(April, 1649.) A body of men that first appeared in Surrey, and went about pulling down park palings and levelling hedges, especially those on crown lands. Colonel Lilburne was lodged in prison for favouring the Levellers. (See Lilburne.)
Radicals in the time of Charles I. and the Commonwealth, who wanted all men to be placed on a level with respect to their eligibility to office.
(in Irish History), 1740. Agrarian agitators, afterwards called Whiteboys (q.v.). Their first offences were levelling the hedges of enclosed commons; but their programme developed into a demand for the general redress of all agrarian grievances.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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