Plaque on the west side of Highway 42 in the village of Philipsville, north of Delta at junction of Highway 8. This area is now the Township of Rideau Lakes, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville
James Philips settled here in 1825 and opened a store and tavern. He became active in politics as a Reformer and rose to local prominence during the elections in Leeds between 1834 and 1836. These contests were marked by clashes between Ogle R. Gowan’s Orangemen and the Reformers and by a high level of violence and intimidation. On 3 March 1835 Orangemen under Gowan began a provocation at Philips’s tavern, which led to an attack on his home. During the fracas an Orangeman was killed and a charge of murder was brought against Philips, who was nonetheless acquitted.
When the Rebellion of 1837 was defeated, Philips fled Upper Canada and joined the Hunters’ Lodges in the United States, where he worked with sympathetic Americans and other Canadians to free the colony. On 11 November 1838 Philips was a member of the small army that invaded Upper Canada near Prescott. Two days later he was killed resisting an attack of British soldiers. He is remembered as a martyr of the Battle of the Windmill.
photo credit: Sheila Cornett