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incontrovertible proof in England. See the following T. of births regis. in each quarter for the last 32 years. Graunt had remarked upon this fact more than two centuries ago.
The mothers of all the children that are born in England are between the ages of 15 and 55, and the greater part of them are between the ages of 20 and 40. Nine in ten husbands have children. In England the children born in wedlock to a marriage are 4'3. The birth-rate is sustained at 35 p. 1000 of the pop., while the death-rate is only 23 p. 1000. In France the marriages have been kept up, but the average births to a marriage have been reduced to 3'1; the birth-rate in the last return, 1853-68, was 26'15 p. 1000 of the pop. ; the death-rate 23'72 p. 1000-difference 2'63 p. 1000. The natural ann. increase was barely o'26 p.c.-Preliminary Report on Census, 1871.
The following is the proportion of children born to the inhabitants of various European countries:
between 1830-47 I child to 25'04 of the pop.
In the case of England in this table it is one living child. In the other countries stillborn are included.
Illegitimate Births.--In England the per-centage of illegitimate births to the total births had declined from 6.7 in 1847 to 59 in 1867; while the number of persons married to
every 100 of the pop. has increased from 1.586 in 1847 to 1672 in 1867. In Scotland, where many of the births regis. as illegitimate are legitmated by subsequent marriage of their mothers, the per-centage of children born out of wedlock to the total births was 8.5 in 1856, and 10'1 in 1866. We have already spoken of the proportion of males and females among illegitimate children.
In the year 1851 the illegitimate births regis. in Lond. were but 4 p.c. of the entire births. In Paris from 1845 to 1853 they were, according to the French census report, 32 out of every 100 births. It does not necessarily follow that Lond. is so much more moral than Paris-it may be that such births are much less frequently regis. in the former than in the latter city.-A. G. Finlaison, 1860.
During the 10 years, 1814-23, the proportion of illegitimate to legitimate births in Geneva was 12.75 p.c., or about 1 in 8. In the 10 years 1824-33, they were 7'57, or about 1 in 13; over the entire 20 years they were 10 (9'99) p. c. In France (as distinguished from Paris) during the period 1815 to 1833 the per-centage was 7:01. The proportions are always greater in towns than in country.
Statistical investigation has shown that there are many causes which may account for the differences that exist in the proportion of children born out of wedlock in various countries. England stands almost alone among the civilized nations of Europe in refusing legitimation, even at the wish of the parents, to children born out of wedlock. Again, the number of children born out of wedlock is never exactly known in any country. The following T. shows the proportion of illegitimate births as regis. in various European countries at the periods stated therein:
In the case of Prussia in the preceding T., the proportion is in relation to "100 births of living legitimate children."
The following remarks, by one of the most able German statistical writers, Dr. Chr. Bernoulli, sums nearly all that remains to be said regarding this unfortunate class :
The proportion of illegitimate children cannot serve as a standard of morality; nevertheless a remarkable frequency of such children is without doubt in many respects a great evil. The invariable fact that the mort. among the illegitimate is far greater than among the legitimate, and that many more of them are stillborn, shows clearly enough how much more unfavourable their position is from the first. Who can doubt that their bringing up is harder and much more difficult? that the existence of a class of men, bound to society by few or no family ties, is not a matter of indifference to the State? The great majority of foundlings are illegitimate, which of itself shows how little, as a general rule, the mothers can or will care for these children. It is beyond doubt that fewer illegitimate children grow up to maturity; that they get through the world with much more trouble than children born in wedlock; that more of them are poor; and that therefore more of them become criminals. Illegitimacy itself is an evil to a man; and the State should seek to diminish the number of these births, and carefully inquire to what circumstances any increase is to be ascribed.
Stillborn. We have seen from the preceding Tables that many of the Continental countries show the number of stillborn children—that is, of children born dead. No such returns are obtained in England or Scotland, and there are no means of ascertaining what are the numbers of such births, nor consequently their effect in these countries upon the relative proportions of illegitimate and legitimate children. It is sometimes alleged by Continental writers that their regis. would swell up the proportions of illegitimate births considerably. This is of course pure speculation. Yet we could wish that our returns were as complete as those of other countries.
In the year ending 30 June, 1868, there were regis. in Paris 4387 stillborn children. If the same proportion obtained in England, making allowance for difference of pop., they would amount to about 50,000 p.a., or nearly 1000 p. week.
Twin Births.-In the earlier obs. upon twin births many variations occurred. Thus Dr. Merriman quotes obs. which had been made by the following authorities, with the result placed opposite to each name:
Dr. Clarke, at the Dublin Lying-in Hospital
Dr. Bland, at the Westminster Dispensary
Professor Boer, at the Vienna Lying-in Hospital
Dr. Denman, at the British Hospital
Dr. Denman, at the Middlesex Hospital...
Mr. Burns, in his own practice
M. Ténon, Surgeon to the Salpetrière at Paris
But since our system of gen. regis. has been in force, the statistics have become of a far more systematic and trustworthy character.
During 1852, in 6036 cases women bore two living children at a birth; so that 12,072 of the children born that year were twins. In accordance with the doctrine of chances, the cases of twins in which both children are boys, or both are girls, should be equal in number to the cases in which the children are of different sexes; instead of which, in 3587 of the above cases the children were of the same sex, and in the remaining 2159 only of different sexes.-15th R. of Reg.-Gen.
The following is the proportion of twin births out of every million of deliveries, in various European countries, during the periods stated in each case, viz. :
Per Per Million. Cent. 1836-45 ... 11,982 ... 1'19 1847-49 12,222 ... I'22 1776-1855. 15,586 ... 1'55
Triple Births.-The instances of three children at a birth are so frequent as not to attract much attention, except that the Queen usually sends a bounty on such occasions; £1 for each child being we believe the ordinary rate.
During 1852, in 37 cases, women bore three living children at a birth, so that III of the children born that year were triplets. In 15 cases the triple births consisted of three boys; in 10 cases, of three girls; in 7 cases, of two boys and one girl; and in 5 cases, of two girls and one boy. The boys therefore preponderated; and the cases in which the children were all of the same sex occurred in undue numbers; for instead of being in the proportion of 15, 10, 7, and 5, the above numbers would have been in the proportion of 3, 3, and 1, had the theoretical prob. not been interfered with by a natural law tending to create children of the same sex at one birth.-15th R. of Reg.-Gen. The following is the proportion of triple births out of every million of deliveries in various European countries, during the periods stated in each case:
Mr. F. Hendriks remarks, with these statistics before him, "The phenomenon of three children at a birth has occurred much more frequently than might be imagined without reference to such statistics."
Quartets.-The following is the proportion of cases of four children at a birth out of every million of deliveries, in various European countries, during the periods stated in each case:
Quintets.-There are at least two cases on record of 5 at a birth, viz., a woman at Konigsberg, 3 Sept., 1784; and the wife of Nelson, a tailor, in Oxford Market, in Oct. 1800.
BIRTH, EVIDENCE OF.-By the French Civil Code it is required that a declaration shall be made of every birth to the proper officer, within 3 days, with production of the child. The "act of birth," setting forth the time and place of the event, sex and name of the child, and description of the father, is then immediately drawn up in the presence of two witnesses. It is entered on the register, and a copy kept by the parent (art. 55). In England the ordinary evidence of birth is the regis. [BIRTHS, REGISTRATION OF.] BIRTH INS.-It does not appear precisely when the class of ins. here spoken of was first practised. In the Civil Statutes of the Republic of Genoa, under date 1610, we find among the classes of ins. specially prohibited, are those "upon the delivery of women indicating clearly, as we think, that such ins. had been practised in that or some other State. It was probably early in the reign of Queen Anne, or about 1709, that the practice commenced in England. After a careful investigation we do not find any projects of an earlier date. That the ins. was of a speculative character, and that, perhaps as a consequence, it extended itself very rapidly, are two facts which will become apparent as we proceed.
The scheme of ins. was very simple. A number of persons joined in a mut. contributionship. They were to pay either a fixed contribution at stated periods, or a certain agreed sum on the occurrence of every birth of a child to a member, until the birth of
their own child. The idea being to secure to each subs., on the birth of a child, such a sum of money as would provide for its rearing and education. Large sums were often named, such as £1000, £500, £250, or more or less. But the payment of the amount, whatever it might be, was always made to depend upon the subs. being "full." If not full, only a proportionate sum was to be received.
After a little time various precautions came to be introduced-as that the child should not be born within a certain number of weeks after commencement of membership. That the child should live 24 hours, etc., etc. Out of this a system of BAPTISMAL INS. arose, which we shall speak of in detail under CHRISTENING INS. We propose to note the name and, as far as practicable, the date of estab. of each office, recording its peculiar features as clearly as the obscure character of many of the announcements will enable us to do so. It may be fairly assumed that there were a very great many more such offices than we can now trace, after a lapse of upwards of a century and a half.
The first birth ins. scheme we meet with is one known as the Substantial and Profitable Office "at an upholder's over against Tooley Church, in Southwark." It opened Four Subs. for the Ins. of Births-2 by claims, and 2 by dividends. This was in 1709.
It is necessary to explain at this point that the dividend plan was that under which the subscribers made periodic payments; and there were periodical divisions of the amount of subs. among the claims falling in between times of division. The claim plan was that in which the subs. bound themselves to pay up a certain amount to every claim falling in. On the 22 Nov., 1710, there was opened at the Pennsylvania Coffee House, near the Royal Exchange on Cornhill, Three Subs. for Ins. on the Birth of Children. "Being the first extant of this nature."
On the 24th Nov., 1710, it was announced: "An Office of Ins. on the Birth of Children is opened this day, at Mr. Gray's, Glazier, in Swan's-yard, over against Somerset House, in the Strand; the office is up one-pair of stairs."
On the 30th Nov. there was opened by the Profitable So. (afterwards called the Flower de Luce Ins. Office) two Books on Births; one for £500, the other for £250, on birth of a Child.
On 30 Nov. the Loyal United So., held at Bourn's Coffee House (afterwards at Spread Eagle Court), opened two Books for Birth Ins.; one 5s. monthly and Div. on Birth; the other 10s. monthly and Div.
On the 2nd Dec. there was opened an Office for Birth Ins. in Mansell St., Goodman's Fields. Policy, 2s. 6d. ; Contribution to each claim until the birth of own Child, 2s. 6d. ; Claim, £250 if So. full, or in proportion.
On the 5 Dec. the Perpetual Office of Lond. Stone put forward a scheme of Ins. on Births by Tickets, on which was payable 2s. p. quarter; but what the advantages were does not clearly appear.
On the same day the Society without Loss, in the Little Piazza, Covent Garden, issued the following scheme of Birth Ins. :
Any person may ins. on Births of own, or any other persons children. ros. p. week, dividend of £1000; 5s. p. week, div. of £500; 2s. 6d. p. week, div. of £250. Note.-If it should happen that but one claim should be made in any one week, which is very probable will sometimes be, the claimant may be entitled to £1750, if they have subs. to all three sos, for only £22 155., which is the utmost charge any one can be at for the longest time in these proposals; so that this great advantage should encourage all that intend to subs. to do it forthwith, to prevent other ins. on them, which is so commonly done.
On the same day there was announced from the Bunch of Grapes, near Leg Tavern, Fleet St., an Office for Ins. on Births.
On the 8 Dec. the Undoubted and Profitable So., at King's Head Court, opened two Books on Births-£500 and £250.
On the 9th Dec. the Honourable and Voluntary So. announced the opening of an Office for Ins. on Births by Weekly Dividend, at 10s., 5s., or 2s. 6d. p. week.
On the same day the Union (No. 2) opened Three New Subs. on Births, on Claim System, viz., 5., 5s., and £500; 2s. 6d., 2s. 6d., and £250; Is., Is., and £100.
On the 11 Dec. was opened at the Flying Horse, Pennington St., Three Offices of Ins. on Births. "One of 'em upon Claims; other two upon Monthly Dividends."
On the 12 Dec. there were opened at the White Lyon, King St., near Guildhall, 3 new Subs. on Births, on the claim system, viz., 5s. and 5s. with £500; 2s. 6d. and 2s. 6d. with £250; and 25. and Is. with £100.
On the 14 Dec. there were opened at the Pare's Coffee House, Broad St., Ratcliffe, 2 Societies on Births, 1100 members each. One of 2s. 6d and one of 55. a claim; and same for policy and entrance. The Subs. carried on here became afterwards known as Advantageous So.
On the same day was announced by the Hand and Heart So., East Harding St., Books for payment of £1000, £500, or £250, on Births of Children, by means of fixed weekly contributions.
On the 16 Dec. the Faithful Office, at Widow Pratt's Coffee House, Cateaton St., announced the following system of Birth Ins. Any Insurer may enter upon 6 weeks, 2 months, and so on to 5 months, but no more, by which method offices may easily subsist, and be regularly carried on from year to year.”
On the same day there were three Subs. opened at Charles St., near Soho Square, with the following announcement:
Whereas, there has been of late several societies erected in and near the Cities of Lond. and Westminster for advancing sums of money on the marriages of persons of both sexes, of which several have had the happy experience; therefore that persons already in that state may not be unprovided with a thing of the same kind, there were three offices opened on Saturday, 16 inst., on the Births of Children.
On the 21 Dec. the Flower de Luce Ins. Office opened two new books for Ins. a weekly Dividend: one of 1000 if full, the other of £500 if full, on the Birth of a Child that
shall live 24 hours.
And all after, 9 weeks, and so to continue. "The 1st subs. can't pay above 2 or 3 weeks' contribution; the last, not above 9, with many other advantages.'
On the same day the Secure So., at the Hand and Glove, opened 2 Books for Birth Ins. for 2 months, by a weekly Div. of £500 and £200. "£1100 security already given to Trustees."
On the same day there was opened by the Union So., at the Black Lyon, Drury Lane, 3 new books for Birth Ins. by Dividends. First, 5s., 10s., and £1000; 2nd, half of this; 3rd, half of second-payments after 23 Feb.
On the same day, by the Original Ins. Office (originally held at Mr. Gray's, Glazier, Swan Yard), there were opened two Books for Ins. of Births, for 2000 persons each. One 35., 35., and £300. The other 25., Is. 6d., and £150, or in proportion. The Claims to be made in 2 months.
On the 22 Dec. the True British Ins. Office, at the Vine, St. Michael, Crooked Lane, announced the Subs. on Births.
On the same day the Profitable and Most Equitable Ins. Office opened 3 Books for Birth Ins. Claims 8 weeks.
Opened on Monday, 1 Jan., 1711, by the Original Loyal So., sign of City of Chichester, near Spur Inn, Southwark, a Subs. for £500 Div. on Births for 6 weeks from date of their policies.
On the 2nd Jan. the Loyal United So. announced two Subs. for Birth Ins. : one Is. p. claim; the other 2s. 6d. "These Subs. are in a method more equal and reasonable than any other, being peculiar only to the office."
On 4 Jan. there was opened, at the Golden Lion, Drury Lane, an Office for Births at 2 months: 55., 55., and Claim £500 if full.
On the same day the United Co., at Green Lamp, Downing St., Westminster, announced: "Now erected, consisting of several substantial Directors, 3000 security to be given3 Several Societies on Births so arranged as to suit the abilities of all sorts of persons."
On the 6 Jan. there was opened at the Noble and Honest So., at the Vine, Newgate St., 2 Offices on Births, for one month, being Dividends for £1000 and £500.
On the 9th Jan. there was opened by the Friendly So., at the Fish Market, Bloomsbury, 2 Subs. for Births. "All persons who come to subs. shall not be prevented in their due course by favor of any particular Friend."
On the same day there was opened at Smith's Office, at the Lock and Golden Key, Jermyn St., 3 Subs. on Births; one 5s., other 2s. 6d., other Is., per week; weekly Div. "Ist 50 Ins. to be one month before they are born."
On the 11 Jan. the Grand Substantial Office, held at the Blue Ball, St. Clement's Lane, issued the following notice:
Observe the Books are now open and subs. continued to be taken with extraordinary success. There are about 20,000 entries now actually upon the books and daily increasing, to the satisfaction of all persons concerned; where every subs. may at their entrance be ascertained of their advantage, or the time of receiving. On Monday next will be paid off only on the 18. book (belonging to the old 15s. set) to No. 400; on the new set to No. 175; on the 10s. to No. 175; and on Tuesday on the Books and all claims (except re-entries) made before the 24th Nov. on the old birth Book. Note.-Blank Lottery Tickets, etc., will be discounted as money in this office.
On the 13 Jan., at the Three Crowns, next Durham Yard, 3 Books on Births-weekly Div. "Ist 200 may claim within 6 weeks from date of their policy.'
On the 16 Jan. The Just Proposers, at the Haberdashers, St. Martin's Church Yard, St. Martin's Lane, opened a Subs. for Births by Claims and Div., 6 weeks. "No one to pay but for policy and stamps till after the 1st March next."
On same day, opened at The Carved Porter, near Jack's Coffee House, King St., on Marriages, Births, and Servants, by Div. From 5 March next, for Marriages and Births, Payments to continue until Insurer makes claim; "which will happen in few days after the first payment to those that enter speedily."
On the 18 Jan., opened at Mr. Janeway's, Dogwell Court, Fleet St., "Several Offices for Ins. on Births."
On 20 Jan., Original Loyal So. opened 2 Subs. on Births. Claims £150 and £5— 4 weeks.