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Wigtownshire - 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 Wigtownshire are as follows:

Wigtownshire. Population: 43389

  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 18 10339 2957 370 186 15 4 1 9329 1404 1175
     Reformed Presbyterian Church 4 1521 416 325 250 2 1 1 1024 710 314
     United Presbyterian Church 9 3952 2004 11122 296 9 5 2 3952 2202 670
     Free Church 14 5612 2627 1389 1125 11 7 2 4638 2672 1068
  Episcopal Church 1   83   111 1   1      
  Independent or Congregationalists 1 300 52   59 1   1 300   300
Other Christian Churches                      
  Roman Catholics 3 536 760     3     536    
                         
Totals   50 22293 8899 3206 2027 42 17 8 19779 7078 3527

The number of sittings was not returned for 6 of the above 50 places of worship. Of these, 2 belong to the Established Church, 1to the United Presbyterian Church, 1 to the Free Church, 1 to the Episcopal Church, and 1 to the Roman Catholics.

The number of attendants is not returned for 6 of the above 50 places of worship. Of these, 4 belong to the Established Church, and 2 to the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Of the 42 places open in the morning, 6 did not return the number of their sittings: Established Church 2, United Presbyterian Church 1, Free Church 1, Episcopal 1, Roman Catholics 1. In the afternoon, 2 of the 17 did not return the number of their sittings: United Presbyterian Church 1, Free Church 1. In the evening, 1 of the 8 did not return the number of sittings: Episcopal 1.

Returns are altogether missing (i.e. 'reported to the Census Office as existing, but for which no Returns were received') for the following 2 places of worship: 1 United Presbyterian Church and 1 Roman Catholic.

Figures for the Burghs are as follows:

Stranraer (Royal Burgh): Population of Parish 3877, Population of Burgh 3877:

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 84 1000 1084 200 300  
Reformed Presbyterian Church 1 30 680 710 309 325  
United Presbyterian Church 3  122 1010 1792 [sic] 635 735  
Free Church 1 28 700 728 204 325 700
Roman Catholic Church 1       200    
Total 7 264 3390 4314 1638 1685 700
The number of sittings is not returned for one place of worship (belonging to the Established Church) out of the above seven places.

Wigtown (Parliamentary Burgh): Population of Parish 2824, Population of Burgh 2121:

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 1 600    600 303    
United Presbyterian Church 1 300   330 630 360    
Free Church 1 40 360  400 220    
Total 3 940 690 1630 883    

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