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

It is frequently said that this family was a branch of the Philipps family of Picton, e.g. in Laws, Little England, 355; but it would be more exact to derive both of them from the Philipps family 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 married 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 died 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 born 1 January 1631, and died in London 18 January 1664 — see the D.N.B. article upon her. There were two children of the marriage: Hector (died in childhood), and KATHERINE (born 1656; alive in 1699), who married 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 (died 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 died in March 1693. He was twice married; his first wife was a daughter of the Parliamentary commander Skippon (see 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 Pryse family of Gogerddan, Cards.. The priory was, in 1774, in the hands of the father of Thomas Johnes of Hafod, and later in those of a Bowen of Tredroer (‘Troed-yr-aur’), who employed the architect John Nash 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.

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Published date: 1959

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