ANTHONY VAN EGMOND
Gravestone of Colonel Anthony Van Egmond (1779-1838) and a provincial plaque in his name, in the Egmondville cemetery, 40 miles west of Stratford, south of Highway 8, an area now almost a suburb of Seaforth. Also, the Van Egmond House close by, which was opened to the public as a museum to honour both Van Egmond and the pioneers of Huron County.
Van Egmond was a young officer in the Dutch army in 1794. After its defeat by Napoleon he was transferred to the French army and was wounded at Waterloo. From there he immigrated by way of Pennsylvania to Canada, where he was instrumental in the settlement of Huron County 1828-37 and the building of the Huron Road, one of the first efforts to build roads to encourage settlement.
In the Huron Tract he represented the Colonial Advocate and corresponded with its editor William Lyon Mackenzie, taking up the cause of the settlers seeking bridges, roads, schools and mills. In 1836 he sought election as a Reform candidate backing Mackenzie, but was defeated by a vote of 35 to 25. He then joined forces with Mackenzie in the Rebellion of 1837, acting as military leader of the rebel forces. Mackenzie launched the march on Toronto because of mixed signals before Van Egmond arrived at Montgomery’s Tavern. On arrival Van Egmond put 150 men in the woods west of Yonge St. and 60 more east of Yonge. The remainder held the tavern. The militia overpowered Van Egmond and his force. Van Egmond was captured while trying to escape and taken to the Toronto jail where he died.