HAYTER, Henry Heylyn (1821-1895)

HAYTER, Henry Heylyn (1821-1895)
son of Henry Hayter, was born at Edenvale, Wiltshire, England, in October 1821. He was educated at the Charterhouse and at Paris, and came to Victoria in December 1852. He joined the Victorian registrar-general's department in 1857 and gave particular attention to the statistics of the colony. He was appointed secretary to a royal commission to inquire into the working of the public service of Victoria in 1870, and in May 1874 he was appointed government statist in charge of a separate department. In 1875 a conference of Australian statisticians met at Hobart, and considered the establishment of uniform methods of dealing with official statistics. In most cases it was decided to adopt those used by Hayter. In 1879 he went to England as secretary to the Berry (q.v.) and Pearson (q.v.) mission to London, and twice gave evidence to a committee of the house of commons which was considering the re-organizing of the system of collecting British statistics. In 1888 Hayter was president of the section dealing with economic and social science and statistics at the first meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, and in his presidential address pointed out the necessity for more complete uniformity of methods in the different colonies. He had conducted the census in Victoria in 1871 and 1881, and had found that a departure by any one colony from the established practice of the others made it quite impossible to deal with some statistics for the whole of Australia. He had intended retiring in 1890 but at the request of the government conducted the 1891 census. He died at Melbourne on 23 March 1895. He married in 1855 Susan, daughter of William Dodd, who survived him with one son. He was created C.M.G. in 1882.
Hayter was the author of Notes of a Tour in New Zealand (1874), Notes on the Colony of Victoria (1875), A Handbook to the Colony of Victoria (1884), and various statistical pamphlets. He also published in verse Carboona, A Chapter from the Early History of Victoria (1885), and My Christmas Adventure, Carboona, and other Poems (1887), but these have no value as poetry. His work as government statistician of Victoria was of the highest value. In 1874 he published The Victorian Year-Book for 1873, the first of a series of 20 annual volumes. In these books Hayter treated statistics so that they could be understood and read with interest by the ordinary man. His methods had much effect throughout Australia and drew commendations from many parts of the world.
Men of the Time in Australia, 1878; D. Blair, Cyclopedia of Australasia; The Argus, Melbourne, 25 March 1895; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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