Bank Holiday Act of 1871
An avid supporter of his local cricket games, Sir John Lubbock, a member of Parliament and a social reformer, decided it was time for people to enjoy some extra time off, courtesy of the British government. In putting forward the Bank Holiday Act of 1871, citizens would now enjoy state-sanctioned holidays. The number of bank holidays varied by nation: England, Wales, and Northern Ireland had four, while Scotland had five. Most all were celebrated on Mondays. For many Victorians, the bank holidays offered opportunities for family get-togethers. Workers saw bank holidays as a welcome break from the daily grind of their labors. The August holiday in particular was very popular. As Lubbock wrote on August 7, 1871, “The day was splendid and the holiday very generally kept. Every seaside place near London, every railway and place of amusement was chock-full.” For many, bank holidays became as eagerly anticipated as other traditional holidays during the year.