Hayter, Henry Heylyn (DNB01)

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HAYTER, HENRY HEYLYN (1821–1895), statistician, the son of Henry Hayter of Eden Vale, Wiltshire, the brother of Sir William Goodenough Hayter [q. v.], and of Eliza Jane, daughter and coheiress of John Heylyn of Islington, was born at Eden Yale on 28 Oct. 1821, and educated first at Paris and afterwards at the Charterhouse. On leaving school he became a midshipman in the merchant service, and made several voyages, first on Wigram's ships, later on the West India mail packets. In 1852 he emigrated to Victoria. In 1857 he was appointed to the department of the registrar-general, and soon rose to be the head of the statistical branch, where he began steadily to make a well-deserved reputation. In 1870 he was appointed secretary to the royal commission to inquire into the working of the public service of Victoria. He super-intended all the arrangements for the census of 1871. In 1872, when on leave of absence in New Zealand, he was requested by the government of that colony to report upon the working of their registrar-general's department.

In May 1874 Hayter's department was constituted a separate office, and he became government statist. In this position he did the work for which his name will be remembered: he brought the annual returns of statistics of the colony of Victoria into an elaborate and perfect shape, which formed a model for the whole of the Australian colonies. At a conference held in Tasmania in 1875, at which he represented Victoria, his model was adopted as the basis of a uniform system of official statistics. Consequently there is probably no country in the world that can produce an annual series of statistics of cultivation, production, industry, and exchange so perfect as those of the Australian colonies. In 1879, when Hayter came to England as secretary to Sir Graham Berry's 'embassy' to the imperial government for the reform of the constitution of Victoria, he was invited to give evidence before the House of Commons' committee on statistics. His census of 1881 for Victoria was considered a masterly effort of improvement on previous returns, and when, in 1890, he had decided to retire from his office, he was specially asked to remain, in order to represent Victoria at the inter-colonial conference on methods of census which was held at Hobart, Tasmania, in that year (of which he was elected president), and also to superintend the arrangements for the census of 1891. He accordingly continued to hold his appointment till his death, which took place at his residence, Armadale, near Melbourne, on 23 March 1895, just before his retirement on pension was completed.

Hayter, who was a corresponding member of various learned societies, was awarded medals at exhibitions at Melbourne, Amsterdam, Calcutta, at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in 1886, and at Paris in 1889. He was created C.M.G. in 1882, an officer of the French order of public instruction the same year, and a chevalier of the order of the Crown of Italy in 1884.

Hayter married in 1855 Susan, daughter of William Dodd of Porchester Terrace, London, who, with one son, the only one left of a large family, survived him.

Hayter, besides being the originator of the 'Victorian Year-book,' was the author of several pamphlets such as 'Notes of a Tour in New Zealand,' 'Notes on the Colony of Victoria ' (1875; 2nd edit. 1876), 'Handbook to the Colony of Victoria' (1884; 2nd edit. 1885). He also published:

  1. 'School History of Victoria.'
  2. 'School Geography of Victoria.'
  3. 'Carboona, a Chapter from the Early History of Victoria '(in verse), reprinted from the ' Victorian Review,' 1885.
  4. 'My Christmas Adventure, and other Poems,' 1857.

[Mennell's Dict. of Australian Biogr.; The Australian, 30 March 1895; Catalogues Col. Inst. and Col. Office Libr.; private information.]

C. A. H.