitants than England and Wales contained in 1801.

The annual rate of increase per cent. was 2.04 in the 103 towns, 1.76 in London 2.21 in the other 102 towns, and 1.00 in the rural parts and in the towns of less than 20,000 inhabitants. Thus the large towns increased twice as fast as the rest of the country, and the ratio being compound, while the rural population and the population in towns under 20,000 was doubled, the population of the great towns was quadrupled The population of the smaller towns and the country was doubled in 70 years, of the larger towns in 35 years.

Smaller towns

There are 39 small towns (so called) of less than 1,000 inhabitants, 100 of 1,000 and less than 2,000 inhabitants, 358 of 2,000 and less than 5,000,220 of 5,000 and less than 10,000, 118 of 10,000 and less than 20,000 inhabitants. England and Wales contain 441 towns of 5,000 inhabitants and upwards.

Urban and rural populations

Let us now compare the population of the 938 existing towns, small and great, at the last two censuses. The population in 1861 was 12,026,546, and it has increased in 10 years by 2,014,858 or 16.75 per cent; the population of the villages and of the country round these towns was 8,039,678 in 1861, and their increase was 631,184 in 10 years; the urban increased about 17 per cent., the rural population 8 per cent. in the period, The town population, reckoned upon this basis, is now 62 per cent., the rural population 38 per cent. of the population of England and Wales.

Area of towns

It is of the essence of a town that its population lives in close proximity in a limited area; accordingly the 938 towns with their 14,041,404 inhabitants extend only over 3,458 square miles. The town of average size has 14,970 inhabitants and an area of rather less than four square miles, equivalent to a square of 1.92 miles to the side, a circle of 1.08 radius. The population is 4,061 to a square mile in the towns, 158 to a square mile in the surrounding country. In the country there are more than ,em>four acres to a person, in the towns more than six persons to an acre. If equally distributed over a circle the mean distance of the inhabitants from the centre would be two-thirds of a mile.

The towns contain 2,466,630 inhabited houses, 5.69 inhabitants to a house country has 1,792,487 houses and 4.84 inhabitants to a house.

Unoccupied area in towns

There are 713 inhabited houses to a square mile of town area, and rather less than an acre to a house; so it is evident that the whole area of the towns is not covered with streets and houses. Several of the local board districts indeed contain a large extent of country.

The area of the towns in metric measures is 8,956 square kilometres, of the rural parts 142,063, making 151,019 square kilometres = 15,101,900 hectares

The town is the centre not only of its own inhabitants but of the inhabitants of the rural parts around, who resort to its market or its shops. Dividing by 938 town centres the whole population of England and Wales it is found that the population of which each is the centre is 24,214, located on an area of 62 square miles, nearly equal to a square of 8 miles to the side, a circle of 4.448 miles radius. The mean distance of the population from the centre on the hypothesis of equal distribution is little less than three miles; but by concentration the people on the central parts the 14,970 of them are brought within less than two-thirds of a mile of the centre, and only the 9,244 who have less occasion to frequent the central shops of the town are on an average from 1 mile to 4.45 miles away.

As the gentry have their town and country houses, so merchants and professional men have their offices in the great towns, their dwelling houses in the suburbs.

3. Municipal Boroughs.

Municipal corporations

It must appear somewhat singular for us to have to state that of the 938 towns in 1871 no less than 714 are not under the municipal Act; that only 224 are municipal boroughs having a true municipal organization, and furthermore that these boroughs out of the 14,041,404 contain only 6,606,909 inhabitants living in 1,229,214 houses. The most notable instance is that of London, with 3,254.260 inhabitants, of whom only 74,897 slept in the city enjoying municipal privileges.

4. Parliamentary Boroughs.

Parliamentary cities and boroughs

The parliamentary cities and boroughs are 198 in number, and had a population of 10,652,423 occupying 1,814,684 inhabited houses; the registered electors amounted to 1,250,019, the members returned to 297. This is exclusive of the five members and the 10,102 electors of the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and London. The 187 members for the counties represent 12,059,813 inhabitants of 2,444,433 houses and 801,109 electors.6

The Parliamentary Boroughs contained 7,438,679 inhabitants in 1851, and 10,652,423 in 1871.

YEARS. POPULATION as enumerated in
Parliamentary Boroughs. Counties outside Parliamentary Boroughs. Total.
1851 7,438,679 10,488,930 17,927,609
1861 8,638,569 11,427,655 20,066,224
1871 10,652,423 12,059,843 22,712,266
Between ACTUAL INCREASE in the two periods.
1851-61 1,199,890 938,725 2,138,615
1861-71 2,013,854 632,188 2,646,042
Between INCREASE per cent.
1851-61 16.1 8.9 11.9
1861-71 23.3 5.5 13.2

The small boroughs of Wales and Monmouth are united under the name of contributory boroughs into 13 districts accounted as boroughs for the purpose of returning members to Parliament.

The particulars respecting the constituent parts of each municipal borough, parliamentary borough, and local board district, will be found under each county in Volume I.

5. Towns in two Counties.

Towns in two counties

The following municipal boroughs extend into two counties: Stamford, Sudbury, Thetford, Yarmouth, Tamworth, Stockport, Stalybridge, Warrington, and Cardigan. Each of these towns, constituting one municipal organized body, has to be cut up and apportioned to two counties in the returns. The local board districts in like manner overstep county boundaries. Though the City is in one county, London is in three counties. 26 of the 938 towns extend into two counties or ridings.

6. Cities and Towns which are Counties in themselves.

Counties of cities and towns

The following 19 cities or towns are counties in themselves: London (city); Canterbury, Southampton; Norwich; Poole, Exeter; Bristol, Gloucester, Lichfield, Worcester; Lincoln, Nottingham; Chester; York, Kingston-upon-Hull; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Berwick-upon-Tweed; Carmarthen, Haverfordwest. In the Census Tables they are incorporated in the Counties surrounding or adjoining them.

7. Six Classes of Towns.

The Metropolis

Towns are of different characters as well as dimensions, and may be classed with, advantage in various ways. Thus the metropolis of the Empire stands in our first class by itself; it is the seat of the Legislature, the primary Home of Justice, Medicine and Religion, the theatre for the fine arts and the sciences, the great centre of society the emporium of commerce, the warehouse of England, the great Port in communi cation with the sea. Spanning the broad tidal waters of the embanked Thames with its magnificent bridges, it wants but a greater number of grand public buildings to be the first Queen of Cities. The population has overflowed the actual boundaries; within which it is increasing at the annual rate of 1.50 per cent; while the increase on the outer-ring is 4.20 per cent., and the entire population within the Metropolitan Police boundary is 3,885,641.

County and assize towns

The 65 old county towns and the assize towns, with their markets, fairs, shops county meetings, and assizes, form a second class, with a population of 2,685,000 Their population is also increasing; and many of the day inhabitants sleep outside their boundaries. The annual rate of increase is 1.37 per cent.

Watering places

Of 56 watering-places 48 are on the seaside; and eight are inland, including the historical Bath, and Tunbridge Wells, Cheltenham, Malvern, Leamington, Buxton, Matlock, and Harrogate. Their population is partly indigenous, and partly made up of visitors; the two portions mutually depending on each other. While the inland watering-places increased at the rate only of 1.07 per cent., the seaside watering-places increased at nearly double that rate. Both kinds of watering-places have their peculiar claims; but London throws its weight into Margate, Ramsgate, Hastings, Brighton, and other towns on the south coast which has the attractions of the sea in all its varieties of mood; further west is Torquay and Torbay with the charms of an Italian lake; to the west lie Ilfracombe and the Welsh towns by the sea and mountains; to the north-east Scarborough, the fair mistress of that coast.


The 42 principal seaports of England, exclusive of London, contain more than two millions of people, and increase at the rate of 1.72 per cent. annually.

Manufacturing towns

The manufacturing towns are thrown into two classes: 72 engaged chiefly in the production of textile fabrics and parts of dress; and 97 in the midst of mining districts, and of districts employed in the manufacture of minerals, and of chemical substances. Leeds, Bradford, and the towns producing woollen goods; Nottingham, Leicester, and the hosiery centres; Northampton and the shoemaking towns, increased most rapidly, about 2 per cent. annually. The towns producing silk and cotton goods less than 1 per cent.


The population of the mining towns and towns engaged in working up into useful commodities all the metals, iron, copper, and tin, grew fast. The towns representing the glass manufacture are increasing rapidly.


Chemistry now influences all the arts, and every industry; its unseen force effects all kinds of transformations in all kinds of matter—animal, vegetable, and mineral: it creates all the colours of the rainbow; it yields poisons and their antidotes; it developes heat and steam, the gentlest mechanical power, and the explosive violence of gunpowder, gun-cotton, and nitro-glycerine, that sweep men to destruction, or shake rocks into fragments. Chemical art is increasing rapidly, and will probably be one of the leading industries of England. It is only here explicitly represented by four towns, increasing at the rate of 3.44 per cent., but it is also carried on largely in London, and in other great manufacturing cities.

8. Counties.

Original constitution of counties

The first political gatherings together of the nation were, it would seem, based on the decimal notation: ten free families constituted a Tything ; ten or probably twelve tythings made up the Hundred of a hundred and twenty families . The Hundreds united constituted the county under the ealdorman or carl. The county derived its name, especially in the south, from the people, as in the case of Sussex, Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cumberland; in the midland and other counties from the chief towns; and in the north in one case from the Humber River. As cultivation advanced, the territory increasing in value asserted its importance; and the counties in North Mercia and Northumbria were divided into thirds, quarters, fifths, or sixths.7

Variable size of counties

The forty English counties vary much in size, and still more in population; and no successful attempt has ever been made to equalize them. A county is a county, and has its roll of officers the same, although the population may vary from 22,073 in Rutland, 633708 in Huntingdon, 65,010 in Westmorland, to 2,436,355 in Yorkshire, to 2,539,765 in Middlesex, and to 2,819,495 in Lancashire. Thus these populations differ; some counties have the population of a moderate city parish; others have a population approaching that of Scotland. The population of the two counties of York and Lancaster together "by this time probably surpasses the population of Ireland. The mean population of an English county is 537,378; but the range of population is so great that the largest contains a population 128 times greater than that of the smallest county. The areas of English counties differ also to a great extent.

The 12 Welsh counties have a mean population of 101,428; ranging from 25,430 in Radnorshire, 46,598 in Merionethshire, and 51,040 in Anglesey, to 105,102 in Denbighshire, 106,121 in Carnarvonshire, 115,710 in Carmarthenshire, and 397,859 in Glamorganshire.


Under 100,000 inhab-
100,000 inhab-
200,000 inhab-
300,000 inhab-
400,000 inhab-
500,000 inhab-
600,000 inhab-
700,000 inhab-
800,000 and under 900,000 inhab-
Under 100,000 acres Rutland                
100,000 acres Flint
200,000 Hunts.
300,000 Pembroke
400,000 Mont-

500,000 Westmor-
Leicester Nottingham
600,000 Dorset
Derby Durham    
700,000 Chester Stafford
800,000 Salop.
Cornwall Gloucester        
900,000 Cumber-
Suffolk Sussex        
1,000,000 Somerset
1,200,000 Northum-
1,300,000 Norfolk        
1,600,000 Devon    
1,700,000 and under 1,800,000 Lincoln        

Four counties exceed the limits of the table either in area or in population:

  Area in Acres. Population.
Middlesex 181,317 2,539,765
Surrey 483,178 1,091,635
Lancaster 1,207,926 2,819,495
York 3,882,851 2,436,355

The disparities between the populations of the counties increase every year: in the year 1801 the mean population of an English county was 208,771; the population of the three small counties being 16,300; 37,568; 40,805: of the larger counties Lancashire 673,486, Middlesex 818,129, Yorkshire 859,133.

In 1600 the mean population of an English county was about 111,511 and the difference of population was not so great as it became subsequently. When the counties were first constituted, the average population may be fairly estimated at less than 30,000; and the scattered dwellings were isolated by the want of good roads so that intercommunication and meetings of the freeholders at any distance were difficult.

Alteration of county boundaries

The counties differ less in area than in population; and their area is of course constant unless their boundaries are changed by the Legislature. Intercommunication is now comparatively easy; but there is no obvious reason why all the counties should be of the same size, or why they should have the same population, while there is some reason why old associations should not be broken up. Still, it is evident that the counties vary excessively both in area and population from each other, and from any political ideal that a statesman may conceive. If some are not too large, others must be too small for the best possible administrative organization.

In administration existing facts must be taken into account; and among those facts two are certain, that the county populations never stand still; they are moving onwards or backwards; new interesti)ii)s are springing up; and any governing- body scattered over the widest areas now meets with facilities which did not exist when the county areas were planned and acquiesced in; so that there is no strong prima facie reason why imperfections in the county boundaries should not at intervals be regulated by Parliament, should it see good. Accordingly this has been done. Under the Acts 3 & 4 Will. 4, cap. 64, and 7 & 8 Vict. cap. 61, several important and expedient changes were made in the limits of counties.8 And under the Reform Bills counties have been split up for electoral purposes.

9. Parliamentary Divisions of Counties.

County constituencies

There are in England and Wales 95 county constituencies,—83 in England and 12 in Wales. The tables below show how the counties are now divided for the election of members to the House of Commons; and how the population of the electoral divisions stood in 1871. The disparities are chiefly due to original disparities of the counties which were not corrected to any large extent by the Reform Bills.

according to the NUMBER of their CONSTITUENCIES.

Number of Counties.
Counties with 1 Constituency 25
Counties with 2 Constituencies 14
Counties with 3 Constituencies 11
Counties with 4 Constituencies 1
Counties with 5 Constituencies 1
Each of the 12 Welsh Counties has one Constituency  

according to the NUMBERS of their POPULATION, ENUMERATED in 1871.

Population. Number of Constituencies.
Under 50,000 5
50,000 and under 100,000 27
100,000 and under 150,000 40
150,000 and under 200,000 14
200,000 and under 250,000 3
250,000 and under 300,000 3
300,000 and under 350,000  
350,000 and under 400,000 2
400,000 and under 450,000 1

Territorial sub-divisions of counties

In the first volume will be found under each county a description of its several Territorial territorial divisions; its hundreds, municipal boroughs, sessional divisions, lieutenancy subdivisions, parliamentary divisions, police districts, highway districts, local board districts, parishes, townships, parts of parishes extending into adjoining counties ecclesiastical districts, and the parts of parishes which are still attached to the mother parishes. The populations are given for the information of the magistracy and of the various county, borough, and board authorities.

10. Union or Registration Counties.

Formation of union counties in 1834

The Legislature in 18349 entrusted to the Poor Law Commission the power of Formation of forming new districts, called unions , without any such reference to county limits as was observed in the constitution of the analogous hundreds, sessional divisions and lieutenancy subdivisions. These unions having staffs of officers, and rating powers, were in 1836 made the basis of the 626 registration districts in which the births, deaths, and marriages have been since registered, and the population enumerated. Each of 608 districts comprises one union; and 18 comprise two to four, and in the aggregate 40 unions. And as the districts consist of sub-districts, the sub-districts of parishes and townships, so the districts were grouped together to form the counties nitration with which they were made to coincide as nearly as was practicable without breaking up the fundamental unit—the district or union which was presided over by an elected and ex-officio board of guardians wielding great administrative and rating- power The union counties thus constituted differed little in many instances from the old counties and in the aggregate only transferred 1,053,423 out of a population of 22,712,266 from county to county. For the sake of maintaining the union counties properly constituted intact, the requisite changes would involve no great sacrifice; but should it be held to be desirable, the disparity might in many instances be greatly and advantageously reduced by well-considered alterations of the existing unions.10 The subject was discussed in the Census Report of 1851; and it will be evident from the following extract that the new divisions of the country are better suited to administrative purposes than the old divisions descending to us from a time when the population was uncivilized and in number inconsiderable.

Differences between registration counties and counties proper

"The cause of the discrepancy between the 'registration counties' and the other counties arises from the circumstance that, in many cases, the boundaries of the old counties were rivers; on which subsequently, at fords and bridges, important towns arose., the markets and centres of meeting for the people of all the surrounding parishes These towns have been made the centres of the new districts, as at them it is most convenient for the guardians to meet, and the officers to reside. Thus Wallingford in Berkshire is the natural centre of the district, which is nearly equally divided* by the Thames; and the Thames is here, as it is in a lower part of its course, the county boundary separating Oxfordshire from Berkshire. The people of the parishes of Bensington, Ewelme, Crowmarsh, North Stoke, Berrick-Prior, Warborough, and Dorchester on the north side of the river, in Oxfordshire, meet at Wallingford market, and are in many ways intimately associated with the people on the south side of the river in Berkshire ; hence it was quite justifiable to unite the parishes so related on both sides of the Thames in the Wallingford Union—the Wallingford district. The whole district is placed in the registration county of Berks; though part of it is in the old shire of Oxford. [And this is reasonable, for if these people are properly associated in one union, they should on many grounds be united in one county. The same remark applies to the city of Oxford, which is now partially in Berks; the whole of it should be transferred to Oxfordshire.] In the same way the greater part of the other discrepancies is accounted for. The old shire boundaries often run near towns; and the districts, which have not been arbitrarily framed, consist of 624 of the towns, with the surrounding parishes, subdivided into sub-districts; while the registration counties are aggregates of the districts which have their central towns within the limits of the old shires. In the counties which, like Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex, were originally well divided, little change has been made; in others, the defect of the old subdivisions into counties has been partially modified, without any further substantial innovation than the substitution of districts for the obsolete hundreds ".11

The average county comprises twelve districts, under superintendents, generally clerks to boards of guardians; and 42 sub-districts, in each of which there is a registrar of births and deaths; 296 parishes or places, 626 enumeration districts, 81,906 inhabited houses, 436.774 people, and 717,677 acres of land.

11. The Eleven Divisions of England and Wales = Provinces.

Registration divisions

These were formed by grouping the registration counties into masses topographically on the basis of area and population; so that a division consists on an average of five counties, a population of 2,064,751, and an area of 5,301 square miles. No division contains less than 1,218,728, nor more than 3,389,044 people; nor, excluding London, less than 3,123, nor more than 8,008 square miles. In all territorial subdivisions of a kingdom—in all its statistical units—neither equality of population alone, nor area alone, involving distance from central towns, can be made the basis; but both population and area must have their due. This accounts for the small area of the London and of the North-Western Divisions, with their vast populations; and for the small population of the Welsh Division, with its wide area. Isolation and relation - contiguous divisions have also to be considered; as, for example, in the case of the four counties in the Northern Division.

The employments of the people are modified by the geology and by the contiguity of counties; so that neighbourhood gives groups of counties a kind of family likeness and common interests.

These divisions, or groups of counties, have enabled us to condense the voluminous matter of the Census into a moderate compass; and the masses of facts in divisions are so large that accidental irregularities are eliminated in the results of calculation. Of this many instances will be found in the Tables.

In Prussia the province—corresponding generally in magnitude and population with our divisions—is the main administrative unit after the state itself.

1 The enumerator was also instructed to distinguish among uninhabited houses those occupied during the day but where no person slept in the night; he was told also to note all churches, chapels, and public buildings of every description, but not to count them as houses if uninhabited.

2 See Census Report, 1861; Vol. III., pp. 93-99.

3 Census Report, 1861, Vol. III., p.9.

4 Returns made by the surveyors of the House and Window duties (sited by Dr. Price. Works, vol. 2, pp. 140 and 178, 7th edition, by Morgan. The number of houses taxed in 1777 was according to the same authority 701,473, untaxed 251,261. The house tax. then, extended to 73 per cent. of the houses known, and in 1871 only to 18 per cent.; thus the proportions are reversed in favour of smaller tenants.

5 Census of 1871, Vol. I.

6 See Table VI., Vol. I. p. xii-xiii, for full details.

7 See Census Report for 1851, Vol. I., p. li to lxxxii.

8 See Tables 24-26 in Appendix C.

9 4 & 5 Will.4.cap.74,s.26.

10 See the composition of the Counties and the Union Counties in Appendix C., Tables 24 to 30.

11 Census Report, 1851, Vol.I.,p.lxxix. The number of districts has been altered many times since 1851, and is now 626.

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