George M Phillips, Rev. (c.1593 - 1644) MP

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Birthplace: Rainham,St Martins,Norfolk,England
Death: Died in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation: Preacher, Minister, Reverend, reverend, Congregational Minister, Reverend of Watertown
Managed by: Cindy Ann Enzenauer
Last Updated:

About George M Phillips, Rev.

Founder, Congregational Church

"He was the earliest advocate of the Congregational Order and discipline." His views were for a time regarded as novel, suspicious and extreme, and he with his ruling elder, Richard Brown, stood almost unaided and alone, until the arrival of John Cotton, maintaining what was and still is the Congregationalism of New England. It is not now easy to estimate the extent and importance of the influence of Rev. Phillips in giving form and character to the civil and ecclesiastical institutions of New England.

                           ------------------------

Reverend George Phillips, the first minister of Watertown, was the son of Christopher Phillips of Rainham, Norfolk. He was born around 1593 probably at Rainham, St. Martins, near Rougham, in the hundred or district of Gallow, county of Norfolk, England. George matriculated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in April 1610 and graduated as B.A. in 1613 and received the degree of M.A. in 1617. "He gave early indications of deep piety, uncommon talents, and love of learning, and at the University distinguished himself by his remarkable progress in learning, especially in the theological studies for which he manifested an early partiality" (source of quote not provided).[1/9] He took orders in the Church of England and served for some years as vicar at Boxtead, Essex though the length of his service is uncertain, owing to the loss of the parish registers.[3]

George Phillips was settled for a time in the ministry in Suffolk County, but suffering from the storm of persecution which then threatened the non-conformists of England, he determined to leave the mother country and take his lot with the puritans.[1/910] John Maidstone, a nephew of John Winthrop's second wife, was among George's parishoners (and later an officer in Cromwell's household) and wrote Winthrop on 4 Nov 1629 stating that Phillips was resolved to go to Massachusetts and highly recommending him.[3] He embarked for America 12 Apr 1630 in the Arabella, with his wife and two children, as fellow passengers with Governor Winthrop and Sir Richard Saltonstall, and he arrived at Salem June 12th. Before the final embarkation which had been considerably delayed, Gov. Winthrop says in a letter to his son John Winthrop, "From aboard the Arabella, riding before Yarmouth, April 5, 1630. Yesterday we kept a fast aboard our ship and in the Talbot. Mr. Phillips exercised with us the whole day, and gave very good content to all the company, as he doth in all his exercises, so as we have much cause to bless God for him".[1/910] George was one of the seven signers of The Humble Request, which is dated April 7, on the eve of sailing, and which was printed that same year. There seems to be some ground for believing that George Phillips drafted this noble statement.[3]

George's wife died soon after arrival in Salem and was buried by the side of Lady Arabella Johnson, both, evidently, being unable to endure the hardship and exposure incident to a tedious ocean passage. He soon located in Watertown, and without delay settled over the church in that place which was called together in July. At the Court of Assistants, 23 Aug 1630, it was "ordered that Mr. Phillips shall have allowed to him 3 hogsheads of meale, 1 hogsh of malte, 4 bushells of Indian corn, 1 bushel of oatmeale, halfe an hundred of salte fish". Another statement from the same source says, "Mr. Phillips hath 30 ac of land graunted him vpp Charles Ryver on the South side". His first residence was burnt before the close of the year. His later house was "opposite the ancient burial ground, back from the road".[1/10]

George continued to be the pastor of the Watertown church, greatly respected and beloved, until his death 14 years after his arrival. He died at the age of about fifty-one years, 1 Jul 1644 and was buried July 2. "He was the earliest advocate of the Congregational order and discipline. His views were for a long time regarded as novel, suspicious, and extreme, and he, with his ruling elder, Mr. Richard Brown, stood almost unaided and alone, until the arrival of Mr. John Cotton, in maintaining what was and still is, the Congregationalism of New England. It is not now easy to estimate the extent and importance of the influence of Mr. Phillips in giving form and character to the civil and ecclesiastical institutions of New England" (source of quote not provided).[1/1011] In 1632 George was one of the leaders in the protest made by Watertown against the action of the governor and assistants in arbitrarily levying a tax on the town. The tax was not remitted, but within three months an election of representatives to the General Court was agreed upon, with the understanding that in future no taxes should be levied without the consent of the court. To this Watertown protest is rightly traced the beginning of representative government in Massachusetts.[3]

George's lands were described in the second inventory of grants and possessions of Watertown in 1644. They included 1) a homestall of twelve acres by estimation bounded east by Thomas Arnold, west and north with the highway, and south by Edward How; 2) seven acres of upland bounded north with Cambridge line, south by Samuel Saltonstall, and west by Isaac Hart; 3) a homestall of five acres bounded southwest and northwest with the highways and east with a driftway; 4) forty acres of plowland in the hither plain bounded east by Edward How, west with the driftway, north with the highway, and south with the way betwixt the lots; 5) thirty acres of remote meadow bounded with the farmland, lot 93; 6) eighty acres of upland being a great Divident in the second division, lot 28; 7) fifteen acres of upland upon the meeting house Common; and 8) thirty acres of meadow bounded west with the river and southeast with the Cambridge line.[2/1:6970]

George's name appears in the list of those admitted freeman 18 May 1631, which is the earliest date of any such admission. His inventory amounted to 550.2.9. His library was valued at 71.9.9.[1/11]

REF: [1] Genealogy of Rev. George Phillips - A.M. Phillips, 1885

    [2] Records of Watertown, 1894 (Lands, Grants, and Possessions)
    [3] Dictionary of American Biography - Dumas Malone, 1934, Vol.
        15 (pgs.540-1)

-------------------- 1630, Came to America with Governor Winthrop and settled in Watertown, Mass.

1613, Marticulated Cambridge

1617, AM degree from Cambridge

It is uncertain if George Phillips (and his father Christopher) are the oldest know ancestors of this Phillips lineage. Documented evidence of Phillips Geneology is available from Abner Phillips (born 1715/16) on down. It would make a good story if George Phillips is the patriarch of the family since he came to America in 1630 with Governor Winthrop on the ship Arabella and settled in Watertown Massachusetts. Prior to coming to America George Phillips graduated from Cambridge in 1617.

all of the Phillips info is from this web site:

http://www.thinkpint.com/ripleyroots/phil_gene.html

Provided by Carol Williams Shelton -------------------- THE GEORGE PHILLIPS FAMILY

GEORGE PHILLIPS [#1980], b. Rainham, St. Martins, Norfolk, England abt. 1593, d. Watertown, MA 1 Jul 1644, m(1) a daughter of Richard Sargent, m(2) Elizabeth ____, prob. the widow of Capt. Robert Weldon, d. 27 Jun 1681

Reverend George Phillips, the first minister of Watertown, was the son of Christopher Phillips of Rainham, Norfolk. He was born around 1593 probably at Rainham, St. Martins, near Rougham, in the hundred or district of Gallow, county of Norfolk, England. George matriculated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in April 1610 and graduated as B.A. in 1613 and received the degree of M.A. in 1617. "He gave early indications of deep piety, uncommon talents, and love of learning, and at the University distinguished himself by his remarkable progress in learning, especially in the theological studies for which he manifested an early partiality" (source of quote not provided).[1/9] He took orders in the Church of England and served for some years as vicar at Boxtead, Essex though the length of his service is uncertain, owing to the loss of the parish registers.[3]

George Phillips was settled for a time in the ministry in Suffolk County, but suffering from the storm of persecution which then threatened the non-conformists of England, he determined to leave the mother country and take his lot with the puritans.[1/910] John Maidstone, a nephew of John Winthrop's second wife, was among George's parishoners (and later an officer in Cromwell's household) and wrote Winthrop on 4 Nov 1629 stating that Phillips was resolved to go to Massachusetts and highly recommending him.[3] He embarked for America 12 Apr 1630 in the Arabella, with his wife and two children, as fellow passengers with Governor Winthrop and Sir Richard Saltonstall, and he arrived at Salem June 12th. Before the final embarkation which had been considerably delayed, Gov. Winthrop says in a letter to his son John Winthrop, "From aboard the Arabella, riding before Yarmouth, April 5, 1630. Yesterday we kept a fast aboard our ship and in the Talbot. Mr. Phillips exercised with us the whole day, and gave very good content to all the company, as he doth in all his exercises, so as we have much cause to bless God for him".[1/910] George was one of the seven signers of The Humble Request, which is dated April 7, on the eve of sailing, and which was printed that same year. There seems to be some ground for believing that George Phillips drafted this noble statement.[3]

George's wife died soon after arrival in Salem and was buried by the side of Lady Arabella Johnson, both, evidently, being unable to endure the hardship and exposure incident to a tedious ocean passage. He soon located in Watertown, and without delay settled over the church in that place which was called together in July. At the Court of Assistants, 23 Aug 1630, it was "ordered that Mr. Phillips shall have allowed to him 3 hogsheads of meale, 1 hogsh of malte, 4 bushells of Indian corn, 1 bushel of oatmeale, halfe an hundred of salte fish". Another statement from the same source says, "Mr. Phillips hath 30 ac of land graunted him vpp Charles Ryver on the South side". His first residence was burnt before the close of the year. His later house was "opposite the ancient burial ground, back from the road".[1/10]

George continued to be the pastor of the Watertown church, greatly respected and beloved, until his death 14 years after his arrival. He died at the age of about fifty-one years, 1 Jul 1644 and was buried July 2. "He was the earliest advocate of the Congregational order and discipline. His views were for a long time regarded as novel, suspicious, and extreme, and he, with his ruling elder, Mr. Richard Brown, stood almost unaided and alone, until the arrival of Mr. John Cotton, in maintaining what was and still is, the Congregationalism of New England. It is not now easy to estimate the extent and importance of the influence of Mr. Phillips in giving form and character to the civil and ecclesiastical institutions of New England" (source of quote not provided).[1/1011] In 1632 George was one of the leaders in the protest made by Watertown against the action of the governor and assistants in arbitrarily levying a tax on the town. The tax was not remitted, but within three months an election of representatives to the General Court was agreed upon, with the understanding that in future no taxes should be levied without the consent of the court. To this Watertown protest is rightly traced the beginning of representative government in Massachusetts.[3]

George's lands were described in the second inventory of grants and possessions of Watertown in 1644. They included 1) a homestall of twelve acres by estimation bounded east by Thomas Arnold, west and north with the highway, and south by Edward How; 2) seven acres of upland bounded north with Cambridge line, south by Samuel Saltonstall, and west by Isaac Hart; 3) a homestall of five acres bounded southwest and northwest with the highways and east with a driftway; 4) forty acres of plowland in the hither plain bounded east by Edward How, west with the driftway, north with the highway, and south with the way betwixt the lots; 5) thirty acres of remote meadow bounded with the farmland, lot 93; 6) eighty acres of upland being a great Divident in the second division, lot 28; 7) fifteen acres of upland upon the meeting house Common; and 8) thirty acres of meadow bounded west with the river and southeast with the Cambridge line.[2/1:6970]

George's name appears in the list of those admitted freeman 18 May 1631, which is the earliest date of any such admission. His inventory amounted to 550.2.9. His library was valued at 71.9.9.[1/11]

REF: [1] Genealogy of Rev. George Phillips - A.M. Phillips, 1885

[2] Records of Watertown, 1894 (Lands, Grants, and Possessions)

[3] Dictionary of American Biography - Dumas Malone, 1934, Vol.

15 (pgs.540-1)

Children (by first wife):

1. Samuel, b. Eng. abt. 1625, d. Rowley, MA 22 Apr 1696,

m. Oct 1651 Sarah Appleton, b. Reydon, Eng. abt. 1629,

d. Rowley, MA 15 Jul 1714

2. Elizabeth, b. Eng., m. before 17 May 1651 Job Bishop of Ipswich

Children (by Elizabeth):

3. Zerobabel, b. Watertown, MA 5 Apr 1632, m. Ann White

4. Jonathan, b. Watertown 16 Nov 1633

5. Theophilus, b. Watertown 28 May 1636, m(1) Watertown 3 Nov

1666 Bethiah Kedell, d. Watertown 15 Mar 1668, m(2) Watertown

21 Nov 1677 Mary Bennett

6. Annabel, b. Dec 1637, bur. 17 Apr 1638

7. Ephraim, b. Jun 1640 or 1641, d. young

8. Obadiah, bur. 5 Apr 1641

9. Abigail, m. Watertown 8 Oct 1666 James Barnard (son John

Barnard and Phebe), b. 1637

From http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/Event.aspx?tid=1848352&pid=-748955364&etype=birth&pg=0&se=1

The story properly begins on Saturday, June 12, 1630, when the sturdy ship Arbella, with John Winthrop, Simon Bradstreet, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Isaac Johnson, and other Puritan leaders on board, anchored in Salem Harbor, after a tempestuous passage across the Atlantic. One of the little company was the Reverend George Phillips, of Rainham, Norfolk County, England.

he few anecdotes recorded of the Reverend George Phillips indicate that he was a man who, in a pious age, was conspicuous for personal piety. It was said that he read the entire Bible at least six times a year, and that he was able to turn to any stated text without the aid of a concordance. He was accustomed to spend the interval between his two sermons on Sunday in conferring "with such of his good people as resorted unto his house." Cotton Mather in his Magnalia makes the Watertown Congregationalist the subject of a carefully drawn eulogy, in which emphasis is laid on his faithfulness in office. "He was indeed," says Mather, "among the first saints of New England ---a good man and full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." It was for Phillips that Mather, in one of his whimsical moods, designed the remarkable epitaph, so delightful in its ambiguity:

Hic jacet GEORGIUS PHILLIPPI Vir incomparabilis, nisi SAMUELEM genuisset

http://www.ourstory.info/library/5-AFSIS/Fuess/school1.html

-------------------- The story properly begins on Saturday, June 12, 1630, when the sturdy ship Arbella, with John Winthrop, Simon Bradstreet, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Isaac Johnson, and other Puritan leaders on board, anchored in Salem Harbor, after a tempestuous passage across the Atlantic. One of the little company was the Reverend George Phillips, of Rainham, Norfolk County, England.

The few anecdotes recorded of the Reverend George Phillips indicate that he was a man who, in a pious age, was conspicuous for personal piety. It was said that he read the entire Bible at least six times a year, and that he was able to turn to any stated text without the aid of a concordance. He was accustomed to spend the interval between his two sermons on Sunday in conferring "with such of his good people as resorted unto his house." Cotton Mather in his Magnalia makes the Watertown Congregationalist the subject of a carefully drawn eulogy, in which emphasis is laid on his faithfulness in office. "He was indeed," says Mather, "among the first saints of New England ---a good man and full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." It was for Phillips that Mather, in one of his whimsical moods, designed the remarkable epitaph, so delightful in its ambiguity:

Hic jacet GEORGIUS PHILLIPPI Vir incomparabilis, nisi SAMUELEM genuisset

http://www.ourstory.info/library/5-AFSIS/Fuess/school1.html

view all 21

Rev. George Phillips's Timeline

1593
May 4, 1593
Rainham,St Martins,Norfolk,England
1620
1620
Age 26
Boxted, , Suffolk, England
1624
1624
Age 30
Probably England, (Present UK)
1625
December 22, 1625
Age 32
Boxted, Essex, England
1630
June 2, 1630
Age 37
Arrived with Governor Winthrop
1630
Age 36
Boxford, , Suffolk, England
1631
1631
Age 37
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
1631
Age 37
Admitted freeman
1632
April 5, 1632
Age 38
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
1633
November 16, 1633
Age 40
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA