Name: William (Sir) Governor OF MASSACHUSETTS PHIPPS 1 2
Birth: 02 FEB 1651 in Woolwich, Sagadahoc County, Maine
Occupation: Governor of Massachusetts 1690
Burial: AFT 18 FEB 1695 Church of St. Mary Woolnoth, Lombard Street, London, Middlesex, England
Death: 18 FEB 1695 in London, Middlesex, England
Inventor of the diving-bell.
Allegedly a distant cousin of Sir Constantine Phipps, Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
The house of Phipps included in its pedigree a man of practical genius, whose name and career I find thus mentioned in the Mechanic's Magazine, for a cousin of Sir Constantine was William Phipps, the inventor of the diving-bell: [Note: This assertion has been debunked. He certainly used a diving bell, and may have made improvements to it, but did not invent it.] 'The first diving-bell of which we read was nothing but a very large kettle, suspended by ropes, with the mouth downwards, and planks to sit on, fixed in the middle of its concavity. Two Greeks at Toledo, in 1588, made an experiment with it before the Emperor Charles V. They descended in it, with a lighted candle, to a considerable depth. In 1683, William Phipps, the son of a blacksmith, formed a project for unloading a rich Spanish ship sunk on the coast of Hispaniola. Charles II gave him a vessel with everything necessary for his undertaking; but, being unsuccessful, he returned in great poverty. He then endeavored to procure another vessel; but, failing, he got a subscription, to which the Duke of Albemarle contributed. In 1687 Phipps set sail in a ship of two hundred tons, having previously engaged to divide his profits according to the twenty shares of which the subscription consisted. At first all his labors proved fruitless; but at last, when he seemed almost to despair, he was fortunate enough to bring up so much treasure that he returned to England with the valve of £200,000. Of this sum he got about £20,000, and the Duke of Albemarle £90,000. Phipps was knighted by the king, and since that time diving-bells have been constantly employed.'
Sir William Phipps (born 1651), son of James Phipps. William was the inventor of the diving bell [Note: Not the inventor] and had salvaged a famous sunken Spanish treasure ship off the coast of Haiti on 1687. He was handsomely rewarded by Queen Mary II and was the first native born American to be so knighted. He was appointed Governor of Massachusetts in 1690 and died in 1695.
The war spirit was now aroused throughout the colonies. It was determined, through Leisler's congress,1 to send a land force against Montreal by way of Lake Champlain, and a naval expedition against Quebec. The expenses of the former were borne by Connecticut and New York, and of the latter by Massachusetts. Sir William Phipps of Maine, who had this same year, 1690, captured Port Royal in Nova Scotia, commanded the naval force. He had thirty or more vessels and two thousand men. But the vigilant Frontenac, in spite of his fourscore years, was on the alert. He successfully repelled the land force, which turned back disheartened, and then hastened to the defense of Quebec. But here he had little to do. Phipps was a weak commander, and the fleet, after reaching Quebec and finding it well fortified, returned to Boston without striking an effective blow. The people of Massachusetts were greatly disappointed at the failure of the expedition. The debt of the colony had reached an enormous figure, and to meet it bills of credit, or paper money, were issued to the amount of £40,000. Phipps was soon afterward sent to England to seek aid of the king and a renewal of the old charter that Andros had destroyed. King William was hard pressed at home, and he left the colonies to fight their own battles; he also refused to restore the old charter, but he granted a new one, as we have noticed, and made Phipps the first royal governor of Massachusetts.
Sir William Phips
William Phips, fils d'une modeste famille, est né le 2 février 1651, dans l'actuel État du Maine. À 18 ans, il est engagé comme apprenti par un constructeur de navires. À Boston, il poursuit ce métier et épouse une veuve bien nantie. Il fonde son propre chantier maritime. En 1684, il part à la recherche d'un trésor englouti dans le naufrage d'un galion espagnol, le Concepción, au large de l'actuelle République Dominicaine. Après trois ans de recherches, il découvre l'épave et réussit à en retirer 32 tonnes d'argent. En récompense de son exploit, il se voit attribuer le titre de chevalier.
De 1689 à 1692, la Nouvelle-France et la Nouvelle-Angleterre subissent le contrecoup de la guerre qui oppose les mères-patries en Europe. En 1690, Phips est mandaté par le Massachusetts General Court pour prendre d'assaut Port-Royal en Acadie, puis Québec. Malgré son revers à Québec, il est nommé gouverneur royal du Massachusetts par Guillaume III, en 1692. Il meurt à Londres en 1694.
From Savage 'A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England ...,' vol. 3, pp. 420 - 422
WILLIAM, Boston, s. of James, b. says his panegyrist, [[vol. 3, p. 421]] "at a despicable planta. on the riv. Kennebeck," wh. is by Folsom, a soberer writer, said to be on the W. side, now Phipsburg, m. Mary, wid. of John Hull (not the mint-master), d. of Roger Spencer of Saco, but had no ch. was driv. by Ind. hostil. to Boston 1676, and I discov. him there in command of a trading vessel, 1677; he prevail. by his earnest desire to hunt up a Spanish wreck, in getting, 1683, a king's ship, the Algier Rose, and in a contempo. Memoir of Sir John Brampston (s. of the old judge, who sat in the immortal cause of John Hampden for the ship money), I find this condensed descript. of him, as "a sea capt. who was will skill, in mathemat. and had acquaint. hims. in India with some that had the art of diving; having some guess where the ship perished, apprehend. he could recov. the treas." Good luck attend. his undertak. but a mod. Eng. author of distinct. wh. ascrib. to him the invent. of a diving-bell for his purpose, ought to know that Edward Bendall had used his diving-bell successful. in Boston harbor, near eight yrs. bef.
Sir William was b. and may read in Winthrop Hist. of N. E. that the noble machine was next yr. employed at St. Kitts. For his success he was knight. by James II. 28 June 1687, and after his return here, was made, by Andros, Sheriff of N. E. Happi, he join. the ch. of Cotton Mather 8 Mar. 1690, was freem. a fortnight later, and, as his spiritual guide exulting. tells, was bapt. 23d of that mo. this being almost a yr. after the revo. against that power that made him sheriff, and in May 1690 he conducted the little attack, by only seven hundred men, on the French of Nova Scotia, with success, and was chos. an Assit. at the ensuing elect. The great expedit. that sail. in Aug. foll. against Quebec, was project. by him, "as well formed an enterprise," says Mather, "as perhaps was ever made by the N. E." tho. in this, the world's opinion has not concur. He was not content to have the nautical control merely, in wh. his experience could have been useful, but, with greater generosity than skill or propriety, assum. the direction of the land forces, thereby saving the reputa. of Walley, our ch. milit. officer, to the injury of his own. on the failure of this Quixotic campaign, he went to London, 1691, with intent. to seek aid from the new king in ano. attempt upon the bulwark of French empire in the world; but was most lucki. divert. from that pursuit, by the appointm. as Gov. in the new chart. on the recommend. of Increase Mather to the king. With Mather and the chart. he arr. at Boston 14 May 1692, but his incapac. was soon discern. and in two yrs. for indecent or boisterous conduct he was recall. from the prov. to London, and there d. 18 Feb. 1695. A monum. to his mem. stands in the ch. of St. Mary Woolnoth.
In Mass. the history of his admin. is the melancholy monum. for his public breach of the peace was a scandal that never before any other ch. magistr. and the horrible delusion of the witch-[ [vol. 3, pp. 422-423, missing in the orig. electronic version were provided by Warren C. Wetmore, May 8, 1999] ] [[vol 3, p. 422]] craft tradegy, tho. not imput. to him, might by him have been partially restrain. if not effect. counteract. As he never had a ch. the preposterous fable never heard of bef. this generat. that Sir Constantine Phips, the Tory lawyer, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, was his s. and the progenit. of Lord Mulgrave of the last century, may be duly esteem. It must be regret. that so respectab. an author as Smiles in his enumerat. of disting. mem. of the peerage, should have adopt. so fabulous an origin for the Normanby fam. See Self Help, p. 169. With his com. in May 1692, I have prefer. to close the enumerat. of N. E. early sett. because he brot. new people to fill offices, and succeed. emigr. may too much be thot. to have come for the same purpose. The sturdy puritan race may almost universal. be count. as earlier inhab. See Gillingham, as perhaps the latest of the prior sett. His wid. m. 9 Oct. 1701, Peter Sargent. Her neph. Spencer Bennett, H. C. 1703, took the name of Phips, had William, H.C. 1728, and was lieut. Gov. of the Province, d. 4 Apr. 1757, aged 71. Nine of this name, of single and double p. had, in 1832,been gr. at Harv.
William Phips was born on February 2, 1651 near Kennebec, Maine, the youngest of 26 children. His father was a gunsmith. Though Phips never attended school, he learned the ship-carpentry trade and, at an early age, set off on foot for Boston. Soon after arriving in Boston, Phips met ship captain Roger Spencer. The relationship with Spencer led Phips later to a job as captain of carried goods between New England and the West Indies. In 1687, an investor-backed expedition led by Phips recovered the treasure from sixteen Spanish ships that were lost at sea near the Bahamas in the early 1600's. He kept sixteen percent of his discovery, the majority of the treasure went to the investors, and the king received the remaining ten percent. As a result of his efforts, the king knighted Phips and appointed him the first Governor of Massachusetts.
On May 14, 1692 Phips arrived in Boston. He brought with him a charter ending the 1684 English law banning colonies from self government. Under this new charter, the legislature was to set up a judicial system until October. However, on May 27, deciding matters too serious to wait until October, Phips issued a commission for a Court of Oyer and Terminer (criminal jurisdiction) to hear witch trial evidence. Phips appointed William Stoughton as chief justice, though Stoughton had no legal education, and John Alden, John Hathorne, Nathaniel Saltonstall, Bartholomew Gedney, Peter Sergeant, Samuel Sewall and Wait Still Winthrop as judges.
As accusations of witchcraft spiralled, even Phips' own wife, Lady Mary Phips, was named as a witch. Soon thereafter, in October of 1692, Phips ordered spectral evidence and testimony would no longer suffice to convict suspects in future trials. Three weeks later Phips prohibited further arrests of witches, released 49 of the 52 of the accused witches still in prison and dismissed the Court of Oyer and Terminer. In May of 1693, Phips pardoned the remaining suspected witches still in prison.
Phips died on February 18, 1695.
From 'Dictionary of the National Biography,' vol. 'Owens - Pockrich,' p. 1122
PHIPPS, SIR WILLIAM (1651-1695), governor of Massachusetts, born near Pemaquid on 2 Feb. 1650-1, began life as a ship-carpenter, and in time became a merchant captain at Boston, Massachusetts. He there married the well-to-do widow of John Hull, daughter of Roger Spencer. He got tiding of a sunken Spanish treasure-ship near the Bahamas, and made an unsuccessful attempt to raise her. If we may believe his biographer, Cotton Mather, this search put Phipps on the track of another and more valuable wreck. In the hopes of recovering this, according to Mather, he went to England, and in 1638, by favour of Christopher Monck, second duke of Albemarle [q.v.], a lord of trade and plantations, obtained command of a frigate, the Algier Rose (RANDOLPH, Archipelago, 1687, p. 98) Mather gives very full details of two mutinies which Phipps had to suppress during his command of this ship. In this expedition he failed to find the lost treasure-ship of which he was in search, but obtained further tidings of her, and learned that she was sunk off the coast of Hispaniola [sic]. The project of recovery was taken up by the Duke of Albemarle and others. In 1687 Phipps was fitted out with a fresh vessel and a more trustworthy crew, and the wreck was discovered. The total treasure is said to have amounted to 300,000L. [three hundred thousand pounds], of which 16,000L. [sixteen thousand pounds] fell to the share of Phipps.
Phipps returned to England, and on 28 June 1687 was knighted. In the following August the king created the office of provost marshal-general of New England, and Phipps was appointed to it during the king's pleasure. With this commission Phipps went out to Massachusetts. In less than a year he returned to England, and thus took no part in the revolution which deposed James's deputy, Sir Edmund Andros [q.v.] After the latter's abdication James appears to have made overtures to Phipps, and to have offered him the governship of New England.
Early in 1689 Phipps returned to Boston. He found the colony under the de facto government of a revolutionary convention. Andros was in prison, and his legal authority had not devolved on any successor. Soon after his arrival Phipps indicated his deliberate intention of throwing himself into the public life of Massachusetts. In March 1690 he joine the north church in Boston, making a formal profession of adhesion and repentance, and receiving baptism. This step was no merely private incident. Till the revocation of the charter by judicial sentence in 1684 church membership in Massachusetts was a necessary qualification for citizenship. Within two months of his admission to the church, Phipps was placed by the court of Massachusetts in command of an expedition against the French colonies. On 28 April 1690 he sailed, with eight ships and seven hundred men, against Port Royal. The French were wholly unprepared for resistance, and the place at once surrendered. In the following July Phipps was sent, with thirty-two vessels and 2,200 men, on a similar expedition against the French occupation of Quebec and Montreal, which resulted in a total failure. The miscarriage of Phipps's attack on Montreal enabled the French to concentrate their whole defence on Quebec, where a mixture of impetuostiy and ignorance led Phipps to open fire without waiting for the land force which was to co-operate.
In 1691 Phipps revisited England, and urged upon William III the necessity of an aggressive policy against Canada, while he enlarged upon the importance of the fur trade and fisheries of the north of New England. In the September of the same year a new charter for Massachusetts was issued, and on the last day of 1691 Phipps was sworn in as governor.
The career of Phipps as governor added nothing to his reputation. He landed at Boston in May 1692, and found the witchcraft mania in full activity. He did nothing to check it or to control its fury. His first act was to appoint a special commission to try alleged cases of witchcraft. At the head of the commission he placed Stoughton, the lieutenant-governor, a man of narrow mind and harsh temper.
Another attempt against Quebec was planned, but no steps were taken towards the execution of it. All that was done by Phipps against the French and their Indian allies during his governorship was to build a fort at Pemaquid, a measure of utility in itself, but unpopular at Boston. Phipps also entangled himself in more than on discreditable brawl, and his correspondence with Fletcher, the hot-tempered and overbearing governor of New York, was singularly wanting in dignity. The various enemies whom he thus made succeeded in getting him summoned to England to answer for his conduct. In November 1694 he left Boston. On his arrival in England he narrowly escaped arrest on a civil suit. Before any proceedings were taken on the pending questions, Phipps died in London on 18 Feb. 1695, and was buried in the church of St. Mary Woolnoth in Lombard Street.
Father: James PHIPPS b: BET 1605 AND 1613 in Mangotsfield (near Bristol), Gloucestershire, England
Mother: Mary b: ABT 1625
Mary SPENCER b: ABT 1655 in Saco, York County, Maine
15 MAR 1683
in Charlestown, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
- Author: James Savage
Title: A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing Three Generations of those who came before May 1692 (based Farmer's Reg, V. 4)
Publication: Name: Boston: 1860 - 1862, Reprint: Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Maryland, 1965;
Source Medium: Book
Page: pp. 420 - 422
- Author: Edited by Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee
Title: Dictionary of National Biography from earliest times to 1900
Publication: Name: 1885 - 1900, Reprint, Oxford University Press, London, 1964 - 1965;
Source Medium: Book
Page: vol. 'Owens - Pockrich,' p. 1122
Text: PHIPPS, SIR WILLIAM (1651-1695), governor of Massachusetts, born near Pemaquid on 2 Feb. 1650-1, began life as a ship-carpenter, and in time became a merchant captain at Boston, Massachusetts. He there married the well-to-do widow of John Hull, daughter of Roger Spencer. He got tiding of a sunken Spanish treasure-ship near the Bahamas, and made an unsuccessful attempt to raise her. If we may believe his biographer, Cotton Mather, this search put Phipps on the track of another and more valuable wreck. In the hopes of recovering this, according to Mather, he went to England, and in 1638, by favour of Christopher Monck, second duke of Albemarle [q.v.], a lord of trade and plantations, obtained command of a frigate, the Algier Rose (RANDOLPH, Archipelago, 1687, p. 98) Mather gives very full details of two mutinies which Phipps had to suppress during his command of this ship. In this expedition he failed to find the lost treasure-ship of which he was in search, but obtained further tidings of her, and learned that she was sunk off the coast of Hispaniola [sic] ...