Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Compton Census of 1676

The Compton Census was an ecclesiatical census taken in 1676 and named after Henry Compton, the Bishop of London. The incumbents of the parish were recorded as either Conformists, Papists or Nonconformists. In many cases the number of Conformists may have been the total population of the parish over 16. What it could not account for is Nonconformists who also conformed! (ie went to the parish church as well as to conventicles). It covered about 70% of the country. Brown says it suggested that 5% were Dissenters and 1% Romanists (p 31). Being an ecclesiatical census it collected by ecclesiastical parishes which aggregated into arch-deaconeries and dioceses rather than the civil hundreds and ancient counties.

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