1871: 34 Victoria c.17: Bank Holidays Act.

1871: 34 Victoria c.17: An Act to make provision for Bank Holidays, and respecting obligations to make payments and do other acts on such Bank Holidays.

[26th May 1871.]

WHEREAS it is expedient to make provision for rendering the day after Christmas day, and also certain other days, bank holidays, and for enabling bank holidays to be appointed by royal proclamation:

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

[Bills due on bank holidays to be payable on the following day.]

1. After the passing of this Act, the several days in the schedule to this Act mentioned (and which days are in this Act herein-after referred to as bank holidays) shall be kept as close holidays in all banks in England and Ireland and Scotland respectively, and all bills of exchange and promissory notes which are due and payable on any such bank holiday shall be payable, and in case of nonpayment may be noted and protested, on the next following day, and not on such bank holiday; and any such noting or protest shall be as valid as if made on the day on which the bill or note was made due and payable; and for all the purposes of this Act the day next following a bank holiday shall mean the next following day on which a bill of exchange may be lawfully noted or protested.

[Provision as to notice of dishonour and presentation for honour.]

2. When the day on which any notice of dishonour of an unpaid bill of exchange or promissory note should be given, or when the day on which a bill of exchange or promissory note should be presented or received for acceptance, or accepted or forwarded to any referee or referees, is a bank holiday, such notice of dishonour shall be given and such bill of exchange or promissory note shall be presented or forwarded on the day next following such bank holiday.

[As to any payments on bank holidays.]

3. No person shall be compellable to make any payment or to do any act upon such bank holidays which he would not be compellable to do or make on Christmas Day or Good Friday; and the obligation to make such payment and do such act shall apply to the day following such bank holiday; and the making of such payment and doing such act on such following day shall be equivalent to payment of the money or performance of the act on the holiday.

[Appointment of special bank holidays by royal proclamation.]

4. It shall be lawful for Her Majesty, from time to time, as to Her Majesty may seem fit, by proclamation, in the manner in which solemn fasts or days of public thanksgiving may be appointed, to appoint a special day to be observed as a bank holiday, either throughout the United Kingdom or in any part thereof, or in any county, city, borough, or district therein, and any day so appointed shall be kept as a close holiday in all banks within the locality mentioned in such proclamation, and shall, as regards bills of exchange and promissory notes payable in such locality, be deemed to be a bank holiday for all the purposes of this Act.

[Day appointed for bank holiday may be altered by Order in Council.]

5. It shall be lawful for Her Majesty in like manner, from time to time, when it is made to appear to Her Majesty in Council in any special case that in any year it is inexpedient that a day by this Act appointed for a bank holiday should be a bank holiday, to declare that such day shall not in such year be a bank holiday, and to appoint such other day as to Her Majesty in Council may seem fit to be a bank holiday instead of such day, and thereupon the day so appointed shall in such year be substituted for the day so appointed by this Act.

[Exercise of powers conferred by sections 4 and 5 in Ireland by Lord Lieutenant.]

6. The powers conferred by sections three and four of this Act on Her Majesty may be exercised in Ireland, so far as relates to that part of the United Kingdom, by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in Council.

[Short title.]

7. This Act may be cited for all purposes as “The Bank Holidays Act, 1871.


Bank Holidays in England and Ireland.

Easter Monday.

The Monday in Whitsun week.

The first Monday in August.

The twenty-sixth day of December, if a week day.

Bank Holidays in Scotland.

New Year’s Day.

Christmas Day.

If either of the above days falls on a Sunday the next following Monday shall be a bank holiday.

Good Friday.

The first Monday of May.

The first Monday of August.

Source: Public General Statutes, 1871.

Further reading: Wikipedia.