Bank Holidays Act 1871

The Bank Holidays Act 1871 established public holidays (known as bank holidays) in addition to those customarily recognised in the United Kingdom.

The Bank Holidays Act 1871[1]
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act to make provision for Bank Holidays, and respecting obligations to make payments and do other acts on such Bank Holidays.[2]
Citation34 & 35 Vict c 17
Introduced bySir John Lubbock [3] (Commons)
Territorial extentUnited Kingdom
Repealed16 December 1971
Other legislation
Repealed byBanking and Financial Dealings Act 1971
Status: Repealed

The Act designated four bank holidays in England, Wales and Ireland (Easter Monday; Whit Monday; First Monday in August; 26 December if a weekday) and five in Scotland (New Year's Day (or the next day if a Sunday); Good Friday; First Monday in May; First Monday in August; and Christmas Day (or the next day if a Sunday)).[4][5]

In England, Wales and Ireland, Good Friday and Christmas Day were considered traditional days of rest (as were Sundays) and therefore it was felt unnecessary to include them in the Act; especially as the Act extended the existing law relating to those days to the new bank holidays.

The Act was repealed in 1971 and superseded by the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which remains in force.


  1. ^ This short title was conferred on this Act by section 7 of this Act.
  2. ^ Parliamentary Archives (26 December 2020). Happy Boxing Day! Here is the original Bank Holidays Act from 1871 which introduced the first four bank holidays including the August Bank Holiday and Boxing Day. #TowerXmas (Image in tweet (via Twitter)). Archived from the original on 26 December 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Bank Holidays Bill". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 204. Parliament of the United Kingdom: House of Commons. 21 February 1871. col. 661–662.
  4. ^ "Bank holidays and British Summer Time : Directgov - Government, citizens and rights". 29 April 2011. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved November 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Bank Holiday On The Last Monday In August". The Times Digital Archive. 5 Mar 1964. Retrieved November 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

"History of Bank & Public Holidays". Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform. Archived from the original on 2008-12-07. Retrieved 14 December 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)