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Victoria County History of Kent Vol. 3  1932

Population of Kent 1801 to 1921 - Page 356

Table of Population, 1801 to 1921

Introductory Notes


   The county taken in this table is that existing subsequently to 7 & 8 Vict., chap. 61-1844. By this Act detached parts of counties, which had already for parliamentary purposes been amalgamated with the county by which they were surrounded or with which the detached part had the longest common boundary (2 & 3 Wm. IV, chap. 64—1832), were annexed to the same county for all purposes; some exceptions were, however, permitted.
   By the same Act (7 & 8 Vict., chap. 61) the detached parts of counties, transferred to other counties, were also annexed to the hundred, ward, wapentake, &c. by which they were wholly or mostly surrounded, or to which they next adjoined, in the counties to. which they were transferred. The hundreds, &c. in this table are also given as existing subsequently to this Act.
   As is well known, the famous statute of Queen Elizabeth for the relief of the poor took the then-existing ecclesiastical parish as the unit for Poor Law relief. This continued for some centuries with but few modifications; notably by an Act passed in I13 Charles II which permitted townships and villages to maintain their own poor. This permission was necessary owing to the large size of some of the parishes, especially in the north of England.
   In 1801 the parish for rating purposes (now known as the civil parish; i.e. ‘an area for which a separate poor rate is or can be made, or for which a separate overseer is or can be appointed’) was in most cases co-extensive with the ecclesiastical parish of the same name; but already there were numerous townships and villages rated separately for the relief of the poor, and also there were many places scattered up and down the country, known as extra-parochial places, which paid no rates at all. Further, many parishes had detached parts entirely surrounded by another parish or parishes.
    Parliament first turned its attention to extra-parochial places, and by an Act (20 Vict., chap. 19— 1857) it was laid down (a) that all extra-parochial places entered separately in the 1851 census returns are to be deemed civil parishes, (b) that in any other place being, or being reputed to be, extra-parochial overseers of the poor may be appointed, and (c) that where, however, owners and occupiers of two-thirds in value of the land of any such place desire its annexation to an adjoining civil. parish, it may be so added with the consent of the said parish. This Act was not found entirely to fulfil its object, so by a further Act (31 & 32 Vict., chap. 122—1868) it was enacted that every such place remaining on 25 December, 1868, should be added to the parish with which it had the longest common boundary.
   The next thing to be dealt with was the question of detached parts of civil parishes, which was done by the Divided Parishes Acts of 1876, 1879, and 1882. The last, which amended the one of 1876, provides that every detached part of an entirely extra-metropolitan parish which is entirely surrounded by another parish becomes transferred to this latter for civil purposes, or if the population exceeds 300 persons it may be made a separate parish. These Acts also gave power to add detached parts surrounded by more than one parish to one or more of the surrounding parishes, and also to amalgamate entire parishes with one or more parishes. Under the 1879 Act it was not necessary for the area dealt with to be entirely detached. These Acts also declared that every part added to a parish in another county becomes part of that county.
   Then came the Local Government Act, 1888, which permits the alteration of civil parish boundaries and the amalgamation of civil parishes by Local Government Board orders. It also created the administrative counties. The Local Government Act of 1894 enacts that where a civil parish is partly in a rural district and partly in an urban district each part shall become a separate civil parish; and also that where a civil parish is situated in more than one urban district each part shall become a separate civil parish, unless the county council otherwise direct. Meanwhile, the ecclesiastical parishes had been altered and new ones created under entirely different Acts, which cannot be entered into here, as the table treats of the ancient parishes in their civil aspect.


The first census of England was taken in 1801, and was very little more than a counting of the population in each parish (or place), excluding all persons; such as soldiers, sailors, &c., who

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