1836 (33) Registration of Births &c. A bill for registering Births Deaths and Marriages in England

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Registration of Births &c. A bill for registering Births Deaths and Marriages in England  (1836) 
Parliament of United Kingdom

17 February 1836.— 6 Will. IV.


A

BILL

For Registering Births, Deaths and Marriages in England.



[Note.—The Words printed in Italics are proposed to be inserted in the Committee.]



Preamble Whereas it is expedient to provide the means for a complete Register of the Births, Deaths and Marriages of His Majesty's Subjects in England:

And whereas an Act passed in the fifty-second year of the reign of his late Majesty King George the Third, intituled, "An Act for the better regulating Parish and other Registers of Births, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials in England," and also an Act passed in the fourth year of the reign of his late Majesty King George the Fourth, intituled, "An Act for amending the Laws respecting the Solemnization of Marriages in England," are insufficient for the purpose aforesaid:

1.
So much of 52 Geo. 3. c. 146, and 4 Geo. 4 c. 76, as relates to Registration of Marriages, Repealed. 
Be it therefore Enacted by The KING's most Excellent Majesty,. by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, THAT after the Thirty-first day of December in this year so much of the said Acts as relates to the Registration of Marriages, Marriages shall be Repealed.


2.
General Registry Office to be provided in London or Westminster. 
And be it Enacted, That it shall be lawful for His Majesty to provide a proper Office in London or Westminster, to be called "The General Register Office," for keeping a Register of all Births, Deaths and Marriages of His Majesty's Subjects in England.

3.
Poor Law Commissioners to have the care of the Register. 
And be it Enacted, That the keeping of the said Register, and the control of the Officers, Clerks and Servants employed about the same, shall be given to the Poor Law Commissioners for England and Wales for the time being, and as often as there shall be no such Commissioners, shall be given to the Registrar General hereinafter mentioned, under the direction of one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State.

4.
Registrar General, Inspectors, and Clerks, appointed with Salaries. 
And be it. Enacted, That it shall be lawful for His Majesty to appoint for the said Office a Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages; and the Poor Law Commissioners, or, as often as there shall be no such Commissioners, the Registrar General, shall appoint a sufficient number of Clerks, Officers and Servants for the said Register Office, at such yearly Salaries as to the Lord High Treasurer or Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury from time to time shall seem fit; and the Registrar General shall hold his Office during the pleasure of His Majesty, and the Clerks, Officers and Servants of the said Register Office shall hold their Offices during the pleasure of the Poor Law Commissioners, or of the Registrar General, as often as there are no such Commissioners.

5.
Resolutions for conduct of Officers, to be framed under direction of Secretary of State. 
And be it Enacted, That any one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, or the Poor Law Commissioners, with the approbation direction of of such Principal Secretary, from time to time may make regulations for the management of the said Register Office, and the duties of the Registrar General, Clerks, Officers and Servants of the said Office, and of the Registrars, Deputy Registrars and Superintendent Registrars hereinafter mentioned, in the execution of this Act, so that they be not contrary to the provisions herein contained; and the regulations so made shall be binding on the said Registrar General, Clerks, Officers and Servants, and on the Registrars, Deputy Registrars and Superintendent Registrars.

6.
Registrar to report to Secretary of State; annual Abstract to be laid before Parliament. 
And be it Enacted, That the Registrar shall from time to time give to any one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State such information respecting the said Register as the said Principal Secretary shall require, and once in every year shall send to one of the Principal Secretaries of State a General Abstract of the numbers of Births, Deaths and Marriages registered during the foregoing year, in such form as the said Secretary from time to time shall require; and every such annual General Abstract shall be laid before Parliament within One Month after receipt thereof, or after the meeting of Parliament.

7.
Guardians of Unions to appoint Registrars and Superintendent Registrars. 
And be it Enacted, That the Guardians of every Union, declared under the provisions of an Act passed in the fifth and sixth year of His present Majesty, intituled, "An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales," and also of every Parish or Place in which a Board of Guardians shall have been established under the provisions of the last-named Act, at their first meeting after the said Thirty-first day of December, shall appoint such such and so many of the Relieving Officers, or other Persons properly qualified in the judgment of the Commissioners, or Registrar General, if there are no Commissioners, as to the Guardians shall seem fit, to be Registrars of that District, and, subject to the approval of the Commissioners, shall determine the district for which each Registrar shall act, and shall appoint the Clerk or Auditor of the Board of Guardians or other Person properly qualified in the judgment of the Commissioners or Registrar General as aforesaid, to be a Superintendent Registrar; and in every case of vacancy of either Office shall forthwith fill up the vacancy in manner aforesaid.

8.
District Register Offices to be provided. 
And be it Enacted, That the Guardians shall provide and uphold, out of the monies coming to their hands as such Guardians, a District be provided. Register Office, according to a plan to be approved by the Poor Law Commissioners, for preserving the Registers to be deposited therein, as hereinafter mentioned; and the care of the said District Office, and the custody of the Registers deposited therein, shall be given to the Superintendent Registrar of the District.

9.
Rate-payers of Parishes not united under the Poor Law Act to appoint Registrars for the Parish 
And be it Enacted, That the Rate-payers, in vestry assembled, of every parish, township or place separately maintaining its own poor, united under in which no Board of Guardians shall have been established under the said Act for the Amendment of the Laws relating to the Poor, shall appoint, as soon as conveniently may be, after the said Thirty-first day of December, One or more fit Persons to be the Registrar or Registrars of such parish, township or place, or of such part thereof as the Vestry, subject to the approval of the Commissioners, shall direct: Provided always, Parishes of 300 Persons and Extra-parochial Places to be deemed part of next Parish. That for the purposes of this Act every parish, township or place separately maintaining its own Poor, the population of which, according to the last Census, did not then exceed Three hundred Persons, and every extra-parochial place, shall be taken to be part of the adjoining parish, township or place separately maintaining its own poor, with which it has the longest common boundary: Parishes may be united for the purposes of this Act. Provided also, That the Rate-payers of any Two or more such parishes, townships or places may, if they think fit, appoint the same Registrar or Registrars.

10.
Court of Quarter Sessions to appoint Superintendent Registrars for Parishes not united. 
And be it Enacted, That the Commissioners shall send immediately after the said Thirty-first day of December, to every Clerk of the Peace in England, a List of all the Parishes, Townships, and Places, in the County or other District for which lie is Clerk of the Peace, not united or in which a Board of Guardians shall not be then established under the provisions of the said Act for the Amendment of the Laws relating to the Poor; and the Court of Quarter Sessions of the County or other district shall appoint a sufficient number of fit Persons to be Superintendent Registrars for such parishes, townships and places, and shall appoint the District which each shall superintend, and shall provide and appoint a fit and secure place for the custody of the Registers Registers while in the keeping of such Superintendent Registrars, as hereinafter provided and the Clerk of the Peace, by order of the Court, shall notify to the Commissioners every such appointment, and the District for which each Superintendent is appointed.

11.
Deputy Registrars to be appointed. 
And be it Enacted, That for every district for which a Registrar shall be appointed the Registrar shall have power, subject to the approval of the Commissioners or Registrar General, to appoint a fit Person to act as his Deputy, in case of the illness or unavoidable absence of such Registrar; and every such Deputy Registrar, whilst so acting, shall have all the powers and duties and be subject to all the provisions and penalties herein declared concerning Registrars.

12.
Registrars and Superintendent Registrars to hold their office until removed by the Commissioners. 
And be it Enacted, That every Registrar, Deputy Registrar and Superintendent Registrar shall hold his office until he shall be removed by the Commissioners, or by the Registrar General, if there shall be no such Commissioners, or until he shall cease to hold his office under the provisions hereinafter contained; and no person removed from the office of Registrar, Deputy Registrar or Superintendent Registrar by the said Commissioners, or Registrar General, shall be thenceforward eligible to any such office without the approval of the said Commissioners or Registrar General respectively.


13.
In case of subsequent Unions, previous Appointments to be vacated. 
Provided always, and be it Enacted, That as soon as a Board of Guardians shall have been established in any such parish, township or place under the provisions of the said Act for the amendment of the Laws relating to the Poor, the Guardians shall forthwith proceed to appoint Registrars, Deputy Registrars and Superintendent Registrars, in like manner as in the Unions formed before the passing of this Act; and thereupon the Registrars, Deputy Registrars and Superintendent Registrars appointed before the election of such Board of Guardians as aforesaid, in or for such parish, township or place, shall cease to hold their respective offices unless reappointed by the Guardians.

14.
Appointments to be exempt from Stamp Duties. 
And be it Enacted, That the Appointments of Registrars, Deputy Registrars and Superintendent Registrars, and the duplicates and certified copies of Registers hereinafter mentioned, shall be exempt from all Stamp Duties.

15.
All Books, &c. to be transferred on removal of Registrar. 
And be it Enacted, That in every case in which any Registrar or Superintendent Registrar shall be removed from or cease to hold the said office, all Register Books and Papers in his possession as such Registrar or Superintendent shall be given as soon as conveniently may be to his successor in office; and if any Person shall refuse to give up the said Books and Papers in such case as, aforesaid, it shall be lawful for for any of His Majesty's Superior Courts at Westminster, or any Judge of the said Courts, upon summary application made for that purpose, to grant a Rule upon the Party to show cause why the said Books should not be forthwith delivered up, and to make an absolute Rule for delivering up the same, and to proceed by attachment in the usual way, in case such last-mentioned Rule shall not be complied with.

16.
Registrar's Name and Place of Abode to be put on Door of Churches, &c. 
And be it Enacted, That every Registrar or Deputy Registrar (as the case may be) shall cause his name and place of abode, with the Place of addition of Registrar or Deputy Registrar (as the case may be) for the district for which he shall be so appointed, to be placed in some conspicuous place on or near the outer door of his own dwelling-house.

17.
Register Books to be provided. 
And be it Enacted, That the Registrar General shall cause to be printed, on account of the said Register Office, a sufficient number Register Books, for making entries of all Births, Deaths and Marriages of His Majesty's Subjects in England, according to the forms of Schedules (A.), (B.), (C), to this Act annexed; and the said Register Books shall be of durable materials, and in them shall be printed upon each side of every leaf the heads of information herein required to be known and registered of Births, Deaths and Marriages respectively; and every page of each of such Books shall be numbered progressively from the beginning to the end, beginning with number one; and every place of entry shall be also numbered progressively from the beginning to the end of the Book, beginning with number one; and every entry shall be divided from the following entry by a printed line.

18.
Registrars to register Births and Deaths: Register and certified Copy to be delivered to Superintendent. 
And be it Enacted, That the Registrar General shall furnish to every superintendent Registrar, for the use of the Registrars under his superintendence, a sufficient number of Register Books of Births, and of Register Books of Deaths, and of Forms for certified Copies thereof, as hereinafter provided, at a reasonable price to be fixed from time to time by one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, and to be paid on demand in each case by the parties by whom the Registrar is appointed to the Registrar, and by him accounted for to the Registrar General; and every Registrar shall be authorized and is hereby required to inform himself carefully of every Birth and every Death which shall happen, within his District after the said Thirty-first day of December, and to learn and register as soon after the event as conveniently may be done, without fee or reward, save as hereinafter mentioned, in one of the said Books, the particulars required to be registered according to the Forms in the said Schedules (A.) and (B.) respectively, touching every such Birth or every such Death, as the case may be, which shall not have been already registered, every such entry being made in order from the beginning to the end of the Book: and at the least Four times in every year, on such days as shall from time to time be appointed by the Registrar General, every Registrar shall make and deliver to the Superintendent Registrar of his District on parchment or vellum, a true Copy, certified by him under his hand, according to the Form of Schedule (D.) to this Act annexed, of all the entries of Births and Deaths in the Register Book kept by him since the last certificate; and the Superintendent Registrar shall verify the same, and if found to be correct shall certify the same, under his hand, to be a true copy; and if there shall have been no Birth or Death registered since the delivery of the last certificate, the Registrar shall certify the fact, and such certificate shall be delivered to the Superintendent Registrar as aforesaid, and countersigned by him; and the Registrar shall keep safely each of the said Register Books until it shall be filled, and shall then deliver it to the Superintendent Registrar.

19.
Occupiers of Houses in which Birth or Death happens, and in cases of Foundlings or exposed dead bodies, Overseers and Coroners required to give notice to the Registrar. 
And be it Enacted, That the Occupier of every house or tenement in England in which any Birth or Death shall happen, after the said Thirty-first day of December shall within Eight Days next after the day of such Birth, or within Three Days after the day of such Death respectively, give Notice of such Birth or Death to the Registrar of the District; and in case any new-born child or any dead body shall be found exposed, the Overseers of the Poor in the case of the new-born child, and the Coroner, in the case of the dead body, shall forthwith give notice and information thereof, and of the place where such child or dead body was found, to the Registrar; and every Person herein required who shall refuse, or without reasonable cause neglect to give such Notice as aforesaid, shall forfeit for every such offence a sum not exceeding Twenty Shillings; and for the purposes of this Act the Master or Keeper of every Gaol, Prison or House of Correction, or Workhouse, Hospital or Lunatic Asylum shall be deemed the occupier thereof.

20.
Parent or Occupier of House, required to give particulars of Birth, so far as known. 
And be it Enacted, That the Father or Mother of every Child born in England after the said Thirty-first day of December or in case of the death, illness, absence or inability of the Father and Mother, the Occupier of the House or Tenement in which such Child shall have been born, shall within Fifteen Days next after the day of every such Birth give information, upon being requested so to do, to the said Registrar, according to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, of the several particulars hereby required to be known and registered touching the Birth of such Child.


21.
Children born at Sea may be registered. 
And be it Enacted, That if any Child of an English Parent shall be born at Sea, the Father or Mother, or some person present at the Birth of such Child, or in default thereof the Surgeon or Captain or Commanding Officer of the Vessel on board of which the said Child shall have been born, shall forthwith certify the several particulars hereinbefore required to be inserted in the Register touching the Birth of such Child Child, so far as the same may be known, and the name of the Vessel wherein the Birth took place; and shall, on the arrival of such Vessel in any Port of the United Kingdom, or by any other sooner opportunity, send the said Certificate through the Post Office to the Registrar-General, who shall keep the same, with the other Registers, according to the provisions of this Act.

22.
Births, after Fifteen Days, to be registered before the Superintendent Registrar. 
And be it Enacted, That after the expiration of Fifteen Days following the day of the Birth of any Child, it shall not be lawful for any Days, to be Registrar to register such Birth, save as hereinafter is next mentioned: Provided, That in case the Birth of any Child shall not have been registered according to the provisions hereinbefore contained, it shall be lawful for any Person present at the Birth of such Child, at any time within Six calendar Months next after the Birth, on production of the Child before the Registrar and Superintendent Registrar of the District in which the Birth shall have happened, to declare upon oath, or solemn affirmation, in cases in which by law an affirmation may be substituted for an oath (which Oath or Affirmation the Superintendent Registrar is authorized to administer) the particulars required to be known, touching the Birth of such Child, according to the best of his or her knowledge and belief; and it shall thereupon be lawful for the said Registrar then and there, in the presence of the Superintendent Registrar, to register the Birth of the said Child, according to the information of the Person making the said declaration; Provided nevertheless, That in every such case the Superintendent Registrar before whom the said declaration is made, shall sign the entry of the Birth as well as the Registrar; and for every such Registry as last aforesaid, the Superintendent Registrar shall be entitled to have a fee of Two Shillings and Sixpence; and the Registrar, over and above the fee hereinafter enacted in respect of every Birth registered by him, shall be entitled, unless the delay shall have been occasioned by his default, to have a fee of Two Shillings and Sixpence, from the Person requiring the same to be registered; and no Register of Births shall be given in evidence to prove the Birth of any Child, wherein it shall appear that Fifteen Days have intervened between the day of the Birth and the day of the Registration of the Birth of such Child, unless the entry shall be signed by the Superintendent Registrar; and every Person who shall knowingly register, or cause to be registered the Birth of any Child, otherwise than hereinbefore is last mentioned, after the expiration of Fifteen Days following the day of the Birth of such Child, shall forfeit and pay for every such offence a sum not exceeding Fifty Pounds.

23.
Births not to be registered after Six Months 
And be it Enacted, That after the expiration of Six calendar Months Births not to following the day of the Birth of any Child, it shall not be lawful for after six any Registrar to register tho Birth of such Child, and no Register of Births Births shall be given in evidence to prove the Birth of any Child, wherein it shall appear that Six calendar Months have intervened between the day of the Birth and the day of the Registration of the Birth of such Child; and every Person who shall knowingly register, or cause to be registered, the Birth of any Child, after the expiration of Six calendar Months following the clay of the Birth of such Child, shall forfeit and pay for every such offence a sum not exceeding Fifty Pounds.

24.
Baptismal Name, if different from that in Register, may be added. 
And be it Enacted, That if any child born in England, whose Birth shall have been registered as aforesaid, shall have any Name subsequently given to it in Baptism, by which it shall not have been so registered, the parent or guardian of such child, or other Person procuring such unregistered Name to be given, is hereby required within Seven Days next after such Baptism, to procure and deliver to the Registrar or Superintendent Registrar in whose custody the register of the Birth of the child may then happen to be, a Certificate, according to the Form of Schedule (G.) to this Act annexed, signed by the Minister who shall have performed the rite of Baptism, which Certificate such Minister is hereby required to deliver immediately after the baptism, whenever the same shall be then demanded, on payment of the fee of One Shilling, which he shall be therefore entitled to receive, and the said Registrar or Superintendent Registrar, upon receipt of such Certificate, and on payment of the fee of One Shilling, which he shall be therefore entitled to receive, shall without any erasure of the original Entry forthwith register therein that the child was baptized by such name and the Registrar shall thereupon certify upon the said Certificate the additional Entry so made, and shall forthwith send the said Certificate through the Post-office to the Registrar-General; and every Person who shall knowingly cause or procure any Name to be given in baptism to any registered child by which it shall not have been registered, and who shall not within Seven Days as aforesaid procure and deliver such Certificate, shall forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding Five Pounds for every such offence.

25.
Next of Kin or other Person present at death, or Occupier of House, required to give particulars of death, so far as known. 
And be it Enacted, That the Next of Kin, or other Person present with or attending in his or her last illness, every Person dying in England after the said Thirty-first day of December, o. in case of the death, illness, inability or default of all such Persons, the Occupier of the House or Tenement in which such death shall have happened shall, within Eight Days next after the day of such death, give 'information, upon being requested so to do, to the said Registrar, according to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, of the several particulars hereby required to be known and registered touching the death of such Person: Provided always, Registrar to make entry of finding of Jury upon Coroners' Inquests. That in every case in which an Inquest shall be held on any dead Body, the Jury shall inquire of the particulars herein requiered required to be registered concerning the death, and the Coroner shall inform the Registrar of the finding of the Jury, and the Registrar shall make the entry accordingly,

26.
Persons dying at Sea may be registered 
And be it Enacted, That if any of His Majesty's English Subjects Persons dying shall die at Sea, the Surgeon, or in default thereof the Captain or Commanding Officer of the Vessel on board of which such death shall have happened, shall forthwith certify the several particulars hereinbefore required to be inserted in the Register touching such death, so far as the same may be known, and the name of the Vessel wherein the death took place, and shall on the arrival of such Vessel in any port of the United Kingdom, or by any other sooner opportunity, send the said Certificate through the Post-office to the Registrar-General, who shall keep the same, with the other Registers, according to the provisions of this Act.

27.
No dead Body to be buried without Certificate of Registry or of Inquest. 
And be it Enacted, That every Registrar, immediately upon registering any Death, or as soon thereafter as he shall be required so to do, shall, without fee or reward, deliver to the Person having charge of the Funeral, a Certificate under his hand, according to the Form of Schedule (E.) to this Act annexed, that such Death has been duly registered, and such Certificate shall be delivered by the Person having charge of the Funeral, to the Minister or officiating Person who shall be required to perform any religious service for the burial of the dead body, or to the Person by whose authority the grave or vault shall be dug or opened for the burial of such body, and no dead body shall be buried until such Certificate shall have been so delivered: Provided always, That the Coroner, upon holding any inquest, may order the body to be buried, if he shall think fit, before registry of the death; and shall in such case give a Certificate of his order in writing under his hand, according to the Form of Schedule (F.) to this Act annexed, to the Person having charge of the Funeral, which shall be delivered as aforesaid; and every Person who shall perform any funeral or any religious service for the burial of any dead body, or who shall authorize any grave or vault to be dug or opened for the purpose of burying any dead body therein, until a Certificate shall have been duly made and delivered as aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding Ten Pounds for every such offence.

28.
Register to be signed by the Informant. 
And be it Enacted, That every Register of Birth or Death under this Act shall be signed by the Person by whom the information therein registered shall have been given, and no Register of Birth or Death according to this Act shall be given in evidence, which shall not be signed by some Person professing to be the Informant, and to be such party as is herein required to give such information to the Registrar.

29.
Registrars to be paid by the Overseers according to a Scale. 
And be it Enacted, That every Registrar shall make put an Account Four times in every year of the number of Births, and Deaths which he shall have registered since the last Quarterly Account, and shall verify the same by a solemn declaration before any Justice, who shall thereupon sign the same, and the Guardians of the Union or Overseers of the parish, township or place for which he shall be Registrar, on production of the said account so verified and signed, shall pay to the said Registrar, out of the monies in their hands or power as such Guardians or Overseers, such sums as he shall be entitled to receive on the said account, according to the following scale; (that is to say) for the first Twenty Entries of Births and Deaths in every year which he shall have registered, whether the same be of Births or of Deaths indiscriminately, Two Shillings and Sixpence each; and One Shilling for every subsequent Entry of Births or Deaths in each year and in the case of an Union, the said several sums shall be charged to the account of the Parishes in which such Births or Deaths respectively shall have occurred.

30.
Marriage Registers to be kept, in Duplicate. 
And be it Enacted, That the Registrar General shall furnish to the Rector, Vicar or: Curate of every Church and Chapel in England wherein Marriages may lawfully be solemnized, and also to every Person whom the Recording Clerk of the People called Quakers, at their central Office in London, shall from time to time certify in writing under his hand to the Registrar General to be a Registering Officer in England of the said People, and also to every Person whom the Secretaries of the Synagogue in Duke's-place and of the Portuguese Synagogue in Bevis Marks, shall from time to time jointly certify in writing under their hands to the Registrar General to be the Secretary of a Synagogue in England of Persons professing the Jewish Religion, a sufficient number in Duplicate of Marriage Register Books, and Forms, for certified Copies thereof as hereinafter provided; and the Officiating Minister in every such Church or Chapel, immediately after every office of Matrimony solemnized by him, shall register, in duplicate in two of the Marriage Register Books the several particulars, relating to that Marriage, according to the Form of the said Schedule (C.); and every such Registering Officer of the People called Quakers, as soon as conveniently may be, after the solemnization of any Marriage among the People called Quakers, in the district for which he is Registering Officer, and every such Secretary of a Synagogue immediately after every Marriage solemnized by him, or by any other Officer of the. Synagogue whereof he is Secretary, between any two Persons professing the Jewish Religion, shall register or cause to be registered in duplicate in two of the said Marriage Register Books the several particulars relating to that Marriage, according to the Form of the said Schedule. (C.); and every such Registering Officer or Secretary, whether he shall or shall not be present at such Marriage, shall satisfy himself that the proceedings in relation thereto have been conformable to the usages of the said People called Quakers, or of the Persons professing the Jewish Religion, as the case may be, and shall, for the purpose of signifying the same, sign his name to the Entry thereof; and every such Entry as hereinbefore is mentioned (whether made by such Officiating Minister or by such Registering Officer or Secretary respectively as aforesaid) shall be made in order from the beginning to the end of each Book, and the number of the place of Entry in each duplicate Marriage Register Book shall be the same.

31.
Duplicates and certified Copies to be sent to Superintendent Registrar 
And be it Enacted, That every such Officiating Minister, Registering Officer and Secretary shall, within One calendar Month next after the First day of January, the First day of April, the First day of July, and the First day of October respectively, make and deliver to the Superintendent Registrar of the district within which such Marriages were solemnized, on parchment or vellum, a true copy, certified by him, under his hand, of all the Entries of Marriages in the Register Book kept by him since the last Certificate; and if there shall have been no Marriage entered therein since the last Quarterly Certificate, shall certify the fact under his hand, and shall keep the said Marriage Register Books safely until the same shall be filled; and one copy of every such Register Book, when filled, shall be delivered to the Superintendent Registrar of the District, and the other copy of every such Register Book (except the Register Books of Marriage among the People called Quakers, and among Persons professing the Jewish Religion) shall remain in the keeping of the Officiating Minister, and shall be kept by him in the public chest of the parish within which the Marriages registered therein shall have been solemnized; and the other copy of every such Register Book of Marriages among the People called Quakers, and among Persons professing the Jewish Religion respectively, shall remain under the care of the said People or Persons respectively, to be kept with their other Registers and Records, and shall, for the purposes of this Act, be still deemed to be in the keeping of the Registering Officer for the district for the time being of the said People, or of the Secretary for the time being for the Synagogue wherein such Marriages shall have been solemnized.

32.
Searches may be made and Certificates given by the Persons keeping the Registry Books. 
And be it Enacted, That every Person who, according to the provisions of this Act shall have the keeping, for the time being, of any Register Book of Births, Deaths or Marriages, shall, at all reasonable times, allow Searches to be made of any Register Book, in his keening keeping and shall give certified Extracts from the same, on payment of the fee hereinafter mentioned; (that is to say) for every Search, extending over a period not more than One Year, the sum of , and so in proportion for any number of years or longer time than One Year, and the sum of for every single Certificate.

Superintendent Registrars to send certified copies of Registers to the General Register Office. And be it Enacted, That every Superintendent Registrar shall Four times in every year, on such days as shall be therefore named by the Registrar General send to the Registrar General all the certified copies of the Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages which he shall have so received during the Three calendar Months next preceding such Quarterly days of transmission respectively; and if it shall appear by interruption of the regular progression of numbers or otherwise, that the copy of any part of any Book has not been duly delivered to him, he shall procure, as far as possible, consistently with the provisions of this Act, that the same may be remedied and supplied; and every such Superintendent Registrar shall be entitled to have the sum of Twopence for every Entry in such Certificates, to be paid to him by the Lord High Treasurer or Lords Commissioners of the Treasury out of the Consolidated Fund; and the certified Copies so sent to the General Registry Office shall be thereafter kept in the said Office, in such order and manner as the Registrar General, under such direction as aforesaid, shall think fit, so that the same may be most readily seen and examined.

34.
Certificates of General Registry Office to be sealed. 
And be it Enacted, That the said Commissioners shall cause to be made a Seal of the said Register Office, and the Registrar General shall cause to be sealed or stamped therewith all Certificates of Registration given in the said Office; and all Certificates purporting to be sealed or stamped with the Seal of the said. Register Office, shall be received as evidence of the same respectively without any further or other proof thereof; and no Certificate purporting to be given in the said Office shall be of any force or effect which is not sealed or stamped as aforesaid.

35.
Indexes to be kept, Searches allowed and Certificates given. 
And be it Enacted, That the Registrar General shall cause Indexes of the said Registers to be made and kept in the General Register Office; and that every Person shall be entitled on payment of the fees hereinafter mentioned to search the said Indexes, between the hours of Nine in the Morning and Four in the Afternoon of every day, except Sundays, Christmas-day and Good Friday, or on other days authorized to be kept as holydays, and to have a certified Copy of any Entry in the said Registers, sealed or stamped with the seal of the General Register Office; and for every general search of the said Indexes shall be paid the sum of Twenty Shillings, and for every particular search the sum of One Shilling, and for every such certified Copy the sum of Two Shillings and Sixpence, and no more, to the Registrar General, or such other Officer as shall be appointed for that purpose on his account; and every sum received under the provisions of this Act by the Registrar General, or other Officers appointed for that purpose on his account, shall be accounted for by the Registrar General, and paid over to the account of the Consolidated Fund.

36.
Penalty on Parties being married refusing to answer Questions. 
And be it Enacted, That it shall be lawful for every Officiating Minister who shall solemnize any Marriage in England, and for every Registering Officer of the People called Quakers, and every Secretary of a Synagogue, after the said Thirty-first day of December to ask of the Parties married the several particulars herein required to be registered touching such Marriage; and every Person who shall refuse, or without reasonable cause neglect to answer, according to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, shall forfeit and pay a sum not more than Fifty Pounds for every such offence.

37.
Penalty for wilfully giving false information. 
And be it Enacted, That every Person who shall wilfully make or cause to be made for the purpose of being inserted in any Register of Birth, Death or Marriage, any false statement touching any of the particulars herein required to be known and registered, shall be deemed guilty of Perjury, and punished accordingly.

38.
Penalty for not duly registering Births, Deaths and Marriages, or for losing or injuring Registers. 
And be it Enacted, That every Person who shall refuse, or without reasonable cause omit, to register any Marriage solemnized by him, which, according to the provisions of this Act, he ought to register; and every Registrar who shall refuse, or without reasonable cause omit, to register any Birth or Death, of which he shall have had due notice as aforesaid, and every Person having, according to the Provisions of this Act, the keeping of any Register Book or certified copy thereof, or of any part thereof, who shall carelessly lose or injure the same, or carelessly allow the same to be injured whilst in his keepings shall forfeit a sum not exceeding Fifty Pounds for every such offence.

39.
Penalty for destroying or falsifying Register Books 
And be it Enacted, That every Person who shall wilfully destroy, or injure, or cause to be destroyed or injured, any such Register Book or any part, or certified copy of any part thereof, or shall falsely make or counterfeit, or cause to be falsely made or counterfeited,, any part of any such Register Book, or certified copy thereof, or shall wilfully insert, or cause to be inserted in any Register Book, or certified copy thereof, any false Entry of any Birth, Death or Marriage, or shall, wilfully, give any false Certificate, or shall certify any writing to be; a copy or extract of any Register Book, knowing the, same Register to be false in any part thereof, or shall forge or counterfeit the Seal of the Register Office, shall be guilty of Felony, and being: lawfully convicted thereof, shall be liable to be transported beyond the seas for the term of his natural life, or for any number of years not less, than Fourteen.

40.
Accidental Errors may be corrected. 
Provided always, and be it Enacted, That no Person charged with the duty of registering any Birth, Death or Marriage, who shall discover any error to have been committed in the form or substance of any such Entry, shall be therefore liable to any of the penalties aforesaid if within One calendar Month next after the discovery of such error, in the presence of the parents of the child whose birth may have been so registered, or of the Parties married, or of two Persons attending upon any Person in his or her last illness, whose Death may have been so registered, or in case of the death or absence of the respective Parties aforesaid, then in the presence of the Superintendent Registrar, and of two other credible witnesses, who shall respectively attest the same, he shall correct the erroneous entry according to the truth of the case, by entry in the margin, without any alteration, of the original entry; and shall sign the marginal entry, and add thereunto the day of the month and year when such correction shall be made: Provided also, That in the case of a Marriage Register, he shall make the like marginal entry, attested in like manner, in the duplicate Marriage Register Book to be made by him as aforesaid; and in every case shall make the like alteration in the certified copy of the Register Book to be made by him as aforesaid, or in case such certified copy shall have been already made, provided he shall make and deliver in like manner a separate certified copy of the original erroneous entry, and of the marginal correction therein made.

41.
Recovery of Penalties 
And be it Enacted, That all Fines and Forfeitures by this Act imposed, shall be recovered before any two Justices of the Peace for the county, city or place where the offence shall have happened, upon the information or complaint of any Person; and if on the conviction of the Offender, either on his or her confession or by the oath of any one or more credible witness or witnesses, (which oath such Justices are hereby empowered to administer) such fines or forfeitures, with the costs of the conviction, shall not be forthwith paid, the same shall be levied by distress and sale of the goods and chattels of the Offender, by Warrant under the hand and seal of such Justices; and for want of distress such Justices may commit every such Offender to the Common Gaol or House of Correction for the county, city or place where the Offender shall be committed, without bail or mainprize, for any term not exceeding One calendar Month, unless such fine and forfeiture, and all reasonable charges attending the recovery thereof, shall be sooner paid; and one moiety of all such fines and forfeitures shall go to the Person who shall inform and sue or prosecute for the same, and the other moiety shall go to the Registrar General or to such other Person as the Commissioners shall appoint for the use of His Majesty; and no Distress made by virtue of this Act shall be deemed unlawful, nor shall the Party making the same be deemed a trespasser on account of any defect or want of form in the summons, conviction or warrant of distress, or on account of any irregularity which shall be afterwards committed by the Party distraining; but the Person or Persons aggrieved by such irregularity shall recover full satisfaction for the special damages sustained in an action on the case.

42.
Form of Conviction 
And be it Enacted, That any Justice of the Peace before whom any Person shall be convicted of any offence against this Act, may cause the Conviction to be drawn up according to the following Form; (that is to say)

"BE it Remembered, That on   the day of   in the year of our Lord   A. B. is convicted before us,   two of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the   of   for that he [here specify the Offence and the time when committed, as the case may be], contrary to an act of Parliament made and passed in the   year of the reign of King William the Fourth, intituled, [here insert the title of this Act]: And we, the said Justices, adjudge the said   for his said offence, to forfeit and pay the sum of   and also to pay the sum of   for costs; and in default of payment of the said sum forthwith, to be imprisoned in the   for the space of   unless the said sum shall be sooner paid. Given under our hands and seals the day and year first above written."

43.
Appeal. 
And be it Enacted, That in all cases where the sum adjudged to be paid Appeal. on any such summary conviction shall exceed Five Pounds, any Person convicted may appeal to the next Court of General or Quarter Sessions which shall be holden not sooner than Twelve Days after the day of such conviction for the county or other district wherein the cause of complaint shall have arisen: Provided, That such Person shall give to the Complainant a Notice in writing of such Appeal, and of the cause and matter thereof, within Three Days after such conviction, and Seven clear Days at the least before such Sessions, and shall also either remain in custody until the Sessions, or enter into a recognizance with Two sufficient Sureties before a Justice of the Peace, conditioned personally to appear at the said Sessions, and to try such Appeal, and to abide the Judgment of the Court thereupon, and to pay such costs as shall be by the Court awarded; and upon such Notice being given, and such Recognisances being entered into, the Court at such Sessions shall hear and determine the matter of the Appeal, and shall make such order therein, with or without costs to either Party, as to the Court shall seem meet; and in case of the dismissal of the Appeal or the affirmance of the Conviction, shall order and adjudge the Offender to be punished according to the conviction, and to pay such costs as shall be awarded, and shall, if necessary, issue Process for enforcing such Judgment.

44.
No Certiorari. 
And be it Enacted, That no such Conviction or Adjudication made on Appeal therefrom shall be quashed for want of form, or be removed by Certiorari or otherwise into any of His Majesty's superior Courts of Record; and no Warrant of Commitment shall be held void by reason of any defect therein, provided it be therein alleged that the Party has been convicted, and there be a valid conviction to sustain the same.

45.
Schedules may be amended by the advice of the Lords of thy Privy Council. 
And be it Enacted, That it shall be lawful for His Majesty, His heirs and successors, by the advice of His and their Privy Council, from time to time to direct such alterations and additions in and to the said Schedules as to Him and Them shall seem fit; and the Schedules so altered shall thenceforward, or from such future time as His Majesty, His heirs and successors shall so direct, be used instead of the Schedules respectively to this Act annexed, and shall be of the like effect as if the said Schedules had been originally annexed to this Act in such altered form.

46.
Registers of Baptisms and Burials may be kept as heretofore. 
Provided always, and be it Enacted, That nothing herein contained shall affect the Registration of Baptisms or Burials as now by law established, or the right of any officiating Minister to receive the Fees now usually paid for the performance or registration of any Baptism, Burial or Marriage.


This work is in the public domain worldwide because the work was created by a public body of the United Kingdom with Crown Status and commercially published before 1964.

See Crown copyright artistic works, Crown copyright non-artistic works and List of Public Bodies with Crown Status.