top of page

Match Tax 150

On 24th April 2021, we marked 150 years since the Match Tax Protest with our online #StartsWithASpark campaign. Many of you joined in by posting selfies with a single lit match. Take a look at the image and soundbite galleries . . . .



In 1871, the Bryant and May workers protested against a halfpenny tax per box on the sale of matches that was proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This led to massive protests by match workers, supported by their employer, through fears this would drive down the sale of matches. On Sunday 23rd April, a large protest meeting was held in Victoria Park, with speeches denouncing the tax as a “means to ruin the poor in the East-End”, and an agreement to lead a protest march the very next day to Parliament. By making their voices heard, the protestors were successful in ensuring the tax didn’t come into force.

bottom of page