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SKETCH OF DR. WILLIAM FARR.

plicability and permanent value of which became every year more evident. Of these reports, as a whole, the registrar-general says in his report for 1879: "To his scientific researches and reports I attribute any reputation that may have accrued to the General Register Office of England and Wales from the time he accepted office in this department." Besides these letters, many special and supplementary reports were contributed by Dr. Farr to the publications issued by the registrar-general. Among them were the "English Life Tables," the first, for 1841, based upon the deaths in all of England and Wales for that year; and the second, for 1844, on the mortality of the seven preceding years; while the third, for 1854, on the seventeen preceding years, was published as a distinct work, prepared by direction of the Government for use as the basis of the post-office insurance system. In 1852 he published a report on the cholera epidemic of 1848-'49; and, in connection with the twenty-ninth annual report of his chief, a report on the cholera epidemic of 1866. Of special value also were his decennial reports on the English mortality statistics of the three decades, 1841-'50, 1851-'60, and 1861-'70, the last of which, says the "Lancet," "especially is a mine of statistical wealth, not only as a treasury of well-arranged and analyzed facts, but as suggestive of fruitful fields for future investigation."

Dr. Farr was appointed an assistant commissioner under the direction of the registrar-general for taking the censuses of 1851, 1861, and 1871; did valuable service in statistically organizing and superintending each of the enumerations, and wrote the greater part of each of the three reports. He was one of the earliest members of the Statistical Society, and was for forty-two years a member of its council, its treasurer for twelve years, and its president in 1871 and 1872. His papers to this society have been pronounced by Mr. Leoni Levi, also an eminent statistician, "replete with facts, rich with mathematical lore, and remarkable for close reasoning," but never dry; and his work was invariably marked by a distinct and due regard to practical results. He was an early and valued supporter of the British Association, the British Medical Association, and the Social Science Association, in the proceedings of all of which bodies papers by him may be found, and was largely instrumental in the formation of the Section of Statistics and Economical Science in the British Association.

Dr. Farr served the state on a large number of royal commissions and parliamentary committees on sanitary and other subjects, in the work of which his special attainments, his familiarity with statistics relating to them, and his mathematical skill, made his assistance desirable, and sometimes indispensable. Among the special subjects with which he was thus at one time or another engaged, were army medical statistics, the health of the army in India, the condition of mines in Great Britain, water-supply, public health, and police super-