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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 01:54 GMT 02:54 UK
Taste of 1861 online with census
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
As head of her household, Queen Victoria was a rare exception
Family history buffs are to be given a taste of Victorian life with the release of the 1861 census.

Made available by the National Archives and now online, it sees notables such as Queen Victoria and Thomas Hardy rub shoulders with "bastards and paupers".

The census includes the complete name, birthplace and occupation of residents across all 52 counties of England and Wales in 1861.

It follows the recent release of four others - 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901.

The 19th Century censuses appear online at Ancestry.co.uk, and can be perused for a fee.

Famous names

The 1861 census sees a rare instance where a husband, not wife, is listed as "relation to head" - in this case Queen Victoria was head of the household and Prince Albert her spouse.

Who's who in the 1861 census

They are listed as living at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight with seven of their children, including the 19-year-old future king, Edward VII.

Children's writer Lewis Carroll, otherwise known as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, is shown as staying with a "psellismolligist", or speech therapist, Dr Hunt, at Ore House near Hastings.

Lewis Carroll, a clergyman and mathematician as well as author of Alice in Wonderland, had a stammer and visited a number of doctors to cure it.

Another author who features is Thomas Hardy.

In 1861 the young Hardy was living in his native Stinsford in Dorset with his parents, Thomas and Jemima. His occupation was given as architect's clerk.

Dirt dished

But among the less well-known names, one man, Isaac Norris Hunt, makes his mark as a data collector who used the 1861 census as an opportunity to dish the dirt on his neighbours in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.

The railway manager embellished occupations of some of his neighbours and added "scandalous" personal details.

Several are listed as prostitutes, including Emma Cook, 19, and 64-year-old Mary Newman.

Another neighbour, Eliza Williams, was said to be "kept" by her "paramour" William Clapton.

Hannah Cokey was described as a "pauper, syphilitic", William Shall as an "absconding bankrupt" and Elizabeth Wixey was said to "cohabit with a man".

Mr Hunt also called the two young sons of the "very doubtful" Lavinia Collicott "bastards".

New online access to 1871 census
24 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Where have all the men gone?
06 Apr 04 |  Magazine


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