First Bank Holiday


History on 1st August

First Bank Holiday

Maidsone, Kent The 1st of August 1871 AD

For too many workers in Victorian Britain leisure was restricted to Sundays (and not always then), Christmas Day, and Good Friday, though Wakes Weeks in some areas provided them with longer breaks. Up until 1834 the Bank of England listed more than 30 saints’ days and religious holidays when they would close; but after that only four – Good Friday, May 1, November 1 and Christmas Day remained. The MP for Maidstone, John Lubbock, campaigned for more to be added, to give bank and shop workers more time off: the end product was that four days in England, Wales and Ireland became bank holidays; five in Scotland where previously Good Friday had not been given.
Legend has it that Lubbock wanted English bank workers to be able to attend and even play in village cricket matches, though the dates made bank holidays would suggest this is stretching the truth, given they were Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August, and Boxing Day, only two in the cricket season. As it seems to rain every August Bank Holiday, Lubbock’s wish that more cricket be played by those normally shut up in banks has had mixed results at best.

More famous dates here

7537 views since 16th July 2010

Brit Quote:
To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction. - Isaac Newton
More Quotes

On this day:
Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine Marry - 1152, Bram Stoker Publishes Dracula - 1897, Mods and Rockers Battle - 1964, First Briton in space - 1991
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages