Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Philipps, Fabian

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PHILIPPS, FABIAN (1601–1690), author, son of Andrew Philipps, was born at Prestbury, Gloucestershire, on 28 Sept. 1601. His father, who belonged to an old Herefordshire family, owned estates at Leominster. His mother, whose family, the Bagehots, had been settled at Prestbury for four hundred years, was heiress of one of her brothers. Philipps studied first at one of the inns of chancery, but afterwards migrated to the Middle Temple. He was also at Oxford for some time in 1641, ‘for the sake of the Bodleian Library.’ A zealous advocate of the king's prerogative, he spent much money in the publication of books in support of the royal cause. In 1641 he was appointed filazer of London, Middlesex, Cambridgeshire, and Huntingdonshire, in the court of common pleas. His claim to the emoluments of the office was disputed, and fourteen years later the case was still unsettled. Two days before Charles I's execution, Philipps wrote a ‘protestation,’ which he printed, and ‘caused to be put on all posts and in all common places’ (Wood). It was published with the title ‘King Charles the First no man of Blood; but a Martyr for his People. Or, a sad and impartiall Enquiry whether the king or parliament began the Warre,’ &c., London, 1649, 4to. Another edition bore the title ‘Veritas Inconcussa,’ London, 1660, 8vo. On the suppression of the court of chancery in 1653, he published ‘Considerations against the dissolving and taking away the Court of Chancery and the Courts of Justice at Westminster,’ &c., for which he received the thanks of Lenthall. He wrote three works against the abolition of tenures by knight service, viz., ‘Tenenda non Tollenda, or the Necessity of preserving Tenures in Capite and by Knight Service,’ &c., London, 1660, 4to; ‘Ligeancia Lugens, or Loyaltie lamenting the many great Mischiefs and Inconveniences which will fatally and inevitably follow the taking away of the Royal Pourveyances and Tenures in Capite,’ &c., London, 1661, 4to; and ‘The Mistaken Recompense by the Excise for Pourveyance and Tenures,’ &c., 1664.

On 30 Nov. 1661 Philipps and John Moyle received a grant, with survivorship, of the office of remembrancer of the court of the council and marches of Wales. In his eightieth year he still retained his ‘great memory.’ He died on 17 Nov. 1690, and was buried near his wife in the south-west part of the church of Twyford, near Acton, Middlesex. He wrote his own epitaph some years before his death. Philipps ‘was eminent in his time, considering that his parts were never advanc'd, when young, by academical education’ (Wood); he was ‘of great assiduity and reading, and a great lover of antiquities’ (Aubrey).

In addition to the works mentioned above, Philipps published: 1. ‘Restauranda; or the necessity of Publick Repairs, by setting of a certain and royal yearly Revenue for the king,’ &c., London, 1662, 4to. 2. ‘The Antiquity, Legality, Reason, Duty, and Necessity of Præ-emption, and Pourveyance for the King,’ &c., London, 1663, 4to. 3. ‘The Antiquity, Legality … of Fines paid in Chancery upon the suing out or obtaining some sorts of Writs retornable into the Court of Common Pleas,’ &c., London, 1663, 4to; Somers' ‘Tracts,’ vol. iii. 1750, 4to; ib. vol. viii. 1809, 4to. 4. ‘Pretended Perspective Glass; or, some Reasons … against the proposed registering Reformation,’ 1669, 4to. 5. ‘The Reforming Registry; or, a Representation of the very many Mischiefs and Inconveniences … of Registers,’ &c., London, 1671, 4to. 6. ‘Regale Necessarium; or the Legality, Reason, and Necessity of the Rights and Privileges … claimed by the King's Servants,’ London, 1671, 4to. 7. ‘Some reasons for the Continuance of the Process of Arrest,’ London, 1671, 4to. 8. ‘Reasons against the taking away the Process of Arrest, which would be a loss to the King's Revenue,’ &c., 1675. 9. ‘The Ancient, Legal, Fundamental, and Necessary Rights of Courts of Justice, in their Writs of Capias, Arrests, and Process of Outlawry,’ &c., London, 1676, 4to. 10. ‘Necessary Defence of the Presidentship and Council in the Principality and Marches of Wales, in the necessary Defence of England and Wales protecting each other.’ 11. ‘Ursa Major and Minor. Showing that there is no such Fear as is factiously pretended of Popery and arbitrary Power,’ London, 1681. 12. ‘Plea for the Pardoning Part of the Sovereignty of the Kings of England,’ London, 1682. 13. ‘The established Government of England vindicated from all Popular and Republican Principles and Mistakes,’ &c., London, 1687, fol.

[Biogr. Brit.; Watkins's Biogr. Dict. 1821, p. 846; Aubrey's Letters, ii. 491, 492; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 377, 380, 451, 997; Fasti, ii. 5; Cal. of Proc. of Comm. for Advance of Money, pp. 1256–8; Journals of the House of Lords, iv. 144; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. Charles II, xliv. 141, cxxxvii. 142; Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. p. 44, 5th Rep. pp. 75, 97, 119, 578, 6th Rep. pp. 2, 5, 10, 51, 7th Rep. pp. 180, 232; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. x. 210.]

W. A. S. H.