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Sir William (Phips) PHIPPS

Sir William (Phips) PHIPPS[1]

Male 1550 - 1620  (69 years)

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  • Name Sir William (Phips) PHIPPS 
    Born 2 Feb 1550  Worcester, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Knight 
    Died 1620  Mangotsfield, Worcester, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I13003  Lucius
    Last Modified 22 May 2005 

    Father Thomas PHIPPS,   b. 1510, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother ANNE, (--?--) 
    Married Bef 1550 
    Married England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F4505  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 SUSAN, (--?--),   b. Abt 1556, Worcester, Worcester, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Bef 1578  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. John PHIPPS, Sr.,   b. 1580, Worcester, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. England Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Marie PHIPPS,   b. 1582, Worcester, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Susan PHIPPS,   b. 1584, Worcester, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. William PHIPPS
    Family ID F4506  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Ann,   bur. 25 Mar 1597, Mangotsfield, Gloucester, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F12078  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Sir William (Phips) Phipps
    Sir William (Phips) Phipps
    Sir William (Phips) Phipps Memorial
    Sir William (Phips) Phipps Memorial

    Sir William Phipps Signature
    Sir William Phipps Signature

    1977 issue of National Geographic
    1977 issue of National Geographic
    William (Phips) Phipps ARMS.jpg
    William (Phips) Phipps ARMS.jpg
    William (Phips) Phipps MEDAL.jpg
    William (Phips) Phipps MEDAL.jpg
    A medal commemorating Phip's Success. One side shows the heads of James II and Mary of Modena and the reverse two boat crews fishing for treasure with the James and Mary in the background.
    The motto is from Ovid; "Always let thy hook hang down."
    "Naufraga Reperta" means "Shipwreck Refound".
    From; The Treasure of the Concepcion by Peter Earle.
    SIR William Phipps PLAQU.JPG
    SIR William Phipps PLAQU.JPG
    Sir William (Phips) Phipps
    Sir William (Phips) Phipps
    Sir William (Phips) Phipps Memorial
    Sir William (Phips) Phipps Memorial
    Sir William Phipps
    Sir William Phipps
    SIR William Phipps RIPLEYS.JPG
    SIR William Phipps RIPLEYS.JPG

  • Notes 
    • Book on the life of Sir William Phips (Phipps).

      As a child, willful, fearless, generous, robust and of great physical strength80
      Abt 1669; He was apprenticed to ship carpenter at Clarke and Lake Shipyard for 4 years, 1669 - 1673 at Arrowsic (Spring Cove), Maine. Arrowsic was a fortified town with the shipyard outside the fort. Lived with brother John's family. (The Tuttle Family; History of Bath, Maine)
      He then worked at the ship carpenter's trade in Boston for 1 year (under John Hull? Witches and Wizards) and in that time learned to read, write, arithmetic, navigation. (History of Woolwich, Maine: Phipps Genealogy by Martha Phipps Patterson: Tuttle Genealogy)

      Abt 1674; Contracted with various Boston merchants to build a vessel on the Sheepscot and bring it back loaded with lumber with which to repay them. (History of Woolwich, Maine: Phipps Genealogy by Martha Patterson Phipps)

      1676; On completion of his ship Indian war broke out. Settlers on the Sheepscot River fled to the islands in Booth Bay after they heard of the attacks at Hammonds Fort and the Garrison House at Clarke and Lake. William threw overboard a shipload of lumber in order to make room for family and friends aboard his ship to remove them from danger to Boston. The group of British merchants with whom he had contracted fired him, and took his ship as with the lumber gone he could not repay them. (History of Bath, Maine: History of Woolwich, Maine)
      "The 117-ton ship had been launched and was virtually complete, but its lading of lumber was still on shore. Not having the luxury of time to load, Phips gathered his family and neighbours and departed for Boston in the barely finished ship. The destruction of his house, along with those on neighboring lands, soon followed.."
      "The depths of Phips's loss can be measured by the series of lawsuits he faced during the eighteen months following his hurried departure from Maine. Although many New Englanders, particularly ships' captains and aspiring merchants like Phips, were frequently in court fighting civil cases, Phips had rarely been involved in such proceedings. His avoidance of them suggests that he had managed on the whole to meet his obligations and had dealt with people who did likewise. All of this changed with his reversal of fortune in 1676. First, Francis Dodson sucessfully sued for payment of twenty-three pounds that Phips owed him for stoning a cellar. The contract had been signed in March 1676, when Phips was still solvent and had apparently decided to build a house in Boston. Elizabeth Hammond then sued Phips for
      three pounds that was owed from the sale of beef on the Kennebec the previous year, and Daniel Turell Jr. sued Phips for the sum of thirteen pounds, nine shillings; the nature of the latter debt was not stated, but it may have been for hardware for the ship Phips had built, because Turell was an anchorsmith. Finally Phips was involved in a suit and countersuit with Thomas Joles over settlement of the contract to build the ship. When Phips lost the case and was ordered to pay eighty-five pounds, he became enraged. 'In a deceitful and felonious way,' alleged his opponents, he seized the award from the hands of Joles's attorney, John Walley, 'and threw it into the fire and burnt it'. In January 1678 the court sentenced Phips to pay the eighty-five pounds to Walley and a five-pound fine to boot. By the time he appeared before the court, Phips had regained his composure, and when he apologized for his behavior the court cut his fine in half." (The New England Knight)

      1677; At Boston, he was in command of trading vessel to West Indies where he learned how to dive and heard of sunken treasure from an old native of Haiti. (Witches and Wizards; Savage's Genealogical Dictionary: History of Bath, Maine: Mysteries of the Deep: The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)

      October 4, 1679: John White and wife Mary Phipps White at Boston, transfer land at Jeremysquam Neck to William. John and William Haynes witnesses. (Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire; Pope's, Pioneers) Mary Phipps White and John White deeded "for love and affection" this homesite to her son Sir William.

      Early 1680's; Worked a wreck near New Providence in the Bahamas with a little success. Heard tales of a great treasure on the shoals north of Hispaniola. (The Senora de la Concepcion - a 680 ton galleon captained by Captain Hernando Rodriquez, lost all her masts and rudder and developed such a bad leak that she eventually drifted and was wrecked on the north side of a reef in the Bahamas called Abrojos (open your eyes), located north of Hispaniola. Most of the 600 persons aboard swam to a nearby sand bar where they created makeshift rafts and boats with the wreckage. 200 of them left on these to Santo Domingo with only a few reaching safety. Bad weather prevented a salvage effort for several months and by the time the weather cleared the sandbar had been washed away and the rescuers could not locate the wreck site. Today this reef is called the Silver Shoals or Silver Bank as a result of the more than 2 million pesos in silver - almost twice as much as the ship's registers stated she carried - that was lost on this shipwreck.)
      He sailed for England to seek an audience with the King. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl; Treasure Hunt! Fabulous Find on Silver Shoals by Joseph P. Blank)
      "Other evidence indicates that, inadvertently or by design, Mather may have underestimated the proceeds from Phips's little-known first treasure-seeking voyage. The only solid evidence of the episode comes in a court case of 1682, in which four of Phips's former crew members sued him and the two quartermasters of the Resolution for nonpayment of half of their share in a recent venture that was almost certainly the Bahamian voyage. The Massachusetts Court of Assistants, sitting as a court of admiralty, ordered the four to recieve the half-shares of twenty-seven pounds each. A voyage in which a full share was worth fifty-four pounds would certainly qualify as a profitable enterprise. It was enough to prompt the royal customs official Edward Randolph to mention, in August 1683, Phips's 'late successful
      returnes' as a treasure seeker, while a Spanish narrative of 1687 recalled that Phips had 'for some years followed the art of discovering shipwrecked vessels, not without considerable success'. (The New England Knight)

      1683; King Charles II of England gave him the king's ship, a 180 ton 22 gun Navy frigate the Salee Rose (a captured Algerian ship) to search treasure off the Bahama banks. Getting a crew to agree to go for a share of the prize (all William could offer in way of payment at this time) was hard to do, so the crew ended up being a motley bunch. The cook had a fixed stipend contributed by each member of the crew, and was the only one exempted from any share in the recovered treasure. The common sailors were to be given a share each, equalling one of the Captains, and every boy was promised half a share. The mate and other officers were each to have something more than a regular share. And the doctor was provided for in the same way as the sailors. Each of the ship's company was obligated to contribure twopence monthly for the purpose of supplying his medicind chest. Orders were given for the crew to behave in a way befitting a Royal ship; "to fire a gun morning and evening to set and discharge the watch, and to make all other vessels strike there colors and topsails in honor of their Royal ship". As commander of the ship, Phips agreed to furnish all the instruments required for locating the wreck and salvaging its treasure, but was to be reimursed when the share of the treasure was divided. The Captain, as well as each of his crew, was obliged to give security in the amount of a hundred pounds that the contract would be adhered to faithfully. They set sail September 5, 1683. It was soon discovered that the crew had not brought enough provisions so they were forced to anchor in the River Sharon in Ireland while Phips went up to Limerick to buy more supplies. While he was gone the crew decided to supplement the stores by shooting some sheep and chickens to take along. Some of the crew was arrested and thrown in jail for selling hats they had taken with them from home (At that time in Limerick there was an ordinance forbidding the peddling of merchandise on the streets.) Before the voyage could be continued he had to free his men. Finally the Rose was fully provisioned, watered and recaulked and they sailed on. On the voyage to America, the King's envoy John Knepp kept a journal of their exploits. He was very upset about the crew's behavior. Unlike a well disciplined Royal Navy ship there was much drinking and swearing. Knepp didn't care for the attitude of Phips. (History of Woolwich, Maine: Savage's Genealogical Dictionary: Phipps - Wheeler Genealogy by Erma Morrill: The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl, Lounsberry's Sir William Phipps)
      "Phips's success in making the necessary contacts has traditionally been viewed as one of the more remarkable parts of his story. How could a carpenter from a 'despicable plantation' on the fringe of empire gain the backing of high-ranking naval officers and the crown itself? However, now that Phips's family tree is known, an explanation is not so difficult. To wealthy New Englanders, Phips may have been an outsider of humble origins, but in England his family connections were sufficiently respectable to enable even a poor cousin to muster introductions that would smooth his entry into an official culture in which connections of family and locality were crucial to success." (The New England Knight)

      1683; "By 19 August, Edward Randolph - travelling to New England as a royal emissary - was reporting to Southwell on the passage he was about to take, 'The Rose frigott of 20 gunns an Algereen prize is fitted out to sea and bound to the Spanish wreck off the Bahama Islands under the conduct of one Phips...He is to call at Boston to take in his diving Tubs and other necessaryes'."
      "The active role of Narbrough and haddock in lending the Rose is established by a later document recalling that those two had been 'privy to the Designe upon which the said shipp was sent abroad'. Yet two navy commissioners alone - or the entire Navy Board, for that matter - would not have had the power to lend a naval vessel. The first of the four signatures on the Admiralty commissioners' order for fitting out the Rose was that of Daniel Finch, second earl of Nottingham, who was first lord of the Admiralty. This rising Tory politician, who was to have interactions with Phips while secretary of state in the 1690s, did not personally sign all such orders. The likelihood is, however, that Charles II was directly involved in lending the Rose, at the instance of Narbrough - who, as a contemporary later observed, had 'a great and well deserved Interest with the Court' and the ear of both the duke of York and the king."

      October 22, 1683; They reached Boston and stayed for a few weeks, the crew drinking and brawling in the local taverns while Phips collected more men. Phips was cited for firing at ships who refused to dip their flags at the King's ship he commanded as was custom for a man of war. John Knepp attempted to point out that the Rose was on the King's private business and therefore did not receive that honour. But in Phips mind a Royal ship was a Royal ship and should be treated accordingly. When other ships, out of ignorance or obstinence, refused to dip their flags to the Rose. they had a shot fired across their bows shortly followed by a boat from the Rose demanding 6 shillings, 8 pence for the cost of the shot. This problem came to a head when Captain Jenner of the Samuel ? Thomas out of London had been fired on for the 5th time and refused to pay for the shot. Jenner took Phips to court saying he had seen Phips' orders in London and they contained no power to operate as a man of war. Governor Bradstreet upheld Jenner's complaint and sentenced Phips to pay 5 lbs to the county and 5 lbs to Jenner with costs. Meanwhile the ships crew also were in trouble with the towns people. 2 of the crew were badly beaten by the constables in a tavern and when Phips turned up to collect his men it was said that he told the constables to "kiss his arse", and that he did not "care a turd for the governor". He landed in court again with his men where they declared that the constables began the fight. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl) Thus a short stay meant to last 2 - 3 weeks turned into 15 weeks. (Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl: History of Woolwich, Maine)
      Even though Phips was thus entrussted with a moderately powerful naval vessel, the limits to the trust were indicated by the placing of two royal agents on board, John Knepp and Charles Salmon...What view Salmon took of Phips's role as commander is unknown but Knepp's verdict was scathing. His portrait of Phips as a lax disciplinarian and a gratuitous aggressor towards other ships, which he sent to England in early 1684, was undoubtedly the major factor prompting a secret royal instruction to the Massachusetts magistrates William Stoughton and Joseph Dudley in late February that they were to seize the Rose 'in case you shall be informed or suspect that the said William Phips or his Seamen may endeavour to defraud Us of Our said ship, or of the Benefit of that Undertaking'.

      January 14, 1684; Phips left Boston leaving John Knepp behind. The crew continued to behave badly. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl) Mutinies twice during the voyage attempting to turn the expedition into Piracy - once quelled with his bare fists, the 2nd time the men were left off at Jamaica. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl: Phipps Genealogy by Martha Patterson Phipps)

      February 27, 1684; King Charles II having read Knepp's reports of the conduct of Phips and the crew gave orders for the arrest of Phips to his Massachusetts agents (Joseph Dudley and William Stoughten), "if it appears that Phips or his seamen have a design to defraud the King of the ship with the plate and bullion thereon". Phips had already sailed when the agents received the notice. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)

      March 16, 1684; A small amount of treasure found in Bermuda Triangle, but not the big haul for which he searched. Left for Hispaniola to search out further information about the Concepcion and then was forced to return to England to request more backing to continue his search. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)

      March 1686; Phips' obsessive determination finally convinced the Duke of Albemarle and a group of 5 other financiers to back him. They organized a joint stock company, and received a Royal Patent. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl: History of Woolwich, Maine: Mysteries of the Deep)

      September 12, 1686; Ship The Bridgewater of 200 tons and 23 guns with the name changed to James and Mary, set out on 2nd attempt to find the treasure ship. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)

      November 26, 1687; Daniel Turell, Sr. (blacksmith) with wife Mary and Samuel Wakefield (tailor) and wife Elizabeth, deed to Sir William Phipps, late of Boston (knight) house and land, North End Boston, near Charlestown Ferry; N.E. street leading from the long street toward the
      burial place, S.E. lane or highway leading from sd street down towards Mrs. Cartwithins house, S.W. sd Daniel Turell, N.W. William Sumner. (SD 17:222). S.W. side of Charter St., corner of Salem St. (January 18, 1686 Samuel Wakefield (tailor) with wife Elizabeth mortgages house and land at N. end wherein they now dwell, street that leadeth to North Burying Place N.E., Greene Lane S.E., Daniel Turell, Sr., S.W. and N.W. (SD 13:425). N. corner of Charter and Salem Sts. (Thwing database)

      January 20, 1687; On the Ambrosia Bank (also called the Silver Bank) the shallow draft sloop Henry's crew discover a sea feather (a pretty plumelike coral) and on attempting to capture it discovered it grew from the encrusted muzzle of a cannon on the hulk of a ship - the wrecked 1641 Spanish vice admiral - Nuestra Senora de la Limpia y Pura Concepcion wedged between rocks in 7 or 8 fathoms (about 40 feet) of boiling shoal water. It had lain there 46 years. Until midmorning on January 22, 1687 the divers pulled up treasure, but a threatening sky warned them it was time to sail back to Puerto Plata to inform William of the find. (The Treasure of the Concepcion The Wreck of the Almiranta by Peter Earl)

      February 22, 1687; Phips and 4 divers went to site. They pulled up treasure from dawn to dusk for 58 days losing 8 Sundays, 9 days to bad weather, and 1 day on March 10 when the divers were ill. 4 divers worked so hard they sometimes came up coughing blood. They had picked clean all that could be eaily reached, leaving the coral encrusted after hold that was wedged between 2 rocks untouched. Concern for hurricanes and pirates forced them to then return to England. (Mysteries of the Deep: History of Woolwich, Maine) "...Phips finally called an end to the operation and returned to England with treasure that would equal $50 million in today's currency" (1999 - Expedition Whydah) In Operation Phips in 1977, treasure seeker Burt Weber and his crew attempted to find the Concepcion and bring up the remaining treasure Phips was unable to bring up. The 1st attempt failed, but after an English researcher uncovered Phips' ship log giving the precise location of the vessel, a 2nd attempt was made in 1978 that proved to be a success. Every working day for 9 months they brought treasure up, including, porcelain predating the Ming dynasty, unmarked silver, three ancient astrolabs once used in navigation and said to be worth $100,000.00 in 1978, chains of gleaming gold, a unique ivory doll, a traveling trunk with a false bottom concealing silver coins neatly stacked 4 - 6 deep, buckets of silver and gold coins, and crates of exquisite ancient pottery. The recovery was estimated to be worth $200 million. In 1978 a t.v. documentary on CBS "The Lost Treasure of the Concepcion", chronicaled the discovery. (Syracuse Herald Journal 1978; Treasure Hunt! Fabulous Find on Silver Shoals by Joseph Blank)

      June 6, 1687; Arrived in England with 37 tons of sunken treasure worth 207,600 pounds sterling in gold, silver, jewels, and pearls. William was Knighted (Knight of the Bachelor Order) by King James II on June 28, 1687 and received his 1/16 share 11,043 lbs - about $80,000.00. The Duke of Albemarle presented Lady Mary with a gold cup worth approximately $400.00. Phips also received a gold chain and medal worth approximately $5,000.00. (Mysteries of the Deep: History of Woolwich, Maine: The Tuttle Family) King James II share was 20,700 lbs. The Duke of Albemarle and partners received the rest. He was made High Sherriff of the Massachusetts Bay Colony under Governor Andros. (Phipps - Wheeler Genealogy by Erma Morrill; Connecticut Colonial Documents) 1st American Knighted81
      "The diarists John Evelyn and Narcissus Luttrell used identical words to describe the proceeds of the voyage, 'a vast treasure'. How vast was it in reality? According to the historian W.R. Scott, who was followed by such eminent authorities as J.H. Clapham and Maynard Keynes, it was sufficient to alter the course of England's financial history. Phips's treasure, Scott argued, encouraged the formation of many more joint-stock companies and thus contributed substantially to the expansion of the market in stocks in the early 1690s and thereby to the foundation of the Bank of England." (The New England Knight)

      August 1687; Phips appointed Provost Marshal General, a position created by the King. (History of Woolwich, Maine)

      October 21, 1687; Samuel Wakefield sells house and land to Lady Phipps. Sewell 1:193 (SD 17:221). Charter corner Salem. (Thwing database)

      November 29, 1687; The William Phipps Mortgage, Robert Ayars and Stephen Mumford mortgaged "Braces Farme" to Sir William Phipps, Esq., in Boston: ...Twenty ninth of Thousand Six hundred Eighty seven...Between Stephen Mumford of James Towne...yeoman and Robert Ayres of Newport...yeoman of the one Part, and Sr. William Phips Knight late of Boston...on the Other Part...Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayres for...three Hundred pounds in currant money of New Sr. William Phips or his
      agent...paid...Have given...their Farme containing about Two Hundred and fourty acres... lyeing...within the Towneship of Newport...knowne by the name of Braces Farme Late in the occupation of Richard Allison now in the actuall possession and Tenure of...Robert Ayres...upland Meadows and Swamps which they...purchased of John Walley of Bristoll Esq...bounded Westerly by the Land now or late of Henry Bull and Irah Bull Sotherly by the Land of Major John Coggeshall Eastwardly by the sea northerly by the Land of John Easton Sen: ...and partly by the Common...With all houses Barnes...Trees...
      Wit. Stephen Mumford
      Nathan. Byfield Robert Ayars
      Samll. Crowley Signum
      Anne X Mumford
      Esther Ayars
      Boston 30th November 1687; Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayers...before me one of his majesties Councill...acknowledged
      John Walley
      Ann Mumford & Esther Ayres...acknowledged before me one of the Councill...the fourth day of May 1688 Walter Newberry

      November 30, 1687; John Walley

  • Sources 
    1. [S28] Pam Crain Gedcom File, Pam Crain, (March 7, 2003), cra_mey_gedcom.ged.