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The Population of Great Britain and Ireland

Quarterly Review, Vol. LIII; February- April 1835 (London,John Murray, 1835)

[56] ART. III. —1. Abstract of the Answers and Returns made pursuant to an Act passed in the eleventh year of his Majesty King. George the Fourth, intituled ' An Act for the taking an Account of the Population of Great Britain, and the increase or diminution thereof.' Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 2nd April; 1833. 3 Vols. folio.
2. Abstract of Returns under the Irish Population Acts—Enumeration, 1831. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 7th, August,
3. Sur la Population de la Grande Bretagne. Par L. R. Villermé 1834.


Such documents as those named at the head of our paper, however generally interesting, are accessible to so few who are not members of the legislature, or of the government offices; that we think our readers may be gratified by a short account of the nature of the inquiries which have been instituted and of their most important results.

When David numbered the people it was justly imputed to him as a sin, for he had done it in a spirit of pride and vain-glory; but the investigations, of which the results are here before us were undertaken, in the first place, to enable the legislature to exercise an enlightened justice in their fiscal, political, and moral enactments; and, in the second place, to afford to individuals authentic data for the regulation of some of their most important mutual transactions. With these objects censuses of more or less detailed investigation have been instituted both by ancient and modern governments, but in no other age or nation has there been displayed such a an analytical view of the whole frame of society, such an anatomical exhibition of the body politic; as these volumes present. It is obvious that in a series of such censuses, made at equal intervals of time, the value of each is increased by the power of comparing it with all the others; thus augmenting the probability of tracing the causes of difference; whether of good or evil, by observing what other variations are concomitant with each. For such comparison it becomes absolutely necessary, that at each census the returns should be made from precisely the same subdivisions of districts and again combined always into the same larger divisions.

The operation of the poor-laws has made the inhabitants of every place maintaining its own poor, interested in accurately knowing their own boundaries; and from the overseers of every such place returns were required on four and twenty questions, comprising details which must have demanded considerable attention, and occasioned much personal trouble. And it is creditable [57] to the zeal and intelligence both of questioners and respondents, that no no place has been known finally to have omitted making due return, though the number of such places amounts to 16,665, besides 11,301 returns on the subject of parish registers.[1] To digest, and reduce into order, so as to render easily accessible such an unwieldy bulk of information, required a mind at once strong, and clear, and indefatigable: rightly, therefore, was the task remitted to Mr. Rickman, who had, for thirty years, so successfully labourer in the same field—to whom experience had shown the defects of the three previous decennial investigations,—to whose suggestions much of the present amended mode of inquiry has been owing,[2] —and to whom we are indebted for a most lucid arrangement of the consequent returns—together with calculations, inferences, and results both in a tabular form and in the important observations contained in his preface, besides above four thousand three hundred notes scattered through, the volumes,—passimque spargere lucem.

Mr. Rickman's preface is indeed a curious document in more ways than one. We once heard an eminent lawyer declare that a clause of an Act of Parliament, in which the arrangement of the words was the best that could: be, gave him as much pleasure in the perusal the finest stanza of Spencer's. In the same way everything which is perfect in its kind, and consummately contrived to answer its purpose may convey to one who understands its skilfulness, a pleasure similar to that with which we contemplate what is more distinctively denominated a work of art. Such a sort of satisfaction have we derived from Mr. Rickman's preface. It is not alone remarkable in respect of its scientific merits, but is also worthy to be studied as exhibiting perhaps the most perfect example which is anywhere to be found of practical ability in setting on foot a statistical inquiry of enormous extent.

It is curious to trace the devices, and interesting to contemplate the success, with which a statistician sitting in his closet could take order for the execution of a project which required that twenty four millions of mankind should, in the course of one day, render such

[1], After noticing the ambiguity of the terms parish, parochial chapelry, &c. and another class of doubtful parishes, created by the act of 1818, for the building of additional churches in populous parishes, Mr: Rickman says, 'for any general purposes the number of parishes and parochial chapelries, in England and Wales, may safely be taken at 10,700. The number of places in England and Wales, of which the population is distinctly stated in the present abstract, is 15,609; the number of parishes in Scotland is 948; of population returns, 1046.'—Pref. p.18.
[2] See his elaborate statements in the 'Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee on the Bill for taking an account of the Population of Great Britain, and of the increase and diminution thereof,' ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 11th May 1830; and again before the Committee on the Re-committed Bill; ordered to be printed, 26th May, 1830.

[58] such an account of themselves as these returns contain; and dry as the faculties are supposed to be which minister to statistical research, when we see how much knowledge of human nature, and what an active fancy, were required to conceive all the crosses and hinderances, and provide against all the errors which might have attended this investigation, one is tempted to think that more of that knowledge, and more of imagination, would not be needed for a writer of a fiction to figure to himself a succession of probable incidents. Mr. Rickman's knowledge of human nature seems to have taught him never unnecessarily to trust to the common sense of any man, for doing in the best way any act, however simple and. mechanical. Thus the overseer, who is to go from house to house, is furnished not only with a schedule to be filled up, but with a formula of the scratches which he is to make 'with a hard black-lead pencil or ink,' as the surest way of numbering the inhabitants, and he is ' to carry the printed formula papers in a pasteboard or other convenient cover;' 'and if ink is used by the inquirer, let him also use blotting-paper. 'Everybody knows that'--would be the remark of many people; but,Mr. Rickman was well aware that there is no matter so plain and elementary of which it can be safely predicated that 'everybody knows that;' and he was likewise sensible that it was only by forecasting the progress of such an inquiry at every step, and at every stumble, that its multitudinous results could be brought out with accuracy and completeness.

The nature of the information sought, and so successfully obtained, on the subject of population, will be best understood by specifying the heading of each column in the returns: [1]--1st, the name of the place with its designation, as parish, township, hamlet, extra-parochial, &c.; 2nd, area in acres ; [2] 3rd,, inhabited houses; 4th, families; 5th, houses building; 6th, other uninhabited houses; 7th, families employed chiefly in agriculture; 8th, trade, manufactures, and handicraft; 9th, all other families; 10th, males; 11th, females; 12th, total of persons; 13th, males above twenty years old; 14th, number of such occupying land and employing labourers; 15th, number of such not employing labourers; 16th, number of males, above twenty years old, employed as labourers in agriculture; 17th, in manufactures, and in making manufacturing machinery; 18th, in retail trade or handicraft, as masters

[1] The formula would have been improved by the numbering of the columns (which, in his Preface, Mr. Rickman has himself adopted), as saving circumlocution in the discussion of the subjects.
[2] It would have made the column containing the number of acres more instructive if that had been followed by one expressing the annual value at which the real property of the place was assessed in 1815, which is given in the comparative account of the four censuses, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 19th Oct, 1831.

[59] or, workmen; 19th, as capitalists, bankers, professional and other educated men; 20th, males above twenty employed in labour not agricultural; 21st, other males above twenty years (except servants); 22nd male servants above twenty; 23rd, male servants under twenty; 24th, female servants.

Before proceeding to notice the most interesting results of these inquiries, it is desirable, in order to place under one view the scope of the whole investigation, to state here the nature of the information sought and obtained from the parish registers of England and Wales. Each officiating minister was requested to state,--lst, the number of baptisms and burials appearing in his register in the several years from 1821 to 1830, both inclusive, distinguishing males from females; 2ndly, the number of marriages in each of those years; 3rdly, the ages of the deceased, from 1813 [1] to 1830, both inclusive; 4thly, the number of illegitimate children born in the parish or chapelry during 1830, distinguishing male and female children; 5thly, any explanatory remarks are requested on any of the subjects, particularly on the annual average number of births, marriages, and deaths, which may have taken place without being registered. Such, then, are the perquisitions that have been made; and we shall proceed to notice, some of the most curious and interesting results.

First, with regard to territorial division:—Mr. Rickman justly deprecates any alteration of the boundaries of those places from which the returns have hitherto been made, as tending to diminish the value of the comparative results of different censuses. But this seems no reason for allowing such divisions to continue in reference to other subjects, where it produces effects of unbalanced evil. What Mr. Rickman seems alone to contemplate is the circumstance where parishes and counties are not conterminous. In that case, the inconvenience, it must be admitted, is not of comparative magnitude. But where portions of counties are insulated in other counties, or separated by an intervening county, the evils are of so enormous a magnitude, that, even if a change in their political and juridical allocation should disturb, as far as they were concerned, the results of statistical investigations, yet these ought to succumb to considerations of paramount interest. Happily, however, there is no necessary collision of interests. The statistical boundaries may remain unaltered whilst the political and juridical districts may be consolidated with infinite advantage; just as the circuits of the judges, the diocesan divisions, and the justiciary districts are efficient, each to their own purpose, without any mutual interference.

[1] The Act (52 Geo. III. c.146) requiring the age of the deceased to be inserted in the register of burial, did not take effect till 'from and after 31st Dec. 1812.'

[60] In elucidation of what is here intended, we will adduce the example of the county of Durham, from the metropolis of which Norham (on the Tweed), and the neighbouring districts of Holy Island, Kyloe, and Belford, are separated by nearly the whole length of Northumberland, the nearest being more than sixty miles distant; as Craike is, on the other side, being within about ten miles of York. Omitting Bedlington (insulated by Northumberland), which is only about thirty-five miles from Durham, the population of these places exceeds twelve thousand; and the rental, in 1815, exceeded 79,000l. Such a population and such a property must necessarily involve many cases of civil and criminal jurisdiction, which can only be decided at the metropolis, where the jail is situated, and where the assizes are held; and whither all parties ,--criminal, witnesses, and jurymen,--must be
brought. In civil cases, the consequence is, that weight is added to the heaviest purse; and in criminal cases impunity follows from the unwillingness of magistrates to commit, and of prosecutors to persevere in bringing offenders to justice. Nor is this all. We remember that, some years ago, a poor Scotch woman, who had come to Norham to work at the harvest, hung herself in a barn. The coroner was to be sent for. He lived at Ryton, a village on the Tyne, a few miles above Newcastle; he was in the southern part of his district. In the mean time; the vicar of Norham found it necessary, from the heat of the season, to cause, on his own responsibility, the body to be interred; which, when the coroner did arrive, was obliged to be exhumed, to the imminent peril of health and life in all the attendants. With glaring examples of annoyance from casualties like this (and twice a year, at least, in assize time) it is singular that such anomalies should be permitted to continue, whilst there exists the very easy remedy of an Act of Parliament to annex the districts in question, juridically only, to the immediately adjacent counties,--as they have been, for election purposes, by the late Reform Bill; and future censuses would no more be disturbed by the one regulation than by the other.

The next two columns containing the number of inhabited houses, and the number of families who occupy them:, involve a question of considerable interest, as influencing the comfort, the health, the cleanliness, and moral habits of a people. And, if two cases could be found where all other influences were equal, we have no doubt that a difference in the degree of domiciliary isolation would produce a marked difference in all the important circumstances we have,stated.

In England and Wales there are 117 families for 100 houses; in Scotland, 133; in Ireland, 110; but the circumstances of the three kingdoms in other respects are so diverse, that no inference can be drawn from a comparison on the present subject.

[61] We have had, however, the curiosity to calculate and compare London and Liverpool, as somewhat similarity situated. We find London, for every hundred houses,, has 17 families, and 1 in 44 of its population died in the year 1830: whilst Liverpool, for every hundred houses, has only 13l families, and only 1 in 52 of its population died in the same year. Hull has 134 families in
100 houses, and 1 in 49 is the mortality; whilst Bristol has but 131 families in 100 houses, and only l in 61 dies. The differences in mortality are obviously not proportioned, however they maybe influenced, by isolation of domicile, because there are other influencing causes. Thus, though the isolation in Liverpool be the same as in Bristol, yet the mortality in Liverpool is much greater, of which one cause is particularly insisted on by Dr, Currie, viz., the residence of numerous families in cellars, or underground
apartments. Again, in Manchester there are 116 families to 100 houses, and the mortality is 1 in 30; whilst in Birmingham, where there are only 105 families in 100 houses, the mortality is less than half---1 in 68. This enormous disproportion is probably owing, principally, to the destruction of juvenile life, by the joint cupidity, of the employers and the parents of children in the Manchester manufactories; whilst the material of the Birmingham manufacture being intractable to the fingers of childhood, the parties are not exposed to the same temptation. [1]

In the woollen manufacture, the applicability of infant labour holds a middle place; and the crowding of population and the mortality are somewhat proportionately less; for in Leeds there are 111 families in 100 houses--and 1 in 48 dies.

If such be the apparent influence, when the difference in the congregation of families under one roof is small, what must be its amount where, as in Dublin, there are 252 families in 100 houses, Edinburgh 319, and in Paisley 360; but we have no means of ascertaining the mortality in these places.

We are sorry to observe that whilst in England and Wales, the coacervation of families has been diminishing about two per cent, in the interval between the last two censuses, it has, in Scotland, increased at about the same rate. Nor is the disproportion likely to be remedied; for in Scotland the houses building make 1 for 147 of those inhabited, whilst in England and Wales the proportion is 1 to 103; the uninhabited houses, however, are to the inhabited as 1 to 910 in England and Wales, and only as 1 to 30 in Scotland. In the two kingdoms together, it is satisfactory to

[1] On this subject it is much to be regretted that many of the registers connected with the Manchester population do not notice the ages of the deceased. It would have been highly interesting to estimate, from such a scale, the operation of the legislative limitation to to the hours of children's labour.

[62] observe that, during the last decennial period, whilst the proportion of houses building is very nearly the same, that of the uninhabited houses is diminished about sixty per cent.

From these criteria of prosperity we have a remarkable testimony to that of Ireland; for whilst the proportion of uninhabited houses is just the same as in Scotland, that of the houses building is 1 in 81 of those inhabited, or exceeding above eleven per cent, the like proportion in England. We have often heard a cry, too, that in consequence of the Union, Dublin had been deserted, and multitudes of houses become uninhabited. Now, the fact is, that the proportion of uninhabited houses is less in Dublin than in the metropolis of either of the sister kingdoms:--the uninhabited houses in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, being respectively one in 11, 17, and 18. So much for clamour, and so much for facts of statistical investigation to put clamour down; or, if it cannot be silenced, the light, at least, may exhibit the screech-owl.

The next subject of inquiry relates to the classification of the population according to their different occupations, and to the proportionate numbers employed therein. In the pristine state of society, the extent and fertility of the soil of a country are the
measures of the numbers and comforts of its inhabitants. But, as cultivated land yields more than is necessary to the support of those immediately employed on it, the additional population is occupied in increasing the comforts of all by manufacturing for
the home market, or by exchanging with foreigners. In this state of things, if the people be active and intelligent, and the laws afford personal protection and security to property, the profits on such occupations may cause an increase of the population beyond the power of the land to feed them, and a part, perhaps a large part, of the produce of their labour must be exchanged, not for the comforts and luxuries, but for the necessaries of life.

A land that rides at anchor, and is moored;
In which they do not live, but go aboard.
They dwell in ships, like swarms of rats, and prey
Upon the goods all nations' fleets convey;
And when their merchants are blown up, and cracked,
Whole towns are cast away in storms, and wrecked.

Such storms, extending not only to towns and provinces, but to whole empires, have ever been the concomitants of that highly artificial, and therefore fluctuating state of society, on which is based the excessive preponderance of an adscititious population; witness Tyre and Carthage of old, and Venice and Holland now. It is true that such states, under some fortunate combination of circumstances, may be flourishing and powerful for a time; but if, from any cause, security of property and person is disturbed, the [63] capital, which has been collected from all countries, takes wing, like a bird of passage, in search of a milder climate. Civil commotion or foreign invasion, therefore, comes upon such an artificial structure of society like an infuriated bull into a glass-shop, where the materials are as fragile as they are splendid, and irreparable till all be fused and recast in the fire. Not so with a nation depending, principally on indigenous products, and on manufacturing them for their own use. War may pass over, like a storm, and blast the fruits of a season, but the root of prosperity is in the soil, and will soon spring again with all its original vigour and fruitfulness.

How far our own country is in. the one or other. state here described is a question of fearful import. Hitherto the blessing of our insular situation has enabled us to carry on the works of peace in the midst of war; and hitherto our happy constitution, whilst giving the fullest security to person and property, has exempted us from intestine commotions. It will be asked, Are we not right to avail ourselves, still further, of such fortunate concurrences as have already made us the wealthiest, the happiest, and the most powerful nation on the face of the earth ?--So said Tyre and Carthage, Venice and Holland; and so said the builders of the Tower of Babel, and hoped to climb thereby to heaven. Have we made a wiser use of our power? Have we contented ourselves with enjoying the prosperity, whilst it lasted, without making ourselves dependant on its permanency, and without involving ourselves in utter ruin if it should fail ? Have we not acted like the proprietor of a mine, who should burthen his patrimonial estate with an immense debt,--the mere interest of which he can only hope to pay from the produce of a vein which may run out or be blown lip tomorrow? These, as we have said, are fearful questions, which the occupation-columns in the returns of the population may assist in solving. We shall here give the result of our calculations on the data, and leave our readers to draw their own conclusions :--The total of families in Great Britain is 3,414,175, of which there are employed —

Chiefly in agriculture
centesimal proportion 28.15
In trade, manufactures and handicraft
... ditto ..
Other families
... ditto ..

The returns, however, afford another mode of viewing the subject, to which we are bound in justice to advert, because it exhibits the agricultural class as bearing a larger proportion to the whole. In previous censuses some difficulties had arisen in classing the [64] families according to occupation, and therefore it was determined to 'ask the occupation or employment of every male twenty years of age, because he is then usually settled in his vocation,' (Preface, p. 9,) and as the males above and below twenty years of age are found to be very nearly equal, (above, 3,944,511; below, 3,941,495,) hence it is inferred that the proportions ascertained in the classification of males above twenty may be safely applied to the classification of the whole population. On this principle the following results are obtained:—

Total of the males above twenty years of age, 3,944,511.
Employed in agriculture 1,243,057 Centesimal proportion
In handicraft, trade and manufactures 1,564,184 Centesimal proportion
Other descriptions 1,137,270 Centesimal proportion

Now the higher proportion here indicated of the agricultural class is probably an error, from the principle on which the calculation is made, namely, the considering the males above twenty as equal to the numbers below that age. For though this proportion may hold with regard to any number of persons coexisting as ancestors and descendants, it does not follow that the same proportion will hold with regard to any number of persons classed together, not by natural connexion, but by the exigencies of particular occupations. And it is notorious that the number of persons below twenty bears a much greater proportion to those above twenty employed in manufactories, than in the other classes here compared, [1] and this excess of persons under twenty in manufactories can only be had from the youth of the other classes — principally, perhaps, from that of 'labourers employed in labour not agricultural,' who have been for the first time distinguished in the census of 1831, and of whom the males above twenty years of age amount to 608,712.

From these considerations it is obvious that the males above twenty will indicate not only too large a proportion of the agricultural class, but also too small a proportion of the others, so that the proportion of families (before ascertained) is probably the nearest approach to the real proportions of the respective classes. And how far that proportion can be considered as a wholesome one, we leave, as already stated, to the consideration of our readers.

In Ireland the proportions of the classes we have been considering exhibit a remarkable contrast; the total of families is 1,385,066, of whom are employed —

[1] Thus, in forty-three cotton mills in Manchester; the persons under twenty-one years of age formed 56.2.1 per cent,, of the whole employed. See First Report of the Commissioners on the employment of children in factories.

[65] Chiefly in agriculture 884,339 Centesimal proportion
In trade, manufactures and handicraft 249,359 Centesimal proportion
Other families 251,368 Centesimal proportion

The agricultural proportion is a quarter more than double and the proportion of trade, manufactures and handicraft above a quarter less than half these proportions respectively, in Great Britain.

This comparatively low state of the non-agricultural classes in Ireland arises not from the inability of the land to support a large population above the number employed in cultivating it but from the habits of the people — from their being contented to multiply on its produce in the most sordid state of existence from the insecurity for person and property frightening away capital and capitalists — and from the mutual reaction of these, as cause and effect.

We venture to make these suggestions, notwithstanding what Mr. Malthus calls Mr. M'Culloch's 'very peculiar and untenable argument,' but what we should call his paradoxical dogma, that the expatriation of Irish landlords, and the exportation of their rents do not at all diminish the prosperity of Ireland. We do so, because, after all the mystification that has enveloped the dogma, we think its absurdity may be unveiled in a very few words.

It is obvious, that when the Irish landlord spends his rent in London, the tradesmen, with whom he exchanges that rent for goods, will not part with their goods for the simple equivalent of the cost, but will have a profit on that cost; that profit will increase their capital — that is, their means of employing labour: the quantity of produce, that is, the objects of enjoyment, will be augmented; and the wages of the labourer, that is, his means of purchasing such enjoyments, will be augmented also. This, is a process on which the very system of political economy depends; and on which none of its doctors differ; and we leave Mr. M'Culloch to show that it is of that venomous nature, which must cease to exist on being transferred from England to Ireland.

An important subdivision (also for the first time) has, by the census of 1831, been made of the,agricultural class into 'occupiers employing labourers' (who are found to be 187,075); 'occupiers not employing labourers' (168,815); 'labourers employed in agriculture '(887,1,67).

It might appear, that the second class stands to the first much in the same relation as the yeomanry to the landed gentry, and the yeomanry being exempt alike from the instigations of want, [66] and the allurements of luxury, have justly been considered as one of the most virtuous and valuable parts of our population. But the analogy will not hold. The yeoman has an honest pride in determining to transmit to his descendants the property and the independent character which he derived from his forefathers. He forms, therefore, only such prudent connexions, and at such a prudent time of life, as will give him a rational expectation of fulfilling these wishes; and the younger branches of the family, educated in the same respectable habits, frequently remain as the assistants and servants of the elder.

Cottage farmers, on the contrary, have no such inducement, and no such consequent habits. They scramble for the little farms which are always in the market; and young and sanguine couples, trusting to their luck in the lottery of life, bid such a price for the tickets, as makes the blanks ruinous, and encourages the proprietors to make the prizes few and low. On these cottage farms is reared a progeny as reckless as their parents; and entering into competition, as bidders for farms, both with their own generation, and that of their fathers, they promise a rent, which they can have no means of paying, but by reducing themselves to live in the most abject poverty, or abject dependence on the mercy of a landlord, whose cupidity has availed itself of their imprudence, and whose habits of expense, having kept pace with his rising rents, render him as unwilling to abate their amount as he was exorbitant in raising it.

In this state of things, the farms no longer yielding even the most miserable subsistence to the shoals which are bred on them, these throw themselves on the labour market, and there (by competition) diminish wages, till the whole class of labourers is reduced to their own state of sordid habits, and squalid poverty.

Such is the character of cottage-farming, when carried to excess; and such has been its actual history in Ireland, where the occupiers not employing labourers (564,274) are to those who do employ labourers (95,939) as very nearly six to one (accurately as 5.91); whilst, in England, those who employ labourers somewhat exceed those who do not (accurately they are as 1.1 to 1) ; and, for the reasons we have assigned, we should not contemplate with complacency any decrease in this latter proportion.

Connected with this subject, of the proportion of occupiers of land employing labourers, is that of the proportion of male to female servants. For considering the comparatively few employments which are open to women, any state of society which increases the demand for female labour is, all else equal, to be preferred; and though the females in the family of a cottage farm [67] may, in some sort, be considered as servants, yet their remuneration must be much less than that of independent servants of occupiers employing strangers. And to that cause must, in a great measure, be attributed the fact, that in Great Britain the number of female servants (670,491) is to the males (119,24) as 5.9. to 1; whilst in Ireland the females (253,155) are in proportion to the males (98,742) only as 2.5 to 1.

Having thus cursorily glanced at the principal subjects — for volumes might be written on the details — of what are called the Enumeration Abstracts of Great Britain and Ireland, we come to the volume on the Parish Register Abstract of England and Wales; the results of which are most highly interesting, not to this kingdom only, but to the whole of the civilized world; furnishing, for calculations of the highest import to philosophy and to practical life, data of an authenticity and minuteness of detail, and on a scale of such magnitude, as had been the wish, rather than the hope, of philosophers; and the publication of which has been anxiously waited for by all the statisticians of Europe.

The general subjects of inquiry, of which this volume presents the results, have been already stated. Of these results, Mr. Rickman's lucid arrangement furnishes not only local summaries, but a general summary as regards the kingdom. And, in the preface, he has shown the applicability of the results to the solution of the most important questions, upon which men of the first talents and information have, for want of data, come to very different conclusions, or declared their inability to arrive with certainty at any.

The first tables for regulating contracts on insurance of lives, and the more complicated subject of survivorship, were constructed from the registers of great towns, on account of the easier access to large numbers, on which alone a just average could be obtained. Thus Buffon's calculations were derived from the register of Paris; Simpson's, from those of London; Halley's, of Breslaw. It was obvious, however, that as the mortality of cities notoriously exceeds that of rural districts, the tables formed on such registers could not be fairly applicable to the general population of any country; and only so probably (from local peculiarities) each to its respective place of registration; as indeed may be inferred from their mutual discrepancies. This defect was afterwards endeavoured to be remedied by tables formed from the registers of smaller populations — as Chester, Norwich, Northampton, Warrington, &c.; and, accordingly, the calculated probability of life, at its several periods, was considerably enhanced; still the numbers were too small, and the scrutiny too confined to peculiar localities, occupations; and habits of life. In the Swedish tables, indeed, both civic and rural population is included; but to the more southern [68] nations of Europe the results were inapplicable, as drawn from a country where the labouring classes always subsist on the very hardest fare, and are not unfrequently subject to the actual visitations of famine.

The effect of such imperfect data, and consequent inaccurate calculations, has been, that the public, for many years, were paying much too high a price for one of the greatest blessings in the modern improvements of social existence, — namely, the practice of life-insurance, and of the purchase of annuities; for of these it is the rare characteristic, that pecuniary advantages are obtained in proportion to the exercise of the highest moral principle. A man in the possession of an income dependent either on his own life, or on any contingency of survivorship, may, by sacrificing a portion of his immediate powers of enjoyment, exempt himself, and all who depend on him, from anxiety with regard to their future pecuniary comforts. The sum of the happiness thus produced cannot be estimated by the amount of property thus insured; for it must depend on the mental and physical susceptibility of the parties; but it is incontrovertible, that the habit of self-denial to the insurer, and the feelings of grateful respect in those who are to benefit by the insurance, must greatly raise the moral tone, and augment the happiness of society. Even if we contemplate only the selfish transactions of life-insurance, the diminution of sufferings, and the amount of happiness, must be largely increased; as when, in declining age, unmarried persons find the interest of their capital insufficient for the supply of those comforts to which, even in the vigour of life, they had been accustomed, what pining misery may be exchanged for reasonable enjoyment, by the purchase of an annuity for life!

Such is the importance of these transactions, and such as we have described was the imperfection of the data for the calculations necessary for regulating them, when Mr. Rickman was called upon to suggest such additional or amended questions for the census of 1831 as might obtain the deficient information. The grand results, as may be collected from the summaries and statements in the preface, may be thus shortly stated :— The ascertainment, 1st, of the ages at which very nearly four million persons (3,938,496) died during eighteen years,1813-1830,[1] distinguishing the sexes. 2nd, Of the ages of nearly twelve and a half million, (12,487,377) of the living 'in 1821, [2] distinguishing the sexes. 3rd, The increase of population in England since 1700. [3]

[1] Preface to Returns of 1831, p. 36.
[2] Returns of 1821, p. 543.
[3] This is obtained by ascertaining the relative proportions of births, marriages, and deaths; at the periods of actual enumeration, and inferring, from a like comparison of the registers, a proportionate population when no actual enumeration took place. See Prefac
e of 1831, p. 44.

[69] The advantage of these large numbers, in producing a medium or average result, at every period of life, requires no formal explanation; it may be illustrated, however, in a manner of some importance to the public. In the year 1815, Mr. Milne (Actuary of the Sun Life Assurance Society) published his Treatise on the 'Construction of Tables of Mortality,' founded on facts collected bye Dr. Heysham at Carlisle. Mr. Milne, applying to these facts such local and general knowledge as was available to his purpose, formed a corrected table of the Expectation of Life; and with so much sagacity of induction, that from the age of twenty-five to eighty his expectation falls (as it should do) between the Expectation of` the two sexes resulting from the powerful apparatus now applicable to the solution of this important problem. But the comparatively small number of deaths at Carlisle furnished by Dr Heysham did not suffice for reducing to regularity the entire curve of life; so that Mr. Milne's Expectation, from one period to another in the course of life, is not accurate; but the Expectation of the entire life is much oftener in question; and the present confirmation of the Carlisle Tables cannot but be satisfactory to all parties, retrospectively, who have had the good fortune to consult Mr. Milne as to the value of life annuities and reversionary payments.

The 3rd important element for calculation above stated, namely, the rate of increase or diminution of the population (or as the French writers more shortly express it, the movement of Population) has been overlooked by some statisticians, who have thereby been led into most erroneous conclusions, assuming in all cases, what can scarcely occur in one, a completely stationary population; and using the rule, which is good on the hypothesis, for facts of retrograde or progressive population, where it is quite inapplicable.

Thus it is obvious that, in a stationary population, the number of people, divided by the annual deaths, will express the rate of mortality. But apply this to an increasing population (which implies that the births exceed the deaths), the divisor (the number of deaths) remains the same, whilst the dividend (the number of people) is increased by the increment of births; the quotient, therefore, which is to show the rate of mortality, will be too high, showing one in sixty, for example, to die; when the real deaths are one in fifty. In like manner is influenced, by a change in the movement of population, the probability of life, or the mean age of death and the expectation of life at birth, or the age to which half the born live.

With regard to this last particular, there is a very curious table given in Mr. Rickman's preface, exhibiting the proportion in which the expectation diminishes with the per-centage increase in [70] the population, as calculated from the ages of the deceased, 1813-1830, with the per-centage increase of the population during 30 years (1801-1831) in the several counties of England. [1] Thus, whilst the expectation of life is 43 where the per-centage increase is 5, that expectation is reduced to 33 where the per-centage increase is 56; and where the per centage increase is 100 the expectation of life is only 2; and so in the intermediate degrees. This is to be explained by the consideration that the increment of population is chiefly in births, and that the mortality during the first years of life so far exceeds the average mortality, that one-fifth of the dead have not lived a year, [2] though the annual mortality of the whole population is only 1 in 42.

M. Villermé, whose pamphlet has just reached us, seizes upon the words in which Mr. Rickman indicates these results, as if they declared a general principle of antagonism between a state of increase in population, and a state of prosperity and wholesome existence in the society at large.

' Ces paroles de M. Rickman sont remarquables. S'il ne se trompe point, un accroissement rapide de population seroit bien loin d'être, comme le pensoit J. J. Rousseau, et comme le soutient l'opinion générals, le signe le plus sûr que les membres de la société se conservent et prospèrent. Content cependant d'avoir trouvé le signe si disputé de la prosperité publique, l'éloquent écrivain de Genève s'écrie: Calculateurs, c'est maintenant votre affaire; comptez, mesurez, comparez! Et voilà que M. Rickman, l'un des hommes les plus graves de touts l'Angleterre, et certainement celui qui en connoît le mieux la population, compte, mesure, compare, et trouve que la portion du pays où les citoyens peuplent et multiplient davantage le plus vîte, est justement cells où ils se conservent le moins, où, plus qu'ailleurs,, ils meurent. prematurément.' — p. 26.

Now, it is just by this sort of vague and exaggerated inference that the value of an accurate result is destroyed. All that the facts really amount to is, that where population is increasing rapidly, there must be a greater number of infants; and consequently, infant life being everywhere the most fragile, a greater number of deaths.

What has been here adduced may suffice to show the paramount importance of considering the movement of population in all attempts to ascertain the rate of mortality and the probability of life. With regard to what is meant by the vie moyenne, or average age of death, the consideration of the movement of population is of equal importance; but the subject itself, whilst the probability of life at each period of it can be ascertained, is of little practical use.

[1] Preface of 1831, p. 54.
[2] Id, p. 37.

[71] In spite, however, of the principle here explained, persons aspiring to high characters as statisticians, and some who have acquired great reputation, go arguing and calculating on, assuming always the hypothesis of a stationary population, and setting forth the results in philosophic maxims or tabular forms, [1] which can only lead others to fall into the same ditch with themselves. Thus M. Quetelet, editor of the 'Correspondance Mathématique et Physique de l'Observatorie de Bruxelles,' and author of several statistical works, in discussing the formation and results of different tables of mortality, professedly founds the whole 'dans l'hypothèse d'une population stationaire.'[2] In a subsequent work, [3] however he admits the necessity of allowing for the movement of population, and also points out that, even in a stationary population, no just conclusions can be drawn unless the births and deaths in each class of ages be equal. For example, war or some peculiar disease might sweep off an unusual proportion of the older classes, which might be compensated by an increased number of births; in which case, the population might be stationary, whilst the elements of calculation would be wholly disturbed. But no extraordinary cases could occur without attracting sufficient attention to prevent general inferences being drawn from such partial results. Thus, for example, no one would form a general scale of mortality from periods of extraordinary scarcity — as in 1801, when the price of wheat was 128s. the quarter, and the burials 1 in 42 of the population; or in periods of extraordinary cheapness — as in 1822, when the wheat was 53s, the quarter, and the burials only 1 in 54.

With regard to M. Quetelet, he has strongly reprobated our deficiency in statistical knowledge; [4] and as far as our registers of births and deaths extend, it must be in part admitted; though, by each clergyman having in the last census given, to the best of his knowledge, a return of the unregistered numbers in each class, and corrections having accordingly been made in the summaries from which all statistical calculations are deduced, even those deficiencies

[1] There is a curious specimen of this in a heterogeneous compilation of public documents by Mr. G. R. Porter of the Board of Trade, who gives, without observation o£ any kind, Mr. Rickman's Table of Mortality for England and Wales, deduced from the account of ages of deceased; though Mr. Rickman had said, in his Preface, (p. 5) speaking of similar tables for the several counties, that 'from the increase of population the decimal annexed thereto is of little use beyond the earliest years of life.' But the table looked like a learned document, and it filled up a page. Yet this is the person who, in his prefatory letter to the Lords of Trade, vilipends the proceedings on the Census, and modestly proposes the transfer of the business to his own office. See 'Tables of Revenue, Population, Commerce,' &c., Part ii. 1832, p. 91, fol. Nov. 1833.
[2] Recherches sur la Royaume des Pays Bas, p. 20, 8vo. Brux. 1827.
[3] Recherches sur la Reproduction et sur la Mortalité de l'Homme aux différens Ages, &c.; par MM. Quetelet et Smite. Bruxelles,1832, p: 43.
[4] See his evidence before the Committee on Parochial Registration (1833), p,121.

[72] are probably much less than M. Quetelet has been led to imagine. But, as far as regards his own researches, the fact appears to be that he is conscious of the want of data for accuracy of results, and wholly evades the important consideration of a non-stationary population, and attempts to conceal the deficiency by enveloping himself in abstract forms of calculation, of which the absurdity may be imagined, from the fact, that we have a table of the marriages which take place at different ages, and in the columns of 'Marriages qui ont eu lieu,' we meet with four negative quantities; at one period in particular, we find the marriages of 313 negative men and 522 negative women. The negative 313 men would doubtless find proper matches in negative 313 women; but, unless it be the fashion of these negative men to have more than one wife, we do not at all know how the remaining 209 negative women were disposed of. The story of Outis, who performed. such wonders, in the Odyssey, is nothing to this. Nominibus uterentur iis, quae primâ specie, admirationem, re explicatâ, risum moverent.

After all, however, M. Quetelet has, by minuteness of inquiry; arrived at some very curious, if not very useful conclusions. But we, confess we should not wish to see some of these inquiries added to our already ample list of questions; for if we once provoke impatience on the subject by what the persons addressed may deem (rightly or wrongly) frivolous questions, we may, indeed, obtain answers to all, but at the risk of having all slurred over, and of consequent incorrectness,. even on the most important subjects.

From the more minute interrogatories, however, with regard to Belgium, we learn, 1st. That two-thirds of the population are in a state of celibacy — and we are not inclined to dispute the mathematician's conclusion that 'l'autre tiers est composé des individus mariés ou veufs' (p. 80, ); 2d. The number of widows is nearly double that, of widowers. 3d. The number of dead-born in the towns is double the number in the country; and for three dead-born males there are only two females. 4th. More deaths and births take place in winter than in summer; and in the extremes of infancy and old age there are two deaths in January for one in July. 5th. The number of births is fewer in the day than in the night and it appears that the same obtains until respect to the deaths.

Details as curious, and perhaps as important, may be deduced from the English investigations. 1st. With regard to the all-important subject of the movement of population, Mr. Finlaison, well known as of the highest authority in statistical calculation ' is engaged in a sedulous investigation of the expectancy of human life from infancy to old age, founded on the materials [73] afforded by the Population Abstracts, after subjecting them to all the tests furnished by the present state of statistical knowledge. [1] As a necessary element, he has endeavoured to ascertain the population of England and Wales in the middle of each year, at decennary periods, beginning with 1700. The principle, as explained in a previous note, on which this has been effected appears briefly thus. At periods when the population was actually enumerated, and the increase of population known, the proportions of concurrent births, deaths, and marriages, were ascertained; and those proportions being again ascertained at periods when no enumeration took place, the rate of increase or decrease in the population was inferred from those proportions.

Mr. Finlaison, then, thus states the population of England and Wales from the year 1700 to the year 1830, including the army; navy, and merchant-seamen. We have calculated and added a column of the per-centage movement:—

A D Population Per Cent Decrease   AD Population Per Cent Increase
1700 5,134,516     1770 7,227,586
1710 5,066,337
1.3 [1]
  1780 7,814,827
1720 5,345,351
  1790 8,540,738
1730 5,687,993
  1800 9,187,176
1740 5,829,705
  1810 10,407,556
1750 6,039,684
  1820 11,957,565


1760 6,479,730
  1830 13,840,751

It may be interesting to compare with this the movement of French population, though the means of doing so only extend to the current century: previously, all was conjecture and discrepancy of opinions, as may be collected from some strangely immethodical statements of Sir F. D'Ivernois in his pamphlet, 'Sur la Mortalité Proportionnelle des Populations Normandes,' &c. Genève 1833. Necker, it appears in 1784, by multiplying the deaths by 29.6 calculated the population at 24,227,33 ; whilst, in 1789, Dr. Price, zealous for the aggrandizement of revolutionary France, maintained her population to be thirty millions. On Buonaparte's accession to the consulate, in 1800, the minister, Chaptal, in execution of Laplace's plan, caused to be collected the mortuary registers of nearly two millions of inhabitants, selected in many different localities: but from a desire to choose such as had the most exact registers, town populations were preferred. And as the mortality is always greatest in towns, the result was an assumption of a mortality of 1 in 30; which, by so near an approximation

[1] Preface of 1831, p. 45
[2]Was the decreasing, state owing to the wars in Flanders, in which (with the exception of the four years' Peace of Ryswick) England was engaged from 1689 to 1713 and which must have retarded the recovery from the calamities of the civil war of Charles I. and the wars of the Commonwealth?

[74] gave additional sanction to the conjecture of Necker. At length, in 1801, an actual enumeration of the whole people took place for the first time, and under the direction of Lucien Buonaparte; and as a register for all France had been obtained in the preceding year, it was found that the mortality was only 1 in 38.25

There have been now four actual enumerations, of which the results are given below, and confined to ancient France: we add, as before for England and Wales, a column of the percentage movement of the population. We must premise, however, that our data are culled from somewhat confused particulars furnished by Sir F. D'Ivernois, Thus, in the account of the second enumeration only does he give the amount of the armies (558,250) and add it to the return: we have therefore been obliged to assume the same amount of the armies in the first and third enumerations, giving, however, to old France, for its population of 28,738,337, only its proportion (374,958) of the armies which belonged to the total population (42,786,911) of imperial France. The returns of 1830, being made for the purpose of the conscription, include of course only civilians; and we have, therefore, added the n umber of the army (194,682) and navy (12,926) as we find them specified in the 'Annuaire du Budget' of 1830 (a kind of Court Calendar and Parliamentary Register united) published at Paris by M. Roch. On these grounds, then, we may consider the movement of French population to have been as follows :

In 1801 Population 28,774,504 Per Cent. Increase

This exhibits a remarkable contrast between the periods of war and of peace, which would have probably been still more strongly illustrated, had the regular quinquennial census taken place in 1816, which would have included the disastrous campaigns in Russia, Germany, Spain, France, and Flanders.

But without regarding the gap of twenty years in the enumerations, what meagre documents are these French censuses, where the elements required for the most important calculations are wholly wanting! — no registers to tell in what proportions, during any given period, the population came into the world or went out of it, but merely what they were en masse, without distinction of sex, age, or occupation.

In the English censuses the momentous inferences to be drawn from the statements of age and occupation have already been adverted to; and the distinction of the sexes has led to some curious and useful results, so as to have materially altered the calculation on survivorships and insurances of lives. The number of males [75] born is to that of females as 104.35 to 100; yet the proportions of the sexes existing at different ages, and of the respective numbers dying at any given age, are very different. Thus Mr. Finlaison has found that half the males born in England and Wales live to the age of 43½; their mortality per annum is 1 in 40½. Half the females live to the age of 48½ ; their mortality per annum is 1 in 43.7. The combined mortality of: both sexes is 1 in 42 per annum very nearly. The maximum expectation of male life is at four years of age; of female life at three. The maximum advantage of female life occurs at the age of 45, when it exceeds that of male life by 20 months; increasing from 12 months at 15 years of age, and decreasing to 12 months at 80 years of age, to equality at 100.

Mr. Rickman has ingeniously availed himself of another use of the distinction of the sexes in the enumerations, by estimating the movement of population from the females only: thus avoiding the difficulty of the deficiency in the burial register of males, owing to the numbers dying abroad, especially in the time of war; and avoiding also the disturbance to the calculation of actually existing persons, from the number of male absentees, whether on account of war or commerce.

In the proportions of the sexes in legitimate and illegitimate births, there is a discrepancy the more remarkable, as it obtains in both the English and French results.

In England, 1830, the male legitimate births (184,053) exceed the female (177,968) 3.41 per cent., whilst the illegitimate male births (10,147) exceed the females (9,892) only 2.57 per cent. This is the result of the comparison of one year; and we have no means of knowing the proportion of illegitimate births in others. But, in the whole number of baptisms of the four censuses, the males (8,335,866) exceed the females (7,987,710) 4.35 per cent. which exhibits the difference still more strongly, and approximates very closely to the proportion observed by the French. For, in a calculation on twelve years-1817 to 1828, the Bureau de Longitude found, that in legitimate births the excess of males was 6.66 per cent., whilst in illegitimate it was only 5 per cent., being a difference of 1.66. [1] In England, that difference, in a single year, was 0.84; but the difference, when the comparison is made with the proportion in the general births for thirty-years, is 1.78. We can only say with M. Guerry, 'La quantité dont cette fraction s'écarte du rapport general n'est pas assez petite, et les nombres observés sort trop grands pour qu'on puisse

[1] Essai sur la Statistique Morale de la France, par A. M. Guerry, 4to. Paris, 1833, p. 52.

[76] attribuer cette difference, au hazard [1] et quelque singulier que cela paraisse, on est paraisse, on est fondé à croire qu'il existe à l'egard des enfans cela naturels une cause quelconque, qui diminue la preponderance des naissances des garçons sur celles des filles.'

But this is a question of only a physiological curiosity. The proportion of illegitimate births to the legitimate involves the first principles of morality, and the very vital interests of society; and the returns present such unexpected results as we cannot pretend to account for; but we make a statement of the anomalies in
order to excite inquiry for if the causes of greater incontinence could be traced, there might be some hope of counteracting them.

First, then, with regard to the two larger divisions. It might have been presumed that purity of manners would have prevailed more in the comparatively retired, rural, and thinly-peopled district of Wales, than in England, with all its manufacturing and town population. Yet in England the illegitimate births are only a twenty-first-part of the whole number of births; whilst in Wales they are a fourteenth; in Pembrokeshire, a ninth, and in Radnorshire, an eighth; and it is remarkable that, excepting the great cotton-manufacturing county of Lancaster, the only English county where the proportion of illegitimates equals the average of Wales, are on its border, namely, Shropshire and Herefordshire. Again, it is singular, that in one Welsh county, Merionethshire, the proportion (a thirty-fifth) is lower than in any English county except two — and those are Middlesex and Surrey, where the proportion is only one thirty-ninth and a forty-first part. For this latter anomaly Mr. Rickman has suggested an explanation, which may in some degree also account for the others we have noticed:— 'The general opulence (he observes) as well as the density of population in the metropolis, facilitates the concealment of illegitimate births' (Preface, 44). Still, however, much remains to be explained, and we once more invite attention to the subject. [2]

We have now, though very cursorily, gone through the chief topics suggested by these highly-important volumes; but there remains one to which the occult principle of Mr. Sadler — viz., that the fecundity of marriages was in the inverse to the density of population — would, a few years ago, have given considerable consequence. Now, indeed we had supposed that the

[1] The necessity for large numbers and for several years from which to draw any just inference may be elucidated by the fact, that in Wales alone, for 1830 only, where the illegitimate births (1439) were to the legitimate as 1 to 13, there was an excess of males of 10.99 per cent.
[2] With regard to Middlesex and Surrey, the facility of access to common prostitutes on the part of men, and the rapid descent into common prostitution (precluding fecundity) in the case of women, — are main elements in the difference as to illegitimate births.

[77] exposure of the fallacy of that principle, in this and other journals, might have made any notice of it unnecessary. We find, however, that even M. Quetelet profound and rigid calculator as he is supposed to be, has broached the same doctrine, in citing the words of M. Lacroix, —'Cette grande disproportion (entre les campagnes et les villes) ne peut-elle pas tenir encore à une loi de la nature, qui permet d'autant moins à une population de se multiplier, que le terrain qu'elle couvre est déjà plus peuplé.' [1] It is somewhat extraordinary that M. Quetelet should have adopted such a principle, or having adopted, that he should not have abjured it, when, in 1832, he stated that Oriental Flanders had 260 inhabitants, on 100 bonniers, with 5.19 births to a marriage, and Luxembourgh only 46 inhabitants on 100 bonniers, with only 4.67 births to a marriage. [2] He had already, also, given the true solution of the greater mortality of cities, which he says, 'ne saurait être attribuée qu'aux suites de l'extrème misère, à la malpropreté, au resserrement des demeures, et à l'insalubrité qui en est la consequence dans les capitales.' And these circumstances do so often accompany dense population, that. M. Muret (the celebrated Swiss statistician) had, in 1766, like Mr. Sadler,[3] in 1829, ventured to generalize on the subject in the form of a maxim,— 'que la force de la vie est en raison inverse de la fecondité,' which is just as untenable as Mr. Sadler's, [4] though. Sir: F. D'Ivernois lauds it as a 'principe fondamental.'[5]

It has been a matter of complaint, that Mr.Sadler's principle has been oppugned by picked instances; and if it were so, Mr, Sadler could have little right to complain for no man ever supported an argument more by picked instances. To obviate such an objection, however, we have taken the first ten counties as they occur in alphabetical order, and have tested Mr. Sadler's principle

[1] Recheches sur la population, &c, des Pays Bas. p. 28. Bruxelles, 1827; from which date we may appreciate Mr. Sadler's claim to originality in his principle published in 1829.
[2] Recherches sur la Mortalite, &c. pp. 9. and 27.
[3] Memoires, &c. par la Societé Economique de Berne, 1766.
[4] Erreurs concernant les Populations. Geneve, 1833, p. 28
[5] 'The comparative fecundity of marriage in various places, where if has been indisputably ascertained, is very remarkable,but does not tend to corroborate Mr. Sadler's theory. In England it cannot have been less, during the last ten years, than 4.41 to each marriage (Mr. Rickman's Preface, p; 45). In Belgium the average is 4.71 (Quetelet, Recherches, p.26); and we may presume that in the north of France, it cannot be dissimilar. To the more southern parts, therefore, must be ascribed the defalcation in France generally, from an average of 4.22 in 1817, to 3.64 in 1829. (See the work of M. Corbaux, p. 165). And when we arrive at Geneva, the difference is astounding; the average (according to Sir F. D'Ivernois' statement to the council in May last), being only 2.75 — a result which Sir F D'Ivernois attributes to 'le secret pour servir la population stationnaire' —

Quaerere distuli,
'Nec scire fas est omnia.

[78] by comparing their respective areas, population on a square mile, and numbers of births to marriages; and here follows the result:

In Bedfordshire
In Berkshire

Density of Population

Births to a Marriage

  Density of Population
  Sadler's Proportion
of Births to a Mar.
Actual Proportion
of Births to Mar.
  Error per Cent
In Berkshire   In Bucks          
B. to M.
  4.44 3.93   12.97
In Bucks   In Cambridge          
B. to M.
  4.79 3.93   21.88
In Cambridge   In Cheshire          
B. to M.
  2.01 3.44   71.14
In Cheshire   In Cornwall          
B. to M.
  4.87 4.17   14.37
In Cornwall   In Cumberland          
B. to M.
  8.44 4.76   43.60
In Cumberland   In Derbyshire          
B. to M.
  2.31 3.62   61.03
In Derbyshire   In Devon          
B. to M.
  4.44 3.73   15.99
In Devon   In Dorset          
B. to M.
  4.45 4.03   9.43

Thus we see nothing like the working of even a false principle — that is, with any regular deviation, — but a result sometimes exceeding the truth, and sometimes falling short of it — just-as might be expected from any other random guess.

We close here our comments on the census of 1831. The value of that census will be best estimated by those who shall live to witness the results of the next; for, in such investigations, the interest is less in absolute quantities than in proportionate — less in knowing what, in each particular, is our actual state, than in ascertaining our progress, or retrocession, in each. Most surely they who shall benefit by such comparison will owe a debt of gratitude to those who have originated such inquiries, and afforded a precedent for a lucid arrangement of the results — above all, to the masterly mind and long-continued industry of Mr. Rickman.

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