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They were one of the principal noble families of the County of Holland during the Middle Ages. The family said to be descendants of the Kings of Friesland and early Counts of future Holland, maintained some power due to its hereditary position as Voogd (Advocate) of the powerful Egmond Abbey in North Holland. They built their residence in Egmond aan den Hoef and became the Lords of Egmond. Thanks to a number of judicious marriages they were able to add the strategically important Lordship of IJsselstein and the semi-sovereign territory of the Lords of Arkel to their domains.
The family achieved even greater prominence in the period of Burgundian and Habsburg rule over the Netherlands. In the late 15th century, the senior branch became the sovereign Dukes of Guelders, whilst the younger branch split into the Counts of Egmond (elevated to become Princes of Gavere in 1553) and the Counts of Buren and Leerdam. The senior branches of the family moved out in the 16th and 17th centuries, but illegitimate branches (such as that of the Bavarian Counts of Geldern-Egmond) flourished well into the 20th century.
The execution of Lamoral, Count of Egmont in 1568 helped spark the Dutch Revolt that eventually led to the independence of the Netherlands, while Anna van Egmond-Buren, known as Anna van Buren in the Netherlands, was the first wife of William the Silent, the leader of this national uprising. Ironically, in 1573 both Egmond Abbey and Egmond Castle were destroyed on order of William the Silent.
Though the family name may not be carried, direct descendents of the family are in existence, thus, not extinct.