Sunday, 27 March 2011

Stop Press! A Woman's Age in the Census - 15th April 1891

Today is census day in Britain, so I had to share this article I came across at my local archive centre.  It is from "The Kelso Chronicle" of 15th April 1891.

"As a rule, men do not mind their real age being known and therefore they can scarcely appreciate what an awful ordeal the recent Census was for certain members of the softer sex. 

Girls in their teens and married women do not mind it much.  Young servant girls overrate their ages, with a tendency in the opposite direction once they pass five and twenty.

The women, however who are mostly averse to telling their ages are widows who hope to marry again, and maidens who have passed the first bloom of womenhood, who are, in fact, what is called in polite parlance "old young ladies". 


If their consciences are tough, when the Bogie Man,   that is the Census Man, comes round, they boldly lop off ten or fifteen years. 

 If their concsciences are tender - a rare occurence - they will quit the neighbourhood where they are known and hide themselves in some big town.  

The worst of all these precautions is thet they are of little use if the proverb be true that " a man is as old as the feels, but a womwn is as old as she looks". 

It must have been written by a man! 

If you share my liking for old newspapers, have a look at other stories in my "Stop Press series - it does seem to be developing a feminine theme.


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