Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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Peter Matthews c.1789-1838

Peter Matthews c.1789-1838

Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted June, 2004

Peter Matthews c.1789-1838

Photo from Google Street View ©2011 Google - Posted January, 2011

Plaque Location

The Region of Durham
The City of Pickering
In Brougham, on the northwest corner of
Highway 7 and Brougham Road
1 block east of Brock Road

Coordinates: N 43 55.149 W 79 06.327


Plaque Text

Peter Matthews farmed the lands immediately northeast of here in the early nineteenth century. On December 2, 1837, neighbours asked him to lead men from the area to join an uprising against the government in Toronto planned by William Lyon Mackenzie. Matthews supported democratic reforms, was popular in his community, and had served in the War of 1812. He agreed to the request and played a leading role in the confused events of the Rebellion of 1837. When the rebellion failed, Matthews was captured by government militia. Authorities decided to make an example of Matthews and another prominent rebel, Samuel Lount. Convicted of treason and publicly hanged they became martyrs of the rebellion whose memory would be invoked by reformers for generations to come.

Related Ontario plaque
Samuel Lount 1791-1838

Related Toronto plaques
Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews
William Lyon Mackenzie 1795-1861


Rebellion of 1837

Pickering Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted April 12, 2015
Today marks the 177th anniversary of the martyrdom of Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews, who so bravely fought for liberty against a British crown that sought to repress the People. Thousands petitioned the royal governor to spare their lives, even though signing it was an act of sedition. The foreman who was to supervise construction of the gallows refused to build it. But on the morning of April 12, 1838, Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews were hanged in public in downtown Toronto. Passing fellow prisoners on his way to the gallows, Lount is to have said, "We die in a good cause. Canada will yet be free."
In what has become an annual event to honour these patriots, a group will gather for an act of remembrance, this year at their final resting place at Toronto's Necropolis. Earlier, Mackenzie House museum will host a Rebellion walking tour. -Wayne

> Posted April 15, 2010
I feel so happy for the people that have great uncle's like him. Also this page is very helpful for school projects especially for ones that are really hard.

> Posted November 13, 2008
Peter Matthews is my great, great, great, great, great, uncle!

> Posted June 17, 2008
I think that this page was very helpful with my history project, and I can't wait to recommend it to my friends.

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