The General Strike of 1842


In August 2017, the Rebel Road project of Unite Education at

successfully helped co-ordinate two public occasions that recalled events in August 1842 in Halifax and Blackburn. 

A report from the Halifax meeting on 16 August 2017 can be found here:-

A review of Catherine Howe’s book on Halifax 1842 can be found at:-

The report by the Lancashire Evening Telegraph about the laying of a wreath on 15 August 2017 at the plaque in Blackburn was perhaps not quite as accurate as was hoped but it can be found here at the Lancashire Telegraph where you can search for Plug Riots:-

Further progress is now being made by Councillor Tony Humphrys in getting together all the relevant information he has collected and following which it will, with some financial assistance from a local Unite branch, be published. The aim is then to get someone else locally to take up the search for more information on the dramatic events in Blackburn in August 1842. Blackburn mill operatives had suffered a 50 per cent reduction in their wages in the first half of 1842 and people were starving. Lancashire, where the largest concentration of the country’s industrial workers were based and the industrial revolution was shaped, was the centre of the 1842 General Strike.

Sadly, much of what happened in 1842, when half a million workers, stretching from Dundee to Cornwall, took participated in a strike that linked demands for the People’s Charter with an end to pay cuts, remains hidden. The best piece of work is that of Mick Jenkins in his book, published in 1980, The General Strike of 1842. This was published by Lawrence and Wishart The book is now out-of-print but is though freely available to be downloaded from a number of sites including