Source 2

Plans from the Home Office for an answer to a Parliamentary question from Liberal Member of Parliament, Edward Pickersgill about a case of phosphorous poisoning at the Bryant and May factory, 1898, Catalogue ref: HO 45/9849/B12393D


[Note different spelling of ‘Tye’ and ‘Tie’ in original document]


DATE: 11th May 1898


Home Office




Question – Phosphorus poisoning at Bryant & May’s match factory. Case of a young woman named Tye.


Mr. Pickersgill, – To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will inquire into the case of a young woman named Tye, living at 47, Beaufoy Road, Plaistow, who 12 months ago, while working at the match factory of Messrs. Bryant and May, was attacked by phosphorous poisoning, and has since been attended by Mr. Cornelius Garnan, the medical officer of the firm, or by his son, Dr. Bernard Garnan:


And, if the notices required by the Factory Act have not been given in this case, will he take steps to enforce the Law. [Friday 13th May.]


(Friday 13th May)






Ellen Tie is one of his names in the list in v/41. She was attacked [by illness] in November 1895. & is still under treatment.




? Answer this and the question in /43 together and say –


“Both the cases referred to by the

“hon: member are among those mentioned yesterday in which Messrs. Bryant & May failed

“to report the occurrence of phosphorus

“poisoning to the Factory Department, though

“informed of the nature of the illness by Dr Garnan. The

“Case of Tye recurred in 1895. The other (as

“stated in the question) in August last. As I said

“yesterday, this neglect has been so serious

“that I have had no course open but to

“order a prosecution.”


« Return to What was the significance of the Match Girls’ Strike in 1888?
  • What was the question asked in Parliament by Mr Pickersgill?
  • What clues are there that the government thought this question should be answered quickly?
  • The civil servants who looked into this question prepared an answer in the ‘Minutes’ seen in the document. How did government plan to reply to Mr. Pickersgill?