Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A name given to certain riotous proceedings about 1842, when cotton-mills in Lancashire were stopped from working by the removal or drawing of a few bolts or ‘plugs’ in the boilers, so as to prevent steam from being raised.
“They had been told, too (let that never be forgotten), that in order to carry the Reform Bill, sedition itself was lawful; they had seen the master-manufacturers themselves give the signal for the plug-riots by stopping their mills.”
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