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The following text comes from the HathiTrust online version of the 1891 The Encyclopaedia Britannica in the New York Public Library. Using ABBY OCR software I produced the following text from HathiTrust page images. Paragraphs have been added for easier reading. — George P. Landow

The Britannica article on religion in England and Wales begins “There is a singular want of authentic religious statistics in England,” for unlike most European countries the government never expended much effort to discover the state of religious belief. The article mentions the famous 1851 census that found 2,971,258 people attended Church of England services, 249,389 Roman Catholic ones, and 3,135,575 “All other religious bodies” — but then it points out that “church attendance registered” actually accounted for only one third of the country's population. Having no other information, the author used the “marriage returns” 1837-1886 and drew the conclusion that although the great majority of the population still adhere to the Church of England, the probability seems that it will be otherwise in one or two generations” (VIII, 223). A following list of 122 denominations drawn from the 1877 report of the Registrar General shows the many rivals to the established church, though it is not clear how accurate the list might be since it includes Mormons and Latter Day Saints as two separate groups.

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The Encyclopaedia Britannica. Dictionary of Arts, Sciences. and General Literature. 9th ed. (American Reprint). Vol. VIII. Philadelphia: Maxwell Sommerville, 1894. HathiTrust online version of a copy in the New York Public Library. Web. 25 August 2022.

Last modified 24 August 2022