Philipps, Erasmus (DNB00)

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PHILIPPS, Sir ERASMUS (d. 1743), economic writer, was the eldest son of Sir John Philipps, of Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire, by his wife Mary, daughter and heiress of Anthony Smith, an East India merchant. His cousin, Katharine Shorter, was the first wife of Sir Robert Walpole. Matriculating at Pembroke College, Oxford, on 4 Aug. 1720, he left the university in the following year without graduating. He was entered as a student of Lincoln's Inn on 7 Aug. 1721, and succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his father in 1736. He was M.P. for Haverfordwest from 8 Feb. 1726 until his death. He was accidentally drowned in the river Avon, near Bath, on 7 Oct. 1743. He was unmarried.

Philipps published: 1. ‘An Appeal to Common-sense; or, some Considerations offered to restore Publick Credit,’ 2 parts, London, 1720–21, 8vo. 2. ‘The State of the Nation in respect to her Commerce, Debts, and Money,’ London, 1725, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1726, 8vo; the same edition, but with new title-page, 1731, 8vo. 3. ‘The Creditor's Advocate and Debtor's Friend. Shewing how the Effects of the Debtor are spent in Law … that may be saved for the creditor,’ &c., London, 1731, 8vo. 4. ‘Miscellaneous works, consisting of Essays Political and Moral,’ London, 1751, 8vo. Extracts from the diary which he kept while a student at Oxford (1 Aug. 1720 to 24 Sept. 1721) are printed in ‘Notes and Queries’ (2nd ser. x. 365, 366, 443–5). An epitaph on him by Anna Williams is sometimes attributed to Dr. Johnson (Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. v. 254, and Anna Williams, Miscellanies).

[Gent. Mag. 1743, p. 554; Nicholas's County Families of Wales, pp. 298, 908; Lodge's Irish Peerage, vii. 100; Burke's Baronetage, p. 1129; Foster's Alumni Oxon. (1715–1886), p. 1107; Return of Members of Parliament, ii. 59, 70, 82, 95; Boswell's Life of Johnson, ed. Hill, i. 60, 203.]

W. A. S. H.