Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Phipps, Joseph

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PHIPPS, JOSEPH (1708–1787), quaker, born at Norwich in 1708, was apprenticed to a shoemaker in London, where he frequented theatres and wrote a play which came into the hands of the Duke of Richmond; but, on his conversion shortly after, Phipps rescued the piece from the press, although he had been offered 100l. for the copyright. He also dallied with materialism, but, being induced by a pious fellow-apprentice to go to a quakers' meeting-house at the Savoy, he forsook his vanities, and joined the Society of Friends. In the summer of 1753 he accompanied a quakeress, Ann Mercy Bell, of York, on a street-preaching tour through the metropolis. Next year he published ‘A Summary Account of an Extraordinary Visit to this Metropolis in the Year 1753 by the Ministry of Ann Mercy Bell,’ London, 1754; 2nd ed. 1761. He died at Norwich on 14 April 1787, and was buried in the Friends' cemetery there. By his wife, Sarah, Phipps had a son, who died an infant, and three daughters.

His writings mainly consist of tracts in defence of the quakers, and replies to Samuel Newton of Norwich, who had attacked them. Among them are: ‘Brief Remarks on the common Arguments now used in support of divers Ecclesiastical Impositions in this Nation, especially as they relate to Dissenters,’ London, 1769, another edition, 1835; republished as ‘Animadversions on the Practice of Tithing under the Gospel,’ 1776, other editions, 1798, 1835; ‘An Address to the Youth of Norwich [1770?],’ Dublin, 1772, London, 1776, New York, 1808, and Newcastle, 1818; ‘The Original and Present State of Man’ (in answer to Newton), London, 1773, 8vo, Trenton, 1793, 8vo, Philadelphia, 1818, and in Friends' Library, Philadelphia, 1846, vol. x.; ‘All Swearing prohibited under the Gospel,’ London, 1781, 1784, 8vo; and ‘Dissertations on the Nature and Effect of Christian Baptism,’ London, 1781, 8vo, 1796, Philadelphia, 1811, and Dublin, 1819, 8vo, translated into German, Philadelphia, 1786. He also issued ‘The Winter Piece, a Poem. Written in commemoration of the Severe Frost, 1740,’ London, folio, 1763; and edited ‘The Journal of George Fox’ in 1765.

Another Joseph Phipps was responsible for ‘British Liberty; or a Sketch of the Laws in force relating to Court Leets and Petty Juries,’ &c.; 3rd ed. 1730, and ‘The Vestry laid Open; or a Full and Plain Detection of the many Gross Abuses, Impositions, and Oppressions of Select Vestries,’ 3rd ed. 1730.

[Works; Smith's Catalogue, ii. 411; The Irish Friend, iii. 54; Friends' Monthly Magazine, i. 767; registers at Devonshire House.{CFS}}