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About the Strike Fund Register
Annie Besant
Annie Besant

The register was given to the Trades Union Congress in 1977 by the family of someone who had worked in the Ministry of Labour under Ernest Bevin, but who had no known connection with the strike. The volume was transferred to the University of North London [now London Metropolitan University] in 1998 and underwent conservation at the University of Dundee Conservation Unit in 2000. After the strike, the volume was also used as a scrapbook or guardbook with press cuttings, letters and other documents either pasted onto the pages or filed loosely between them.

Strike Register

The main part of the Register provides details of the workers on strike at the Bryant & May match factory at Bow, East London in March 1888. There are three lists showing 263 workers from the Centre and Top Centre workshops, 186 workers at the Victoria factory and 263 workers at the Wax and Box Stores and Patents. The lists show the name and address of each workers, together with marital status, occupation, last week's wages and whether living at home or independently. Additional notes show rent owed or dependents. Boy workers are indicated. This is followed by the Payments Register for all three workplaces, showing strike pay allotted and amounts actually paid out to each striker on July 14 and July 21. All workers received a minimum of 4 shillings [20p] , those who had earned over 6 shillings received 5 shillings and married women and widows received more.

Scrapbook Section

Items pasted into the book are listed in order of entry. All correspondence is to Herbert Burrows, unless otherwise stated.

1. Cuttings from the Daily News, People's Palace Journal, and Daily Chronicle re. July 1888 strike.

2. Cutting from the Labour Gazette, July 1893 re. Factory and Workshop Acts [FWA]

3. Matchmakers' Trade Union balance sheet, August 1888 - July 1889

4. FWA Restriction Notice, 1892 : Places forbidden for meals.

5. FWA Notices re. Lucifer Match Factories, 1893.

6. Matchmakers' Union strike fund appeal for Bell's factory, Bromley by Bow, 1894.

7. Cutting from the Auckland Star [New Zealand], 14 August, 1894 : interview with Herbert Burrows re. 1894 strike.

8. Resolutions passed at a public meeting in support of the Bell strikers, 1894.

9. Affidavit of Charles Bell in R. Bell & Co. v. Burrows and Others, together with solicitor's letter, March 1894.

10. Written replies from the Secretary of State, Home Department to parliamentary questions put by J. 11. A. Murray Macdonald MP re. Bell's match factory at Bromley, 1894.

11. Letter from E. Leigh Pemberton, Home Office to J. A. Murray Macdonald MP re. Bell's match factory at Bromley, 9 March,1894.

12. Letter from Amelia, Mary and Eliza [Bell's employees] to Miss Thornton Smith [Matchmakers' Union], undated.

13. Letters from C. Bell, Managing Director of Bell's, re. wage rates, 21, 27, 29 December 1893, 2, 5 January 1894 and 12 March 1894

14. Letter from C. Bell to Miss Thornton Smith re. dismissal case [Casey] 5 March, 1894.

15. FWA Notices re.Lucifer Match Factories, 1895 and 1896

16. Cuttings from Lloyds, Hospital and Star May-June 1898 re. cases of phospherus necrosis, "phossy-jaw".

17. Letter from L. Morgan re. death of Cornelius Lean from "phossy-jaw" 25 May, 1898.

18. Bryant and May's strike fund balance sheets 14, 21 July, 1888.

Loose papers 1. Letter from John Burns 10 June, 1898.

2. Cuttings from the Weekly Times and Echo 12 June, 1898, Star 1, 14, 17 June 1898 and 24 January 1899.

3. Letter from M. A. Casey [Bell's employee] to Miss Thornton Smith re. visit of factory inspectors 3 August, 1893.

4. Letter from James Barker, Salvation Army Colonel, re. meeting 11 June, 1898.

5. Letter from C. Sage, analyst and chemist, re: analysis of "Strike Anywhere" matches 2 August, 1899.

6. Matchmakers' Union leaflet 1893, with handwritten notes on the reverse re: "phossy-jaw".

7. Handwritten notes

8. FWA Notice re: Lucifer Match Factories 1896

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