1851 Census - Enumerator's Instructions

1851 Census
Instructions for the completion of the Form

With many thanks to Gordon Beavington who kindly sent me a copy of the original instructions. Thanks Gordon.

To The Householder

You are requested to insert the particulars specified on the other page, respecting all the persons who slept or abode in your house on the night of March 30th, in compliance with an Act which passed the House of Commons, and the House of Lords in the last Session of Parliament and received the assent of Her Majesty, The Queen, on the 8th of August 1850.

This paper will be called for on Monday, March 31st, by the appointed Officer and it will save trouble if, as the Act requires, you have the details? written in the proper columns by that time. It is his duty to verify the facts, and if you have omitted to comply with the above instruction, to record them at your residence on that day.

Persons who refuse to give CORRECT information, incur a Penalty of Five Pounds; besides the inconvenience and annoyance of appearing before two Justices of the Peace, and being convicted of have made a wilful mis-statement of age, or of any of the other particulars.

The Return is required to enable the Secretary of State to complete the CENSUS; which is to show the number of the population - their arrangement by ages and families in different ranks, professions, employments and trades - their distribution over the country in villages, towns and cities - their increase and progress in the last ten years.

George Graham

Registrar General

General Instruction

This schedule is to be filled up by the OCCUPIER or Person in charge of the house; if the house is let or sub-let to different persons or families, in separate stories or apartments, the OCCUPIER or Person in charge of each such story or apartment must make a separate return for his portion of the house upon a separate Householder's Schedule.

INSTRUCTIONS for filling up the Column headed "RANK, PROFESSION, or OCCUPATION."

The Superior Titles of PEERS and other PERSONS of RANK to be inserted, as well as any high office which they may hold. Magistrates, Aldermen, and other important public officers to state their profession after their official title.

ARMY, NAVY, AND CIVIL SERVICE.- Add after the rank, "Army," "Artillery," Royal Navy," "Marines," "East India Company's Service," as the case may be - distinguishing those on half-pay. Persons in the CIVIL SERVICE to state the Department to which they are attached, after their title or rank: those on the Superannuation List to be so distinguished. Chelsea, Greenwich and other Pensioners, to be clearly designated.

CLERGYMEN of the Church of England to return themselves as "Rector of ----------," "Vicar of ----------," "Curate of ------------," etc., or as not have care of souls. They are requested not to employ the indefinite term "Clerk". Presbyterian Ministers and Roman Catholic Priests, to return themselves as such, and to state the name of the church or chapel in which they officiate. Dissenting Ministers to return themselves as "Independent Minister of ------------ Chapel," "Baptist Minister of -------------- Chapel," Etc. Local or occasional preachers must return their ordinary occupations.

LEGAL PROFESSION.- Barristers, to state whether or not in actual practice; Officers of any Court, &c., to state the description of office and name of Court. The designation Attorney" or "Solicitor" to be confined to those whose names are actually upon the Roll. Persons in Solicitors' offices should distinguish whether "Solicitor's Managing, Articled, Writing, or General Clerk."

Members of the MEDICAL PROFESSION to state the University, College, or Hall, of which they are Graduates, Fellows, or Licentiates - also whether they practice as Physician, Surgeon, or General Practitioner, or are "Not practising."

 PROFESSORS, TEACHERS, PUBLIC WRITERS, Authors, and Scientific men - to state the particular branch of Science or Literature which they teach or pursue; Artists, the art which they cultivate. Graduates should enter their degrees in this column.

PERSONS ENGAGED IN COMMERCE, as Merchants, Brokers, Agents, Clerks, Commercial Travellers, to state the particular kind of business in which they are engaged, or the staple in which they deal.

The term FARMER to be applied only to the occupier of land, who is to be returned - "Farmer of [317] acres employing [19] labourers;" the number of acres, and of in and out-door labourers, on March 31st, being in all cases inserted. Sons and daughters employed at home or on the farm, may be returned - "Farmer's Son," "Farmer's Daughter."

In TRADES the Master is to be distinguished from the Journeyman and Apprentice, thus - (Carpenter - Master employing [6] men);" Inserting always the number of persons of the trade in his employ on March 31st.

In the case of WORKERS IN MINES OR MANUFACTURERS and generally in the constructive ARTS the particular branch of work, and the material, are always to be distinctly expressed if they are not implied in the names, as in Coal miner, Brass-founder, Wool carder, Silk-throwster. Where the trade is much sub-divided, both trade and branch are to be returned thus - "Watchmaker - Finisher;" "Printer - Compositor,"

A person following MORE THAN ONE DISTINCT TRADE may insert his occupations in the order of their importance.

MESSENGERS, PORTERS, LABOURERS and SERVANTS, to be described according to their place and nature of their employment.

Persons following no Profession, Trade or calling and holding no public office, but deriving their income chiefly from land, houses, mines, or other real property, from dividends, interest of money, annuities &c. may designate themselves "Landed Proprietor," "Proprietor of Iron Mines," "Proprietor of Houses," "Fund-holder," "Annuitant," &c. as the case may be. Persons of advanced age who have RETIRED FROM BUSINESS to be entered thus - "Retired Silk Merchant," "Retired Watchmaker," &c.

ALMSPEOPLE, and persons in the receipt of parish relief should, after being described as such have their previous occupations inserted.

WOMEN AND CHILDREN.- The titles of occupations of ladies who are householders to be entered according to the above Instructions. The occupations of women who are regularly employed from home, or at home, in any but domestic duties to be distinctly recorded. So also of children and young persons. Against the names of children above five years of age, if daily attending school or receiving regular tuition under a master or governess at home, write, "Scholar", and in the last case add "at home."