NEWMARKET - HEART OF THE REBELLION OF 1837
Plaque on the outside wall of the Old Town Hall, 460 Botsford, off Main Street, in the Old Town, Newmarket
“William Lyon Mackenzie, the area’s member of the Colonial House of Assembly, held the first of a series of public meetings leading up to the rebellion of 1837 at Hewitt’s Hotel at the corner of Botsford and Main Sts., on Aug. 3, 1837. Support for Mackenzie, his opposition to the Family Compact and his endorsement of the Lower Canadian Reformers was overwhelming - more than 500 cheered him, only three stood in opposition. The meeting endorsed the radical Toronto Declaration appointing convention delegates, formed a political association and a vigilance committee, all early steps on the road to rebellion. Newmarket area’s staunch support for Reform made it the heart of the rebellion”.
Samuel Lount of Holland Landing was elected as delegate to the planned Convention in Toronto, which was to follow the overthrow of the Family Compact regime. The plaque was erected by the Newmarket Historical Society, the Town of Newmarket, and with the assistance of the Ontario Heritage foundation.
James B. Caldwell’s home, known as Liberty Hall, is nearby at 438 Botsford. Caldwell provided food and support to rebel prisoners held in the nearby Presbyterian Old Kirk (Timothy St.) behind Caldwell’s house. The Kirk was used as a prison for rebels who had fought under Mackenzie. They would be fed meals by the then supportive Irish-born residents of Liberty Hall. Hence the title of the building, which is cherished to this day by its present owners. It still carries the name of James Caldwell, a Newmarket chair manufacturer and one-time owner of the house.