Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PHILIPPS or PHILIPS family, of Treygbi near Cardigan , and of Porth-Einion , and later of Cardigan priory

— (see Phillimore 's note on the name, in Owen , Pembrokeshire , iv, 475). It is frequently said that this family was a branch of the Philippses of Picton (see the preceding article) — so, e.g. in Laws , Little England , 355; but it would be more exact to derive both of them from the Philippses of Kilsant, Carms. — from Sir Thomas Philipps of Kilsant , who was also the progenitor of the Picton family. The pedigree varies in different books, e.g. Dwnn , i, 85; Meyrick , Cardiganshire , 2nd ed., 172; W. Wales Hist. Records , i, 14-5. Sir Thomas Philipps had as third (or fourth) son, OWEN PHILIPPS , whose son was EINION PHILIPPS , sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1588 . Einion 's son (by his second wife Elizabeth Birt ) was GEORGE PHILIPPS , sheriff in 1606 , who in 1616 acquired Cardigan priory , thenceforth the chief seat of the family. He m. Anne Lewis . Their son, HECTOR PHILIPPS , sheriff in 1634 , became the third husband of Anne , daughter of Sir William Wogan (others say John ) of Wiston, Pembs. They had two sons:

(1) JAMES PHILIPPS ( 1594 - 1675 ),

who matriculated from Jesus College , Oxford , in 1610 , and was sheriff in 1649 . Like his brother Hector (below), he was a zealous Parliament man in the Civil Wars , a ‘ Commissioner of Sequestration ’ in west Wales , a member of the army committee (and a colonel ), and a member of the High Court of Justice . He was Member of Parliament for Cardiganshire in the Parliaments 1653 , 1654 , 1656 (in which year he gave up the seat to become Member for Pembrokeshire ), and 1659 , and for Cardigan borough in 1660 and 1661 — losing the seat on petition ( Meyrick , op. cit., 340-1). He and his brother were regarded as grasping, but it is fair to add that a 1661 reference to James ( Cambrian Register , i, 167) describes him as a man ready to do a kindness. He d. in 1675 . He had been thrice married. His first wife was Frances , daughter of his kinsman Sir Richard Philipps of Picton . His second wife ( 1647 ) is famous; she was KATHERINE ( 1631 - 1664 ), daughter of John Fowler , a London merchant , and her mother, Katherine ( Oxenbridge ) , had become the second wife of James Philipps 's father Hector (above) — the marriages reflect the close connection, economic and political and religious, between south-west Wales and the City of London in those days. Katherine Philipps the younger was a well-known poet , writing under the pseudonym ‘ Orinda ,’ and her poems and letters make frequent reference to Cardigan and its surroundings. She was b. 1 Jan. 1631 , and d. in London 18 Jan. 1664 — see the D.N.B. article upon her. There were two children of the marriage: Hector (d. in childhood), and KATHERINE (b. 1656 ; alive in 1699 ), who m. Lewis Wogan of Boulston (see the article on that family); they had fifteen children, but a daughter alone survived. James Philipps 's third wife was Jane Rudd of Aberglasney, Carms. — the books call her ‘Anne,’ but her will ( 1674 ) shows that her name was Jane .

(2) HECTOR PHILIPPS (d. 1693 ),

who entered the Middle Temple in 1654 . His political views were identical with his brother's; he became sheriff in 1688 , and was Member of Parliament for Cardigan borough in 1679 (twice), 1685 , 1689 , and 1690 ; he d. in March 1693 . He was twice married; his first wife was a daughter of the Parliamentary commander Skippon (q.v. in D.N.B. ), He inherited his brother's estates, but left only a daughter. The estates came (by 1744 at latest) into the hands of the Pryses of Gogerddan, Cards. (qq.v.) . The priory was, in 1774 , in the hands of the father of Thomas Johnes (q.v.) of Hafod , and later in those of a Bowen of Tredroer (‘ Troed-yr-aur ’), who employed the architect John Nash (q.v.) of Cardigan to enlarge it. In 189 7 it came into the hands of the Pritchard family, one of whom, Emily Pritchard , wrote its history — Cardigan Priory ( 1904 ). It has since been completely transformed, and is today a hospital.


  • Sources named in the article.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959