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the lands forfeited during the great rebellion of 1641. This has been called the Down Survey. Considering the time when, and the circumstances under which it was executed, it is wonderfully accurate, and continues to this day to be referred to as evidence in the courts of law.* It did not, however, embrace almost any part of the province of Connaught; and, in consequence partly of this circumstance, and partly of errors arising from other sources, Sir William materially underrated the area of Ireland; having represented it as containing only about 10,500,000 Irish, or about 17,000,000 English acres.-(Political Anatomy of Ireland, p. 1.)-Templeman sets down the area of Ireland at 27,457 square miles, or 18,372,480 acres; but this was little better than a guess; and all previous estimates were thrown into the shade by that of Dr Beaufort. Having carefully collated the best county and other maps, and rectified not a few of their errors, the Doctor computed the area of the island at considerably more than 18,750 square Irish miles, or several thousand acres above twelve millions Irish measure; which is equal to 30,370 square English miles, or 19,436,000 English acres.'—(Memoir of a Map of Ireland, p. 14.)--But even this estimate has turned out to be nearly a million of acres under the mark; for it appears by a table, furnished by Mr Griffiths, the Engineer to the late committee of the House of Lords on Tithe, and which being founded partly on the Ordnance Survey, and partly on other authentic data, may be regarded as nearly accurate, that the area of Ireland amounts to 31,874 square miles, or to 20,399,608 acres.
The population of the empire was for a lengthened period involved in as much obscurity as its area. Dr Price, in an Essay on the Population of England and Wales, published separately in 1779, contended that it had been progressively decreasing since the Revolution; and that, at the period when he wrote, it was rather under five millions. This Essay excited a good deal of attention and controversy. Of the numerous answers which it elicited, those by the Rev. Mr Howlett, vicar of Dunmow, in Essex, and Mr Wales, mathematical master of Christ's Hospital, were by far the best. They showed that the facts on
*Copies of part of the maps composing the Down Survey, were taken by Sir William Petty for his own use; but being shipped for England, the vessel in which they were embarked was captured and carried to France, when the maps came into the possession of the French government. Some of the originals that remained in Ireland were subsequently much injured by fire, and others altogether destroyed; but their place has been supplied by copies taken by General Vallency, and others, from the captured maps now in the Royal Library at Paris. (See Report on the Survey and Valuation of Ireland. Appen. p. 138, &c.)
which Dr Price had built his conclusions were most erroneous, and that his reasonings were, besides, illogical and inconclusive. But it was not till about twenty years after, or in 1801, that this question was finally set at rest by the taking of a census. This has since been repeated at three different decennial periods, or in 1811, 1821, and 1831; so that we have now a very satisfactory account of the progress of population in Great Britaia during the present century. We subjoin a statement of the
POPULATION of GREAT BRITAIN, with the ratio of its increase in each decennial period since 1801.
All that is certainly known with respect to the population of Ireland is, that it was exceedingly ill-peopled during the first half of the last century; that it began to increase after 1760; and that owing to causes which we shall not now stop to examine, it has increased with almost unprecedented rapidity since 1780. But no complete census of the population was taken till 1821, when it was found to amount to 6,811,827. In 1831, it was found to amount to 7,784,536. We understand, however, that the Irish is much less accurate than either the English or the Scotch census.
But with the exception of its actual amount, our knowledge of most other particulars respecting the population is very limited. The registers of births, marriages, and deaths, are all very defective; and notwithstanding the research and sagacity of Mr Rickman, who has endeavoured to estimate and supply their deficiencies, they are still, even as respects England, but indifferent materials on which to found conclusions. In Scotland, indeed, the registers in question are so grossly defective, as to be in most places quite useless for any statistical purpose; in Ireland they can hardly be said to exist. We do hope that effective measures may be speedily taken for putting an end to a state of things as prejudicial to the civil interests of all classes of persons as it is hostile to statistical enquiry. We are indebted to Mr Rickman for the following Table.
VOL. LXI. NO. CXXIII.
Corrected Table of the Annual Proportion of BAPTISMS, BURIALS, and MARRIAGES, to the Population of ENGLAND; calculated upon an average of the Totals of such Baptisms, Burials, and Marriages, in the five years preceding the several Enumerations of 1801, 1811, 1821, and 1831; and distinguishing the several Counties.
Bu- Mar- Bap- Bu. Bu. BapВар- BuPap. tisms. rials. rages. tisms. rials. riages.t sins. rials. riages. tisms. rials. rages 123
35 51 114 32 48 131 33 57
35 54 129
It appears from this table, that the proportion of deaths to the population diminished from 1 in 48, during the five years ending with 1800; to 1 in 55 during the five years ending with 1820; and that it again increased to 1 in 51 during the five years ending with 1830. Now it may be, and, indeed, has frequently been supposed, that this diminution in the proportional number of deaths indicates a corresponding improvement of human life. Such, however, is not the fact. No conclusion of this sort can be drawn, unless on the hypothesis of the population being stationary; for it is plain, as has been repeatedly remarked, that if the population be progressively augmented by an increasing number of births, the ratio of deaths to the population will not fairly represent the rate of mortality; or entitle us positively to infer whether it has been diminished or not.
The proportion of marriages in an increasing population is affected by the same cause. Owing to the greater proportion of children in an increasing population, the proportion of marriages seems less than it really is.
There can, however, be no doubt, that the rate of mortality has been materially diminished in England since the American war. The number of burials, estimated by averages of five years, did not differ materially during the entire period from 1780 to 1815; though the population had increased about 3,300,000 in the interval.-(Preliminary Discourse to Census of 1831, p. 35). From 1815 to 1830, however, the rate of mortality again increased. But it remains to be seen whether this. increase has been maintained since 1830; or whether it had not been occasioned by temporary or accidental circumstances, growing out of the disturbance occasioned by the transition from a state of war to one of peace, the sudden rise in the value of the currency, &c. If it has been maintained, the investigation of the causes of the previous diminution, and of the subsequent increase of mortality, will afford abundant scope for enquiry.
In the censuses of 1801, 1811, and 1821, the population was distinguished into three classes; that is, into those principally employed in agriculture, those principally employed in manufactures and commerce, and those not included in either of the previous classes. But a classification of this sort is too indefinite to be worth much. Landlords, or those deriving incomes from land, with their families and servants, if resident in towns, would most likely be enrolled in the neutral class, along with fundholders and annuitants of all sorts, paupers, &c.; whereas, if they happened to be in the country when the census was taken, they would be enrolled among the agriculturists. It is often, indeed, very difficult to say under which of these heads a family
should be classed; and we have access to know that the practice differed materially in this respect in different parts of the country. To obviate this defect, it was resolved, when the late census was taken, to make some more specific enquiries; and if possible to ascertain the occupations of the males of twenty years of age and upwards. In regard to such of these males as were engaged in agriculture, the overseers and others employed in taking the census were directed to distinguish them into three classes, viz. 1st, Occupiers of land who constantly employ one, or more than one, labourer or farm-servant in husbandry; 2d, Occupiers of land employing no labourers other than their own family; and other labourers in husbandry and farm-servants employed by occupiers of the first class. The numbers of such males engaged in manufactures, and in retail trade and handicraft, as distinguished from manufacture,' were to be ascertained by separate questions; as were the numbers of wholesale merchants, capitalists, female servants, &c.
The queries as to the occupiers of land are sufficiently distinct; and had those employed in taking the census been placed under any efficient check or control, to make sure that they did their duty, the answers might have been depended on. But we cannot say so much for the other queries. The attempt to distinguish between those engaged in manufactures and handicraft, is something worse than ludicrous, and has been productive of the most absurd results. The questions put to the overseers ought to have been clear, explicit, and, in as far as possible, incapable of misconstruction. But instead of this, it was left in a great measure to their discretion either to place vast numbers of individuals in the undefined class called manufacturers, or to place them under some head of handicraft; and there can be no doubt, that different overseers disposed of the same classes of individuals, some one way and some another. It is impossible otherwise to account for the extraordinary statements given in the table of occupations in the Population Returns, vol. ii. p. 1044. According to that table, it would seem as if there were only 295 males of twenty years age employed as bleachers in England and Wales, and one in Scotland! But in the article of bonnet-makers, Scotland is better off, seeing that she has 92 full-grown males so employed, and England not one! The kelp manufacture has, we know, been of late very unprofitable, but we apprehend the Highland gentry will be rather astonished when they learn, on official authority, that in all Scotland there are now only four persons engaged in the business! It will also, we take it, make our townsmen stare, when they hear there are only three males in the different music shops here and elsehere throughout the country; and that, from the Tweed to