- Halen, Don Juan van
- (1790-1864)Born in Cadiz, Spain, on 16 February 1790, Don Juan van Halen belonged to a family that came originally from the Low Countries. He entered the Spanish navy in 1803 and pursued an active and far-flung military career during which he was seriously wounded four times. He fought in Spain both for and against the French and for Tsar Alexander n the Caucasus, and he traveled to the United States from whence he moved to Belgium. Halen lived quietly in Brussels until the outbreak of the Belgian Revolution when insurgent leaders in need of experienced military professionals called on van Halen and appointed him commander in chief of the rebellious forces. He devised a plan of attack that led to the successful eviction of Dutch troops from the Parc de Bruxelles and other parts of the city and nearby areas in September 1830. The provisional government, fearful of entrusting too much power to one man, subsequently limited his command to south Brabant, and he resigned. Van Halen was later suspected of conspiring to aid pro-Dutch forces and, in 1835, by a royal decree he was disbarred from further service. He returned to Spain and died in Cadiz on 8 November 1864.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.