Fife - Religious Worship, 1851

A census of Religious Worship and Education was taken in 1851 at the same time as the census of population. A summary of the results was published in a British Parliamentary Paper in 1854.

This information tells us the number of different churches and the number of worshipers on Sunday March 30th, 1851.

Apart from the burghs, figures for individual towns, parishes or congregations were not published in this summary report.

The whole report has been made available by the University of Essex and is available online at histpop.

The tables for Religious Worship for Fife are as follows:

Fife. Population: 153546

  Number of Places of Worship and Sittings Number of Attendants at Public Worship on Sunday March 30 1851 Number of places Open for Worship at each period of the day on Sunday March 30 1851, and number of Sittings thus available
Places of Worship Open Sittings
Places of Worship Sittings Morning Afternoon Evening Morning Afternoon Evening Morning Afternoon Evening
Protestant Churches                      
  Presbyterian                      
     Established Church 69 39578 21274 16953 1131 62 44 7 37863 30082 1995
     Reformed Presbyterian Church 1 300 210 230   1 1   300 300  
     Original Secession Church 2 800 418 380   2 2   800 800  
     United Presbyterian Church 43 22027 12728 14167 1530 42 40 5 22027 21237 2118
     Free Church 45 21022 13083 12384 1133 44 36 5 20879 18372 2224
  Episcopal Church 6 1123 419 382   5 4   1043 903  
  Independent or Congregationalists 10 2766 848 1008 811 10 9 5 2766 2716 1520
  Baptists 8 2000 735 1025 90 8 8 1 2000 2000 250
  Wesleyan Methodists - Original Connexion 1   28 42 69 1 1 1      
  New Church 1 80   13     1     80  
  Campbellites or Rowites 1 80 11 14   1 1   80 80  
  Evangelical Union 1   83 105   1 1        
  Isolated Congregations 5 1220 150 214 300 4 4 1 770 770 450
Other Christian Churches                      
  Roman Catholics 2 300 450     1     300    
  Catholic and Apostolic Church 1   12 12   1 1        
  Latter Day Saints or Mormons 3 81 173 39 39 3 1 1 81    
                         
Totals   199 91377 50622 46968 5103 186 154 26 88909 77340 8557

The number of sittings was not returned for 90 of the above 199 places of worship. Of these, 8 belong to the Established Church, 1 to the Original Secession Church, 2 to the United Presbyterian Church, 2 to the Free Church, 1 to the Independents, 1 to the Wesleyan Original Connexion, 1 to the Evangelical Union, 1 to the Roman Catholics, 1 to the Catholic and Apostolic Church, and 2 to the Latter Day Saints.

The number of attendants is not returned for 8 of the above 199 places of worship. Of these, 5 belong to the Established Church, 1 to the United Presbyterian Church, 1 to the Episcopal Church, and 1 to the Roman Catholics.

Of the 186 places open in the morning, 19 did not return the number of their sittings: Established Church 8, Original Secession 1, United Presbyterian Church 1, Free Church 2, Independents 1, Wesleyans 1, Evangelical Union 1, Roman Catholics 1, Catholic and Apostolic Church 1, Latter Day Saints 2. In the afternoon, 13 did not return the number of their sittings: Established Church 4, Original Secession 1, United Presbyterian Church 1, Free Church 2, Independents 1, Wesleyans 1, Evangelical Union 1, Catholic and Apostolic Church 1, Latter Day Saints 1. In the evening, 5 did not return the number of sittings: Established Church 2, United Presbyterian Church 1, Wesleyans 1, Latter Day Saints 1.

Returns are altogether missing (i.e. 'reported to the Census Office as existing, but for which no Returns were received') for the following 20 churches: Established Church 8, United Presbyterian Church 2, Free Church 4, Episcopal Church 1, Independents 2, Baptists 1, Isolated Congregation 1, Roman Catholics 1.


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Figures for the Burghs are as follows:

Burntisland (Parliamentary Burgh): Population of Parish 3158, Population of Burgh 2724:

Religious Denomination Number of Places of Worship Number of Sittings Number of Attendants at Public Worship on Sunday March 30 1851 (including Sunday Scholars)
Free Appropriated Total Morning Afternoon Evening
Established Church 1   755 755 310 324 264
United Presbyterian Church 1     598 396 430 200
Free Church 1 750   750 340 370  
Episcopal Church 1 123   123 40 83  
Total 4 873 755 2226 1086 1207 464

Cupar (Parliamentary Burgh): Population of Parish 7127, Population of Burgh 5686:

Religious Denomination Number of Places of Worship Number of Sittings Number of Attendants at Public Worship on Sunday March 30 1851 (including Sunday Scholars)
Free Appropriated Total Morning Afternoon Evening
Established Church 3 359 1861 3300 1300 1450 70 [sic]
United Presbyterian Church 3 18 482 1100 700 826 68 [sic]
Free Church 1   1050 1050 850 950  
Episcopal Church 1 20 120 140 108    
Baptists 1 700   700 250 370  
Isolated Congregations 1 310   310 83 122  
Total 10 1407 3513 6600 3291 3718 750 [sic]
The number of sittings was not returned for 1 of the United Presbyterian Churches.
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Dunfermline (Parliamentary Burgh): Population of Parish 21687, Population of Burgh 13836:

Religious Denomination Number of Places of Worship Number of Sittings Number of Attendants at Public Worship on Sunday March 30 1851 (including Sunday Scholars)
Free Appropriated Total Morning Afternoon Evening
Established Church 1     2000 500 730  
United Presbyterian Church 5 134 2980 4714 2344 2730  
Free Church 3   2062 2062 1323 1358 160
Independents or Congregationalists 1 470 320 790 135 212  
Baptists 1 120   120 75 82  
New Church 1 80   80   13  
Evangelical Union 1       83 105  
Isolated Congregations 1     450     300
Roman Catholics 1       450    
Catholic and Apostolic Church 1       12 12  
Latter Day Saints or Mormons 1       50    
Total 17 804 5362 10216 4972 5242 460
The number of sittings was not returned for 4 of the above churches: Evangelical Union 1, Roman Catholics 1, Catholic and Apostolic Church 1, Latter Day Saints 1.
Returns are altogether wanting for 2 other Established Churches.

Dysart (Parliamentary Burgh): Population of Parish 8739, Population of Burgh 8041:

Religious Denomination Number of Places of Worship Number of Sittings Number of Attendants at Public Worship on Sunday March 30 1851 (including Sunday Scholars)
Free Appropriated Total Morning Afternoon Evening
Established Church 2 200 770 2770 1088 1140  
Original Secession Church 1 550 250 800 362 330  
United Presbyterian Church 1     420 285 336  
Free Church 2 450   1250 759 955  
Latter Day Saints or Mormons 1 81   81 84    
Total 7 1281 1020 5321 2578 2761 0
Returns are altogether wanting for 2 other churches: Established Church 1, United Presbyterian Church 1.
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Kirkcaldy (Parliamentary Burgh): Population of Parishes 13779, Population of Burgh 10475:

Religious Denomination Number of Places of Worship Number of Sittings Number of Attendants at Public Worship on Sunday March 30 1851 (including Sunday Scholars)
Free Appropriated Total Morning Afternoon Evening
Established Church 3 324 2005 2329 1378 1467  
United Presbyterian Church 3 50 500 2370 1140 1307  
Free Church 4 2190   2190 1450 1668  
Episcopal Church 1 120 180 300 80 85  
Independents or Congregationalists 1 480   480 130 161 159
Baptists 2 360   360 169 222  
Isolated Congregations 2 60   210 57 74  
Roman Catholics 1 300   300      
Total 17 3884 2685 8539 4404 4984 159
The number of sittings was not returned for 1 of the Free Churches.

St Andrews (Parliamentary Burgh): Population of Parish 7327, Population of Burgh 5107:

Religious Denomination Number of Places of Worship Number of Sittings Number of Attendants at Public Worship on Sunday March 30 1851 (including Sunday Scholars)
Free Appropriated Total Morning Afternoon Evening
Established Church 6 486 970 1456 2085 1696 350
United Presbyterian Church 1   380 380 300 350  
Free Church 2 52 812 1144 766 833  
Episcopal Church 2 184 296 480 191 214  
Independents or Congregationalists 1     360 143 195 173
Baptists 1 250   250 68 71 90
Total 13 972 2458 4070 3553 3359 613
The number of sittings was not returned for 2 of the Established Churches.

Source: Census of Great Britain, 1851, Religious worship and education. Scotland. Report and tables. British Parliamentary Papers 1854 LIX (1764).

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